The State of Redemption Cards

The following response was sent to a customer from Panini America Vice President Jim Dryden regarding the state of redemption cards. We felt it was worth sharing with all Panini America customers.

The following response was sent to a customer from Panini America Vice President Jim Dryden regarding the state of redemption cards. We felt it was worth sharing with all Panini America customers. 

First of all, thanks to all Panini America customers for purchasing our products. We appreciate your business. Please know that your support is as vital to our success now as it’s ever been.

You should know that no one in the collecting community is as disheartened and frustrated by redemption cards as the men and women inside the Panini America offices. The people building our products are lifelong collectors who are extremely passionate – personally and professionally – and are extremely sensitive regarding issuing even one redemption card.

We have a keen understanding of the impact redemption cards have on the market as well as how our valued customers respond to them. We also are acutely aware of the challenges we face to substantially reduce redemptions in all of our products. These challenges include the increased overall demand for autographs (particularly hard-signed autographs), increased acquisition costs and longer player fulfillment timelines.

Simply, we detest redemption cards but must continue to cope with the fact that they’re something of a necessary evil.

To address the challenges we continue to face, we are in the process of revamping our card design, acquisitions and player fulfillment processes to better match the existing autograph environment. With these changes, we hope to substantially reduce the quantity of redemptions in future products. Please also note that we have always and will continue to respond to redemption requests as quickly as possible. The members of our Product Development and Customer Service teams know the instant player autographs arrive in our offices and they take action immediately to begin the fulfillment process.

Again, we sincerely appreciate your support of our products and completely understand collectors’ frustration with redemption cards. We do not take that lightly. Our vow to all of our customers is that we’ll keep working doggedly to improve the redemption process  with the ultimate goal of one day eliminating them altogether.

Thanks and best regards,
Jim Dryden
Vice President of Operations
Panini America


33 Replies to “The State of Redemption Cards”

  1. I’m waiting on a Subban Certified. Hopefully it comes quick. Last March my son pulled a Malkin auto redemption from another manufacturer and they waited 9 months to tell me it wasn’t going to happen and they only told me because I asked. My son was cheesed off and we have not bought that company’s products since.

      1. i have pulled a redemption for a starting six booklet, and as usual, 6-8 weeks. Redeemed 21\13….today is 4\9\13….more than 8 weeks?

  2. There are some of us that do not mind pulling a redemption………..I can remember pulling my first redemption and how thrilled I was at pulling it because back then if you pulled one you just knew it would be something special………..but the card industry has changed so much now and there are redemptions pulled at a more frequent rate I still don’t mind and for particular athletes I would wait for quite some time the only time I think I would be disappointed is if after a long wait not receiving the player I was waiting for……

  3. In my opinion there was nothing in that letter really worth sharing we as collectors didn’t already know

    ive been waiting almost 5 months for my redemption and its a joke; not to mention all that time its losing ebay value (this not being a PC card) because the product isn’t the newest one out

    if the player hasn’t signed then he shouldn’t be in the product period.

  4. While I understand the need and want to provide as many autographed cards as possible, I feel you as Panini should take a realistic approach to each players ability to provide the autographs. Of course there is a high demand for quality autographed cards of star players, everyone wants that big pull, it’s all apart of the hobby.

    Yet, I feel the mystique and excitement of pulling a Dan Marino or Jim Brown auto has severely dwindled. It’s like the card industry is repeating the late 80’s and early 90’s all over again, this time with autographed and game used cards. Remember when it meant something to pull a star base rookie card or even a star insert card…those simple, well designed and rare inserts were worth more than most game used cards are worth or sell for now!

    There has to been a line between making your customers happy and keeping the value of the card. I remember when I was chasing a Joe Montana auto from 1996, I don’t even think there was one per case. However I did finally get my hands on won and it was like winning the lottery! Now, with the amount of Montana, Marino, Elway, Young, Baugh, Favre, Petterson…etc.. auto’s out there it’s like “oh, yay, I got one”

    Redemption’s are a product of a company wanting to provide the most and best amount of quality autos in their product but they weren’t able to get the cards signed in time for the pack out or even at all. But my thing is, if the company knows there’s a slime to none chance of getting the player to sign, simply don’t put it in your product! I don’t want to pull a Elway, Favre, Montana, Marino quad auto redemption and then find out one of them is not signing and the card never get’s made….that’s infuriating!

    I’m saying, if you are struggling to get a player to sign, well sorry but don’t pass the burden onto the collector. I don’t want to see the card on the checklist when it’s never going to be produced. It stinks, but it’s true, don’t sit there and dangle player autos over our heads and then 8-12 months later tell us, were sorry, so and so never singed, here’s a so and so patch auto for you…to go along with the other thousands of so and so patch autos out there.

    Like I said, collectors want the big pull and have come to expect it in almost every box…but what does that do to the value of the card. In 2001 I pulled a Ken Stabler Jsy/Auto and sold it for $100+ in 2005…now I can find the same card and get it for $20…why because there so many more Stabler autos to choose from (even though he doesn’t have too many). But the more and more autos that are mass produced the less and less valuable my autograph collection from previous year products decline.

  5. What card manufacturers need to do is step up and make it their policy that expired redemption cards will always be valid for something. It isn’t the collector’s fault that a player didn’t fulfill their obligation when they’re opening wax a couple of years after it was released. Of course they most likely won’t be able to get the card they were supposed to get, but they should be able to get something.

    In this age of sticker autographs, it would be pretty easy for card companies to print up special sets to use solely for fulfilling expired redemptions or redemptions that were never fulfilled. It gets tiring when you see companies constantly touting their products and then failing to come through on the customer service end of things. If you want to go to release with redemption cards in the packs then you’ve got to make good on that and give collectors something no matter how long after the expiration date the card is pulled. The expiration date should only guarantee the exact card listed. I think most collectors could live with that. As it is, redemption cards should only ever be used for on-card autographs. Having to wait months for a card and then getting something with a sticker on it is a slap in the face.

  6. Why can’t you finalize designs 6-9 months before a product is released giving players enough time for ALL ON CARD autos?

    The cards should be produced well enough in advance to get them signed.

  7. I hate to say it, but for one I like redemption most of the time………. Too know that you have maybe a HUGE pull, makes it that more anticipated on seeing it!!

  8. Offy bring up a good point. There aren’t as many ‘unopened wax’ collectors out there … but one reason could be that redemption cards expire – and then can be essentially worthless. This forces you to open wax within the expiration window.

    However, I do have some personal experience that has made getting a redemption card not really a bad thing.

    I personally opened a box of 2006 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia in 2010 and pulled a redemption that had expired for a Laurence Maroney Autograph Patch Card. Panini said they would still redeem the card for something …. I gave the card away – so I’m not sure what ever happened – but in my situation Panini was willing to exchange the card for something …. which I think is only fair if you purchase a box years after release.

    I remember sending in a redemption to Playoff about 10 years ago for a 2000 Contenders Football Autograph RC that never signed. A few months later I got a message in the mail (pre internet days) and had a list of things I could exchange the card for. I ended up getting a 2001 Rookies & Stars Hobby box where I pulled a Mike Vick autograph RC, boy I was happy the redemption never came!!! I think a system where collectors could choose through an inventory of product the company may have sitting around is a good way to fulfill redemptions that expire/or can’t be redeemed. Also the fact that I could get an entire box of cards for a guy that never signed for the company – made me feel I was getting a great deal.

    Those are my experiences with expired and un-redeemable redemptions – both times I felt like I was getting good value for the redemption I had pulled. I agree with Offy that expiration dates could be pushed back really far into the future – or have something in place so when they expire – you can still get ‘something’ in return for it.

  9. my issues with redemptions isn’t that i have to wait to get the card…thats not a problem (as long as i dont have to wait a year anyways)…its the expiry dates on them

    i have a suggestion for expired cards…and thats to send a promo card instead if its expired…perhaps a promo card you can only get that way…might not be as good as the original deal but it would be better than a piece of card board worth nothing.

    i understand money wise you wouldnt want to pay for shipping for something like that…so for that i would suggest that the promo card only be sent within the same package as other redemption requests which are not expired….

    either that or allow a customer to go to their local card shop and exchange an expired card on the spot for a promo card you can only get that way (you guys would send the card shops promo cards that can only be given to such customers)

  10. One thing that would be nice would be to see more updates on the status of the redemption once you have redeemed it. I have 1 redemption that has been sitting in my account for about 2 months that is still listed as an initial request with no update. At the same time, the same player now has autos out live in another product that was released later on.

  11. I would have to agree with the guy above me. I would appreciate a status update on cards that have remained unsigned for more than 4 months. I currently have 12 redemption cards in my “account” that I have seen no action on. The oldest, and the one I am looking forward to the most, is a Larry Bird auto out of last year’s Classics. That one I redeemed in April of last year and still no word. I have called 3 times and each time a woman has told me…sorry…nothing we can do until he signs. As someone who obviously spends enough on your different products to collect 12 different redemptions, it would be nice to get a little more information than that. I don’t mind a redemption that has a realistic chance of being fufilled…but who wants to pull something you’ll never get?

  12. I don’t mind pulling redemptions i just hate waiting for them lol. But what i do hate is when i buy an old product and pull one that is no longer valid. I think companies need to figure out a way to honor the expired cards. Or even the ones that have been out a yr that are still not signed. Maybe a points program and a list of auto’s on your site we can pick from? with the points on our un redeemed card???

    1. Kobe is one of Panini’s official spokesmen. There’s no way that anyone should end up waiting for a Bryant autograph. It’s possible that he may not have time during the season, but if you’ve waited through at least one off-season then something’s wrong.

  13. An another problem for a short number of collectors. I live in Europe and redemption programs (and contests, …) and too many manufacturers don’t accept demands outside USA. In 1998, I’ve found a Randy Moss autographs (redemption) (not a Donruss/Panini product, sorry!) and I’ve sent the card with 1 1/2 pages of explainations to receive my card back. If you do autographs or relics, this is in the box, not outside!

  14. After reading these comments I’m glad I chose the 8 month window for the two David Gettis auto redemptions I put in for yesterday. Why Panini couldn’t get autos ready in time of a rookie like Gettis is beyond me.

  15. 2010 EEE Matt Harvey & Manny Machado Autos? Any way we get these any time soon? Frustrating to see Bowman Chrome On Card Autos of these guys for weeks now.

  16. I’ve been waiting over 3 months now for my 2010 Certified Tino Martinez redemption and over two months for a couple other FB ones. Can someone please help us collectors who support Panini. Please help us!!!!

  17. I am annoyed with the redemption replacements.

    Panini makes us wait 4 months to even request a replacement and then Panini takes another 4-6 weeks to replace the redemption I have already been waiting 4 months for. I asked if I could wait 3 months then request a replacement, but it was a no go.

  18. I have been waiting for over six months for one and five and four months for others. i rarely get answers through my open requests and am very frustrated with your redemption process. Many pay aftermarket costs to get these, and now nothing. Others spend a great deal on packs and pull a redemption. I do not see many winning scenarios with redemptions. It would be nice to get a response.

  19. Thanks to Tracy I received the Rondo card in the mail today – 16 months after I registered for it. No comment from Panini customer support other than a sent notice. Well, they did the minimum I guess. Very disappointed.

  20. Wow reading some of these post that all these other individuals posted make me kinda scared. Some people waiting over a year to get a card is a very long time. I once was waiting for a card for Lil over 8 months and I finally got my card with a note say” we are sorry but we couldn’t abtain an autograph from the original autograph signer so we are sending you this other individual to replace your card.” I felt bummed that I wasn’t getting the card I wanted. I just feel like we as collectors look forward to receiving our product is something well waiting for but when we don’t get what we was originally suppose to get,is really CRAPPY!!! So I just hope and pray I don’t have to wait too long for my redemption cards that I just filled out on line yesterday. I will be waiting for an 8 autograph card of 2012 rc receivers…
    So just hope and pray I don’t have any hang ups…

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