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Check out these seven tips on how to best collect Upper Deck cards:

#1 – COLLECT WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
The best part about collecting Upper Deck Hockey cards is that there are so many different ways to do it. Hockey fans collect sets, teams, players, rookies, autograph cards, memorabilia cards and so much more. Find what makes you happy and enjoy the hobby for the fun experience it provides getting you more involved in the game and the players you cheer for.

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#2 – DON’T TRY TO COLLECT EVERYTHING
Upper Deck produces all sorts of hockey card sets every year for a variety of different collector’s tastes and budgets. It can be a little overwhelming so focus on the types of products you will enjoy the most. Fans getting started or returning to the hobby should look at these trading card products in particular:

O-Pee-Chee – The biggest hockey card set of the year, cool retro designs and a low price point per pack!

Upper Deck MVP – Provides excellent value with quality cards, great photography, rare parallel cards, autograph cards, memorabilia cards and more!

Upper Deck Series One & Two – These two products release at the start and middle of the season and have something for every type of collector. The “Young Guns” rookie cards are some of the most popular cards in the trading card industry.

Fleer Ultra – An extremely popular set every year with collectors who chase rookie cards, “Fresh Ink” autographs, “Platinum Medallion” parallel cards, die-cut cards, memorabilia cards and more!

Black Diamond – This technology based set features less cards per pack than the others, but all the cards have the look and feel of insert cards with shiny foil on the front of each card. This set usually has a deep selection of the latest rookie crop along with autograph versions of their cards. Collectors also have the opportunity to pull super-rare (and incredibly valuable) exchange cards good for “Quad Diamond Rookie Gems” cards that feature four diamonds embedded in the card (one carat each)!

Upper Deck ICE – This is another technolgy based set printed on acetate and plexi-glass stock. These are not your father’s hockey cards! The “Ice Premieres” rookie cards are some of the most valuable and sought after cards of the year.

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#3 – COLLECT WITH OTHERS
One of the best parts of collecting hockey cards is the lifetime of memories you can make and relationships you can build by enjoying this hobby with others. Collect with your family and your friends while you watch the games together. It will bring you closer to the sport, closer to the athletes and closert to each other.

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#4 – ENJOY PLENTY OF WAYS TO PURCHASE UPPER DECK HOCKEY CARDS FROM AUTHORIZED SOURCES
You can find Upper Deck cards (both new and old) from a variety of sources. Upper Deck works to protect our fans by creating a secure network of approved dealers to carry our trading card products and memorabilia. When purchasing new Upper Deck cards from hobby shops, make sure they are an Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer. Getting into an authorized shop for Upper Deck is the best way to learn about the hobby as not only do they have a variety of products available, but they have knowledgeable staff that can help you get started.

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Hobby shops are a great resource to get started in the hobby of collecting cards and they frequently run fun events and giveaways!

You can also get new Upper Deck cards from larger retail outlets like Target, Wal-Mart, Toys-R-Us and more. Those who enjoy the ease of shopping online can purchase through Upper Deck’s network of Authorized Internet Retailers or make purchases from Upper Deck’s online store (www.upperdeckstore.com). And if you want to split the costs on opening new products, check out Upper Deck’s network of Authorized Group Breakers who share purchases and open the product together in online chatrooms with streaming video. Purchases made from unauthorized channels do not fall under Upper Deck’s warranty policy.

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#5 – KEEP YOUR UPPER DECK CARDS IN MINT CONDITION
Try to keep your Upper Deck hockey cards in mint condition by protecting them in card holders, binders or boxes. Avoid having them in extreme temperatures and make sure they are stored in a high location to avoid issues of floods or little hands who may not know how to handle them. The better the condition is on your Upper Deck cards, the more collectible and desirable they may be. There are third-party companies that will grade and encapsulate cards for collectors typically on a scale of 1-10, but as long as you keep them in good condition, your cards will likely be desirable for years to come.

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Be very careful with how you handle your Upper Deck cards as the condition is tied directly to the card’s value.

#6 – DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN THE VALUES
Constantly worrying about what your cards are worth or what you can sell them for takes a lot of the fun out of the hobby. Yes there are plenty of valuable cards that can be found in Upper Deck packs, but that shouldn’t be the main reason you collect. If you are looking to get an idea of what some of your best cards sell for, your best bet may be to check completed online auctions on eBay. At the very least it will give you a feel for what similar cards are selling for currently in the market. Understand however that values fluctuate on cards based on player and team performance in particular. What a card sells for today could be drastically different than what they could sell for in a week, month or year.

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Collect the players and teams you love!

#7 – ENGAGE IN THE ONLINE WORLD OF COLLECTING AND TRADING

The trading card hobby is incredibly friendly and there are a variety of online groups that can help you on your journey to become an expert collector. Many you will find on your own, but make sure to connect with Upper Deck’s online resources for fans:

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And for more tips on collecting, make sure to visit our Collectors Zone!

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Many collectors keep their favorite Upper Deck cards in a closets, displays, safety deposit boxes and safes. There are some collectors however who like to take their favorite cards with them wherever they go and share them with those they meet. The industry term for the cards these types of collectors carry is the wallet card (#walletcard).

During Mardis Gras this year we saw a collector on Twitter who goes by the handle @Teejnola having a lot of fun with his 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card in New Orleans. We asked T.J. to share his story on his wallet card along with some of the fun pictures he took during the annual Mardis Gras party and parade. This is his story:

“Being that I live in an especially photogenic city I like to get pictures and having my favorite card in the photos seemed like a no brainer. For my wallet card I chose what is universally considered among the greatest modern-day baseball cards ever produced; Ken Griffey Jr.’s 1989 Upper Deck rookie card. I catch a little flack for picking a card with real monetary value as my wallet card, but I just couldn’t imagine using any other card.

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“I live in New Orleans, but my most popular wallet card post so far was that from my trip to the Canadian Yukon where my wife and I went in search of the Aurora Borealis. I have shots of the Griffey on a snowmobile, ice fishing, miles above snow-covered mountains, and with the world’s largest collection of Donald Duck figurines. We finally got a glimpse of the Aurora on our last night there, and while the pictures are a little blurry (photographing the Aurora is hard, it turns out) you can tell it’s the Griffey.

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On the chair is T.J.’s Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie wallet card that he takes with him EVERYWHERE!

“Only weeks later began the Carnival season here in NOLA which is just the sort of thing wallet card was made for. You probably know that this season is defined by massive parades and weird traditions that culminate in the big party on Mardi Gras Day. This year was unique in that I was actually riding in a parade for the first time in several years, but I did manage to make it to sixteen other parades including the ‘superkrewes’ of Endymion and Bacchus.

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“Simply put, Mardi Gras is a two-week city-wide party. The day before Mardi Gras (Lundi Gras) the King of Rex literally asks the Mayor to suspend law, tax, and business for one day in the name of frivolity, and the mayor ceremonially obliges. Of course the parades last for weeks before that even happens. It’s so ingrained in our culture that I was ten before I learned that this was not a national holiday.

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T.J. shows off his Griffey wallet card at Mardis Gras!

“Each parade is put on by a ‘krewe’ and consists of floats, bands, marching groups, and fleets of shriners in dune buggies. Highlights include the Budweiser Clydesdales, The Citadel, the U.S. Marine Corps marching band and color guard, and countless jazz bands, horses, cheerleaders, and fire-wielders (which we call flambeaux).

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“Of course Mardi Gras is probably best-known for the float riders hurling free stuff into the screaming crowds. Go to any parade and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to go home with a bag loaded with beads, candy, trinkets, doubloons, clothing, and even rubber dog poop. At least I hope it was rubber.

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Don’t throw them the Griffey card T.J.

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“In the two weeks of Carnival I took 1,500 wallet card photos, not counting the much bigger number I deleted. I’m now in the process of whittling them down to a digestible group to be showcased on my card blog, The Junior Junkie (thejuniorjunkie.blogspot.com). The blog has been on a bit of a hiatus (understandably) during the two-week Mardi Gras season. I’ve also posted a lot of #walletcard shots on Twitter on my account and I will continue to do so all year long. So make sure you give me a follow so you can see where Griffey goes next before he heads to Cooperstown in 2016!”

Thanks T.J. We love this idea and want to encourage more fans to have an Upper Deck wallet card and share images of it using the hashtag #walletcard and tagging us @UpperDeckSports on Twitter and Instagram. Think you can outdo T.J.? We’d love to see you try. Pack up your Upper Deck wallet card, have some adventures and share what happens with us. You could score an Upper Deck Random Acts of Kindness mail day for your efforts!

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It’s always interesting to watch online auction sites like eBay the day before the Hall-of-Fame announcement and the day after. Sellers almost run to their computers after the announcement it made to post cards of the newest members of the Hall-of-Fame and collectors jump online as well to pick up keepsakes from their favorite players. Today is no different as tens of thousands of baseball cards from just four players are available through the online auction site eBay.

Here is the activity we are seeing on the recent Baseball Hall-of-Fame inductees.

Craig Biggio – Close to 6,500 trading cards are up for sale for this Houston mainstay today. Here are some of our favorites!

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Biggio’s Upper Deck rookie card is a must have for any baseball collector.

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There are a couple of these sweet autograph cards available of Biggio from Ultimate Collection.

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The bat design behind this card really sets off the patch piece used to make this a very special card.

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This buyback autograph card from SP Authentic is rare and very unique!

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This dynamic duo were fan favorites in Houston and most believe Bagwell will make his way to the Hall someday.

John Smoltz – Close to 7,000 trading cards are up for sale for this Atlanta Braves icon. See some of his best UD cards!

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Here’s a key Upper Deck rookie card of Smoltz that is often under appreciated.

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Smotlz represented his country with USA Baseball and Upper Deck commemorated that with this special autograph card.

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Here’s a very nice patch of a key piece of the Atlanta Braves’ “franchise history.”

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Although they went on to play elsewhere, these three pitching greats will always be linked to their days in Atlanta.

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I love this classic autograph card has Smoltzy’s signature on the diamond.

Pedro Martinez – Close to 7,500 trading cards are up for sale of this dominant Dominican pitcher. Check out some of his better cards up for grabs!

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This is the one that started it all for Pedro Martinez!

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Pedro’s 1992 Star Rookie card is a little easier to find at a lower price.

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Collectors who chased this set know this card wasn’t easy to find, a real gem!

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Clemens missed the vote this time, but this card shows both pitching greats together with game-used baseballs embedded in the card.

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Pedro was one of the premier pitchers of his day and this card definitely speaks to that.

Randy Johnson – Close to 14,000 trading cards are up for sale for this strikeout king. Feast your eyes on the ones we thought serious fans need to have in their collections.

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After the Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie card, this is likely the most desirable rookie card in that incredible 1989 set.

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I love the HUGE patch swatch in this card, these were a VERY tough pull back in the day.

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These two definitely struck out their fair share during their playing days, very cool to see them paired with their jersey swatch and autograph all on one card.

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Randy Johnson has a great nickname and it is cool to see it on a manufactured patch card like this.

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There weren’t many pitchers as buttoned up as Randy Johnson and this card contains a button from one of his game-worn jerseys!

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Sports collectors are no strangers to “want lists” as they look to put together sets throughout the year. During the holiday season however, they tend to share those lists with loved ones in hopes they may get some of their most desirable treasures. Recently we asked our fans on Twitter which items they are most hoping to receive during the holidays and here’s what they said:

David Krepps ‏@dnk900 – @UpperDeckSports The Cup!

NickZ ‏@NickZ2317 – @UpperDeckSports my first ever tin of the cup hockey if not that then any ud hockey box I can open

bruinsfan ‏@toews_yzerman19 – @UpperDeckSports the Cup would be awesome!

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Rob Post ‏@Robski3030 @UpperDeckSports any @UpperDeckHockey @Barkovsasha95 cards I don’t have yet. Maybe a SHIELD from Santa????

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Tucker Vasher ‏@tvasher12 – @UpperDeckSports some sort of football.

David Amos ‏@DavidAmos11 @UpperDeckSports any of the football

Aussie sports fan ‏@Ozsportsfan1 @UpperDeckSports football cards for sure

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#1 Rory McIlroy Fan ‏@indianagolfpro – @UpperDeckSports Lots of Exquisite Rorys or Exquisite boxes or Rorys and golf boxes or Rorys or golf boxes or Rorys or Exquisite boxes. ;)

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nathan ullevig ‏@njufreak @UpperDeckSports 1999 Baseball with Griffey top loader!!! Santa better search hard lol

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Matthew Rappaport ‏@rappmatt @UpperDeckSports SP Game Used Hockey. Pretty pretty please

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Ryan M ‏@BloodNBoness @UpperDeckSports anything upper deck hockey!

Lee Stalnaker ‏@magoo1966 – @UpperDeckSports As long as its #UpperDeck it doesn’t matter to me! Should it?!

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Cowen4Captain ‏@AdamNadeau @UpperDeckSports Team Canada World Juniors. Gotta get some @CurtisLazar95

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reg M. ‏@CuffsAndLadders @UpperDeckSports A 2014 Goodwin Champions Hobby Box (Or 2)

Tracy’s Box Breaks ‏@batcavelv @UpperDeckSports I haven’t ripped any Goodwin Champions yet this year. Maybe my wife will see this tweet.

Mawk ‏@frzznh2o – @UpperDeckSports Goodwin, Goodwin… Goodwin Champions

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Mike-E ‏@HookEmMikeE @UpperDeckSports Exquisite basketball would be an awesome surprise. Would also like some more Quantum and Ultimate Collection cards!

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QuantumLeapCoffeeMan ‏@markloftus9677 @UpperDeckSports Ahhhh..To just have any box to open on Christmas would be nice, but if I could really pick I’d take the SP Authentic.

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The Breaks ‏@WatchTheBreaks @UpperDeckSports @markloftus9677 I’d ask to go back in time and get a MJ baseball auto from 95 SP #Collect

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Bob Lancaster ‏@bowlinbob @UpperDeckSports Upper Deck Trilogy Hockey!!! Love those autographed puck cards and crystals.. #UpperDeck

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Jamie McKenzie ‏@jmemcnz @UpperDeckSports More Black Diamond and hopefully a Trilogy, and maybe some 2007-08 Series 2!

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Through Upper Deck’s Random Acts of Kindness program we are actually going to grant one of these gift requests to a loyal fan who engaged with us. It will be fun to see them be surprised when it arrives on their doorstep without them knowing this holiday season!

What about you? What Upper Deck collectibles are you most hoping to receive this holiday season?

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Gift givers who missed out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales from Upper Deck need not fear as the leader in sports collectibles will be bringing fans special offers for twelve consecutive days (December 2 through December 13, 2014). That’s right, everyday different athletes and sports will be featured at serious discounts during this once-a-year promotion! You’ll want to set a reminder to check www.upperdeckstore.com each day during this period so you don’t miss out on the savings!

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Fans will find great deals on collectible cards, games and signed memorabilia from athletes like Peyton Manning, Rory McIlroy, LeBron James, Landon Donovan, Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, Mike Tyson, Cam Newton, Bobby Orr, Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos and more! If you are looking to give the world’s greatest sports memorabilia this holiday season, look no further than Upper Deck.

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