Card Shops

Kekamba

New member
157
5.00 star(s)
Im just wondering what is your guys experience with card shops today compaired to 10-20 years back.

Ive often thought Id like to venture into this. Not on a high scale because I'll have to work a day job to. But Ive thought about testing it out in a flea market in my area called Trade-A-Bakers. Most of these have booths with vintage stuff and some unopen boxes from the 80's and 90's. But no market for newer products singles, boxes or packs. Unless its a Reds GU/AU or the Colts.

As for my story with shops, I rember the first one I stepped into. It was called Earth Prime Hobby and Comics. It was mostly comics but I picked up my first ever Beckett there. It was 1987 and had Michael Jack Schmidt on it. It wasnt to long after that they popped up like wildfire. I had 2 with in blocks of my home. Id ride my bike up their almost daily. Its funny because Id thought Id never be able to afford a $30-$36 dollar box of say 1990 Score. Like most area's they disappeared almost as fast as they went up. I worked in one while in High School, I had to quit after about 2 years because I was tired of not having any cash. Id get paid, but I never left the shop with more than $5-$10 after pay day. I think he paid me in cash for that purpose alone. Its funny, he hired several people after I left but ended up closing the place about 6 months to a year after I left. He couldnt run it full time because he was also working a job and going to school. He is now a lawyer in town.

I didnt see another shop for years, then I found one in a neighboring city about 30 minutes north of me. When I got big into NASCAR diecast. I never cared for that guy though. Once I bought a pack of 1984 Topps football for $25 and pulled a Dan Marino RC the guy cussed at me. I ended up trading that card for a tattoo. In 2006 shortly before I found the bench and just returned to the hobby again. I went back and he told me I stupid for buying topps and blah blah blah. He had guys that would come in and buy high end boxes and leave the base stuff rc's and all behind they was strickly hit hunters. To me thats not collecting. I asked him to order me a box of 2006 topps and he said he couldnt didnt want to have topps on his shelf and Id never pull nothing from it. I left went to wal mart and bought a box of retail there. Pulled a Cal Ripken AU redemption and headed right back to the shop to rub it in his face. He's now closed. After returning once again this spring, I located a shop back close to my home town. I like the guy that runs it very well. You can tell he does it because he enjoys it. Ive suggested he join here because he is a collector as well. But you can tell he's one of those guys that would go out of his way to help you. His shop is small though, very small. Id say if you had 5-6 ppl in there it be standing room only. I found another shop a hour south of me. But this guy is a diffrent cat. He push's products hard and sells high. Ive seen singles for $5-$10 over hi book, and if you ask about it thats a firm price. Said if its a star like Pujols/James/Manning it will sell for over book. Id hate to see his price for a nice Strasburgh.

Ive thought about testing out the market myself staying small. But if I can get things rolling and get enough pennys in my piggy bank I might talk to that guy in town about buying in and expanding. I feel there is a market, but you have to make it "fun" for everyone who walks in the door. Sponor youth sports, and find a way to get kids back. Kids bring parents and a dad who see's something he likes now that wasnt there in the 90's might just be tempted to start up again.
 

Jeffo65

New member
1,541
5.00 star(s)
Staff member
Truthfully, I see no need for the brick and mortar shops, when everything is available via the net.

I have been in a number of shops over the past few years, but I find myself only buying storage supplies and passing over cards because I know I can get those cards cheaper or trade for them.

Just my opinion.
 

Trishlp

Active member
2,227
5.00 star(s)
I have friends who own a card shop about 30 minutes away. I love to go there because the owners are there because they enjoy sports cards. They have had to add yugioh(SP?) and pokemon to help keep up the shop but they still have an excellent selection and fair prices. Plus they are very knowledgeable about the cards. there is one other shop about 10 minutes the other direction that I don't mind going to except having to pay a toll to the state to get there and back. They have alot of wax from previous years at very reasonable prices but also have a lot of memorabilia and autos that take up a lot of space and hardly any singles.

I think to have a shop you need to be knowledgeable, reasonable and flexible. JMO
 

DMS6391

Member
57
4.90 star(s)
I love the idea of card shops. A place where you can go in view/browse cards, talk with other collectors, and of course buy some cards. But this has been replaced by ebay, message boards, online shopping, etc. I wish there was a shop around me, but if it's not profitable you obviously can't expect the owner to stay in business. And with ebay and trade sites allowing users to access millions of cards that a shop could not possibly offer, its obvious that card shops have been replaced. There used to be a card shop about 10 mins from my house when I was about 8. It's no longer in business and hasn't been for sometime. There was another card shop I went to a couple of times on the way to my grandma's house (about an hour away, but the card shop was on the way). It recently closed down - last year I believe.
 
Last edited:

mm1sub

Active member
2,739
5.00 star(s)
Staff member
I go to a shop in Oxford, MA. the shop owner is a great guy who really knows his cards. he's always cutting people a break on cards. He gives out cards to kids for bringing in their report card with good grades. sponsors a Boy scout troop and gives them a tour of the shop every year. Tells kids about the history of cards. the place is packed on saturday mornings. A good shop is a place that has a good atmosphere. The best thing about his shop is that it is a place people want to go to.
 

Hoyt55

New member
2,397
5.00 star(s)
The first and pretty much only card shop I went to was a place around here called Graf's. The owner was a really nice guy, and he always had late 90s/early 2000s packs on sale for $1. He always had cool discount boxes like $6/1, and always had a nice box of discounted vintage (got my first great vintage cards there, a 1965 Topps Ernie Banks). I once got $50 from my parents on my birthday one year to spend there, one of my favorite b-day gifts ever! :)

Unfortunately, they closed down a few years ago and was replaced by a new card shop. I tried going there once, all the cheap boxes were gone and it was mostly high-end, so I haven't gone back since. I've dabbled in a few shops since, one I went to frequently also closed down, and the other one i currently go to doesn't get a lot of new stuff, so I don't really go there often.

I personally think there should be a card shop in every town (if not for every block!), but the ability to buy and sell so easily online has pretty much killed the card shop concept. I do like the ability to buy and sell cards online, but it's a shame that it had to take card shops away. Hopefully I'll find a new card shop to spend some time in once I leave for college in a few weeks. :)
 
Last edited:

Kekamba

New member
157
5.00 star(s)
I think you guys have hit the nail on the head. The $$$ involved today hurts not to mention the factor of places like ebay. However I dont think trading sites hurt as much. Reason being is look at some of the guys requested and traded for here. Tim Lincecum's stuff here wont sell near as well as say Joey Votto's. Its just the fact of the region. I think what would help a card shop knowing this is to ebrace trading sites. Let their customers know about it, heck if the money is there set up 2-3 computers for customers at the shop. I think the other thing when it comes to singles is to set their prices for the most part at low beckett or ebay value. And let guys know, if you had to post a large sign saying you sell this way so you have to buy that way. It should help customers understand that you wouldnt be able to spend $40 on a 89 Griffey. And because you sell low, you could only give a $5-$10 under low book. Yes some guys will get upset. But there is a local gun shop that buys low and sells for a minimum mark up. So when you loose money on a sell but walk in and see its only $25-$50 over what he paid. When you know that gun is worth $75-$100 or more you dont feel as bad. Because he isnt completely hosing you. I feel once guys saw that as well they'd be more understanding. Maybe also let guys know if you cant buy for a fee you can list cards for them on ebay.

I also feel finding ways to get kids is so critical and way over looked. But the way I see it would I rather have a group of kids hanging out listing to storys about cards or the game. Or out on the streets looking for drugs? Encourage them, get to know them.

I have alot of ideas that I beleive could really launch a shop. I just dont have the capital to get it off the ground. I know what some of you guys are saying about only use them for supplys. And I see why shipping costs are high on say 5000ct box's. But if these places couldnt sell cards as well they wouldnt be able to sell supplys. I think there is a market for both, sometimes I know I'll pay a little more to have it now. Than to save a few bucks but have to wait on Mr. Postman. But at the same time, if I had a shop I probably couldnt move a box of say Topps Tribute. Unless I do like a local guy does and do a group break. His are complete luck of draw. They take a team card of all the teams and then draw them to devide the teams. I probably wont do that because Id get the Pirates, Orioles and Royals.
 

timfsu2k

New member
965
5.00 star(s)
Im just wondering what is your guys experience with card shops today compaired to 10-20 years back.

Ive often thought Id like to venture into this. Not on a high scale because I'll have to work a day job to. But Ive thought about testing it out in a flea market in my area called Trade-A-Bakers. Most of these have booths with vintage stuff and some unopen boxes from the 80's and 90's. But no market for newer products singles, boxes or packs. Unless its a Reds GU/AU or the Colts.

As for my story with shops, I rember the first one I stepped into. It was called Earth Prime Hobby and Comics. It was mostly comics but I picked up my first ever Beckett there. It was 1987 and had Michael Jack Schmidt on it. It wasnt to long after that they popped up like wildfire. I had 2 with in blocks of my home. Id ride my bike up their almost daily. Its funny because Id thought Id never be able to afford a $30-$36 dollar box of say 1990 Score. Like most area's they disappeared almost as fast as they went up. I worked in one while in High School, I had to quit after about 2 years because I was tired of not having any cash. Id get paid, but I never left the shop with more than $5-$10 after pay day. I think he paid me in cash for that purpose alone. Its funny, he hired several people after I left but ended up closing the place about 6 months to a year after I left. He couldnt run it full time because he was also working a job and going to school. He is now a lawyer in town.

I didnt see another shop for years, then I found one in a neighboring city about 30 minutes north of me. When I got big into NASCAR diecast. I never cared for that guy though. Once I bought a pack of 1984 Topps football for $25 and pulled a Dan Marino RC the guy cussed at me. I ended up trading that card for a tattoo. In 2006 shortly before I found the bench and just returned to the hobby again. I went back and he told me I stupid for buying topps and blah blah blah. He had guys that would come in and buy high end boxes and leave the base stuff rc's and all behind they was strickly hit hunters. To me thats not collecting. I asked him to order me a box of 2006 topps and he said he couldnt didnt want to have topps on his shelf and Id never pull nothing from it. I left went to wal mart and bought a box of retail there. Pulled a Cal Ripken AU redemption and headed right back to the shop to rub it in his face. He's now closed. After returning once again this spring, I located a shop back close to my home town. I like the guy that runs it very well. You can tell he does it because he enjoys it. Ive suggested he join here because he is a collector as well. But you can tell he's one of those guys that would go out of his way to help you. His shop is small though, very small. Id say if you had 5-6 ppl in there it be standing room only. I found another shop a hour south of me. But this guy is a diffrent cat. He push's products hard and sells high. Ive seen singles for $5-$10 over hi book, and if you ask about it thats a firm price. Said if its a star like Pujols/James/Manning it will sell for over book. Id hate to see his price for a nice Strasburgh.

Ive thought about testing out the market myself staying small. But if I can get things rolling and get enough pennys in my piggy bank I might talk to that guy in town about buying in and expanding. I feel there is a market, but you have to make it "fun" for everyone who walks in the door. Sponor youth sports, and find a way to get kids back. Kids bring parents and a dad who see's something he likes now that wasnt there in the 90's might just be tempted to start up again.


What shops do you go to? The only ones I know of around here are East End Sports Cards in Louisville and Planet Collectibles in Florence. If I'm missing out on a couple of shops I'm going to be pretty ticked off!!
 

Kekamba

New member
157
5.00 star(s)
Well Im not in Madison any longer. I moved back to my home town about 30 minutes East. Had a job offer but got fired my 2nd day on the job for dropping a "F-Bomb" when I stubbed my toe. Go figure???

Anyways, I go to Garza's Ballcards in Scottsburg, IN. Joe is a very cool dude, but dont carry alot of product. And Ive gone to All American Sports Cards in Jeffersonville, IN. Only been there once guy seemed a little pushy tryin to get me to buy him out or at least thats how it felt. And his was really high on singles. If you ever think about making a trip to one of those 2 lmk, and I'll try to meet you there. But Im sure it'd be a good little drive. Unless, you happen to go to Bass Pro AASC is listed in Jeff, but basically across the street from BPS.
 

Jeffo65

New member
1,541
5.00 star(s)
Staff member
I think what would help a card shop knowing this is to ebrace trading sites. Let their customers know about it, ...
Many card shops are already on the trading sites/ebay and other on-line sites. Many make more money this way then through the door.

I think the other thing when it comes to singles is to set their prices for the most part at low beckett or ebay value. ...
As long as there is a price guide listing two prices, I don't see this happening. Also, many card shops already price their cards at ebay prices. Local players and hot prospects are usually priced higher than book values at card shops. It would be nice to have the price of items (ex: automobiles) actually be what is on the sticker, but everyone wants a deal.

Maybe also let guys know if you cant buy, for a fee you can list cards for them on ebay.
Great idea that has been and is currently being done. There are a number of "eBay" stores that will list items for you at a certain percentage. The downside to this is that most, if not all collectors have access to a computer and are already on eBay.

But the way I see it would I rather have a group of kids hanging out listing to storys about cards or the game. Or out on the streets looking for drugs? Encourage them, get to know them.
I agree that this is an ultimate goal of society to keep kids off the street, but this does not pay rent to the owner. The thing to do would be to hold "card nights" where the store owner could show off new inventory/product, thus drumming up sales. Also have games and give aways during the "card nights"

The internet has hurt the brick and mortar store owners and has made it much more easier for the collector.

I do wish there were still stores around as I have enjoyed the times I have been in the stores. Over the last 2-3 years I have seen about 3 stores try to start up, but are no longer in business. Two were stand alone stores and one was in a mall. Even indoor mall traffic is down from 10 years ago. Many communities are moving to strip malls or stand alones. As an example, Walgreens are moving out of strip malls/malls and into stand alone corner stores.

.
 

timfsu2k

New member
965
5.00 star(s)
Well Im not in Madison any longer. I moved back to my home town about 30 minutes East. Had a job offer but got fired my 2nd day on the job for dropping a "F-Bomb" when I stubbed my toe. Go figure???

Anyways, I go to Garza's Ballcards in Scottsburg, IN. Joe is a very cool dude, but dont carry alot of product. And Ive gone to All American Sports Cards in Jeffersonville, IN. Only been there once guy seemed a little pushy tryin to get me to buy him out or at least thats how it felt. And his was really high on singles. If you ever think about making a trip to one of those 2 lmk, and I'll try to meet you there. But Im sure it'd be a good little drive. Unless, you happen to go to Bass Pro AASC is listed in Jeff, but basically across the street from BPS.

My cousin is actually a dentist in New Albany, so I am pretty near Jeff about once per month. I'm not actually sure where Scottsburg is, but I don't think it's that far from Carrollton. I'll probably make the drive one of these days when I'm bored!
 
Top