Non-Sport Update's Card Talk NSU Home | NSU Store | In The Current Issue... | Contact Us |
Non-Sport Update    Non-Sport Update's Card Talk  Hop To Forum Categories  Card Talk's Greatest Hits    Trading Cards - a diminishing customer base ?
Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Trading Cards - a diminishing customer base ?
 Login/Join
 
Member
posted
I think we are all aware that the card and comic collector base is shrinking whilst at the same time, the number of dealers (predominantly part time dealers) is increasing.

Many distributors are cutting back orders to manufacturers, equating their orders to the pre-orders they receive from retailers, and in many cases retailers are limiting their orders to those they receive from customers.

Ebay is great if you are a collector, but it means ever decreasing margins for genuine retailers, many of whom are beginning to go into other product areas.

Retailers need to make a profit. Apart from having to put food on the table and pay their bills, they need to be able to reinvest in new stock.

I think the fact that both distributors and some manafacturers who used to be exclusively concerned with trading cards, are also looking at new avenues and product lines means that they too have an inkling of the decline in demand for trading card product.

Is the collector base in decline ?

What is the future for the hobby ?

I would be very interested in hearing all your views....
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of WarriorBabe
posted Hide Post
Speaking as a buyer, I have noticed some websites saying this set will be supplied on a pre-order basis. But then they go and stock it after saying that.
My interest is growing rather than decreasing!

____________________
Is beginning to realize that collecting cards is like an itch that never goes away......
 
Posts: 1950 | Location: UK | Registered: December 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Titanium Card Talk Member
Picture of wolfie
posted Hide Post
I don,t think the collector base is declining but it is certainly moving away from the traditional way of buying and collecting cards.

Ebay has everything to do with this. As more people get internet access and realise what sort of prices the cards can be purchased for on auction it makes the prospect of actually going to a show less appealing.

As was mentioned elsewhere to go to Memorabilia costs a lot of money and that is before you get through the door.
When you look at what you could have purchased on ebay with that money then going to the shows becomes a non starter.

Is it too much of a stretch of the imagination to see a future where dealers no longer exist and the manufacturers sell cards direct to the public via internet auctions.?

Food for thought but just a bit sad. Frown

____________________
Come, it is time for you to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.
 
Posts: 27015 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by wolfman-golf:
I don,t think the collector base is declining

Is it too much of a stretch of the imagination to see a future where dealers no longer exist and the manufacturers sell cards direct to the public via internet auctions.?

Food for thought but just a bit sad. Frown


Less titles, smaller print runs and more close-out product does not suggest that the collector base is stable and certainly not increasing.

Collecting cards is a great hobby to all those who are involved, but isn't it a little complacent to not recognise a diminishing collector base and not try and do something about it before the trend is irreversible ?
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of make-mine-marvel
posted Hide Post
my 2-cents:

no new card producers can enter the market because of cost & saturation

non-sport card collectors can actually increase from here. many fans still do not know they can get autographs & costume pieces.

i do think that companies will stop producing sets that are not going to be sell-outs. it breaks my heart that Six Feet Under wasn't a smash success, and will end with one set.

too many small-time jokers are all over the web. these are over-zealous fans that bought a whole case for the discount, and are selling a few boxes & singles. i agree this hurts the "store." only the strong will survive. many cities do not even have one really good store now.

as eBAY makes their fees higher, and the big producers make the rules harder for being able to buy directly (must own a store & tax ID, etc.), we're going to see some super-stores survive. the mom-&-pop stores are going under.

just my 2 cents.

____________________
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
my TWITTER

sketchcards.org << Scans of my sketch cards



 
Posts: 1792 | Location: (*new*) Woodstock, GA | Registered: June 26, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by wolfman-golf:
Is it too much of a stretch of the imagination to see a future where dealers no longer exist and the manufacturers sell cards direct to the public via internet auctions.?




Agreed.

However, regarding the viability of the non-sports market - your in the UK so i'll restrict this question to UK dealers - how many UK card dealers do you know that don't have a regular job to support their business ?

The answer will be very close to zero.

We don't, but we have other retail operations.

If the hobby was so vibrant, all those UK dealers wouldn't have to be wage slaves as well....
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by make-mine-marvel:

non-sport card collectors can actually increase from here. many fans still do not know they can get autographs & costume pieces.

.


Thats exactly the type of response I was looking for. Thhe manufacturers have to bring the hobby to a wider audience, and it may also be a good idea to issue some product at a cheaper price point (no chase cards) to go into Walmart etc
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by make-mine-marvel:

too many small-time jokers are all over the web. these are over-zealous fans that bought a whole case for the discount, and are selling a few boxes & singles. i agree this hurts the "store." only the strong will survive. many cities do not even have one really good store now.

.


Do you not think there is a connection between 'small time jokers' and the disappearance of the hobby dedicated knowledgable store you mention ?
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by wolfman-golf:
As was mentioned elsewhere to go to Memorabilia costs a lot of money and that is before you get through the door.
When you look at what you could have purchased on ebay with that money then going to the shows becomes a non starter.



I think this is where Collectormania in the UK has filled the gap.

Memorabilia is fast approaching the point where I can't justify the amount of money I spend to go there - even before I've got in the show. The main reason I go to the show is to meet up with people and have a smooch around for bargains. I can do that just as easily at Milton Keynes and if I decide not to buy anything it will cost me less.

I forsee that in a couple of years I will probably only go to the November Memorabilia show for the Cardtalk meeting. For the other two shows I'll go to Collectormania instead, they are usually on at similar times of year anyway.
 
Posts: 3862 | Location: UK | Registered: December 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
posted Hide Post
Wave Full time dealer here without a regular job!

But like you Cyberbats I have other non-ebay non card retail interests.
 
Posts: 1085 | Location: UK | Registered: August 31, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of xSaBx
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by wolfman-golf:
Ebay has everything to do with this. As more people get internet access and realise what sort of prices the cards can be purchased for on auction it makes the prospect of actually going to a show less appealing.



That's all very well if there are people on Ebay actually selling what you want, and there are some pretty large gaps in the market. Yeah, if you want cards from the last 10 years you're pretty well sourced, but pre-that... you have to find the right person.

____________________
xSaBx :: Mistress of Stuff ::

Crunchy on the Outside,
Smooth on the Inside:
Armadillos!

REMEMBER: Take out the 'removemefirst' from my e-mail address to reply...
 
Posts: 5362 | Location: The South East, United Kingdom | Registered: June 07, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of xSaBx
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by LesleyW:
I forsee that in a couple of years I will probably only go to the November Memorabilia show for the Cardtalk meeting. For the other two shows I'll go to Collectormania instead, they are usually on at similar times of year anyway.



I don't need to go to another Memorabilia again, theoretically speaking: anything that's an 'Exclusive' is still available post-show, at a monthly show literally 20 minutes from home. Those dealers deserve my support to keep going in increasingly difficult conditions, and with a £2 entry fee, frankly it's madness to consider how much petrol plus costs are in a Birmingham trip. I reckon it's at least £100 for me to do one of those, before I even buy a card.

Like Lesley, I think the only reason I'd shell out that kind of cash would be for an Official CT Meeting... Big Grin

____________________
xSaBx :: Mistress of Stuff ::

Crunchy on the Outside,
Smooth on the Inside:
Armadillos!

REMEMBER: Take out the 'removemefirst' from my e-mail address to reply...
 
Posts: 5362 | Location: The South East, United Kingdom | Registered: June 07, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Arvin Sloane
posted Hide Post
The last few posts on this thread tie in quite well with the discussion that is taking place on the "SD Comic Convention 2005" thread.
Yes, it does cost quite a bit of money to attend one of these events and therefore if you aren't going to make a vacation out of it you probably shouldn't attend.
If on the other hand you don't have lodging costs or travel costs to worry about then a visit to one of these shows is well worth it.
Shows will always have a place in this hobby, as there is nothing better than pressing the flesh and meeting collecting buddies. Nor is there anything better than touching and seeing the items that you are considering purchasing in person.
 
Posts: 2206 | Location: SD6 Headquarters | Registered: April 01, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of mykdude
posted Hide Post
Would have to agree with Arvin on this one. A good convention isnt just for purchasing collectables. This is where you meet the dealers, manufacturers, fellow collectors and movie stars all in one trip. You get to see a broad view of the scifi collecting hobby and have a blast doing it with your family. I wouldnt trade it for any "ebay" experience.

I think there are many things plaguing the store front owner but after entering stores both in the states and overseas I have one main complaint and it is attitude. Many of the people that open these stores are great fans of sci-fi but they are awful when it comes to customer service and store layout.

I think the reason we see less production numbers is because the hobby is recovering from the 90's where you still can buy boxes for as little as $5. The hobby basically blew itself up and I think is doing a great job at nursing it back to good health. Its going to take time but we'll get there.
 
Posts: 2662 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Moderator
Picture of STCardGeek
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cyberbats:


Do you not think there is a connection between 'small time jokers' and the disappearance of the hobby dedicated knowledgable store you mention ?


Not completely, no. I think some of them disappeared cause they couldn't change with the times.
I have a client who continues to purchses his boxes from his local dealer. He desperately wants to keep his money in the community and I admire him for that and I don't try to talk him into switching..or I hadn't until lately when he said his dealer hadn't gotten in his Dead Zone boxes for a month or more after the release..why? Cause Diamond hadn't sent it to the dealer yet, hello?!! 30 days of missed opportunities to pick up the cards he needs and sell of his dupes gone cause Diamond still takes forever to get orders to clients? If the dealer wanted to keep his loyal customer, he'da found a new way to do business. People and the customer bases has changed and if the infrastructure and membership doesn't change with it, that causes problems both at local stores and shows.
Which doesn't mean there isn't an affect from the small time jokers. I felt it very recently myself and I'm still annoyed about it, but as with any issue, there is more then one cause and one cure.

____________________
Star Trek cards rule, everything else drools.
 
Posts: 4091 | Location: Pittsboro, NC USA | Registered: November 30, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of john the hat
posted Hide Post
I think I have said this before ,but here goes again, the small shows will vanish if they are not supported more by people like Sarah, we travel to these small shows because of the dedication of collectors that cant afford to travel to the Mega shows, its also great if you can cover your costs and meet collectors and other dealers alike, as Sarah said its local, the cost is small , I for one am grateful to Sarah for the support she gives to us Thumb Up

____________________
life is like a spiders web, beautiful to look at, deadly when you get to wrapped up in it. jth 2007
 
Posts: 1115 | Location: England | Registered: March 31, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Titanium Card Talk Member
Picture of wolfie
posted Hide Post
I love going to the little friendly shows. I have been to Cheshunt which was a really nice fair and i have been to basildoom.

We have a small fair in Birmingham now and again but i guess my local fair is the NEC which is why the big fairs are the ones i attend the most.

____________________
Come, it is time for you to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.
 
Posts: 27015 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of cverdec
posted Hide Post
I totally agree with Arvin & Mykduke on this!! Shows are a blast. My wife has gotten into collecting as a result of attending shows with me, and we make "mini-vacations" out of attending a few a year together. I will usually go to 1 or 2 more on my own just to catch up with a few friends & collectors.

I know of a monthly show in the DC area, and have not made the trip yet. John & Sarah make a great point, and I think I really need to start attending these.

As for the state of the hobby/collector base. I got back in to the hobby about 3 years ago after having left it in '94. I was amazed at how many of the collectors and retailers from 10 years ago were gone, but there were still a few of my old friends around.

In the last year, I have started to see a lot of new faces at the shows I attend. I personally find this encouraging, and I believe that is has to do with the hobby reaching a broader audience. This is primarily due to the efforts of manufactures and the comercial success and fan loyalty of certain properties (IMO) Big Grin. Properties like Buffy, Angel, Charmed (although I don't collect these) from TV and LOTR, Star Wars, Star Trek and Harry Potter from the movies are really starting to draw people in, and I'd like to "thank the makers" (Inkworks, Rittenhouse, Artbox & Topps) for investing in making some great sets! Big Grin

As for the idea of making "cheaper cards for Wal-mart", I think is already being done through the Hobby vs. Retail boxes. Retailers like Wal-mart, Target, Suncoast among a few others are stocking Non-sport Cards, but I'd love to see a few more jump on the wagon. Thumb Up

____________________
Thanks,

Chris
 
Posts: 920 | Location: Woodbridge, VA | Registered: August 21, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Diamond Card Talk Member
Picture of hammer
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by make-mine-marvel:
my 2-cents:

too many small-time jokers are all over the web. these are over-zealous fans that bought a whole case for the discount, and are selling a few boxes & singles. i agree this hurts the "store." only the strong will survive. many cities do not even have one really good store now.just my 2 cents.


Why can't collectors buy a case and sell-off the spares? What makes them "small time jokers"? Because "real" dealers lose business? Surely it's anybody's right to buy the cards the way they want to and sell/trade them how they want to as well. People don't "have" to buy from dealers, it's called a free market!!!
 
Posts: 11215 | Location: England | Registered: September 16, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by STCardGeek:
why? Cause Diamond hadn't sent it to the dealer yet, hello?!! 30 days of missed opportunities to pick up the cards he needs and sell of his dupes gone cause Diamond still takes forever to get orders to clients?


I think you may be being a little harsh on the dealer there ?!

I can't speak of what happens in the US, but Diamond in the UK were a complete joke when we had an account with them.

We never really ordered cards through them as we always ordered case quantity through the Trading Card and Gaming Distributors in the UK.

If the dealer you are talking about has a comic/card/figure store, it make more sense for him to order TWO boxes of 'title x' through Diamond, than it does ordering a whole case from a trading card distributor, especially only on the strength of a pre-order of two boxes.

However, if he is an exclusive non-sports card retailer, then you are right, he should have alternative sources.
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  
 

Non-Sport Update    Non-Sport Update's Card Talk  Hop To Forum Categories  Card Talk's Greatest Hits    Trading Cards - a diminishing customer base ?

© Non-Sport Update 2013