Panini Redemption Panic: Everything You Need to Know About the Panini Redemption Controversy

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FULL DISCLOSURE: We have nearly two dozen Panini Redemptions pending with Panini. 

UPDATE: As of 11/18/2019 we have received most of the Luka Doncic redemptions back. We have also received a number of other redemptions as well from Panini. So far we have not waited more than 6 months for a card to come back. As of today, we recommend buying/investing in Panini redemptions based on our experience. We will update this if anything changes (for better or worse).

UPDATE 2: As of 3/25/2020 our redemption backlog is piling up and we have not received one back for quite some time. 

The average time frame to get a redemption back from Panini (for us) has increased substantially to 9 months.

 

SHOP FOR PANINI REDEMPTION CARDS ON EBAY

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SHOP FOR LUKA DONCIC REDEMPTION CARDS ON EBAY

Here at GoldCardAuctions.com, we believe that knowledge is power and we strive to be the best source for card investing news and research. We want the people who share our passion for cards to be able to collect and invest with peace of mind. So, when something happens that calls into question the honesty of a major supplier of cards, we want to make sure our readers are protected and informed.

Panini Redemption
Example of a Panini Redemption

 

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH PANINI REDEMPTION CARDS?

Before we get into the controversy and the lawsuit it caused, let’s cover some basic background. Panini America is the U.S. based subsidiary of the Panini Group, based in Modena, Italy. Founded in 1961, this global company has over 1000 employees, $640 million in annual revenue, and is one of the biggest players in the global sports trading card market. Today, they make some of the best high-end collectible cards.

Redemption cards are a contentious issue when it comes to sportscard collecting. To have signed cards available for sale, trading card companies have to send the cards to athletes to be signed. When the players don’t sign the cards in time or don’t send them back to the company, playing card companies don’t want to give up the revenue, so they insert IOUs called Redemption Cards into their packs. Sometimes these cards are redeemed for the real card quickly, but sometimes it can take years. Even worse, in some cases, the card you get can be a different card that’s less rare and less valuable than the one you’ve been promised.

 

WHAT’S THE CONTROVERSY?

The law firm of Martzell, Bickford & Centola has filed a class-action suit alleging that Panini America hasn’t been fulfilling its redemption cards or honoring its promises to consumers. Lawyer Michael Roche hired the firm to file the suit on behalf of Panini America customers who tried to have their redemption cards fulfilled but didn’t receive their promised memorabilia, even in the extremely wide 4 to the 8-month delivery window.

Not only are the cards not being sent to customers on time, but Panini doesn’t actually guarantee the exact card or even the same player promised by a redemption card. They reserve the right to replace the promised card with a “comparable” card, with little detail on what they consider comparable (more on this later).

Mr. Roche claims to have knowledge of collectors who have many unfulfilled redemptions. Some collectors have been waiting up to 2 years without receiving promised cards, more than 3 times the maximum wait promised by Panini America. Even worse, when replacement cards are sent, the cards are apparently of far lower value than the ones promised by the redemption cards.

As a result of these anti-consumer behaviors, Panini America is being sued in accordance with the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, as well as a variety of other state laws.

 

PANINI’S SIDE OF THE STORY

In defense of Panini, we understand that signed cards aren’t entirely under their control. Sometimes players take longer than planned to return the signed cards and sometimes they just don’t sign as many as promised. There are factors that Panini can’t control. Also, the policy of compensating customers with “comparable” cards is, in theory, a nice thing to do to make sure that customers aren’t left with nothing when an athlete doesn’t honor his or her commitments to signing cards. With official wait times of 4 to 8 months, it seems Panini recognizes the logistical difficulties of the situation.

 

WHAT DO UNBIASED 3 RD PARTIES HAVE TO SAY?

With Panini and the customers suing each disagreeing over where the blame lies, we turned to other parties not involved in the suit to get other perspectives on the story. Unfortunately for Panini, what we found doesn’t cast them in a very good light. An article on ripoffreport.com seems to echo many of the claims made by the people suing Panini. The writer of the report in question says he knows that Panini says that athletes, not signing cards are the reason for delays and substitutions, but he goes on to question that excuse, as he’s been waiting 15 months for his redemption card to be fulfilled. He notes that as Panini makes these claims, “new cards are released in different forms, many of which are autographed by that same star in question.” The writer points out that these issues seem to happen most often with the most valuable cards and concludes that “Panini is using excuses that are completely invalid.”

Another take on this issue comes from Sal Barry at puckjunk.com. In a story that’s becoming more and more familiar as we look into the Panini redemption card controversy, Mr. Barry pulled an Akim Aliu rookie card redemption card from a Panini pack and waited 4 years without receiving anything from Panini. He had to launch a social media effort to publically get Panini’s attention before he finally received a card. He says that “what disappoints me, though, is that if I hadn’t been a borderline pest on Twitter, nothing would have come of this.”

However, rather than the very valuable card from a 7 card set promised by the redemption card, Mr. Barry received a replacement from a hundred card set for a much less valuable and less popular player. Sadly, this seems all too common.

 

What real customers are saying

I received my Luka rookie card in 8 months give or take a few weeks… the only complaint was the right bottom corner was tweaked.” Tom Q. – Chicago, IL

Some players seem like they take their good old time to sign the card while others get it done right away… the length of redemption times just depends on the player in our experience. Bobby Gamblin’s Card Country – West LA

 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE BEEN AFFECTED by Panini Redemption?

Here at Gold Card Auctions, we’re card experts, not legal ones, so we don’t know how this lawsuit will shake out, but if you’ve had issues with Panini sending you lower value cards or not sending you cards at all, it’s possible you may be able to join the lawsuit against them. If that the case, here is the contact information for lawyer Michael Roche:

mroche@rochecompanyllc.com or 504-723-0748.

As always, Gold Card Auctions just wants to make sure you have all the knowledge available to make the best decision for you.

 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR CARD INVESTORS?

We’d advise that you hold off on acquiring any new redemption cards from Panini while we see how this situation plays out and whether Panini will change their policies around redemption cards. However, with their real, printed cards, we don’t see the loss of value as they’re still some of the rarest and most sought after cards on the market. We’ll keep you up to date if this scandal starts to affect the rest of Panini’s business or card values.

We’re going to be staying on top of this story as it develops and we’ll bring you regular updates as the situation unfolds.

 

Panini Customer Service

  • Online: www.paniniamerica.net/support
  • Online Panini Ordering Questions? email onlinesales@paniniamerica.net or call 1-817-662-5205
  • To check the status of your Panini Redemption or to report a damage card please dial 1-800-852-8833 or please email cs@paniniamerica.net

43 COMMENTS

  1. I have redemptions dating back to 2011. Almost 9 years now. And they turned off my ability to ask them questions on the my redemption status page. Let’s not forget the Panini Reward Points. That’s just as bad.
    Always higher end product. I purchased 7 boxes of one particular product. Each box was to have 1 memorabilia card AND 1 autographed card.
    6 of the 7 boxes I received point cards. 150 pats each. Have you seen the selection they have to choose from. I’ve already sent my info to that law firm. Something needs to be done

  2. Of course you got most of the Lukas back. Panini is much faster about returning rookie redemptions as they have opportunities to have them sign. The problem has been veteran redemptions. They make cards for veterans that don’t need to be in the checklist with no concrete plans of ever fulfilling. I waited well over a year for a dalvin cook buyback and was told they don’t have any available even though I saw his on card signed honors auto released after they told me they don’t have his auto available. Dont use your experience with one player as an more than anecdotal evidence do not suggest people to buy redememptions not even all rookies sign quickly.

    • Hey Josh… you must be entering the wrong number… the only thing we can think of or maybe is it expired?

      If your 100% sure those are not the issues call Panini redemption customer service at 1 (800) 852-8833… cheers!

  3. I’ve been waiting 8 months for ( 4) David Montgomery auto/patch redemption cards. I originally had fairly good communications with Panini. I was told by Emily, (Panini Rep.)that the cards were returned after they were signed and would be sent to me within 10 days. It’s been 3 weeks and no cards. NOW it’s impossible to talk to anyone as the recording states our phone call is important to them. Who are you kidding, it’s been 4 days straight going to a recording. After 4 times hearing the direct line recording each time a recorded voice comes on asking for a telephone number to return your call. NO NAME MIND YOU. I’ve left many MANY voice mails with them. Return phone calls within 48 hours is nothing more than a JOKE.

  4. I waited 2 years for an Alex Bregman triple threads auto and refused to accept their replacement. I finally received the actual card from redemption which was a good surprise. About 2 months before they were all cheaters lol.

  5. Ha ha! I’ve been waiting 2 & 3 & 4 years for 6 different cards. 4 are pretty-very valuable cards from the same set- 2012-13 panini momentum basketball. I’ve seen, and been through, and endured everything from seeing the same cards as mine on their redemption report mailed-out spread sheet on their website, to being stonewalled, or ignored by their voicemail/answering machine, to their half page on my account status log- so I can’t see progress, or follow up, or complain. But, yet way back there was a time when I could, and did and was ignored again anyway. This all started with wax products that were discounted because they were older, and I was none the wiser about redemption cards. But; they accepted the codes for them, and promised them to me. There were, at that time even a couple others,( I bought about 6 boxes of them) and I received those in the 8 month time frame, but am still waiting for the other 4 from the momentum set. I sent them all at around the same time-Late 2015-Early 2016. 2 others-1 hockey 2016, and 1 football 2018. I pretty much gave up on them, especially since the last time I could email them, was not a nice email to say the least. I work hard for my money,and I don’t do too much but collect cards, and for a company that makes nearly a billion a year, and to not fulfill orders-AT ALL, is one thing, but then to ignore, and stonewall, and lie, and cheat, and disregard, and disrespect, and steal is about the worst of the worst! I asked them “How do you live with yourselves”- I didn’t count AT ALL on hearing back from them on that one. Thanks for letting me air my grievances. At least I got to do that in 5 years. Keep up the great work!!!

  6. I am waiting on a Kyle Shanahan auto (probably didn’t spell the name right) from 2017 contenders. I pulled the card on June of 2017 and panini made an offer of sending me whoever Aaron Dobson is. I declined. Now whenever I try to contact them they just say to wait for an email.

  7. I pulled a Kobe Bryant 2019-20 optic autograph redemption in February and I don’t know if I will get the Kobe auto since he tragically passed away. Would you happen to know if I would get the exact card?

  8. I have been waiting since 2/8/2019 for 5 2018 Panini National Treasures
    Quad Signatures Booklets – Vlad Jr. Tatis Jr Eloy Jimenez and Nick Senzel /10. Panini has not even had the common courtesy to email or call me back after numerous messages and emails left. I have read the prior emails in this chat and left a message on the customer service line you provided as well as emailing remrich@paniniamerica.net. I hope he will respond.

    • he should respond… he is the only person at Panini that was helpful… man that is a long time… 3 autos to makes it longer I bet… nice card though… hopefully Senzel comes around this year

  9. The email and phone for the class action is invalid. Any updates? I’ve been in contact with mr ermich and customer service multiple times about 19 open redemptions about 8 months old now.

  10. I pulled a Zion Williamson Redemption card from optic. It’s a Rated Rookie signature blue and it’s out of /49, do you think I will have a problem getting that card?

  11. I have been waiting on a Cody Kessler rookie auto since 2016. Also an Orlando Arcia rookie auto since 2018. I asked for a replacement 4 months ago for both. They said 4-6 weeks for replacements. That too is a lie. I waited 5 years for a Julio Jones rookie auto as well before asking for a replacement. The replacement was far less valuable and a player I never liked/wanted. After waiting 5 years, you would think they might do something to make it up to you. Another issue if people pay attention, your will see newer products release that will have the players autograph live in the newer product while you are still waiting on a redemption that Panini claims the player has not signed for a much older product. Its like they already got your money and they know you will ask for a replacement or even forget about it and they do not care. Its like being the 1st person to pay, and the last to receive in some cases. Glad this lawsuit is happening, but do not forget about Topps….they do this garbage as well!

  12. Redeemed a Dave Montgomery a benny snell and a gardner minshew…that was back in Nov 2019…still awaiting..

  13. 13 months ago I redeemed an (18-19 Donruss Optic, Signature Series “Charles Barkley” card#100 . I already see (19-20) Charles Barkley redemption cards out there now, does that mean I won’t receive mine?

    • Talked with panini CS the other day- they’re awaiting a return to the workplace (as opposed to working from home) to mail out redemptions…supposedly. Anyone here know when Texas will/has allow(ed) nonessential employees back to the workplace?

  14. I pulled a numbered kobe auto in 2018. Emailed panini and made complaints on several occasions, where no one has gotten back to me. Now I’m unable to check the status of redemption nor contact panini whatsoever. I’ve received less valuable cards within a week but anything worth anything I still haven’t got and never will (rip kobe and his daughter)

  15. Yikes! This is incredible. I have many redemptions dating back to 2013. I have been in contact with Robert Emrich from Panini since Jan. He has been responding back. But have not received any redemptions back yet. Such a bummer. One is a Giannis for my 9 year olds birthday. As of the past few weeks, I can no longer access the webpage to check the status of my redemption requests. What’s up with that? I am a filmmaker…. maybe time for a documentary?

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