Tonawanda News — One of the company’s two warehouses located in the office building in the town, measuring at about 3,400 square feet, holds, at any point, between $15 million and $20 million worth of trading cards.
Friday, Martin said the warehouse held $17 million in inventory.
And it doesn’t stop there.
The company recently took over another nearby warehouse, which is full of 2,600 square feet of the company’s inventory, which also includes Reebok clothing and Sabres merchandise.
“We have a very unique relationship with each one of the Sabres,” Martin said, as the players often meet up with him to sign pictures and memorabilia.
Thirty percent of that stock is donated to charity each year.
“We started doing really well after about three or four years, and we decided to give back,” Martin said.
Martin and his business partner, Adam Silver, the company’s chief financial officer, met at card shows during college, and a few years later, they decided to ditch their intended career paths and start their own card shop in the City of Buffalo on Elmwood
“We hoped we had enough money to eat...and then get beer too,” Martin, who loved collecting cards since he was a kid, said. “They were so, so many startups at the time, and we didn’t know how it was going to go.”
But after a while, the business began to take off, and for more square footage and parking, they moved the store to Sheridan in the town. In 1996, the business became the largest seller on eBay.
“We went from six employees to 60 pretty quickly,” Martin said.
Now, the company has four retail stores and employs 70 people, some of which are quite close to the company. Martin’s brother is the head of the IT department, and Brian Sampson, another employee, has also known Martin since he was a kid.
“I started going into their card store on Elmwood when I was young,” Sampson, of Kenmore said. “I graduated, and they asked me to join, and I did.”Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150