Monday, April 7, 2008

Beckett Product Review - New Sports Cards Monthly

Beckett's Sports Cards Monthly magazine (BSCM) has been met with mixed reviews in the card collecting web world, but I think that should be expected.

Question: Why should have Beckett expected to get mixed results from their new product? Answer: Because it impacts 4 of their other magazines. Any time you launch a new product that causes changes to service or client expectations with other products, then there is going to be some resistance to the new product. Beckett should have (and probably did) expect some of the negative feedback on their blog.

BSCM is a monthly magazine that covers the four major sports (and more). It has monthly commentary, hot lists, and current card pricing. Since BSCM is monthly, the single sport magazines will be changed to only come out 6 times a year. For example, my subscription to Beckett Football will come out 1/2 as frequent as I originally signed up for.

So there are two reviews that collectors should consider when reviewing this new product. One - review the magazine independently of the other products. Two - review the magazine and how it affects their other magazines.

BSCM Pros:

  • One star player from each sport is highlighted with inventory with all of the sports cards that go to that player.
  • Great pricing guide if you collect very current cards.Big magazine with with a variety of content for the 4 major sports.
  • Small autograph collecting price guide.
BSCM Cons:
  • Current player card reviews only Current price guide info only. If you don't collect all 4 sports, then part of the magazine is worthless to you.
  • TuffStuff has been doing a very similar product for a long time. How can Beckett convince people that their monthly magazine is better?
  • It affects the publication time of 4 other Beckett magazines by changing their frequency to 6 times a year.
I'm not a current card collector and my limited card collection is geared more towards 'old school players,' so this magazine probably isn't for me. I'm also not has happy with it because of the collateral damage it causes. I signed up for a monthly football magazine with Beckett... this magazine is causing them to change the service that I signed up for. I do appreciate Beckett sending their new BSCM to single sport magazine subscribers for free. I think this was a nice gesture and great way to introduce their new product.

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