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My Anti-Store Rant

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Well this is my anti-store rant

As a card store owner I get a lot of people coming and going who ask all kinds of questions. Some interesting and some quite stupid. I enjoy trying to help educate those who are genuinely interested in getting into the hobby or wanting to know more about it but the ones that absolutely annoy me are the questions such as "why are your prices higher then the flea market". Well this has to be one of the dumbest questions that I have ever heard. Of course the flea market is cheaper because the flea market hack has next to no overhead, puts nothing into his 'business' and doesn't support or put anything back into the hobby and in most cases doesn't claim the income or pay taxes. The weekend warrior is a 'vendor', a part-timer, a taker, a one-hit wonder. Why anyone would support someone who doesn't even put his money behind his business but chooses to hide at a flea market is beyond me. What this tells me is they lack the confidence or gumption to put their money where there mouth is and open a business and try to make on reputation rather then price and the fast cash dash. There is a reason why card stores don't last and go out of business and the weekend warrior is one of the main reasons.

This isn't the only reason though as just as bad are the distributors who sell product to every tom, dick or harry with a business permit. Why are these guys selling product to ABC Construction Company When you sell to these types of people/businesses you put another nail in the card store coffin. If your full time business isn't as a card shop you shouldn't be able to walk in and buy from a so-called 'distributor' who has a sign in the window saying 'wholesale only'. I was in one of these 'distributor' places and watched as they sold cards to a dry cleaner owner for his kids. I don't walk into the local lumber yard and use my business permit to buy lumber to sell to a neighbour so he can build his shed even though I could. The same goes for the local variety store whose core business is selling tobacco products and lottery tickets. I don't buy cigarettes and sell them out of my garage even though I could so why should these guys sell cards ? How on earth did Upper Deck ever allow these stores to be Certified Diamond Dealers is beyond me. My understanding of the CDD Program states that you must sell singles, have showcases and supply displays and operate as a card store. The CDD agreement is nothing but a piece of paper which does absolutely nothing to help me survive.

All of these things along with the never ending internet/web/ebay debate all help to put nails in the card store coffins. It seems that there are a lot of things going against those of us who spend thousands every month to support the hobby and try to keep it alive despite so many obstacles but hardly anything to help us make it work. Unless every part of the hobby gets together to support the hobby by sticking to a common set of rules then the card store burial will continue.


  1. frozenheroes's Avatar
    I agree totally. There is a reasonable amount of profit on a box which I can understand. No different then GM making money on a car. Most car buyers shop around to get the best deal but you wouldn't buy a new car at a flea market because you want or expect service down the road. I cherish every customer who comes into my store and try to give them a reason to come back every time. I also have limits as to who I want in my store and 'greed' and 'atitude' are the factors there. I have no time or patience for these types of so-called collectors and even the flea market guys who want to buy from me.
  2. frozenheroes's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx714
    I used to have a shop a while back and I understand where you are coming from and I now just do shows to sell the cards I can't trade or sell online. But I know that shops often have their boxes and single cards way over priced. My LCS was selling topps platinum football for 140 a box and bought them for 90 and getting a 50 profit on it is what's going to put him out of business, but I found them online for almost 60 less, who do you think I bought mine from. I understand a business needs to make money to stay open, but if they are so over priced on their items nobodys gonna buy it. Lower the prices and sell more product a lot quicker. Anyway most shops pay 1/4 of the going rate if even that for the cards that are brought into the shop and bought. Then turn around and sell them at full book or just a lil off full book. Example- My LCS bought a p manning auto from a customer for 35 and then turned around and put a 150 price tag on it. needless to say he still has that card. buy it for 35, sell it for 90-100 nice lil profit and it would have sold at that price, but it won't sell for 150, not even on feebay. I have and always will spend my money on the best deal, if it's a flea mkt, card show or LCS. Cater to your customers, not your wallet.
    You certainly hit the nail on the head. Some store owners are their own worst enemy. Our rule is sell at 50% of book and live with it. If you get a decent deal on a card you bought pass that deal along to a regular customer and they'll remember you.

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