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Upper Deck Overhauls Its Distribution Program
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Silver Card Talk Member
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The distribution network has been the biggest problem in the sports and non-sports world for quite some time. It's nice that Panini and UD are trying to do something about it but it's been tried before and hasn't solved anything. The aspect of the problem that the manufacturers are ignoring is the distributors who sell at wholesale prices (through their websites or Ebay) to ANYONE not just retailers. I want to know when someone is going to do something about that... I can think of at least 4 companies that call themselves "distributors" that sell boxes on Ebay at/below cost and also have websites where anyone can get near wholesale prices, whether they are a retailer or not.

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Posts: 1342 | Location: Frederick, MD USA | Registered: July 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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While I agree that the distribution model is (was) broken, I'd also argue that the distribution model has changed.

Many collectors now buy by the case, or even multiple case lots. Most comic and sports card shops around here (and probably in most places) don't order in those quantities.

I suppose you could argue that those collectors should be buying their cases through a local hobby shop, but -- why? If the end user is buying 'retailer' level quantities, what is the point -- besides adding cost -- of adding another distribution layer?

Does it frighten anyone else to know the Upper Deck can track where you purchased product? Not so much for the tracking aspect, but if they know who is getting what boxes, they could also know what is in those boxes, and make sure that their favorite dealers wound up with the best hits. . .

Jon
 
Posts: 4625 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of Sci-FiPlanet
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:

Does it frighten anyone else to know the Upper Deck can track where you purchased product? Not so much for the tracking aspect, but if they know who is getting what boxes, they could also know what is in those boxes, and make sure that their favorite dealers wound up with the best hits. . .

Jon


You know you may be right but I doubt there level of organisation for that, it's much more likely that the bar codes are done by batch number rather than individual box. I am going to post this anyway. Still....
It's possible!

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Posts: 884 | Location: UK | Registered: October 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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From the blog: "Upper Deck is also creating a new class of trade called UD Authorized Internet Retailers (AIR’s), for a select few customers that operate a brick and mortar hobby shop, and also have a presence on the internet. Upper Deck Authorized Internet Retailers have been hand-picked by Upper Deck to represent our brands online, and may be identified by looking for the Upper Deck AIR logo."

@ WandringRebel - Perhaps this 'AIR' program will address what you're referring to? If there are only 'a select few' and they have been 'hand picked' by UD.

@ Webjon - Tracking, barcoding, etc. has been done by Wizard's Of The Coast with their Magic: The Gathering products for years, hasn't it? It seems to be working for them.

otim

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Posts: 700 | Location: Toronto, Canada | Registered: May 26, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of barobehere
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Having owned a brick and mortor store and just recently quit working at a brick and mortor store this would really help to draw card buyers into the business. Some of my biggest card customers would bring in internet vendors ads from the internet to price haggle with me. To have the product before internet vendors would have been a real + to sells.
 
Posts: 5684 | Location: Meridian, Mississippi | Registered: November 23, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of damien
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In the end its probably Upper deck that will be the most hurt by this
 
Posts: 1450 | Location: montreal,canada | Registered: September 07, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of EriktheArchitect
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quote:
Originally posted by H_Toser:
quote:
Originally posted by EriktheArchitect:
They don't have much in the way of NS listed on their website.
Marvel Super Hero Squad (I have only seen at the Dollar Tree)
Marvel Iron Man 2 Coming Soon (Dated May of 2010!)


They may not have it listed on their website but they have at least three non-sport products coming: Marvel Beginnings, Thor, and Captain America.


If they have them in the works the least they could do is update their website!

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Posts: 1159 | Location: Just NW of Hazzard County Georgia USA | Registered: December 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of H_Toser
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quote:
Originally posted by EriktheArchitect:
quote:
Originally posted by H_Toser:
quote:
Originally posted by EriktheArchitect:
They don't have much in the way of NS listed on their website.
Marvel Super Hero Squad (I have only seen at the Dollar Tree)
Marvel Iron Man 2 Coming Soon (Dated May of 2010!)


They may not have it listed on their website but they have at least three non-sport products coming: Marvel Beginnings, Thor, and Captain America.


If they have them in the works the least they could do is update their website!


Agreed! Thumb Up
 
Posts: 12936 | Location: Harrisburg, PA, USA | Registered: November 29, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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If everyone refused to play by Upper Deck's ordering rules, UD wouldn't have a leg to stand on. They can't ban everyone from carrying their products as they'd have no-one to sell to!
 
Posts: 3031 | Location: England | Registered: June 23, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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Great points being made and obviously the gut reaction depends on your place, hobby store owner, internet dealer, collector near or far from a card store, and so on.

Bottom line though is that UD does not command the sports card market anymore and is not a major player in non-sport. When UD had dealers jumping through hoops years ago, this level of overreach is not new after all, it was because all the sportscard collectors wanted their premium products so dealers had to put up with their rules, at least until it was all undercut on the internet.

If their new stuff is fantastic and everyone wants to buy it, it will happen again. But if the product is so-so the experiment will fail and everyone, pro or con, is getting excited for nothing. Wink
 
Posts: 8119 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of Scifi Cards
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
If their new stuff is fantastic and everyone wants to buy it, it will happen again. But if the product is so-so the experiment will fail and everyone, pro or con, is getting excited for nothing. Wink


But it will take time to fail.

In the meantime they are right now refusing to sell me Marvel Beginnings, which I placed an order for over a month ago and many people will be disappointed if I can't get it.

Unfortunately I'm getting excited about a real and present problem. I'd hate to miss out on Captain America and possibly the Avengers too if this takes a long time to play out.

Ed

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Posts: 4744 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: March 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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quote:
Originally posted by barobehere:
Having owned a brick and mortor store and just recently quit working at a brick and mortor store this would really help to draw card buyers into the business. Some of my biggest card customers would bring in internet vendors ads from the internet to price haggle with me. To have the product before internet vendors would have been a real + to sells.


I bet it would have been, but please tell me why you should deserve a selling advantage over other dealers like Ed from Sci-Fi Cards? Because thats what this would have given you. What makes you a better dealer and more deserving of extra benefits and protection than him?

As far as I can see you are both just two guys trying to make a living, and no way should a company come in and say one is more deserving than another. It's pure bullshit.

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Posts: 884 | Location: UK | Registered: October 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Upper Deck... wow. Since they are cranking out Marvel properties full of pretty much sketch card only draws, has anyone considered how many thousands of Marvel character sketches are about to flood the market? As someone who doesn't really read or collect comics, I have no interest. Knowing the state of the comic book market, I can't believe there will be continuing demand to meet the constantly being produced supply. The good stuff will always be the good stuff, but eventually lesser sketches could hit the can't give away prices of lesser autographs and costume cards. How many pictures of characters, and in some cases characters that you've never heard of, do you need? And some of these movies may not live up to expectations.

Honestly, I think the way to "save the hobby" is to invest in it. The best way to do that is to remember that collectors aren't a business, we are hobbyists, and here for fun. When the fun stops, the money stops. Make more kid friendly sets, make price increments between retail and premium or super premium box prices, oh yeah, and one more thing. Put a redemption on the wrapper so that after so many packs, people who are new to collecting have a way to contact someone and order the cards they need to complete their base set (like sticker book companies do). Maybe with one done, they'll continue on.

Collectors seem to be a dying breed. At shows I see lots of big money seniors, a few foolish kids with rich parents, and alot of people groaning to spend even $20 on a handful of packs from a box many folks would speculate has been searched. Making products people want would probably do more for business than controlling distribution. I am curious, in sports, alot of people jump on new products right away. I've rarely felt that urge in n/s, and often a year or two after a set has come out, I might still be picking it up. Anyone else? Having to wait a few months doesn't hurt my feelings, especially since at that point all indicators are that prices will be coming down?

Oh yeah, and on the distribution note, I'm told that the fossils, bug cards, etc. can't be shipped across the border for some reason, so please knock it off already! --Chris

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Posts: 423 | Location: Heaven (Barrie, Ontario, Canada) | Registered: June 22, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of H_Toser
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I asked Upper Deck to confirm that these new rules do in fact apply to non-sports and the upcoming Marvel products and was told that yes, they do, but that they exclude Thor.

I was also told:

quote:
Customers can purchase...products through Certified Diamond Dealers, Authorized Internet Retailers and also directly from Upper Deck as all those products will be available on upperdeckstore.com.
 
Posts: 12936 | Location: Harrisburg, PA, USA | Registered: November 29, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Scifi Cards:


In the meantime they are right now refusing to sell me Marvel Beginnings, which I placed an order for over a month ago and many people will be disappointed if I can't get it.

Unfortunately I'm getting excited about a real and present problem. I'd hate to miss out on Captain America and possibly the Avengers too if this takes a long time to play out.

Ed


I have to wonder if they're really going to prevent internet retailers/distributors from ordering it or if they're going to let them order it but not advertise the prices. I checked one internet retailer yesterday and they had Marvel Beginnings up for pre-order, they just weren't listing any prices. You had to email them to get prices.

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Posts: 1342 | Location: Frederick, MD USA | Registered: July 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Scifi Cards:
But it will take time to fail.

In the meantime they are right now refusing to sell me Marvel Beginnings, which I placed an order for over a month ago and many people will be disappointed if I can't get it.
Ed


This is exactly the stuff that drives people away. This policy change had to be in the works for a long time, so UD shouldn't have taken your order a month ago and then go and spring it on you now.

Better yet, you should have the same option to buy product as the hobby store as long as you follow the policy regarding wholesale prices. That should be easy to track since they are barcoding everything. To outright refuse to sell to legimate card dealers is a mistake in this economy. Card manufacturers should be looking for a broader range of outlets, not trying to narrow it down to a small network with narrow rules.

This is the one extreme or the other fix. Instead of taking a middle of the road distribution policy for starters, UD is making demands like it has gold. I haven't seen anything yet. Now if we were talking about RA, that would be a different story. Wink
 
Posts: 8119 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Is all this supposed to make me believe that Upper Deck is "Above Board" now!

Right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was born at night, but it wasn't LAST NIGHT. (oh, the stories I could tell)

I honestly feel sorry for the dealers caught in the middle of this. I only fool around selling cards now and have other things on the go, but as time goes on I can see how trading cards will just be something we reminisce about as we look out the window in our rocking chairs.

Bob
 
Posts: 44 | Location: north pole | Registered: August 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I thought US has trade practices laws about anti-competitive behaviour? In Australia, there's a limit to what you can require your buyers to do and I suspect this would break it.

Anyway, I was going to take a wait and see approach to Marvel Beginnings since UD did such an awful job on Marvel Masterpieces. With their lack of advertising support for NSU and the clear lack of understanding about nonsport with this policy, I am less likely to buy from them. Especially since the always excellent Rittenhouse has a Marvel product about the same time - I know who I'm going to send my money to.

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Posts: 1573 | Location: temp UK, usually Australia | Registered: July 31, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by WandringRebel:
quote:
Originally posted by Scifi Cards:


In the meantime they are right now refusing to sell me Marvel Beginnings, which I placed an order for over a month ago and many people will be disappointed if I can't get it.

Unfortunately I'm getting excited about a real and present problem. I'd hate to miss out on Captain America and possibly the Avengers too if this takes a long time to play out.

Ed


I have to wonder if they're really going to prevent internet retailers/distributors from ordering it or if they're going to let them order it but not advertise the prices. I checked one internet retailer yesterday and they had Marvel Beginnings up for pre-order, they just weren't listing any prices. You had to email them to get prices.


I still have Marvel Beginnings on my website too (note to self...).

I've been told that my distributor CANNOT sell to me if I'm not an approved retailer.

They've also reduced the number of Distributors in their system.

It seems anti-competitive. But, Wizards of the Coast has done it with Magic with marginal success. So the model is already working at one manufacturer.

Ed

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Posts: 4744 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: March 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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really wish Rittenhouse get those licenses back, just imagining the amazing cards they could do with them...they won't be happening...It's a year full of Superheroes movie, but no Rittenhouse to support them;( They really do BIG efforts to get the best of every license they have in hand
not impress by Thor set at all

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