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Upper Deck Overhauls Its Distribution Program
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Are they a company in their death throes?

This action smacks of desperate nonsensical actions as an excuse of doing something for the sake of doing something.

Imagine the money they have spent on the legal work for this plan and what they will be spending enforcing it.
 
Posts: 486 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 04, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by SBelcher:
UD "Enforcement Team" (teeheehee) will send the blacklist to Authorized Internet Retailers.


. . . it just dawned on me. . . they (the manufacturer) is going to blacklist their consumers (people who buy their product).

Worst. Idea. Ever.

Epic Fail.
 
Posts: 5130 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
Actually Ed, as long as you aren't selling sealed boxes online I don't think you'd have trouble finding someone to sell you boxes/cases.

Might take a little hustling, but I doubt you'd have much trouble finding a sports card dealer willing to sell you product. . .


Actually, the dealer agreement you have to sign to become an authorized dealer specifically says you cannot sell to those who will re-sell the sealed product.

The other problem is Customer Service. If you didn't buy from an authorized dealer you will be refused customer service claims in the event of a shortage.

There's also the added cost of the boxes changing hands so many times. Anyone selling it will want a buck or two for themselves and you'll have shipping to me added to the damage. Not to mention the closest sports card dealer is 75 miles from my house. (the same distance as the closest comic book shop)

quote:
After all -- there appears to be no rule about selling opened product online. . .


No, but approximately 80% of what I buy goes out as sealed product on an average release.

quote:
And, as has already been said -- who are they to tell me what I can do with product I bought?


I have no idea how they plan to police and enforce the end user. But, if you want to be an authorized dealer you have to follow the rules or you get off the list.

The enforcement will be too complicated and expensive and the policy will collapse upon it's own weight. But not before a couple good releases have come a gone without being in my inventory.

Ed

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Posts: 4913 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: March 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow, just catching up on this thread (new baby taking all my time). This is just amazing to me.

On one hand, I can appreciate the fact that UD is trying to support what it considers its most important customers (brick and mortar storefronts). However, retail business models have been shifting to the web for 15 years, making this move seem extremely misguided, myopic and short-sighted to me. To prioritize a sales channel that is becoming increasingly obsolete just seems like poor strategic decision-making.

How many B&M companies have we seen shutter their doors in the last decade? On the west coast, Circuit City, Mervyns Dept Stores, Borders just to name a few...even Blockbuster is closing down B&M stores and focusing on web-based distribution.

As a web retailer, I would appreciate a program that attempts to address the disintermediation issue, as other have suggested - a program that prevents distributors from selling at wholesale prices to the general public. This clearly does not address that issue, which IMHO is the broader issue facing the trading card industry (and many others).

My $.02,

Rich

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Posts: 178 | Location: SF Bay Area, USA | Registered: August 20, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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OK, I know many of you think I'm beating a dead horse here, but if it's dead a few more whacks can't hurt. Twak

Upper Deck is setting up at a show in Toronto this weekend, which is primarily a hockey and some other sports card show. They are doing a give away where if a customer breaks a "premium" product box at the booth they get an additional autograph card.

So, where's this going? In their press release, I found this particularly irritating...

quote:
What’s more, in an effort to make sure collectors have an enjoyable experience at the show, Upper Deck would like to remind collectors in attendance to ONLY purchase new Upper Deck products from Certified Diamond Dealers. Upper Deck will have signage available for Certified Diamond Dealers setting up at the show so fans will know to purchase sealed products only from them.


So, it seems that UD does not care at all for show dealers that don't have a store too. To the point of specifically telling customers not to shop at their booths. Amazing...

Way to support the hobby UD!

Ed

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Posts: 4913 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: March 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am amazed that this is allowed to happen. This kind of restrictive trade isn't allowed in this country. Sony were brought to task a few years ago when they refused to supply to shops who offered large discounts on their products. I know it's up to Upper Deck who they will supply to, but surely not to tell customers where to spend their cash?
 
Posts: 3795 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: April 21, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If I was running this show I would be at the very least having words with Upper Deck.It's one thing to restrict product when you are the producer but to influence people as to which booths they buy from at another companies show is another matter.
 
Posts: 2519 | Location: Sutton Coldfield England | Registered: August 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Howdy,

Upper deck have a history of making hugh errors in judgement.

No surprises here again.

TTFN

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Posts: 457 | Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom | Registered: August 20, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Its up to the buyers to decide if they are willing to go along with UD's policy or just spend their money on someone else's product. Its easy for me, UD has nothing I want coming out. Wink
 
Posts: 9347 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My dad and I own a small business, but two of the most important things to us has always been providing good customer service and trying like heck to create what we call "goodwill". Seems like UD could care less about such trivial things. Shake Head

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Posts: 5755 | Location: Brielle, NJ | Registered: April 03, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I recently got this in an email from Chris Carlin of Upper Deck. I have been doing sports and non-sports cards for many years so I do agree that in the sports card market there are a lot of shady things that go on. So, if this new policy helps cut down on that, I am for it. Anyway, I thought this is a point of view that had not been brought up yet.


"As you may have heard Upper Deck has recently changed our distribution policy on how we get our products to market. Our goal is to make sure our collectors around the world get product that has not been tampered with by retailers who will not play games with it and will serve us well as ambassadors for the hobby. Our Certified Diamond Dealers and Authorized Internet Retailers do a great job of servicing our customers and we want to promote them as much possible."
 
Posts: 275 | Location: California | Registered: March 15, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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quote:
Originally posted by glim:
"Our goal is to make sure our collectors around the world get product that has not been tampered with by retailers who will not play games with it and will serve us well as ambassadors for the hobby."


Says the company that knowingly counterfeited product and sold it as legit... and then got away with it.
 
Posts: 486 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 04, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by glim:
I recently got this in an email from Chris Carlin of Upper Deck. I have been doing sports and non-sports cards for many years so I do agree that in the sports card market there are a lot of shady things that go on. So, if this new policy helps cut down on that, I am for it. Anyway, I thought this is a point of view that had not been brought up yet.


"As you may have heard Upper Deck has recently changed our distribution policy on how we get our products to market. Our goal is to make sure our collectors around the world get product that has not been tampered with by retailers who will not play games with it and will serve us well as ambassadors for the hobby. Our Certified Diamond Dealers and Authorized Internet Retailers do a great job of servicing our customers and we want to promote them as much possible."


Nope, not buying it. Not at all.

Don't know what kind of shady things have been happening with sports cards, but it will continue to happen. Dealers are not restricted from breaking some and selling the ones after the big hit, so the guys breaking product will still have it and they'll continue to play games. I think anyone willing to play games with the product integrity will not be slowed down one bit by a few rules which can be broken too easily.

It has everything with them wanting to control the price point of the product. They don't want low-overhead dealers (and show dealers are NOT low-overhead BTW) undercutting the prices. This is about price control and not customer service. Upper Deck is trying to prop up a business model that is behind the times.

And telling people what dealers at a show people should purchase from? I think I'd be asking for my table fees back in protest.

Ed

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Posts: 4913 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: March 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Scifi Cards:
OK, I know many of you think I'm beating a dead horse here, but if it's dead a few more whacks can't hurt. Twak

Upper Deck is setting up at a show in Toronto this weekend, which is primarily a hockey and some other sports card show. They are doing a give away where if a customer breaks a "premium" product box at the booth they get an additional autograph card.

So, where's this going? In their press release, I found this particularly irritating...

quote:
What’s more, in an effort to make sure collectors have an enjoyable experience at the show, Upper Deck would like to remind collectors in attendance to ONLY purchase new Upper Deck products from Certified Diamond Dealers. Upper Deck will have signage available for Certified Diamond Dealers setting up at the show so fans will know to purchase sealed products only from them.


So, it seems that UD does not care at all for show dealers that don't have a store too. To the point of specifically telling customers not to shop at their booths. Amazing...

Way to support the hobby UD!

Ed


And how is UD going to monitor this? Are they going to walk around show and ask "non-Diamond" dealers where they got the product from? Are they going to require customers to have receipts?

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Posts: 1343 | Location: Frederick, MD USA | Registered: July 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm confused. Maybe I just haven't taken the time to read all the info.

So is this it? A dealer can not sell a sealed box? Or not sell a sealed box on-line?

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Posts: 1619 | Location: Oregon | Registered: August 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think I figured it out.

No sealed boxes sold. Only authorized on-line dealers to sell on line.

I was confused about the box thing there for a bit. Was wondering how they were going to run a contest for the first 1000 people to buy a box of Kree-Skrull cards.

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Posts: 1619 | Location: Oregon | Registered: August 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by WandringRebel:
quote:
Originally posted by Scifi Cards:
OK, I know many of you think I'm beating a dead horse here, but if it's dead a few more whacks can't hurt. Twak

Upper Deck is setting up at a show in Toronto this weekend, which is primarily a hockey and some other sports card show. They are doing a give away where if a customer breaks a "premium" product box at the booth they get an additional autograph card.

So, where's this going? In their press release, I found this particularly irritating...

quote:
What’s more, in an effort to make sure collectors have an enjoyable experience at the show, Upper Deck would like to remind collectors in attendance to ONLY purchase new Upper Deck products from Certified Diamond Dealers. Upper Deck will have signage available for Certified Diamond Dealers setting up at the show so fans will know to purchase sealed products only from them.


So, it seems that UD does not care at all for show dealers that don't have a store too. To the point of specifically telling customers not to shop at their booths. Amazing...

Way to support the hobby UD!

Ed


And how is UD going to monitor this? Are they going to walk around show and ask "non-Diamond" dealers where they got the product from? Are they going to require customers to have receipts?


I can't tell you for sure, but I was told by my distributor that the boxes are bar coded and can be tracked through the supply chain that way.

UD was providing signage to the Authorized Dealers encouraging people to buy from them.

And as for receipts, the Dealer Agreement specifically says that you have to provide a receipt with each purchase and I was told that a copy of that reciept will be required for any customer service claims to be considered.

Ed

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Trading Page Now Online: http://www.scifi.cards/trading.html

Collecting Sketches of the Character Crystal

 
Posts: 4913 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: March 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Tattoox:
I think I figured it out.

No sealed boxes sold. Only authorized on-line dealers to sell on line.

I was confused about the box thing there for a bit. Was wondering how they were going to run a contest for the first 1000 people to buy a box of Kree-Skrull cards.


It is confusing, but makes more sense if you put it all in one place.

  • Only Upper Deck Authorized Distributors can sell Upper Deck products wholesale to dealers.

  • Only dealers who have a brick and mortar store are eligible to buy sealed boxes and must submit an agreement to become an Authorized Diamond Retailer. They may sell these boxes unless they know it's for resale or outside the US.

  • "Breaking" Dealers can buy wholesale from the Upper Deck Authorized Distributor. However, these boxes will have the shrink wrap removed and the dealers are not supposed to sell it as boxes.

  • Only previously approved Diamond Authorized Retailer can apply to become an Authorized Internet Retailer. Only Authorized Internet Retailers can sell UD products online and there still is the "not for resale" and "outside the US" restrictions.

  • Collectors can buy their boxes from wherever they want. But unless it was from an Authorized Internet Retailer or an Diamond Authorized Retailer AND you got a receipt for you purchse, you cannot ask for any customer service from UD.

    Boxes are said to be bar-coded so they can be tracked through the supply chain.

    UD is supposed to have some sort of "mystery shopper" program in place to police the new policy.

    And I am told that there will be a "Do Not Sell To" list for Authorized Distributors. Anyone not following the policy will be forbidden from buying from any one of the Distributors.

    I'm sure I forgot some facet, but it's even more laughable when you see it all in one place.

    Ed

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    Posts: 4913 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: March 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Scifi Cards:
    "Breaking" Dealers can buy wholesale from the Upper Deck Authorized Distributor. However, these boxes will have the shrink wrap removed...


    This is awesome. I am waiting for the first report from someone who orders 12 cases to break, and finds the authorized dealer has switched out all the hot packs...

    This whole deal smacks of a new insane lawyer having recently being hired by UD and thinking to 'improve' their business model.
     
    Posts: 486 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 04, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Scifi Cards:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Tattoox:
    I think I figured it out.

    No sealed boxes sold. Only authorized on-line dealers to sell on line.

    I was confused about the box thing there for a bit. Was wondering how they were going to run a contest for the first 1000 people to buy a box of Kree-Skrull cards.


    It is confusing, but makes more sense if you put it all in one place.

  • Only Upper Deck Authorized Distributors can sell Upper Deck products wholesale to dealers.

  • Only dealers who have a brick and mortar store are eligible to buy sealed boxes and must submit an agreement to become an Authorized Diamond Retailer. They may sell these boxes unless they know it's for resale or outside the US.

  • "Breaking" Dealers can buy wholesale from the Upper Deck Authorized Distributor. However, these boxes will have the shrink wrap removed and the dealers are not supposed to sell it as boxes.

  • Only previously approved Diamond Authorized Retailer can apply to become an Authorized Internet Retailer. Only Authorized Internet Retailers can sell UD products online and there still is the "not for resale" and "outside the US" restrictions.

  • Collectors can buy their boxes from wherever they want. But unless it was from an Authorized Internet Retailer or an Diamond Authorized Retailer AND you got a receipt for you purchse, you cannot ask for any customer service from UD.

    Boxes are said to be bar-coded so they can be tracked through the supply chain.

    UD is supposed to have some sort of "mystery shopper" program in place to police the new policy.

    And I am told that there will be a "Do Not Sell To" list for Authorized Distributors. Anyone not following the policy will be forbidden from buying from any one of the Distributors.

    I'm sure I forgot some facet, but it's even more laughable when you see it all in one place.

    Ed


  • There's this too, below. Guess I need to see what details I was sent, and see what I'm approved for. Also, check to see if this will start with this coming weeks Marvel Beginnings.


    1. You must maintain at least one permanent Retail Location. You will need to notify Upper Deck as well as any of your primary UD Authorized Distributors of any new openings or closures of your retail locations.



    2. You may only purchase current Upper Deck product (product that has been released within the last 90 days) from an Authorized Upper Deck Distributor or from Upper Deck directly.



    3. You may only sell current Upper Deck product to end consumers. You are not permitted to wholesale the product to other retailers, to sub-distributors, or to sell Upper Deck Product to anyone other than the end consumer or an Authorized Hobby Distributor.



    4. Being a Certified Diamond Dealer does not allow you to sell or presale current, sealed Upper Deck product online. This includes, but is not limited to, a shop’s website, online auction site, online wholesale networks and any other external website. Only Upper Deck Authorized Internet Retailers are permitted to sell current UD product online. If you are interested in becoming an AIR, you must apply in writing to Upper Deck and be accepted by Upper Deck in writing.

    5. You may not sell any Upper Deck Products outside of your Territory. This includes all Upper Deck products. If your shop is located in the United States, Upper Deck Product must stay in the United States. If your shop is in Canada, Upper Deck Product must stay in Canada and not be sold into the United States.



    6. You are required to provide each customer, with every transaction, an invoice identifying your shop as the source of the product. This invoice will be necessary in the event the customer requires the Upper Deck Customer Care Department to address any product quality issues.



    7. You may not take any action which diminishes the value or reputation of Upper Deck or the Upper Deck Products. If you have an issue pertaining to Upper Deck or its products, please contact us directly.

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