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Trading Cards - a diminishing customer base ?
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quote:
Originally posted by cverdec:
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.




Curious, if its not an inpertinent question, when you left the hobby, was it anything to do with the hobby itself ?
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by hammer:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by make-mine-marvel:
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!!!


Your absolutely right.

As a collector, you want the best deal on price - buying case quantity makes sense, and everything that doesn't make its way into your collection, or is not traded for things you need is dead money to you, so the sensible thing is to get rid, sell it cheaply and raise funds for your next purchase.

However, the corollary of that is that dealers will go out of business, or turn to new product lines.

Eventually that works its way up the foodchain.

If dealers don't bother ordering multi-case quantities from their manufacturers because they know collectors will be putting sets on ebay for 99c/99p, distributors will not place significant pre-orders with manufacturers - they don't want to be sat on cases of cards that will be closed-out do they ?

Case in point - at a recent fair we attended, you could pick up boxes of the most recent Doctor who at 10.00/box, and there was case quantities of it available.

How can a recent product, a limited edition product, a quality product packed with autographs, chase etc be only 10.00/box if the hobby is so vibrant ?

Great news for the collector short-term, worrisome for the hobby in the long-term.....
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Cyberbats:

Case in point - at a recent fair we attended, you could pick up boxes of the most recent Doctor who at 10.00/box, and there was case quantities of it available.

.....



This is why dr who autographs are worthless. Mad

Until this dumping of left over boxes stops who is going to buy boxes at £45 when they first come out.

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Posts: 27028 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by wolfman-golf:

Until this dumping of left over boxes stops who is going to buy boxes at £45 when they first come out.


In this case the question you really need to be asking is why were so many boxes made in the first place? It would appear that the manufacturer of this product didn't have an accurate gauge of the actual demand for this title.
Rittenhouse has releases which vary from 4,000-10,000 boxes. Obviously they have done their homework and have a pretty good grasp on what the market for any given title will be able to absorb.
 
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I believe the set in question only had a print run of 3000 boxes which for a license like Dr Who should not have been too many.

The reason they are not selling is that people know that they will be dumped not long after the initial release.

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Posts: 27028 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by wolfman-golf:


This is why dr who autographs are worthless. Mad

Until this dumping of left over boxes stops who is going to buy boxes at £45 when they first come out.


Thats right, collectors AND dealers won't buy product they know will be dumped, and dealers who rely on selling cards to make a living will not purchase the quantities required to sustain a print run if they know anyone (and more specifically collectors) can purchase case quantity and undercut them massively on price, as they are not subject to the same stringent business practices and taxes.
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by wolfman-golf:
I believe the set in question only had a print run of 3000 boxes which for a license like Dr Who should not have been too many.

The reason they are not selling is that people know that they will be dumped not long after the initial release.



... and that takes us back to my original point that instigated this thread.

If small print runs (miniscule by mid-nineties standards) of 3000 boxes for a popular title are being closed-out - there is a malaise within the hobby, and instead of being complacent, Manufacturers should be seeking to bring the hobby to a wider audience.
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by wolfman-golf:
I believe the set in question only had a print run of 3000 boxes which for a license like Dr Who should not have been too many.



I'd have to disagree here. I'd say it's probably about 1500 boxes too many. The Who license (IMO) is dead and has been for some considerable time.

However, if we look at Rittenhouse, they've not been fairing that well either. Six Feet Under was quite heavily devalued, despite a reduction in the print run. Same could be said for Outer Limits. Then, look at Inkworks and their movie releases. Catwoman hardly set the world alight, did it? Even Artbox made a major miscalculation on how much product the Potter license could easily sustain...

I think the big winners last year were, not surprisingly Topps, who hold two of the strongest overall product licenses. Both LoTR and Star wars have fans who buy stuff *as well as* trading cards. That's the big difference, if you have a fan base who'll not just go for the cards but the replica anything, the models, the DVD's...

Personally, I think that if you want a hit, you gotta find the license that pulls in the big bucks. Rittenhouse has trek & Xena, Inkworks has Buffy and the spin-offs. Everyone's looking for the Next Big Thing, and as a result everything *else* is gravy... Big Grin

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Posts: 5362 | Location: The South East, United Kingdom | Registered: June 07, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by xSaBx:
quote:
Originally posted by wolfman-golf:
I believe the set in question only had a print run of 3000 boxes which for a license like Dr Who should not have been too many.



I'd have to disagree here. I'd say it's probably about 1500 boxes too many. The Who license (IMO) is dead and has been for some considerable time.




Wouldn't the costs of only producing 150 cases far outweight the potential margin for the manufacturer ?
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Cyberbats:
Wouldn't the costs of only producing 150 cases far outweight the potential margin for the manufacturer ?



I've no idea. You could ask him, I suppose Big Grin

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Posts: 5362 | Location: The South East, United Kingdom | Registered: June 07, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by xSaBx:

Everyone's looking for the Next Big Thing, and as a result everything *else* is gravy... Big Grin


If thats true, things are looking grim !

I think the hobby has pretty much forgotten about the comics/cards crossover and as a result lost alot of collectors into the bargain.

Alot of collectors have been marginalised and disenfranchised because there is nothing being released for them - where are the marvel and x-men comic sets ? We have the films (spiderman, Hellboy, Electra, X-Men etc) and the film cards, but they are a pale imitation of the vibrant artwork that inspired them.

Buffy is popular, but we are even seeing Buffy titles being heavily discounted and closed-out now.

If you are a Buffy or xena fan, then the more releases the better, if you arn't....
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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quote:
Originally posted by hammer:
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!!!


No way am I jumping too far into that potential quicksand Wink But, I will stick my toe in Wink
Collecting is one of the few arenas were collectors can get wholesale access and I do think it's a problem, but collectors don't, hence the quicksand concern Wink
We don't have wholesale access to clothes, food and whatnot in this free market, but people don't seem to be taking up arms against THAT WinkThe pyramid of manufactuer to distributors to retailers to collectors is all askew but we don' tthink twice when The local housewife can't walk into Sears and get a wholesale account or Kroger's or Wal-mart either...and yet many deem it their god given right to have wholesale access to cards, and darn the consequences Wink
That doesn't mean I think they're jokers, though...:kiss kiss:

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Posts: 4093 | Location: Pittsboro, NC USA | Registered: November 30, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Miscalculation is part of business. If you want that next big liscence you gotta take some chances. Catwoman is a perfect example, Inkworks got in there and got the liscence before all the details and early reviews were in because initially it looked like a sure thing, superhero movie starring Halle Berry in a skimpy costume seems like a sure-fire hit but it didn't work out but it was a risk worth taking. Every new set carries with it an element of risk but some sets have such limited appeal you wonder why they are made (eg: 6 feet under)

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Posts: 5140 | Location: Vancouver/B.C./Canada | Registered: October 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Cyberbats:
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 ?!

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.

The order was for a case of product, something one doesn't need to rely on Diamond, for so I'm inclined to think I wasn't being too harsh. If the local dealer wanted to keep his custoemr happy, he's find another avenue, such as getting a direct account. Diamond is there for one or two box orders, sure, but even then I'm not sure you keep someone happy over the long run with a month or so delay, even simple box order customers want their stuf N O W and since I consider their happiness a massive prioirtiy, I'd not be able to utilize DIamond even if I only had one or two boxes on preorder.

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Posts: 4093 | Location: Pittsboro, NC USA | Registered: November 30, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Cyberbats:
Alot of collectors have been marginalised and disenfranchised because there is nothing being released for them - where are the marvel and x-men comic sets ? We have the films (spiderman, Hellboy, Electra, X-Men etc) and the film cards, but they are a pale imitation of the vibrant artwork that inspired them.



Tastes have changed, something a lot of people seem to have overlooked. Ask an average 16 year old what he collects now as opposed to what the same age group would have coveted 10 years ago...

It is going to be safer for the 'big names' to concentrate on the licenses they *know* that sell, as opposed to the ones they're not sure of. I know some people have questioned Inkworks' choice for a Sopranos license, but I think that could be another one of these franchises that has a wider pull than just cards.

There are plenty of smaller companies out there making cards. There is a lot of variety, you just have to look for it. The problem is that if you want to make money from cards... well, it's going to get harder and harder. One can only hope that the people who aren't registered for tax and are skimming a quick buck from online emporiums will end up being caught up with or going bust, just like it was the last time there was a boom. Then, those people with a proven track record and real business sense can ride things out as they have before and get back to the business of promoting a hobby, not just looking for the next get rich quick scheme.

Anyone who's been in this hobby long enough knows real dealers are, and can make some sensible guesses at who we'll see drop by the wayside when the next purge comes...

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Posts: 5362 | Location: The South East, United Kingdom | Registered: June 07, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by STCardGeek:
The order was for a case of product, something one doesn't need to rely on Diamond, for so I'm inclined to think I wasn't being too harsh. .


Yes, you're right. When you said 'boxes' in your original post, I thought you meant 'boxes' as opposed to a case.

The Dealer should have cancelled the case order with Diamond and had his local card distributor supply his demand.

As I said previously, Diamond were a very difficult company to deal with when we had an account.

One of their regular and dishonourable tricks was, if you ordered a case of a product, they would despatch the contents in TWO separate shipments and then charge the higher 'per cdu' price instead of the discounted case price.

Obviously any case incentives didn't reach you either because according to their system you had received an order of six boxes and an order of four boxes instead of a ten box case.
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by xSaBx:
Tastes have changed, something a lot of people seem to have overlooked. Ask an average 16 year old what he collects now as opposed to what the same age group would have coveted 10 years ago...

.


You say '...what he collects...'

I think the average 16 year old male is more interested in Spiderman, the Matrix, Horror films, blood gore snot and loud music than the more 'girly' things like Charmed and Buffy.

Have a think about your customer base, yourself and your friends.

In our case, its the female of the species that will be looking for the Buffy, Charmed, Xena cards, whilst the males want sports, comic art, manga, anime and horror.

Cards may have changed over the years but females are still drawn to things that involve narrative and are driven primarily by the inter-relationships of the characters, whilst males are drawn to portrayals of conflict and blood stained heroic action.

Its great that there are many more female collectors in the hobby now than there was 10 years ago, but 'collecting anything' is still a male dominated pursuit, and if you marginalise the male collector, you diminish the foundation of your hobby.....
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Cyberbats:

Yes, you're right. When you said 'boxes' in your original post, I thought you meant 'boxes' as opposed to a case


I'm not 100% xure it matters if the client wanted a case or boxes IF he's unhappy. Sure, it's better for the dealer to go where he can get just the two boxes he needs rather then get a full case of product he can't use, BUT, if he's gonna lose clients cause they're unhappy with the delay, what good is it doing him? As a delaer, he either needs to figure out a way to keep his customer happy or stop offering a luke-warm service.
The original comment that I was responding to was when you wondered if there was a connection between 'small time jokers' and the disappearance of the hobby dedicated knowledgable store" I maintain it's less about the jokers and more about not adjusting to changes in the marketplace which is a thread I see creep up in several areas. I have faith that a local dealer CAN make it in the current climate with ALOT of effort.
I agree the dealer/collectors or whatever we want to call it other then jokers have an effect, but that's wandering back towards that quicksand I'm afraid of Wink

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Posts: 4093 | Location: Pittsboro, NC USA | Registered: November 30, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Trading Cards - a diminishing customer base ?



no

simple Big Grin

plus im not in the correct state to wirte a proper reply to this
 
Posts: 1616 | Location: UK | Registered: November 29, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cyberbats-
No, not an inpertinent question at all. As a matter of fact I almost put the answer in my original post.

I got out of the hobby because my life went through alot a changes. I started a career, created a few more bills, etc. It just dropped on my priority list.

I also think that my lack of interest at the time was due to the BIG Marvel push that was happening in the comic/card world. I have always been a HUGE Batman fan, and I enjoyed Wildstorm when they were first coming out. The market seemed to get flooded with Spider-Man, X-Men and Marvel product, and I wasn't finding much that I really liked. It was also pre-eBay, and 2 card shops shut down, and 2 comic stores near me all but stopped carrying cards. It just got hard to get hold of new product (I was primarily a pack buyer, so I wasn't in a position to ask the local comic stores to order me a box of "????"). This was also when the Magic CCG first hit the scene, and it seemed like these were the only cards anyone ever had in stock.

No one factor really, just the overall feel of the industry at the time combined with some of the usual "coming of age" things.

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Chris
 
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