If you go to one of your local card retailers, you will see an array of blaster boxes available. I find these to be a great buy if you need a “quick fix” before you can get to your hobby shop. I have pulled some really great hits from these boxes in the past.
One day I stopped by my local retail store to get my “fix” and picked up a blaster box of Upper Deck football. Upon arrival at my house, I get to my desk and let the ripping begin. I pulled the plastic off and tore open the box and began to open the packs. Much to my surprise, some of the packs only had 2 or 3 cards in them. Then I noticed a few of the packs were open on one end. Packs that guaranteed at least one rookie hit had none. I was livid!
I had heard of this before but never really thought much about it until now. I picked up the shrink wrap and noticed it didn’t have the Upper Deck Logo printed on the plastic! It was generic shrink wrap. Unscrupulous people are tampering with packs for the best cards, re-seal the packs with new shrink wrap, and take them back to the store to get a refund or exchange. Apparently this is an increasing problem in the retail industry, primarily hobby boxes that are sold at the retail outlets.
One of the easiest ways to look for this problem is to look for the Upper Deck logo pre-printed on the shrink wrap. Once the Upper Deck factory shrink wrap is removed, it is very difficult to re-seal it again. Check all the seams of the shrink wrap for glue or some signs of tampering. While it is sad that we must be on the lookout for this, it is a problem that is happening nonetheless. It’s a collaborative effort between collectors, retailers, distributors, and manufacturer’s to counter this. Implementing a no return policy for trading card boxes in retail stores would counteract this problem. While some people may oppose this idea, it would tranquil the frequency of tampering.
Nothing beats the fun of negotiating for the card of your favorite athlete that your friend has, trying to arrange package deals, and swapping cards. What fun are trading cards if the trading is seemingly non-existent? Tampering changes the dynamics of card collecting; dismissing the persistence and interaction that has driven card collectors over the past decades. A card earned is a special card.
Have you ever opened a pack that has been tampered? Where do you prefer to buy your trading cards? Share ideas and stories!
Tim Yount is an avid follower of all things Upper Deck. This blog entry was his response to the most recent Volunteer Alliance Mission which asked enthusiasts to contribute any news, advice, or strategies from the perspective of our fans.