Saturday, May 14, 2011

2005 Fleer Bankruptcy Auction

In 2005, Fleer went bankrupt and liquidated everything to help pay off its creditors.  The company itself ceased operations and the brand was sold to Upper Deck for $6.1 million.  However, there was a big auction on September 9th, 2005 at a New Jersey Radisson Hotel where many unfinished and unique items were sold directly to the public.  Even today if you look on eBay you will see many items claiming to be from Fleer's bankruptcy.  In particular, various eBay sellers list Fleer Press Plates they claim to be from the 2005 bankruptcy.

Alleged 2005 Fleer Bankruptcy Auction Press Plate

I've seen many auctions on eBay like this for Cal Ripken, Jr. Fleer Press Plates and I can only assume there are many more for other players.  Here is a quote from the auction shown above:
"We purchased a large collection of printing plates at the show on 2005 July.  We are breaking up the collection and piecing them out every week. I think it blows out from Fleer Factory!"
The problem is, I reviewed the auction listings for the bankruptcy in its entirety and there were no Press Plates to be found.  This eBay seller claims to have purchased a large lot in July though, not September.  Is it possible there was a card show where these plates were auctioned off?  I've never heard about that anywhere, including the calendar of events on Fleer's bankruptcy website at fleerabc.com.  There is only mention of the preparations for the upcoming September auction at the Radisson.

In any case, there is no evidence of any Press Plates in the actual bankruptcy auction listings found here: 2005_Fleer_Bankruptcy_Auction.pdf.  You can view detailed listings of each lot at Randy L. Fridkis Auctions, LLC.

Based on this information, I would strongly lean toward these eBay items not being legimate and would stay away from purchasing them.

Status: Most Likely Fake

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