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Location, Location, Location!

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Throughout my years in the military, I've been all over the country, and even a few spots not in the country. When I have time available, I always made it a habit to stop by one or two, even in places I was all but guaranteed failure (like Las Vegas for instance). With this unique opportunity, I began to realize the market fluctuations in certain areas and regions. Some were brought on merely by the fact that it was a big touristy city, just waiting to eat up whatever you had in your wallet. Some were affected by the polar opposite. Either they gouged their prices because they knew that if they didn't make "x" amount of money from their 10 customers a week, they would surely go under, or they haven't been able to move their product, so it was priced very reasonably.
Nowadays, I find myself in a different scenario entirely. I've been stationed in Hawaii for a little less than 2 years. If there was a census gathered on the "worst places to purchase sports cards" this would absolutely be number one.
Here's some info behind that drastic comment:
The shipping charges alone add a $10-15 surcharge on any currently released hobby box. The LCS owners definitely don't want any part in swallowing those costs, so they generously pass them right along to the consumer (can't say I blame them, though).
Then there's the gimmick of "there's only so many places to go on a 40 mile island". This too allows all LCS on the island (Oahu, in my case) to simultaneously raise the prices pretty evenly across the island. And guess what, their sales have not suffered because of it. Customers can't say, I'll just go to another shop, because they'll be looking at a mirror image in terms of prices. Then, if they go the online consumer route, they're immediately faced with similar prices after the across-the-ocean shipping charges are factored.
This, along with the fact that the one and only card show has now been canceled and has no showing of coming back, I'd say that Hawaii is the absolute worst place to be a card collector. Las Vegas has to be up there too, but I'll leave that for another blog post (i.e. the next time I visit Vegas for a friendly reminder).

Updated 01-17-2012 at 05:08 AM by wavescrashing



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