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My goal as Upper Deck’s Customer Care Supervisor is to help educate our collectors and fans so they can have a better experience with our collectible products. I’ve found that we get a lot of similar calls into our call center so it is beneficial to share what those questions are and provide answers in a public format here on the blog. You will find some really great information about our industry just by going through some of these “Ask UD” segments here on the blog. 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’ve seen some Presidential Masterpiece Art cards from 2011 Goodwin Champions being pulled live from packs and some coming out as redemptions. Why is that?
Gregg Cacioppo: This is the first time any manufacturer has produced a hand painted insert card with this level of detail. We encouraged the artist to take their time in order to provide the best final product possible for our customers. Therefore we packed out all the cards we had in house and issued redemptions for the cards we were not quite completed yet.
This week we had a nice “mail day” where we got back the remainder of the outstanding Presidential Masterpiece Art cards and we wanted to share that with you, along with a little information on the Entomology cards. Check this out:
Ask Upper Deck: Is it true that Upper Deck will only ship Entomology redemption cards to customers in the United States?
Gregg Cacioppo: It is. Unfortunately due to state and federal regulations regarding the transport of insect specimens, Upper Deck is unable to redeem and ship 2011 Goodwin Champions Entomology cards to customers outside the United States. This was the case with the 2009 Goodwin Champions Entomology set as well.
Ask Upper Deck: I saw an Upper Deck Autograph card on eBay that I wanted to buy, but it didn’t have a certificate of authenticity from Upper Deck. How can I tell if it is real or not?
Gregg Cacioppo: Providing our customers authentic autographs of their favorite stars is the cornerstone of our business and something we take very seriously. In order to let our customers know they are getting the real deal, we provide copy on the back of all of the autograph cards we put out into packs indicating you have received an autograph card. If you are looking to purchase an autograph card online that you think is questionable, make sure you see an image of the back of the card to make sure that copy is there. Here’s an example of what it looks like:
We also sometimes buy back unsigned cards from the market and have those cards resigned by athletes. In those cases, we apply a hologrammed label with a special code on to those cards which are known as “buybacks.” We also apply a matching hologrammed label with the same code to a certificate of authenticity the same size as the card with more details on the card and athlete who signed it. If you do not see a hologrammed label on the signed card with a matching certificate of authenticity, we would advise you to steer clear of those cards. Take a look at an example of a buyback card below:
Unlike our Upper Deck Authenticated memorabilia division, we cannot replace certificates of authenticity on these buyback cards in the event one is lost. We would advise fans to be a little leery of buyback cards that have a hologrammed label on them, but no matching certificate of authenticity. Additionally if you are lucky enough to pull one, please make sure you take care of that certificate of authenticity card as that is your guarantee the autograph on the card is from the athlete depicted.
Ask Upper Deck: I’ve been waiting for an autograph future watch redemption card of Luca Caputi and Tom Wandell for some time now from SP Authentic. Are these ever going to be completed?
Gregg Cacioppo: These cards have been a problem for us and we apologize for the delays. We were concerned they may be a problem so one of the things we did was remove many of the redemption cards from pack out. That means we had to produce less cases and ultimately would make less profit from the product, but it is important for us to reduce the amount of redemption cards that appear in products to provide our customers with a better pack opening experience. We recently received back the Luca Caputi cards and those are in the process of shipping out to fans who were waiting on them. We are working on nailing down a signing session with Tom Wandell now, but those may not be completed until closer to the start of the season unfortunately. We understand fans are looking for these cards for their sets however so we will get them done. Thanks to everyone for their patience!
Ask Upper Deck: What does Upper Deck do to prepare for the upcoming NHL season?
Gregg Cacioppo: Preparations actually begin for a new product sometimes more than a year in advance. It is amazing the amount of planning that goes into making new Upper Deck NHL trading card sets.
Along with that are the programs we put into place to support our hockey releases like advertisements and marketing materials we create for the exclusive relationships we have in place. Additionally we run a lot of programs throughout the course of the season to help make sure people are aware of Upper Deck’s new trading card products like sampling at NHL arenas, our Biography of a Season program at Certified Diamond Dealers and Upper Deck’s National Hockey Card Day for puck fans throughout Canada to name just a few.
We spend a lot of time talking with our Certified Diamond Dealers and Authorized Distributors to get a feel for what they want to see from us for next year. In fact, we will be holding a hockey summit in Toronto, Ontario next week where we will bring in some of our top customers to spend time with us going through everything we have planned for the 2011-12 NHL season. Based on their feedback, we will make tweaks to our plans and then roll out from there.
We also find it very valuable to get feedback from our hockey collectors. So what would you like to see from Upper Deck for the 2011-12 NHL season? What can we do better? What programs would you like to see from us? Make your voice heard in the comment section here. Thanks in advance for the feedback!