Featured Member - Meet Sports Collectors Corner

April 8, 2011 4:18:30 AM UTC by Kevin Dawidowicz in Autographs, Lobby and Sports

Sports Collectors Corner in Buffalo, NY has been in the sports memorabilia industry for over 20 years. They have seen and been part of the evolution of a hobby that turned into a billion dollar industry. Sports Collectors Corner is the very first memorabilia dealer to partner with Collectors Proof. You can check out their impressive collection here - http://www.collectorsproof.com/SportsCollectorsCorner. We sat down with Mike Monahan of Sports Collectors Corner to listen to their story.

CP: "Mike, what’s the biggest change you have seen happen to the collectibles industry?"

SCC: "When collectibles became a business, the counterfeit product and counterfeit people that infiltrated the market so quickly made the reputable people work much harder."

CP: "What do you mean by that?"

SCC: "You used to be able to buy and sell memorabilia with a hand-shake and your word. All of a sudden you had to provide a COA (Certificate of Authenticity) to back your product up. Unfortunately, COA’s are only worth the paper they are printed on. Counterfeiters get a hold of a legitimate COA from a legitimate dealer and they are off to market selling counterfeit product that bears your name. This has only exploded even more with the Internet. It is the wild west out there."

CP: "Has all this counterfeiting diminished the passion of the individual collector?"

SCC: "Absolutely not. People who have a passion - be it sports, music, coins, dolls - will always want to collect. It is part of their past and they want to keep it part of their present and future. I am a sports collector myself and that passion is always there."

CP: "What do you collect and why?"

SCC: "Baseball is my first passion but I enjoy and have many other sports collectibles. Sports have always been part of my life and I enjoy collecting."

CP: "What is your favorite piece?"

SCC: "I have two. A 1946 Boston Red Sox team signed ball and a 1947 New York Yankee team ball."

CP: "Where in the world did you get those?"

SCC: "Collectors get to know and trust each other. There was an older gentleman that was the bat boy for the Washington Senators. As he told it, back in those days there was no security so he could walk into the clubhouse and players would be happy to sign balls, bats, etc. He would tell and show me what he had and it was amazing. One day he said he wanted to sell some of his collection to help his daughter out. I told him what I was interested in and we worked out a deal. I bought the two team balls and a Harry Truman-signed ball from when he threw out an opening day pitch. I sold the Truman ball because I don’t have an interest in presidential memorabilia but many people do. I did my due diligence in researching the players of the teams on the balls and I was confident what I was looking at was authentic. I wouldn’t have even gone that far if it wasn’t for the fact that I knew who I was dealing with and his story and history of the balls."

CP: "That is a great story, Mike. What is it about Collectors Proof that made Sports Collectors Corner want to partner with us?"

SCC: "As I said earlier, customers want and need documentation from us to prove what they are buying is real. We do but Collectors Proof now gives us that one additional piece of assurance to our customer that what they are buying is authentic. We are showing our customers that we are willing to put our names - personal and professional - our store name, and - most importantly - our reputation right out front by registering and documenting all our memorabilia with Collectors Proof. We have replaced the label/ID number we used to put on all our items with the Collectors Proof label because we believe in your system so strongly."

CP: "Elaborate more, Mike."

SCC: "As a memorabilia dealer, Collectors Proof allows us to show and tell our customers a story and more importantly an ownership history of that item they are buying. Again, coupled with the documentation they expect and we provide, it completes and gives an identity to a piece of memorabilia. It’s also a great benefit to tell customers that with a simple process they will now be listed as the new owner. As a personal collector, I can take my collection, upload it, showcase it for everyone to see, tell my story and have every collectible I own listing me as the owner. I love the Collectors Proof system!"

CP: "What part of the Collectors Proof system do you like best?"

SCC: "There are a few actually. I take care of taking pictures, telling the story and uploading our memorabilia in Collectors Proof. As I am doing this I am creating an easy-to-use inventory tracking system. If a customer is looking for a particular piece or name I can go right into my Collectors Proof account and find it. No more excel spreadsheets! Secondly, having an ID number attached to each item gives that item its own unique identity. Every piece of our memorabilia now becomes 'one of one' and has Sports Collectors Corner listed as the owner which allows us to protect our product. What more assurance can we provide our customers?! Lastly and in my opinion most importantly, the QR code you have on your labels is absolutely fantastic. This is a big selling point for us. To be able to tell a customer to take their smart phone, wave it over the QR code and in seconds be looking at the page on Collectors Proof of the picture of that item, the story behind it and Sports Collectors Corner listed as the owner is again fantastic. You’ve hit a grand slam with that. Even if they don’t have that capability yet they can still put the ID number in Google Search and the same thing happens. It’s really impressing people."

CP: "Thanks, Mike, for taking time to tell us about Sports Collectors Corner’s. We've all really enjoyed your online collection - http://www.collectorsproof.com/SportsCollectorsCorner and look forward to your frequent additions."

SCC: "My pleasure. Thanks to Collectors Proof for providing collectors and dealers with a new way to enjoy our passions."

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