By David Yarger
Co-Host The Chase
Happy Monday all you chasers! The Chase started off another week with a loaded episode featuring Mark Amarant of AA Mint Cards down in Florida.
If you didn’t know, Amarant’s shop was recently highlighted when famous rapper 2 Chainz entered the store. The video was part of a Vice TV series hosted by the rapper called “Most Expensevist.”
In the episode, 2 Chainz is seen ripping packs in the shop with Amarant and his son. While the episode was filmed months ago, it aired recently on Vice.
Amarant said it was a huge production, as Vice employed people for cameras, lighting, catering and even more. He added that the shop was recommended to Vice by another LCS.
Of the moment though, Amarant said it was an awesome experience to be a part of.
“(He was looking) to get as much as he could!” Amarant said with a laugh. “It was the most fun shooting this video with him. He had said several times during the video that he had more fun shooting this than pretty much any other episode that he had. He also mentioned that when he hit the Luka, that, ‘If this is worth 25 grand, this is going to be the best episode ever. Once he started ripping, and he started looking for his Trae Youngs and his Lukas, he really got into it.”
Amarant mentioned that their interaction with 2 Chainz was the first time they had met the rapper, and there was no rehearsal.
2 Chainz wasn’t the only celebrity that has stepped foot in AA Mint Cards though. Amarant said Miami Dolphins players and former Dolphins coach Brian Flores had been in the shop, in addition to Dude Perfect and others.
On top of everything else, Amarant mentioned his shop’s status as “card shop of the future.”
In the AA shop, there is a huge grid display of slabbed cards, which visitors can scan a QR code, click the card they’re looking at, and then get the pop report.
“We want our customers to walk in with a smile and we want them to leave with a smile. We don’t care if they don’t spend any money, we don’t care if they’re there for three hours. As long as they’re smiling, that’s what we care about,” Amarant said.
He added that the shop is the “Amazon of GOATs,” because of their supply of players such as Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and many more.
For a shop that started just over two years ago, AA Mint Cards has gone from a start up shop, to a PSA submission center, to a place that has an eBay program with a 6.99% fee, to a place that is about to quadruple in size with a new location. For Amarant, the growth has been surreal, but he credits the people around him for it.
“Anytime it’s high growth, you’re dependent on the team that you have. So, a business is only as good as the people that you employ. If you treat your people right and you share with them the vision and why you’re doing things the way you do it, it’s much easier to get them to buy-in to the overall vision, as opposed to ‘Oh, we’re doing this,’ or “Oh, we’re doing that,’ without any explanation whatsoever,” Amarant said.
He added that the business has completely evolved, becoming a Panini Direct member, as well as Topps Direct.
To see the full interview with Amarant, check out the YouTube replay.
Also on The Chase
At the end of the episode, the crew ripped not one, but two boxes of Bowman Inception Baseball. There were four autos to come from the product, on top of multiple numbered cards.
Some of the hits included a Ryan Cusick auto out of 399, Alejandro Pie auto out of 250, Colton Cowser auto out of 99 and an Izaac Pacheco auto out of 50. The numbered cards included a Diego Cartaya out of 50 and a Hendry Mendez out of 75.
To win all these cards, we decided to go in the spirit of the biggest release of the day. That’s right, Girl Scout cookies. All you have to do is comment on the YouTube replay what your favorite flavor of Girl Scout cookies are and why.
A winner will be announced on Wednesday’s episode of The Chase.