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Good Bye Tuff Stuff
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Posted by jaygross
Comments: 1

SportsCollectorsDaily is reporting that Tuff Stuff Ceases Publication. This marks a pretty interesting, but inevitable event for the hobby. Thanks to kdunkin for posting this on our message board.

SportsCollectorsDaily writes in the article:

Newspapers and magazines have taken the brunt of the rapid switch to an electronic-based information system in recent years. The impact has been felt in the sports memorabilia industry with various cutbacks taking place on the number and variety of print issues produced and the size of many of the hobby’s long-running publications. Now, F+W Publications, parent company of Tuff Stuff Collectors Monthly and Sports Collectors Digest, has laid off four sports editorial staff members and will cease publication of Tuff Stuff after the upcoming February issue.

Tuff Stuff, which began 25 years ago, caters mostly to collectors of modern era cards. The magazine featured a color cover, with articles and pricing information inside. It was one of the few hobby publications with a distribution base that included many drug, grocery and convenience stores across North America.

Staffers say declining ad revenue was the reason for the sudden shutdown of the magazine.

I have never been a fan of printed monthly price guides, as I feel the values they contain do not accurately reflect market values. And the values certainly don't get updated adequately after cards are intially released - just look up Tim Couch or Akili Smith rookie cards and try to find anyone who would pay anything near those values. If I was to look at one magazine, it would always be Tuff Stuff before Beckett. I preferred their format and column features, plus SportsCollectors.Net has been mentioned in the magazine quite a few times.

Both the Tuff Stuff and SCD online site have always been seriously lacking. They never adjusted with the times and built out all the features collectors wanted - community, marketplace, online price guides, etc. I always assumed they didn't want to compete with their print editions and were scared a top notch web site would turn off their advertisers (mostly big auction houses). They missed a fantastic oppurtunity and allowed others to fill these voids

My guess is that Beckett won't suffer the same fate, as grading sports cards (or a license to print money as I refer to it) has completely enhanced their business model. Their site really is nowhere near where it could potentially be, but they have done a much better job than the Krause sites. While I think their price guides aren't so useful, they do have market share as being the top known hobby publication.

With all of that said, sites like this one and seem to do a better job providing collectors the information and community they are looking for. Theses sites provide us with unprecedented access to up to date and accurate information, in addition to the opportunity to connect with other collectors.

I'm planning to spend considerable resources this year adding functionality and content to both sites to help better serve sports collectors. As always, I thank everyone for using these sites, contributing to them, and providing great feedback.

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