Username Post: The Old School Code - Part 6        (Topic#549654)
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12-04-17 10:58 PM - Post#1707497    

The Old School Code

Memoirs Of A Hockey Fight Collector

Part 6- Buying into the Old School Code and Dealing with the Cutthroat Side of the Hobby.

I bought into the Old School Code. Its done right by me and I've done very good by abiding by it. Its paid off several times over by developing trust and a good reputation among the guys I trade with. I've gained access to footage a lot of other collectors can only dream about. Guys know when they send me stuff, and I give them my word, I honor it. If they don't want it re-traded, no problem it won't get re-traded. I'm just happy to have it as part of my collection. Thank you for trusting me. I get to watch this stuff because you trusted me and you know I won't screw you over. If you don't want me to talk about what you've sent me, no one is going to know what I have. Guys didn't have to worry about me screwing them over if they sent me footage. I was a safe destination. It wasn't worth it to me to ruin things by breaking my word with anyone....not to mention it just wasn't right. Someone put their trust in me and that meant something to me.

I would abide by a few Old School principles as I dealt with fellow traders/sources in the hobby.

1) Respect the guy who is trusting in you to send you footage. Honor his wishes or stipulations. If they ask you not to trade something out, honor your word and don't trade it out. That guy is putting their trust in you. Its like they are saying that you are a stand up guy that is trustworthy. I always appreciated this. I always appreciated that they were helping me out in sending me this footage so I absolutely respected what they were doing for me. They were doing me a favor in trusting me and sending me the footage. I respected the time and effort they put into this in making or getting the footage. They simply asked me to respect their wishes. Sure...not a problem. It would be a major league snake move to turn around and burn someone who showed their trust in you.

This has put me at odds with friends I trade with. Some guys will be like, "I won't trade it or tell anyone if you send something to me. You know you can trust me". That's not the point......the point is if I break my word to this other trader and send it to you, its safe to assume I'm probably the type of guy who is going to turn around and do the same thing to you at some point. Do you really want to trust a guy like that? Do you really trust someone who has a duplicitous side? In the end, I hoped that they respect that I have some ethics in the way I deal with people and its nothing against them. I think most of the reasonable guys understand and if anything bolsters their confidence that they know I will honor my word with them.

Let's be honest...if you know someone who is sending you stuff that you know was a no trade item from another trader, your mind has to be wondering if they are going to do that to you at some can it not? There are some double dealing duplicitous people in this hobby.

Now I may go back to my original source and ask them if I know I can get good footage. I may tell them I know someone who is looking for footage and has something to offer. I've even put traders in contact with the original source so they may work out a deal and benefit from their work. But in the end its respecting the source who put their trust in you and was generous to send you that footage.

Some guys have sent me stuff and asked me to hold for 6 months before trading it. They wanted to line up their own trades. problem. You made this tape/DVD and you should reap the benefit of your hard work. Its only right.

2) Honor Non-disclosure agreements. If a guy asks you not to talk about something they sent you or some piece of information they confided in you, don't talk about it to other traders. End of story....unless you have a really shitty memory and make an honest slip. I think all of us older guys can relate. This too has put me at odds with traders who are my friends. One trader sends me something and tells me not to talk about it. I have other traders that I'm friends with who want to know what I'm sitting on. In the end I have to honor my word to the guy I gave it to, and hopefully the other guy can respect that. Some guys would be very surprised what I was sitting on. In some cases, I have a few aces that other guys are sitting on in their collections. They have no idea that I have my sources too and I was able to obtain that ace. They would dangle it out as trade bait and I'd have to be like, "That's nice.....I'm all set. Thank you though". Meanwhile I'm sitting on a copy of what they are offering. Trust me that some guys would be like, "How did you get that?" if they knew. There were some cases where guys would offer me rare footage that I knew they shouldn't be offering. I knew where they got it from and I knew that trader didn't want it traded it about.

There is a good reason some old school guys keep some information low key. Unfortunately there is a fair amount of harassment and hounding by some less than honorable collectors. There are a few who can be cutthroat scumbags in how they approach people. Some guys don't want to be harassed by some of these guys looking to get the footage. I know of cases where collectors have concocted stories of losing their collections in a house fire to get away from being harassed.

Some people can be very pushy. I had a case where I got harassed by a fellow collector. I bought a collection from an old friend/tape pioneer who was getting rid of his collection. He was retiring and wanted the collection to go to someone who would take care of it. We worked out a deal that we were both happy with. He told me a few times he was happy that it was going to someone who would take care of it and use it. He knew I was still very much into my projects. This was an estate type of sale. He was just getting rid of everything. His time had come to retire and leave it to someone else.

He started getting harassed by a pushy collector who was trying to get him to back out of his deal with me. The pushy collector wanted to know how much he was getting and was dangling that he could go much higher. The other collector was a collector who had lost his way in what this hobby was all about. All he talked about was selling his collection someday and what he was going to rake in. That's not what this hobby is all about. Words like "lucrative" would find their way into his posts as he pondered many schemes on how to maximize his value on cashing in on his collection. This is how those sleazy sports memorabilia guys talk. These are the type of words they use to pitch a collection of sports memorabilia at one of those auctions. I knew this was bullshit as I knew how this guy worked. He had come back to me on a prospective deal looking to hit me up for a few hundred dollars. I know this guy doesn't have the money he was referencing. The deal he was trying to soak me out of a few extra bucks was short money.

I knew the guy who had the collection in this other prospective deal. If I wanted it, all I had to do was contact the guy and buy it out from under this other guy. I was just trying to help out and assist with converting the VHS tapes. Next thing I know he's hitting me up for a few hundred so I know he doesn't have those type of bucks around. He tries to get a bunch of collectors together and have them throw in their money. He would have brought in a bunch of other collectors, had them put up their money, and carved up this collection and sold it. Or he would have over-hyped it and tried to soak some people for some 5 for 1 deals/trades.

Thankfully the old time collector was an honorable man and kept his word with me. He asked me for my advice on how to handle the guy. I told him that when the deal was completed I would contact him and talk to him. I would try to deal with him. I didn't really want to but I said I would do it for the old timer as a favor since he had been so good to me over the years. This old collector would send me DVD's to make my own copies for projects I would work on. Player comps and other stuff. He's sending me his originals and trusting that I 'm going to send them back to him. I took the footage I needed to make these player tapes more complete and made sure they got back to the guy. He was a good guy who had been very good to me over the years and was letting me have his collection to steward. It was the least I could do for him so this other guy would leave him alone.

After the deal, I kept true to my word and contacted this other collector. I usually don't discuss financial details with anyone other than the person I deal with. I keep whatever takes place between me and the other collector. Its out of respect for each other's privacy. I made a mistake in this case venturing outside of those guidelines. The original deal was a private deal between two collectors. Both of us were happy with it. It was not anyone else's business what took place. It certainly wasn't this third party's business. But I did so as a favor to the other collector so he would be left alone. Unfortunately not everyone in the hobby lives by the same honor code.

When I spoke to this third party he was fixated in what I had paid for the collection. I told him I would talk to him in confidence if he gave me his word that whatever we discussed would remain between us. This is not an uncommon request between traders. I had no obligation to tell him. It was none of his business. I could have told him to pound sand and in hindsight I probably should have. He wanted to know some private confidential information and I would tell him, under certain stipulations, if he would respect my privacy. He gave me his word. So I provided him with the information under the stipulation that he would honor his word and respect my privacy. Two old school guys talking about the hobby.

You see here is what you need to understand....what everyone who has ever dealt in this hobby needs to understand. No one is obligated to deal with you. Absolutely no one is obligated to talk to you and give you confidential information and no one is obligated to trade with you. Listen, there has been some footage I've coveted and I've tried to work out deals to get it. I've been denied at times from other traders. In the end, I've respected their right to say no to me if I didn't have anything to offer at that time. I've been respectful and I never burned my bridges (unless it was someone who screwed me over) in the hope that maybe someday I can make another run with something they may want or need. But I always understood and respected that no one in the hobby is obligated to deal with me or anyone else. So if someone asks something from you in return, you honor and respect it. Unfortunately, there are some who feel they are entitled, and that if the collectors who don't give them what they are seeking, they burn that source in anger and frustration. They flame on that person like a spoiled little child who can't get the toy that they want from mommy or daddy. No one owes you a thing in this hobby if you don't have anything interesting to offer them.

In this case the collector gave me his word and we discussed it. He was shocked I got the collection for what I got it for. He felt it should have gone for more money. He overestimated the market. He held onto a figure that a collector had gotten for his collection years prior when the hobby was going strong. I knew the other collector in that auction. He sent me parts of his collection to make my own copies prior to selling it. He was also getting out of the hobby. The collector who I was talking to also factored in what he had paid for footage in the past. Again he paid these amounts when the hobby was going strong. What he didn't figure was the decline in the hobby has impacted the value of these collections.

Thanks to the New NHL, YouTube, and the amount of people who had lost their interest in collecting; there were only a few serious collectors left who would be willing to shell out any decent money on a collection. You could probably count us on one hand. It was a matter of supply and demand. The amount of serious collectors left were in low supply and there was low demand for hockey fight collections. The serious collectors who were left pretty had much of what was out there, so not just any collection was going to get us to put up our hard earned dollars. The other run of the mill collections were worth pretty much worth nothing. Why would I spend any money on a multi-gen collection where I already have most of the material at better quality? And I'm one of the few guys left who would spend serious money on a collection if it was worth it. I didn't need to bring in other people. I was a safe destination. I would respect whatever stipulations were put in place and I would actually use the collection for my own enjoyment and projects. I wasn't looking to use it as a financial reaping.

The YT Hockey Fight Millennial deadbeats weren't going to be shelling out any serious money for a collection. They expected it to be uploaded for free. Why pay when they can just go on YT for free? There was another collector on one of the sites at the same time who tried to get someone to buy his collection. He wrote that he couldn't get any offers to make it worth it. There was no serious interest so he said he threw the collection in the trash. He couldn't get people to even drive to his house to pick them up, and he wasn't going to pay to have them shipped. Anyone of these Hockey Fight Millennial's could have jumped up and scooped that collection for a few hundred dollars in postage & handling, but none of them did. That is the reality of the decline of the hobby. These collections were not worth as much as they once were. Me and the third party collector had our battles over this but I think he finally came around and accepted this reality. Unfortunately for him, before that happened he engaged in a scorched earth policy in a public battle on the boards.

I paid a pretty good amount for this particular collection. I paid a fair amount and the old timer was happy with our deal. The third party caller was shocked. Now we had a nice conversation. This guy would always be nice to me when he needed something from me. I told him how the landscape had changed in the hobby and everything was okay in our conversation. It wasn't contentious at all. At the end he made a pitch to get part of the collection. He offered to help me out in what I paid for the collection. I told him no thanks but I do not sell footage. I told him I would trade him. He didn't have anything I needed at that time. He had a bunch of games but I don't collect games. I told him that if he does get any footage that I needed to let me know and I'd be happy to trade with him.

Now you see, this is the part where if someone is using their head they respect where the other guy is coming from. The door was still open for us to work a deal at a future point in time. He was a collector. If he got his hands on anything I needed, I would have been happy to deal with him. But some guys can't hold it together like that. Some guys can't resist having meltdown's over this stuff.

The next thing you know he's taking shots at me and calling me out publicly on one of the boards. Whining about the state of the hobby and how guys like me won't share. I never said I wouldn't share. I just won't sell. I'm happy to trade if someone has what I need. He starts out by airing out our personal business and telling the board that I should offer what I have to him and everyone. Well that collection was made available for trade to the guys I dealt with. I took care of many of the guys I dealt with and had good working relationships. Guys who took care of me in sending me footage throughout the years.

It was sour grapes on his part because he had nothing I needed and I'm not going to sell. He broke a cardinal rule here. You don't go airing out this information publicly. His attacks got more personal when he started to make accusations that I took advantage of this other collector. He was mad that the other collector went with me and not him. The seller took my offer (a fair offer) and sent it to a collector who was still very much in the hobby, and not his offer with as many of his buddy's as he could muster, to throw in as much money as they could muster, to carve up this collection and ultimately sell if for as much money as they could soak out of it.

I believe he thought he would attempt to leverage me by going public. It wasn't as if I had ripped him off. Hardly, I was willing to trade until he pulled this stunt. I'm just not going to sell it to him and I refused to do business with him on that level. He miscalculated. He didn't know me very well. I'm not going to just stand there and take it or allow myself to be leveraged. No one else on the board came out in support for him. As this thing got went on several members went to bat for me in the various threads of this public shit show. I also had several other collectors who reached out to me who were reading the exchanges between us. Several who had issues dealing with this guy and a source on how this guy would threaten to go public on a board to leverage him on a deal.

In this end he got nowhere with this ploy. These days no one cares about the spats between two old collectors. His meltdown fell on deaf ears.

The other cardinal rule this guy broke was that he had broken his word to me and this leads into my third rule of the Old School.

3) You don't burn your sources.

If a guy sticks their neck out for you and sends you something, you don't turn around and back stab them. Particularly if you get it from an inside source with a team or the league. You don't put that guy's livelihood at risk. This source sent you something really cool that you can enjoy, is it really worth it to screw them over for the satisfaction of a YT upload? Its not worth it. It amazes me the guys who have done this and burned bridges over that short term gain....not to mention its just wrong. However what often happens is that someone trades it out to a few guys and then it gets into the hands of someone who is not bound by the agreement or doesn't care. It ends up getting sold or posted and now the source is burned. And people wonder why some people sit on footage......once it gets out of your hands its out of your control. Its not worth allowing your source who stuck their neck out for you to get burned.

This applies to burning other collectors too. The thing is you never know when a collector is going to get something really cool down the line. I can't tell you how many times this has happened. I can't tell you how many times a fellow collector has contacted me letting me know they got something really great and now I have an opportunity to get a copy. This just doesn't happen for no reason. The other collector thinks enough of me to send me something really cool. In many cases its led to me getting thousands of tapes. This comes from years of friendships built through mutual respect. You don't get there through screwing people over and ripping people off. Some of these guys out there can't help themselves. They break their word to be "the guy" who shared or posted it. Was it really worth it? You cost yourself access for footage down the line operating like that.

In the case referenced above, the fellow trader who decided to break his word and air things out publicly burned his bridges with me. Once you break your word with me, I don't care if you have 50 rare Bob Gassoff fights from the Blues archives, I won't deal with you. I don't trust or respect collectors who operate like this. Either do many of the other old school collectors. When I had the pissing match with this guy, several old school collectors messaged me and told me how difficult it was to deal with this guy. This included one case where the old school guy I got the collection from had to step in to make this guy honor his word with another collector. All this guy did was screw himself with me and the other collectors. The other old school guys are reading this and how be broke his word by airing out our private conversation.

Unfortunately there is that cutthroat side to this hobby. In the case where I refused to sell to the collector who had given his word to me not to talk about what I had paid for that collection, it took a different and bizarre turn. After his first meltdown and our little pissing match, He posted a public apology for acting like an ass in that thread. For some time a little bit of reason had come over him. Some time had passed and he emailed me letting me know someone was selling their collection. I politely ignored his email. As far as I was concerned I was never going to deal with a guy like this. He had burned his bridges with me. The next thing you know he was at it again attacking my rep again on the boards. He had become unhinged again over me now ignoring him; having another public meltdown.

He accused me of taking advantage of the other collector in this deal. I had checked in with the old school guy since then and he was very happy with our deal. He was happy with what he got and was happy it went to someone who was still very much into the hobby. He recommended that I just ignore this other collector having a meltdown and attacking me. I had some source info that this attack was more purposeful and I surmised this was an intentional attempt to use the boards to attack my rep to steer other collectors away. At the source of it I believed it was jealousy and he viewed me as a threat to his business of someday trying to profit on his collection.

Why would an old school collector send anything to this guy? All he was doing was fixating on a cash pay out. I think most guys like myself want it to go to someone who enjoys it for the spirit of collecting. Someone who is wired like they are who will enjoy it like they do. Besides when you get old and are looking to get out, how far do you think that cash is going to take you? Its not as much as you think. I can tell you that my collection is priceless. All the hours I've put it, there is no amount of money I'd sell if for. But give it to someone who will take care of it when my days are done? Absolutely....just as long as its not one of these whiny crybaby Hockey Fight Millennial's. I'll have more peace of mind knowing it went to a good home over scoring a small amount of cash.

Most of the collectors I know are into it for the passion of collecting. Even the guys who sold. Most sold to cover expenses. Although, there were some who sold and took advantage back in the day at the opportunity to make a lot of money. They let their greed get the best of them and they ended up getting in trouble for it in the end. But most guys I know are not looking to cash in. Like myself we put our time and money into our collections. I've spent thousands upon thousands of dollars into this hobby. I don't expect or want a cent back. For me its allowed me and escape and invaluable time spent in enjoyment of the hobby. Crafting my own stuff. Most other old school guys understand what I mean.

The non old school guys could care less about this stuff. They don't give two shits about a spat between two old school guys. The old school guys? Well they see how this guy conducted himself. Breaking his word with me and having a meltdown when I refused to sell to him. It was discovered during this that he was trying to knuckle/leverage another collector on another board for a better deal. When he got called out, he made good on his end. He got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Never once in all my years of trading have I ever been accused of ripping someone off.

When this guy approached me, and I refused to sell to him, he had a choice. He could have been professional and worked out something with me down the line. I had left the door open to a trade if he ever got something I needed. He could have respected that I don't sell. He made the choice to go public whining to the board and break his word with regard to confidentiality. He then chose to actively try to slander my rep in the hobby by alleging I took advantage of the other collector and that I was taking advantage of other collectors. I imagine it was driven by jealousy that other old school guys were coming to me and not him. But I believe it was a calculated hard ball move to try to "take out" another collectors rep on the boards to steer the old school guys away from me.

In the end, conducting himself this way backfired. For me I thrived after this. I had reconnected with some old friends and as a result got a ton of great footage. I had several guys who messaged me in support and tell me about some of their negative experiences with this guy. Not one poster came out in support of this guy. No one on the site has ever posted that he was a good guy to deal with over the years. I couldn't find any. There were a few who came out in support who said I was a good guy to deal with and numerous posters over the years who have.

You reap what you sow. The Old School Code should be to respect the guys you deal with, honor your word and don't burn your sources. Or you can conduct yourself in an unethical manner, have doors shut in your face and have other old school guys avoid you. Was playing hardball with me really worth it? It hasn't slowed me down and most guys can see through what happened. This guy imploded with me refusing to sell to him and his jealousy of my friendships with some of the old school guys and in my getting their collections.

Recently I got a call out of the blue. It was one of the old time pioneers I had known for about 30 years. An old friend I had spoken to many times over the years. Learned a lot about the hobby in our talks. Got a lot of great footage from him over the years. I've tried to pay him back and send him anything I thought he might appreciate that I might have made or picked up. This old collector has been retired from trading for a few years. He tells me he is downsizing and asks if I want his old tapes. Sure! No questions asked. I ended up getting 10 boxes of about 600 tapes of some really great stuff. Some rare gems. I couldn't have appreciated it more. When it came time to get rid of his tapes, this guy thought of me. I felt incredibly lucky.

This guy wasn't looking to cash in. He wanted to make sure it went to someone who was still very much into the hobby. Out of all the guys he thought of...he thought of me. Out of all the guys he could have gone with....he went with me. This comes from treating your friends the right way. This was not an isolated case. Its happened many times before. The Old School Code has been very good to me and trust me that abiding by it has paid over many times over with obtaining good quality footage. That's not to say I've gotten through my dealings unscathed. No I've been burned a few times by some less than ethical people, but over the long haul it has been very good to me.

Buying into the Old School Code has only opened doors and helped me obtained some pretty great footage.

"So happy I decided to become a Seahawks fan."

Kanrok quitting on the Bears November 2016

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03-06-18 02:16 PM - Post#1711378    

    In response to TGR32

Nothing is really moving in this hobby anymore,with the exception of one to two sources,there isn't much new stuff coming out nor the urge to acquire and trade games and fights

I have read over Rons overviews,and I have stayed silent,but will now respond briefly,

I will start to market my collection soon,to get the rare games and other good stuff I have going once again.

Just like my other memorabilia such as jerseys and publications,I will make my collection available online and at sports shows just like the good old days where you could set up with a TV and DVD player and sell these things all day

The timing is right,with the quality and non fighting hockey mentality in place at all levels,I am certain the demand for the good old days footage will be great.

You tube doesn't have everything,let alone complete HNIC broadcasts and archives stuff,

Ron mentions the cut throat side of the hobby,

Not at all,this could be now turned into a profitable and fun hobby making the games available to generations young and old.

Plus,I will be making the footage available to the general public,which is not hording the stuff.

I am very confident that I will do very well,if marketed right,and done right,and make it affordable for everyone,this could be indeed a marketable hobby.
Victor Surov
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03-06-18 07:41 PM - Post#1711397    

    In response to bubbalou

When will you upload it ?
How to subscribe to your channel ?
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03-07-18 04:44 AM - Post#1711406    

    In response to Victor Surov

Its going to take awhile Victor,but I will keep everyone posted,

After looking closely at these numbers and the way fighting and intensity of the game is simply gone,I now know if done right,the gold footage and the golden era of hockey games is becoming more valuable and sought after.
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04-01-18 09:26 AM - Post#1711985    

    In response to bubbalou

what is your youtube channel called and can we do a deal?
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