It’s deal with Upper Deck in place, Hunt Auctions will look to expand while managing its bread and butter.
Last week’s move by corporate giant Upper Deck to bring well-respected Hunt Auctions into its stable establishes a partnership between two companies on different ends of the sports collecting spectrum.
Upper Deck, having witnessed the explosion of the vintage sports memorabilia sector in the last fifteen years, was likely looking for a well-established company to help it grab a share of the market. Hunt Auctions, attempting to expand its reach, saw Upper Deck as a brand name that could help it achieve that goal in a relatively short period of time.
The Hunt business model, focused primarily on consignments for the company’s various live and catalog auctions, will remain fundamentally unchanged. However, the Exton, Pennsylvania-based firm does have experience with outright buying and selling. With its new deal in place, one could reasonably expect the company to offer consignors and customers a variety of options beyond the auction format.
"Hunt Auctions has in the past purchased and sold items within a retail environment through various trade shows and privately brokered transactions," company president David Hunt told Sports Collectors Daily. "The expanson of these retail offerings through the Upper Deck stores, catalogues, and online components is seen as a natural fit to our current operations and we look
forward to bringing more unique and desirable vintage materials to the
While some of the more ambitious projects the two firms have discussed could take time to develop, it’s likely that others will be unveiled in short order. The auction company should reap the benefits of Upper Deck’s extensive mailing list of clients. Hunt said he also expects to add additional personnel and will enhance the company’s web site. Other changes are expected at a later date. The company currently conducts Major League Baseball’s All Star Fan Fest auction as well as an appraisal fair and auction at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Hunt indicated that "new and exciting auction venues" could result from the Upper Deck deal.
Hunt Auctions will help Upper Deck begin to dip its toes into the vintage memorabilia market, but David Hunt believes it’s also possible collectors will see a reverse effect as well although no specifics have been arranged. "I could certainly envision some of the products from Upper Deck’s inventory flowing through several of the Hunt Auctions’ venues," he said.
Hunt has doubled its internet/telephone auctions over the last few years and it’s likely a deal with Upper Deck could expand that base.