By John Schinigoi aka StainLss

Once upon a time in what seems like a galaxy far far away, your local hobby shop was the place to be for all your hobby supply needs and cardboard fixes. On your way home from school you’d stop by the shop to pick up a pack of plain old Topps because you had two bucks in your pocket. Remember the smell, the gleam on those shiny new packs staring back at you and the thrill of pulling the hit of the box with all your buddies around congratulating you? I do. Now why does it have to be just a memory? Can it be that those days are behind you? Could it be that you just forgot about it? Or is it that something is stopping you from visiting your old friend at the card shop. The internet may be saving the hobby but it’s killing the card shops.
Now I love the internet, and I love eBay. But these things are not all that’s out there that keep the hobby alive. I may only be nineteen (and a half) but I do remember going into card shops way before I knew the internet, eBay or even Sportscardforum.

With the internet more popular every day and pretty much a necessity I see why collectors would like to buy boxes online. I mean you’re already sitting there Saturday morning, drinking coffee in your pajamas, trying to decide what to do with the excess cash from yesterday’s paycheck. So you decide to hit the net and look for a good deal on a box of wax. Saves you time and money right? Wrong, by the time you find your product, you could have been at the card shop, chatting with other collectors about your purchase or your latest big hit. Now it’s time to pay, lets say this box costs you 50 bucks at the shop. But you could have got it for 40 at the online store. So you are spending an extra 10 bucks right? Not really, remember with shipping you probably pay another 7 bucks (bringing your total to 47) Now what’s that extra 3 dollars for? Convenience! You get to open that box right there and then in front of your friends. Who really wants to wait 3-5 days for the cards to arrive? Am I right? Plus you get to help keep the shop open, which does a great service to the owner and other collectors in your area.

eBay, is great for those of us who collect a certain player, or master set. But when you’re looking for trade bait, why not go to the shop? I’m sure you could find something you could swap for something you collect. Maybe you could trade with the owner or another customer for a card you want. Rather than buying a single, which will save you money for packs. Which well all know is one of the best parts of the hobby. Save money, time, and have some healthy fun and peer interaction.

I do understand some collectors are not lucky enough to have a hobby shop close to them. In which case the internet may be the only solution. But to those who have the ability to go support your local shop I strongly wish you could do so. The internet is killing card shops across the world. The card shops are like the hobby’s parents, you wouldn’t hurt your parents would you?