Archive for Featured Retailers

Sports fans, gamers and memorabilia collectors are all very passionate about their hobbies so recently on a business trip to Georgia I wanted to visit some of the shops that cater to these customers. If you are spending time in Atlanta or elsewhere in Georgia, here are three Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealers I thoroughly enjoyed visiting.

Freedom Cardboard
Chris Gilmore & Evan Feuerstein
9850 Nesbit Ferry Road #18
Alpharetta, GA 30022
(770)993-6955
Email: getcardshere@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FreedomCardBoard
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FCBsportscards

I’ve known Chris Gilmore for years and was very excited when he expanded his popular online community Freedom Cardboard by opening up a hobby shop of his very own in Alpharetta. I loved that the shop has a couple places very nearby to watch games as there’s nothing like watching a great game and then grabbing some cards or memorabilia from the stars of that game. They have a good supply of sports collectibles and some unique memorabilia as well. Best yet, if they don’t have it, Evan Feuerstein who runs the sports card side of the business certainly knows how to get it.

The main driver for the shop is the gaming division and they have a tremendous amount of space for tournaments. I talked to several fans who appreciate Upper Deck’s Legendary™: A Marvel Deck Building game. If you enjoy the gaming category, this is one shop you will definitely want to hit!

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-freedom-cardboard-fcb-georgia-alpharetta-5

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-freedom-cardboard-fcb-georgia-alpharetta-6

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-freedom-cardboard-fcb-georgia-alpharetta-7

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-freedom-cardboard-fcb-georgia-alpharetta-9

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-freedom-cardboard-fcb-georgia-alpharetta-Joe-Namath

During my visit a die-hard collector named Tom pulled a Joe Namath autograph card from 2014 Upper Deck Conference Greats Football, WOW!

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-freedom-cardboard-fcb-georgia-alpharetta-4

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-freedom-cardboard-fcb-georgia-alpharetta-3

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-freedom-cardboard-fcb-georgia-alpharetta-1

Champion Sportscards
Ross Finley
840 Ernest Barrett Parkway #708
Kennesaw, GA 30144
(770)427-2220
Email: championsportscards@yahoo.com

I’ve talked with Ross a lot over the years, so to be able to walk in his shop was a tremendous thrill and WOW, what a shop! Champion Sportscards is one of the most impressive, organized and fan friendly stores I have ever been in. If you are a sports fan or looking for the perfect gifts for sports fans, you absolutely have to visit them.

They have an impressive line-up of sports trading cards available from all sports and years with a wide array of supplies.

Additionally, I was blown away by the incredibly selection of sports memorabilia in the shop. The shop is almost like an amazing mancave and they even have a television on playing all the games. This is a must-stop shop for sports fans in GA.

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-champion-kennesaw-1

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-champion-kennesaw-memorabilia-collectibles-1

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-champion-kennesaw-memorabilia-collectibles-2

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-champion-kennesaw-memorabilia-collectibles-3

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-champion-kennesaw-memorabilia-collectibles-games-entertainment-1

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-champion-kennesaw-memorabilia-collectibles-gifts-holiday-1

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-champion-kennesaw-wax-boxes-break-pack-1

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-champion-kennesaw-wax-boxes-break-pack-ross-finley

Stop in and see Ross & his team at Champion Sportscards, you’ll be glad you did!

Sports Legends
Steve Chafardon
310 North Glynn Street #A
Fayetteville, GA 30214
(678)817-6769
Email: sportslegends@mindspring.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sportslegendsUSA

I think I surprised Steve Chafardon when I walked through his doors as nobody from any card company had walked through his doors in decades. Although I was short on time, I had a nice conversation with Steve. It confirmed what I thought about him, he LOVES his customers and will do anything to help them out. If you are near Fayetteville trust and believe that Steve will be on your side to get you whatever you need at a fair deal.

Not only does he have a solid supply of sports cards, but he has an incredible knowledge on the hobby. He should be a tremendous resource for collectors getting started in the category or even seasoned pros. Steve also carries some unique memorabilia items that are worth checking out. Steve really enjoys having kids in for gaming tournaments as well. Sports Legends really has something for everyone!

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-legends-fayetteville-georgia-steve-chafardon-1

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-legends-fayetteville-georgia-steve-chafardon

Steve shows off some of Upper Deck’s new 2014 Conference Greats Football at his shop.

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-legends-fayetteville-georgia-memorabilia-collectibles-frame

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-legends-fayetteville-georgia-memorabilia-collectibles

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-legends-fayetteville-georgia-memorabilia-augusta-masters

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-legends-fayetteville-georgia-supplies-1

atlsportscards-atlanta-sports-cards-legends-fayetteville-georgia-box-wax-pack

Share
Comments (0)

A big initiative in Upper Deck’s 25th Anniversary celebration is getting on the road and visiting hobby shops that have helped us be so successful over the last quarter century. Other than providing these shops with the Hobby’s best products, we support them with the best service and plenty of support. I recently did a round of surprise visits to some very loyal shops in the Pacific Northwest to talk to them about their businesses, the future of Upper Deck and of course to surprise them with some goodies to celebrate our anniversary.

It was a fun road trip to say the least. Here is who I saw:

Card Exchange
14020 Aurora Avenue North
Seattle WA 98133
Ph. 206-440-5467
Mon-Sat 10-8, Sun 10-5

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-Card-Exchange-4

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-Card-Exchange-3

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-Card-Exchange-2

My first stop was the Card Exchange. Owner Ryter VonDiFloe was on-hand to talk about the hobby and his store. He has also been in the hobby since 1989 and this is his second store, having moved into this present building in 1994. Card Exchange is chock full of boxes and singles alike, of both the sports and entertainment card varieties. They have secured the neighboring business as a separate gaming area and they run tournaments five days a week. The overall square footage, including the gaming room, is a massive 3200 square feet!

Card Exchange prides themselves on sales and service and the best variety of sports cards around. They have over 6,000 different sealed box titles of different products, going back to 1986 launch dates. They sell on Beckett on eBay, and occasionally have autograph guests.  This is definitely a shop worth visiting if you are a sports fan or gamer!

World of Collections
22611 76th Avenue West, #101
Edmonds, WA 98026
Ph. 425-778-2678
Mon-Thurs 10-7, Fri 10-10, Sat-Sun 10-6

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-World-Collections-4

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-World-Collections-1

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-World-Collections-2

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-World-Collections-3

Shop owner John Strazzara shows off some of the more popular Upper Deck cards & products in his store.

The layout of World of Collections is amazingly unique. It is split down the middle with sports dedicated to one half of the store and entertainment (comics & gaming) on the other half. They have been in business since 1986 and in this location since 2012. They sell all brands of sports cards, have display cases of must-see singles, a bevy of card supplies, licensed merchandise, memorabilia, pennants and sports novelties. Other cool items adorn the walls including signed jerseys of both Tony and Phil Esposito, and owner John Strazzara shared some stories about the famous hockey-playing brothers that I recommend you ask him about when you visit.

For the die-hard gamers, they sell board games, roleplaying games, card games, puzzle games, dice games, CCG, TCG, CMG and gaming supplies. They have graphic novels, magazines, comic-related memorabilia, t-shirts, figurines, toys and action figures. They offer a comic subscription service to their customers, and they hold gaming events in their store 2 days a week.

Mill Creek Sports Cards
15704 Mill Creek Boulevard, #5
Mill Creek, WA 98012
Ph. 425-742-8500
Mon-Sat 11-6, Sun closed

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-Mill-Creek-Sports-5

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-Mill-Creek-Sports-2

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-Mill-Creek-Sports-1

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-Mill-Creek-Sports-3

Mill Creek Sports Cards has been open since 1991 and they specialize in certified authentic memorabilia. Owner Scott Mahlum states they house over 36,000 unique autographed items in their retail store, as well as trading cards and supplies. They have exclusive representation on memorabilia for players like Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Felix Hernandez and Ichiro Suzuki. They have one of the largest collections of memorabilia I have ever seen, and it is impressively organized in their warehouse.

While there, I could see customers dropping off their items to be autographed by athletes who will be coming in for future signings. Their organized staff easily pick orders and they had a slew of fresh items packaged and awaiting carriers for shipping.

DJ’s Sportscards
1630 Duvall Avenue North East
Renton, WA 98059
Ph. 425-235-4357
Mon-Fri 11-7, Sat 10-6, Sun closed

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-DJs-Sportscards-1

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-DJs-Sportscards-3

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-DJs-Sportscards-5

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-DJs-Sportscards-2

Shop owner Don Joss shows off an Upper Deck retailer award!

Owner Don Joss has a great family-owned store and has been collecting since 1985. He officially became a store owner in 1988 by buying out a portion of an existing hobby business, all while he was still in high school. His store has been in its present location since 1990. They have a ton of singles and sealed boxes, selling both in store and online. Their main focus has been sports from inception, though they have dabbled in beanie babies and other items during boom times. They do athlete signing on occasion, as well. DJ’s Sportscards boasts the most singles – vintage and modern. They buy a lot of collections of both cards and collectibles, and sell at reasonable prices to keep the rotation of inventory fresh.

DJs’ sells on eBay and Beckett, but their shop is definitely worth seeing and their service is excellent. Come and visit this family-oriented shop and check them out for yourself.

Pastime Sports and Games
20378 Fraser Highway
Langley, BC V3A 4G1
Ph. 604-530-5507
Mon-Tues 10-6, Wed-Thurs 10-10, Fri 10-midnight, Sat 10-11, Sun 11-9

Pastime Sports and Games
Central City Shopping Centre
Surrey BC V6B 6N9
Ph. 604-584-5507
Mon-Tues 10-6, Wed-Thurs 10-10, Fri 10-midnight, Sat 10-11, Sun 11-9

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-Pastime-Sports-Games-4

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-Pastime-Sports-Games-1

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-Hobby-Card-Shop-Pastime-Sports-Games-2

I visited the Langley Store location which was awesome. Owner Ken Richardson has been working in card shops since he was 11 years old. He moved from doing shows in 1988 to owning his first store in 1990 and opened the Langley location in 1993, followed by the Surrey location in 2011. This store is packed full of product, with something for everyone.

For sports and sports card events, Pastime Sports has trade nights, group breaks in store, and occasionally set up at local hockey arenas for events. They have a tremendous amount of autograph guests that come to the store, many players being Hall-of-Famers. They also sell on eBay, Beckett, and Amazon.

Gaming has become a large part of their business and they run organized play for many product brands. What they really do well is events and taking care of their customers however. Recently they ran a Customer Appreciation weekend where they had live bands, barbecue, autograph guests, group breaks and the Langley Rivermen hockey team even came by with their mascot.

Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-logo

So when you make your way up to the Pacific Northwest, make sure to pay these shops a visit! Let me know how it goes and if you’ve ever done a Hobby Shop Road Trip like this, let us hear about it!

Share
Categories : Featured Retailers
Comments (0)

Upper Deck has been the collector’s choice for the last 25 years for several reasons like the quality of the product, the value found within packs and because the company demonstrated responsible printing and distribution. There is another reason why Upper Deck has been successful however, and that is because of the efforts of hobby shops. To celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary, Upper Deck has looked at a variety of fun ways to show dealers how much we appreciate their efforts. Today at the National Sports Collectors Convention, we found another way to do so.

Upper Deck worked to thank Certified Diamond Dealers who chose to set up at the National Sports Collectors Convention this week with their very own Upper Deck trading card. As we delivered them today, their smiles told the story of how much they appreciated the gift.

2014-Upper-Deck-25th-Anniversary-Promo-Steel-City-Collectibles

Dealers were very creative with their imagery and they will certainly be a unique type of business card for them to use with customers. And who knows, maybe you’ll even see some autograph versions selling on eBay.

2014-Upper-Deck-25th-Anniversary-Promo-Dealer-Martys-Sports-Card-Exchange

2014-Upper-Deck-25th-Anniversary-Promo-Dealer-Dave-Adams-Cardworld-DACardworld

Upper Deck has also been working to support dealers with special Random Acts of Kindness Mail Days for their best customers. More surprises are yet to come. Thank you to all the dealers who keep Upper Deck as the collector’s choice!

Share
Categories : Featured Retailers
Comments (0)

For years I have been hearing about this great shop in Kenosha, Wisconsin called Sports Dome and I had met the owner Vera Maloof along with her family at a variety of events over the years. They are incredibly kind and great representatives for the hobby. Recently during a visit to Chicago I took some time out to make the relatively short trek up to Kenosha and was happy I did. Sports Dome really is a beautiful trading card shop with tons of great collectibles that is well worth stopping by.

Sports-Dome-Kenosha-Wisconsin-Vera-Maloof-Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-4

Sports Dome
6916 Green Bay Road
Kenosha, WI 53142
(262)697-9288
Hours: Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Sunday by appointment
Website: www.sportsdomekenosha.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sportsdomekenosha
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sports_Dome

I was able to spend some time with Vera who gave me a breakdown on why YOU should visit Sports Dome if you are ever in the area, take a look!

And check out some more images of the shop.

Sports-Dome-Kenosha-Wisconsin-Vera-Maloof-Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-1

Sports-Dome-Kenosha-Wisconsin-Vera-Maloof-Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-5

Sports-Dome-Kenosha-Wisconsin-Vera-Maloof-Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-3

Sports-Dome-Kenosha-Wisconsin-Vera-Maloof-Upper-Deck-Certified-Diamond-Dealer-2

Sports-Dome-Kenosha-Wisconsin-Vera-Maloof-2

Sports-Dome-Kenosha-Wisconsin-Vera-Maloof-1

One of the great parts about getting out and traveling is stopping in on different trading card shops and this is definitely one you will not want to miss!

Share
Categories : Featured Retailers
Comments (1)

One of my jobs with Upper Deck is supporting card shops throughout the U.S. and Canada so it is important for me to get out and visit them. To me it is a bit of a dream job as I loved going from card shop to card shop when I was a kid and seeing everything different about them. To this day, that still holds true, each shop really does have something unique to offer collectors which makes them all so worthwhile to visit. Recently I was in the Chicago, IL area and that meant I just had to stop by Bleachers Sports in Winnetka, IL.

Bleachers Sports
557 Chestnut Street
Winnetka, IL 60093
(847)441-7767
Hours: Monday-Friday 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Sunday by appointment
Website: bleachersports.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bleacherssports
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Bleachers93

One of the things that makes Bleachers sports special is that it is a family business owned by Keith McDonough with lots of help from his wife and their son Sam who is heavily involved. What you will notice right away when you walk into the shop is like any good family business, they treat you like family. Keith has been able to be successful in this industry by having a genuine concern for his customers and seeing them happy. The entire family is that way.

The next big thing you will notice is the incredible amount of signed sports and music memorabilia available. Every time I visit Keith’s shop I see so many great gift ideas for family, friends and even myself. With such a wide array of authentic signed collectibles, it is almost like visiting a museum that you can actually purchase items from. They even do custom framing to help you make a signed item you have into a very special collectible.

Bleachers-Sports-Winnetka-Il-Home-of-Great-UDA-Sports-Memorabilia-Michael-Jordan-Signed-Jersey

Bleachers-Sports-Winnetka-Il-Home-of-Great-UDA-Sports-Memorabilia-Dwyane-Wade-Breaking-Through

Bleachers-Sports-Winnetka-Il-Home-of-Great-UDA-Sports-Memorabilia-Ditka-Bears-Landon-Donovan

Bleachers-Sports-Winnetka-IL-Home-of-Amazing-Music-Rock-Autographed-Signed-Memorabilia

As I mentioned earlier, the McDonough family are very engaged with their customers so if you have the opportunity to visit them when they are running a pack wars event, do not miss it. Keith hands out free packs to guests and then asks questions about the cards in search of particular cards that are relatively easy to find. As fans share they have those cards, he puts names of those customers in for a draw and after the event is over, collectors can score some really cool items. There is a real sense of camaraderie and excitement as a large group of collectors opens up packs.

Bleachers-Sports-Winnetka-Il-Home-of-Great-UDA-Sports-Memorabilia-Pack-Wars-Keith-McDonough-2

Bleachers-Sports-Winnetka-Il-Home-of-Great-UDA-Sports-Memorabilia-Pack-Wars-Keith-McDonough

Bleachers-Sports-Winnetka-Il-Home-of-Great-UDA-Sports-Memorabilia-Pack-Wars-Keith-McDonough-Winner-3

Bleachers-Sports-Winnetka-Il-Home-of-Great-UDA-Sports-Memorabilia-Pack-Wars-Keith-McDonough-Winner-2

Bleachers-Sports-Winnetka-Il-Home-of-Great-UDA-Sports-Memorabilia-Pack-Wars-Keith-McDonough-Winner-6

Bleachers-Sports-Winnetka-Il-Home-of-Great-UDA-Sports-Memorabilia-Pack-Wars-Keith-McDonough-Winner-4

And lastly I think a great reason to visit Bleachers Sports is there is always great fun around pulling cards from new packs. While I was there this customer was lucky enough to pull a Julius Erving autograph card numbered to just 3 copies from Upper Deck’s latest SP Authentic product. While there is a glare on the card, his smile tells the entire story.

Bleachers-Sports-Winnetka-Il-Home-of-Great-UDA-Sports-Memorabilia-Pack-Wars-Keith-McDonough-Big-Pull-Upper-Deck

That feeling of finding something special from a pack of new Upper Deck cards is something collectors experience at Bleachers almost every day!

If you are in the Chicago area, make sure to drop in on Bleacher’s Sports. You’ll be happy you did!

Share
Categories : Featured Retailers
Comments (0)