My name is Dean Grycan. I’m the Internet Sales Manager for Cardboard Legends in Van Nuys, California. When I was 13 years old, I rented a small space at the back of a used bookstore and sold hockey cards in Canada. I was making money selling these small pieces of cardboard.
The owner of the store, Mike Sablow, was doing the same thing down here and when I moved down here I partnered with him and we started Cardboard Legends, basically a neighborhood card shop. We had baseball cards, kids would come in and spend their weekly allowance and, that’s how it started. Then, as the industry evolved and sports memorabilia kind of took off, we evolved to sports photographs and baseballs and stuff like that. And it’s really expanded into kind of a worldwide memorabilia business. We’ve seen some absolutely gorgeous cards. I mean, cards signed by, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Julius Erving, triple signed.
Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, Joe Namath, unbelievable stuff.
We started the store in 1994. just passed our twentieth year. The store was very small. We had one glass case. We had several boxes of product and, you know, sometimes we had no one come in, sometimes we had ten people come in. And that’s the way it was before the Internet. You were dependent on people walking in. It wasn’t until the Internet came along where you could say I’m online and I’m selling 24 hours a day, seven days a week—that’s what changed.
The growth on Amazon has been absolutely explosive. We’re starting at maybe $1,000 worth of product a month, and then, as the marketplace took off, we’re now, you know, $20,000 in product in a month. The internet has actually almost taken over our business completely.
We’ll never let go of the retail store because we love the people. You know, we have people coming in for twenty years and their kids are coming in now. Kids that were buying packs at thirteen are now coming in with their kids. That part, we’ll never let go. It’s almost like, a Cheers. Everyone knows your name. But, the internet’s obviously the future of our business, so that’s what we’re focusing on.
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