Friday, May 22, 2009

New Shop ideas

--David (Indian Baseball Cards. And then some...) asked some questions about opening a new card shoppe. I thought I'd rework a comment I left several months ago on another blog. I thought it might be worthy of a blog entry.

1. Have reasonably priced cards. A few boxes of 10-cent and 25-cent cards. Little Timmy might like cards, but might not be able afford to buy the latest high priced pack for $5.

2. Have an area for younger collectors. They'll be the future of the hobby. Entice them now, keep them for life. Really, who cares if the 1990 Topps singles box gets dinged around while they paw through it?

3. Have a trading night every few weeks. A few tables where collectors/traders can come in and do actual trading. No money exchanges hands between the traders. Some oversight might be required so that new traders don't get taken by crafty, cunning types. Sure, in a trade, someone will get the "better" deal, but it is all perception. Be the referee/judge if asked. What you want to do is get the customer into your shop and keep them there.

4. Have a trading bulletin board so that collectors can see what others need. A physical cork board.

5. Sponsor "Bad Mustache Card" day. Customers need to bring in a card with a player's bad mustache in the photo for 5 % off all purchases. This can be expanded upon. "Bad Haircut Card" day. "Worst ERA" day. "Worst Batting Average" day. You get the idea.

6. Don't check the price guide on every card you sell. Especially singles from the mid eighties. And if you are going to use a price guide, then also pay very close attention to the condition of the card. Is it centered well? No? Then don't try to charge me a NMT-MT price.

7. Supplies. Have supplies.

8. Know what you're talking about. Or, if you don't, let me know that you don't have a clue about it. I'll respect you a lot more for that answer.

9. Have fun.


  1. I agree with #7 whole-heartedly. I recently stumbled into a great shop that I never knew existed, even though I've driven by it many times. It's tucked deep into an office park with no advertising space on the main 'billboard'. I only found it by googling "baseball card storage box San Diego, because I didn't feel like paying for shipping when ordering online. Sure enough, this place had all the storage options you could want - all priced just slightly above online prices (but cheaper when you factor in shipping). I ended up buying much more than I went in for, and am going back today to get more!

    So yeah... storage storage and more storage! That stuff can be tough to find!

  2. A) We agree on alla this.

    B) Please open a card shop. Preferably in Santa Fe.

  3. I'd go there. The funny thing is Long Island where I live has tons of card shops but none of them have any of your points except supplies, which is the only reason I ever go to them.

    And the whole island of Manhattan is down to one card shop now, I think.