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As Upper Deck’s Customer Care Manager, it is my goal to help educate our collectors and fans so they can have a better experience with our collectible products. I’ll routinely post updates about what we hear on the phones and through e-mails from customers in segments called Ask UD. I hope you find this information relevant and interesting. If you have questions yourself, please feel free to leave a comment and “Ask UD!”
Here are some of the questions we’ve received recently in Customer Care:
Ask Upper Deck: I have seen 2010-11 NHL ICE Premier Rookies but haven’t seen boxes of Upper Deck ICE at my hobby shop. What’s the story with those cards?
Nick Leslie: “In previous years, ICE has been issued as a standalone product. This season however we are including ICE cards randomly inserted into two different products. You can find them in 2010-11 NHL Black Diamond and 2010-11 NHL SPx.”
Ask Upper Deck: What is the difference between Hobby and Retail products?
Nick Leslie: “Sports cards are just sports cards right? Well not exactly. Upper Deck has two channels where product is sold: Hobby and Retail. Retail product can be found at larger stores which cater to a bigger group of people such as Wal-Mart, Target, and convenience stores such as 7/11. Most products are available in both channels however some products can sometimes be exclusive to either Hobby or Retail channels. Retail product generally is pretty basic, targeting younger or more novice collectors. Hobby product is sold only at specialized hobby stores. Some of Upper Deck’s most recognizable brands are produced exclusively for the Hobby such as SP Authentic, SPx and Ultimate Collection.
“Hobby boxes are targeted to all levels of collector and will traditionally have better insert ratios of pulling special cards as compared to Retail and potentially some unique inserts that are not available at Retail.”
Ask Upper Deck: How can I be sure the product I bought has not been tampered with or opened previously?
Nick Leslie: “Pack searching is a nasty practice that sometimes rears its ugly head when unscrupulous individuals weigh or feel sealed packs to figure out which ones hold the special inserts. They take the packs they feel are good and leave the rest. Usually this happens at Retail. Upper Deck has led the industry in trying to stop these sort of fraudulent activities by adding decoy cards, UD-branded shrink-wrap seals to boxes and more. There are a few ways to protect yourself from being a victim and purchasing packs that have already been searched:
Ask Upper Deck: You shared previously that the 2009-10 NHL Be-A-Player Rookie Draft Pick redemptions would be mailing soon. What is the status of those cards?
Nick Leslie: “We recently received them in and are in the process of reviewing the cards for quality. After that we will move to have them packaged and shipped. The process should be completed in the coming weeks. We are a few weeks out from seeing the Artifacts Rookie Redemption cards completed, but we’ll provide updates when they are finished.”