Card shops are the lifeblood of the sports collectible hobby with many new stores thriving during the latest industry boom.
To celebrate local card shops, some of the hobby’s top dealers, collectors and leaders are launching a new initiative to name the hobby’s best card shop in the United States.
Sponsored by the Loupe App, the Loupe Presents: America’s Best Card Shop contest is being supported by industry leaders from the hobby and sports world, including Topps, MLB’s Miami Marlins and Blowout Cards. The initiative was unveiled Friday at the MINT Collective in Las Vegas.
The grand prize package will be approximately $50,000, including: $25,000 for store improvements; an exclusive streaming deal with Loupe; a $2,000 Best Buy gift card; a $1,000 VistaPrint gift card; a new iOS device for streaming; a professionally-produced video and brand/logo redesign; a Loupe-sponsored trade night; an athlete autograph appearance at their shop; and more.
“One of Loupe’s founding principles is to help the local card shops around America that serve as the backbone of this entire hobby,” Loupe founder and CEO Eric Doty says. “It’s an objective that we take very seriously, but we also want to have some fun with it. Loupe Presents:
America’s Best Card Shop is our way of shining a spotlight on these hard-working small businesses and recognizing their effort and what they mean to the hobby.”
To be eligible, card shops and its owners must: be located in the United States; run a brick-and-mortar store; be at least 18 years of age; and sports cards/memorabilia must make up at least half of their inventory.
Additionally, entrants should make strides to foster a
welcoming and inclusive environment, one that regularly gives back to their communities and helps educate newcomers to the hobby.
Four finalists will be selected by the America’s Best Card Shop panel of judges, which includes: Loupe founder and CEO Eric Doty; Topps’ Hobby Sales Director Kevin O’Neil; Women of the Hobby co-founder and industry veteran Susan “Sooz” Lulgjuraj; Green Bay Packers running back AJ Dillon; and artist and entrepreneur DJ Skee. The finalists will have the opportunity to stream live on Loupe later this summer and the winner will be announced on-stage at the 2022 National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City July 27-31.
For more information and entry forms or to nominate a shop, please visit loupe.cards/bestcardshop.