Buying this ...
... and ending up with this ...
... is not the way to win over consumers.
This was my comment on the "Trading Cards, TCGs and Me" blog, a site that is well worth your time, by the way. But I am among a group of collectors who are not happy with the original plan of attack by Topps, according to Nate of "Trading Cards," which was to release the "Topps Dark" cards in April but not let consumers know which cards they were getting (the regular '09 issue or the dark cards).
I commented, "you don't go to the grocery store to buy tomato sauce, get home, open it up, pour out peaches and say, 'awesome, peaches! I'll buy more!'"
Thank goodness, Chris of Nachos Grande wrote to Topps and Topps had sense enough to inform customers as to what they were buying.
The "tomato sauce/peaches" analogy is an exaggeration for effect. I realize it's not quite the best representation of what Topps had intended on doing. Like Chris of Stale Gum says, the original Topps "bait-and-switch" plan to offer '09 Topps regular borders but provide "Topps Dark" instead is more like buying tomato sauce and getting diced tomatoes.
But the fact remains the same, collectors are consumers like any other consumer. And consumers don't buy black pens when they want blue ones. They want what they want and aren't going to be happy when a company "tricks" them.
The consumer-business relationship is built on trust. And that goes for card companies, too.
NOTE: The post on "Trading Cards, TCGs and Me" has been removed, which is why I can't link to it or post my comment here verbatim. Nate emailed me and said he removed the post because of its controversial nature and the fact that it doesn't portray the industry in a positive light. I'm sad the post was removed, but I understand. I hope Nate continues to provide insight into his business, though.
(By the way, you come up with some really interesting photos when you do an image search for "peaches." Not for the kiddies).