In this article, we’ll be looking at how to replace damaged Topps cards. To learn about this process with Panini, click here. But if a replacement from Topps you seek, read this article on how to replace damaged Topps cards.
You’re unwrapping a hobby box you paid good money for, chasing the next big rookie that everybody’s after. And then, against all odds, you hit the card you are seeking. There it is – a low-numbered autograph held between your trembling fingers. Your heart races. It seems too good to be true.
And, sadly, this time it is. You spy a bent corner on the card. Or, perhaps, it came out of the package with a crease terrible enough to instantly make it a PSA 5. Tough luck, right?
Maybe not. Thankfully, Topps replaces damaged cards that meet specific criteria if collectors go through a simple process. So, let’s dive into that now.
The general pulse of the community is that Topps is very good at replacing damaged cards. But your mileage may vary. Levels of damage are inherently subjective.
Topps’s website doesn’t define the type of damage that warrants a replacement, so it’s up to the company’s discretion. That said, again, people say Topps is fair about this.
If you unwrap a card with a missing hit or what you’d consider significant damage, it’s worth going through the process. You may well be able to replace it.
The most common complaints against Topps’ replacement initiative fall under the same envelope. First, customers complain that a slightly damaged card is not being replaced.
Here’s my takeaway: do not send your card to Topps because you are worried it will grade a PSA 8. Only send it in when there is significant damage. We are talking about the ungradable kind of damage. Don’t be the guy who sends in a card with a bit of corner whitening and gets offended when Topps won’t replace it.
Have a card you’re ready to get replaced? The process is straightforward.
First, you need five pieces of information:
(1) Missing Hit/Damage Claim Form. Unfortunately, the link for this is currently not working.
(2) Damaged Cards
(3) Copy of receipt from the store in which you purchased the cards
(4) Pack wrapper(s)
(5) Proof of purchase (UPC code found on the bottom of the box).
Then, once you get that, ship everything to the following address:
The Topps Company, Inc.
2300 Stafford Ave. Suite 800
Scranton, PA 18505
ATTN: Consumer Relations
Also, note that Topps “strongly recommends sending all replacement requests in a fashion which provides proof of delivery, within padded envelopes or boxes. “In other words, pack your card like you would if you were shipping it to an eBay customer.
While these are the posted rules, note that there might be exceptions. For example, one (very positive) account from “RickyHenderson” on Blowout cards’ forum explains:
“I had a damaged card come yesterday directly from Topps. I…
This is a bit different than the outlined process but even easier. Since the form does not appear to be downloadable right now, we recommend you give Topps a call.
According to Topps, the cards you submit must be from the current year. Their website says, “The Topps Company will replace any Topps produced card that is determined to be damaged or defective from any current-year product (only), while supplies last.”
That said, there’s certainly a chance that Topps would consider replacing a card from the previous year if it comes from a release that was late in the season. It can’t hurt to try. Topps has also been known to send cards that they deem of equivalent value.
According to the website, “Replacements for eligible cards will be shipped within 7-10 weeks. Any ineligible cards received (or any cards that Topps is unable to replace, for any reason) will be returned back to the consumer.”
That said, the Blowout community suggests the time frame may occasionally be longer.
If Topps doesn’t deem the card damaged, they’ll send it back to you.
Ripping a hobby box can often cause regret or heartache, but it should not be because you pull a nice card that’s damaged. That’s why the Topps replacement program is such a fantastic thing to have in place to protect collectors from at least that facet of hobby peril.
Thanks to offerings like this from Topps, it’s nice to know that you can open a hobby only concerned about chasing the big hit – not pulling a damaged card. One’s bad luck. The other’s bad business. Thanks to Topps, luck is the only factor collectors should sweat.