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|Gold Card Talk Member|
I stopped in one of my local card stores today. First time in probably over a year due to covid, lockdowns, and just in general they didn't carry much that interested me.
I expected some changes when I walked in to the store, but I didn't expect the changes I found.
50-70% of all the display cases with individual cards are now Pokemon. Previously maybe 10% of the cases had Pokemon. There was only 1 or 2 cases with individual sports cards -- there used to be 7-8. They were selling individual GPK cards -- just a handful -- seemed like they were from the Sapphire release. Previously they weren't selling any loose non-sport singles. The non-sport box situation seemed about the same -- they had maybe 3-5 different boxes -- Star Wars and Walking Dead were the only titles I saw. They had tons of Pokemon boxes. They used to have a 5000 count box of hits sorted by type -- the non-sport hits were all stuff from sports companies or sets -- like Panini Country music, or random Allen and Ginter. These boxes were gone.
They had supplies -- limit 2 per person. I didn't pay attention to specifically what they had or at what price.
They still had quite a few sports card boxes, but a significant number of the boxes are now blaster boxes. I didn't pay attention to which blasters.
They also still have a pile of monster boxes that had what are sports cards (presumably commons) sorted by team -- This takes up probably 1/4 of the wall space in the store.
I didn't buy anything. In previous stops my main interest was the random box of 'non-sport' hits, which was gone. I asked a price on a box of Star Wars signature series -- there aren't prices listed on any of the boxes anymore, which is obnoxious. Signature series was $100 a box -- more than I was looking to spend.
I wonder if other sports card shops are vastly expanding their Pokemon presence. . . I also wonder if they expanded to Pokemon so much because it is available. . . I also wonder if gaming stores have expanded in to sports/entertainment cards with the recent boom.
It was kind of an interesting stop, but wasn't at all fruitful, which matches the last several times I'd been to that shop.
|Gold Card Talk Member|
I have a local sports card store and a comic book store. I still pretty much just get supplies from them. The sports place usually has a box or two of topps or RA product. Both stores lean more towards gaming cards.
A friend of mine in Mississippi who owns a card store would have gone out of business long ago if he didn't jump on the gaming market. He can order pretty much any nonsports release you want.
Im not really sure how the current price bubble with non sports translates to a walk in market to where the store can keep a cost effective inventory.
|Platinum Card Talk Member|
Local hobby stores that have managed to survive have all diversified to some degree. The heavy reliance on gaming cards happened quite awhile ago, way before Covid. Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic boxes plus a couple of other names, along with displays of individual gaming cards for sale, kept the lights on. Related merchandise like Funkos, action figures, various figure lines and graphic novels also increased in volume as the fads came up and old comics and old sports cards collected dust.
As far as sports cards go, the high end products have taken over and they are moving. Boxes costing over $300 are blowing out. I'm not saying that, because I don't look at them anymore, my owner friends at my store are telling me that. They are also blowing through high end UD Marvel, which I have stayed away from because of the cost. What I know sold out is Game of Thrones boxes, including Inflexions and Valyerian Steel, and Marvel. Other non-sport boxes in cheaper prices seem to linger longer because only title fans are buying them.
The same could be said of comics. The old, rare comics have buyers. The old cheap comics lay in bargain boxes, along with the old cheap sports cards and sometimes old cheap non-sports cards. No one seems to be looking through them whenever I am there.
I guess what I'm saying is that, at least in my area, hobby collectibles of all stripes have become an elite market and the more you ask the more buyers you will get. Cheaper product is more for the specific fan base or for the kids. My LHS brings in the big non-sport titles, but I have to try to order other lesser products.
The biggest change I have seen in my LHS over the last 5 years, not counting last year at all, is that they don't buy much off the street and will only look at high end cards or rare comics from a collector. The store just doesn't need to buy collections because their customers only want new product or extremely rare product. They don't want to carry money in basement inventory that stays. That is the way they have survived, plus having a good location, while hobby stores that have stuck to the old model have gone out of business.
|Gold Card Talk Member|
It must be nice to have a connection that can hook you up with product. It's great that your friend was able to pivot to gaming cards and stay in business.
I am not sure why, but the sports card and comic stores in the Chicago area were quite a bit different than they are here. It is possible they have changed, of course, but even right after I moved it struck me how different the shops are.
In the Chicago area a lot of comic shops had packs and boxes of non-sport cards. Years ago they had singles too, but those dried up. Here no comic shops carry cards. Nearly all of them used to carry cards, and a couple had some remaining old stock when I moved, but nothing since. A lot of them also carried gaming cards. Many of the comic shops here pivoted to Funko Pops. . . I haven't been to any in a while so I have no idea now that has panned out.
I'm not as well versed in the sports card shops, but I was buying entertainment card regularly at Chicagoland Sports cards when I lived up there, and other shops I visited less frequently typically had some entertainment cards. There are 2 sports card shops here -- the last time I was at the other shop -- which was more than a year ago, it was pretty similar to the shop described above -- a few non-sport card boxes -- slightly better selection, tons of sports singles, but very few non-sport singles -- similar to the other shop had some cross over singles in a monster box.
My issue, I suppose, is that when it comes to boxes/packs I'm largely an impulse buyer. That's why I've been buying a lot on ePack.
That said I'm growing bored of UD products -- when you chase autographs and sketches all the Marvel sets kind of are the same.
|Bronze Card Talk Member|
I stopped at 2 comic shops today and overheard the cashier at one place explaining that supplies were limited to 1 per person, per day but I don’t know what the customer was buying. At the other shop, the costumer was buying sleeves for his Pokémon cards.
Both comic book shops had some packs, boxes, and singles of Pokémon cards along with some packs and boxes of GPK. It was fun to see a random assortment of Marvel and DC singles at one place and some Godzilla singles and packs at the other shop’s display cases.
|Silver Card Talk Member|
Agreed, I hate hate hate this practice. If I walk into a store like that I typically walk right back out.
As far as gaming cards goes, well before COVID I noticed most stores catering to the Magic, Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh crowds, not only having full walls dedicated to packs and boxes but also multiple nights a week for tournaments. I think those products had been keeping most hobby stores afloat.
You talking about Vans?
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