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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    The Local Card Store (Contest Submission)

    My Local Card Store (CONTEST ENTRY)
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    Of all of the topics I have seen posted for contest submissions, this is the most difficult one for me to write about. The reason is simple: I really do not have any complaints about my local card store. To the contrary: I appreciate that they are still here to serve me.

    Living in the South Miami neighborhood of Palmetto Bay, I am fortunate to have a Sports Card store that is maybe a twenty minute drive from my house. Over the last fourteen years of being on this site I have seen posts from numerous members who are nowhere close to a card shop and have to do any buying over the Internet or al retail outlets such as WalMart and Target.

    I have been going to this Sports Card store for about fifteen years now. One thing that helps make it a good place to shop and chat is that it is a family business with the same father and son running the store as the first time I went there. Having stability and continuity in ownership is a great positive for this type of business. Both father and son are always friendly and are always open for conversations about the hobby or about sports in general.

    The store has a great supply of singles, packs, boxes, signed memorabilia, and hobby supplies. I have never gone into the store and come away empty-handed. There is a great variety of product, so there is something for all levels of traders.

    The one time in my life that I splurged on a box of high end product (Topps Sterling), I bought the box from their store and they even cut a deal for me on the price of the box. (Unfortunately the box did not yield any great pulls, but I don’t hold that against them.

    As a Consultant who has traveled for work weekly for the last twenty years, I have had projects in thirty-nine states in small towns and large cities. The first thing I used to do when I got a new assignment was to look up the addresses of any local stores. Twenty years ago, it seemed that just about every town I went to had a card store in the vicinity.

    Nowadays it is rare for me to find card stores close to wherever I am working. It is tremendously difficult for these stores to compete with internet businesses that don’t even have to rent a large retail location. Yet my local store is still there year after year for my convenience.

    Some of my best hobby experiences have occurred in local card stores. When I lived in Hollywood Florida I went to a local card store to buy a box of 1993 Stadium Club Series 3 specifically with the hope of pulling a Ken Griffey Jr. First Day Production card. My wife said you want series three so take the third box down. On the way home- first pack- Ken Griffey Jr. First Day Production card. Twenty-four years later I still have this card.

    Then there was the time when we went into another local card store after dinner. I asked my daughter to choose a pack for me. The pack she pulled contained a Dontrelle Willis autograph numbered to five.

    Experiences like these cannot be duplicated by buying on line in my opinion.

    Could I find things to complain about? Sure there are things I would like to see different. I wish they had trade nights as I was only fortunate enough to go to a couple of these at another card store near my old address. Would I like to see lower prices? Of course, who wouldn’t.

    But really anything negative I could say about my local card store would just be nitpicking.

    I understand that card collecting has become a really expensive hobby. Many of us collectors have families and can only afford to invent a limited amount into the hobby. I do understand the necessity for collectors to look for the least expensive purchasing alternatives and this is often the mega-giant internet card suppliers.

    Still I wish there would be more support and patronage of the small local store. They may not be able to match the on-line prices, but price is not and should not be the only consideration. The service local card stores offer has a value to it. There is also the instant gratification of being able to buy a pack or box and not have to wait several days to open it. As one oy fellow consultants always likes to say “If every buying decision was only about price, we would all be driving KIA’s”.

    So rather than denigrate the local card stores, let’s support them and praise the good they do for the hobby. After all, we want to have them here when we need them.
    Always looking for Graded Vintage (Pre-1980)

  2. #2

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    Mar 2007
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    Twitter: @Pheebs888 See Pheebs8882's Items on eBay

    Edited and posted here:
    @scottkoz20 please send 250 RP to @JFried1029

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