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Trading Cards - a diminishing customer base ?
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quote:
Originally posted by mykdude:
Dealers must learn to deal with ebay if they want to survive


You are absolutely right.

What we have done is switched all our non-sports orders for new product to box and case sales only. We don't open any of it*

* apart from the Sports product which is exactly the opposite - we open ALL of it !!!
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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in the uk what i see is the local indie card shops being bought out and closed down by a certain multiple. I see high street shops selling product retail cheaper than the wholesalers. I suspect the uk market will end up with very few indies, lots of non profit probably loss making collectors who sell online just because they like to and one or two major retailers owned by a massive like hasbro or someone.

Currently card makers are selling to indie dealers and design the product that way but as the indies are being driven out the pre orders get less and less which is probably giving them something to think about. i don't think the exchange rate is helping. It's often cheaper now to buy boxes and ship them over [even with the vat]. So that needs to be looked at.

If you go into a high st shop the average shop assistent has no idea what the cards are and you are unlikely to be able to swap or chat or meet other collectors. This is where the indie and shows win. Some people are willing to support their local dealer even though they know they can get it cheaper online.

the most asked for sets are charmed season sets and metal gear. One of the best sellers is still barbie.

From my experience of selling i know what cards i would make if i had the capital. No clues.

i sometimes read those licencing mags and think regarding character licences everyone is groping in the dark.

I do wonder how some people stay in business and figure they have another income. As Stelios [from easyjet]said when someone asked how to make a million. The best way to make a million is to start with one'.

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Posts: 167 | Location: uk | Registered: December 26, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by wolfman-golf:
Does anyone know if any card manufacturer has ever run a commercial on tv or in a newspaper for it,s card set.

.


WotC have for their Magic and Pokemon product, but thats ccg cards that have an interactive appeal as well...
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by wolfman-golf:
Does anyone know if any card manufacturer has ever run a commercial on tv or in a newspaper for it,s card set.
It would seem to me that during the show in question would be a good idea.

Nice idea,but the UK advertising laws don't allow a shows offshots or any of the stars to appear in ads whilst the show is airing i.e you wouldn't see an Angel DVD box set ad or Stewart-Head advertising coffee during an episode of Buffy or Angel.

In all the posts in this thread i've read,it seems the natural target for new fans would be the Happy Meal Yu-Gi-Oh brigade who seem to think nothing of spending £5 on a pack of new release.If there are any more packs stuck to comics,lets hope the manufacturer has the foresight to take out a page inside as well.
 
Posts: 3596 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: April 21, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by xSaBx:
The Who license (IMO) is dead and has been for some considerable time.


Interesting Shake Head...I *really* *really* wish you were right so that I could pick up the Big Finish audio adventures, books, DVDs, stamp covers, posters, Dapol and Corgi models, the 100+ cast/crew videos, the cookie jars, Cards Inc's Dr Who plates, the ongoing Dr Who Magazine oh and yes the Strictly Ink cards at ultra cheap prices. ( All the above from the last couple of years )

From my viewpoint it was the Cornerstone cards and the Dr Who RPG cards that got me into cards which then branched into Bond ( another group of collectors who have more money than me ) and LOTR

IME there is a big niche in the UK for Who stuff and some ludicrous cheque books to back large prices up ( Lifesize Dalek for £4500 ! ) and with the new series at Easter it may just reignite more ex-Who fans


quote:
Originally posted by xSaBx:
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...


Exactly so for Bond and Who Smile

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Posts: 1855 | Location: Urmston, United Kingdom | Registered: August 06, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by wolfman-golf:
Does anyone know if any card manufacturer has ever run a commercial on tv or in a newspaper for it,s card set.


Does Darren's LOTR, Potter and Bond shows on QVC count ? Certainly cards are displayed prominently there ( and their manufacturers get a name check ). I might find the prices staggering but they do seem popular Smile

____________________
"Because, I've seen him.
He's like Fire. And Ice. And Rage.
He's like the night and the storm in the heart of the Sun.
He's ancient and forever.
He burns at the centre of Time and he can see the turn of the Universe.
And...
He's WONDERFUL.
 
Posts: 1855 | Location: Urmston, United Kingdom | Registered: August 06, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have always assumed the collectables are more popular than the cards on QVC.

You are right from the point of view its exposure, but it does put people off with the high prices.

Which is not Darren's fault but QVC's as they are the ones with the high overheads. Smile
 
Posts: 1085 | Location: UK | Registered: August 31, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Who is this new member from "planet Earth" to say the hobby is dead or dying? A neighborhood gas station closed down last week. Does that mean the gas buisness is going under, or the owner does not know how to run a buisness? My local Toys R Us sold out of their Disney Pixar Treasures before I could buy a single pack. Just look at some of the prices non-sport cards are selling for on e-bay not to mention the membership increase on Card Talk and you can see the hobby is still growing. My fear is it becomes to mainstream like the Basketball cards did in the 80s which took away from their value. Bench warmers are headed in that direction. No doubt manufactors and shop owners have to do their homework to stay in buisness it is never easy to make a legal living.
 
Posts: 158 | Location: St Augustine,FL USA | Registered: October 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think that the collecting world-non sport in particular is thriving....not going anywhere that I can see.

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Posts: 1247 | Location: Idaho | Registered: July 29, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Arvin Sloane:
We've had threads about eBay before and as always there are pros and cons. Yes there is definitely a problem of sets being sold for way below show prices, but to blame this on "pseudo-dealers" is stretching it. I believe one way to rectify this problem is to make the base set harder to build.



Just to clarify, I am not blaming everything about ebay on the dealer I am just pointing out that ebay gave the collector an avenue to get rid of extra or unwanted product that he didnt have before. We cant blame him for using it when just about every dealer I know is very selective (usually very cheap) about what they buy. It was an advantage dealers had for many years and now it is gone.

I dont know if making the base set harder to build is going to do anything. Given the low box production numbers I think modern base sets will rise over time. You figure RH produces a box run of 3000 with about 3 sets per box and you only end up with 9000 base sets. That was HOT insert card numbers back in the 90's, that was a case run in some instances. You add to the fact that people are throwing sets around like they are just everywhere and I think eventually as time marches on people are going ask "what happened to that set?" "where did it go???" I still think the last Outer Limits is a sleeper set that will have long term appeal. You could call the autograph set alone a tribute to the late 80's and early 90's. Not to mention great insert sets and a nice base set.

As stated before I think the hobby is nursing itself back to health quite nicely if it ever explodes again I will probably drop out until things calm down.
 
Posts: 2736 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Cyberbats:
quote:
Originally posted by mykdude:
Dealers must learn to deal with ebay if they want to survive


You are absolutely right.

What we have done is switched all our non-sports orders for new product to box and case sales only. We don't open any of it*

* apart from the Sports product which is exactly the opposite - we open ALL of it !!!



And you are giving me a description of what you do and I respect that but it is not the only way that non-sport dealers sell on ebay. I know internet and ebay sellers that pre-sell, sell only open product, sell older products and stay away from the new stuff (until it becomes older), some sell a mix of old and new while others mix sports and non-sports.

One disturbing factor for me for new product(especially with sports) is the hype value. Year in and year out sports has a real tendancy to trample all over the previous years collectible values, so you have to sell it quick. Buying a box of sports cards is like buying a new car, you lose 25% of the value the second you take it out of the store. Now sports product is coming out so fast that you often have to sell it before the next release shows up. Hype eventually burns out collectors and if they dont stop to realize that patience will usually get them what they want at a fraction of the price, they leave the hobby in a huff with nothing good to say about it. Non sports has this problem to a certain degree but because in most instances the same titles arnt walking over each other like clock work you have what I feel is a wider variety.
 
Posts: 2736 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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First off, I would like to say that there have been lots of interesting points made by many. I don't know that I have enough knowledge of the business side to weigh in very heavily on the topic, but I'll throw in my opinion as a consumer.

Overall, I would rate my satisfaction of the hobby, as it stands now, pretty high. I think there have been some great releases over the past few years that I have been in the hobby.

And while there are collectors who wish for more of "this" type of set or "that" type of set, I don't believe there is an easy way, or any way at all, to please every single collector in the hobby 100% of the time. Relating to earlier comment about release after release of 'the hottest tv show or movie' - while many of these releases will fade away in the archives of card collecting, there will be some with staying power - licences that some company took the chance on when it was 'the hot new thing'. At one point, Star Trek was the 'hot new thing', as was Star Wars, as was Buffy, as was LotR. I'm not saying that I have a crystal ball that says these licences will still pull in major dollars many years down the road, but these are some examples of titles that have had some lasting effects and/or value in the hobby.

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Posts: 1681 | Location: Nashville, TN, USA | Registered: July 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Bytoryyz:
Who is this new member from "planet Earth" to say the hobby is dead or dying? .


Firstly I wasn't so bold as to say the hobby is dying.

I posed the question 'a diminishing customer base ?' to provoke a debate, and the debate has been interesting thus far.

The question mark makes it a question, not a statement of fact.

Who are we?

We have been retailing cards for 30 years. Surely that entitles us to instigate a debate about the state of the industry in the new millennium......
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by mykdude:

And you are giving me a description of what you do and I respect that but it is not the only way that non-sport dealers sell on ebay. I know internet and ebay sellers that pre-sell, sell only open product, sell older products and stay away from the new stuff (until it becomes older), some sell a mix of old and new while others mix sports and non-sports.

.


I totally agree.

The ebay debate is something different. Ebay is a very small part of our non-sports sales. Because we have been selling cards for 30 years - way before there were any UK card distributors proper, we have a large and loyal customer base who we supply direct.

We do sell older titles as sets, chase sets, singles etc, but my earlier point regarding selling boxes/cases related to new titles and predominantly the tv/film oriented licences.

If a company started producing comic and fantasy art titles again, then no doubt we would increase our case order quantity and begin supplying everything from singles to case cards again.

Comic and art cards have intrinsic value - they have evocative images printed on them!

The sets from tv and film titles often feature grainy poorly chosen pics, and in any case, the sets are more often than not a secondary, perhaps even minor concern in relation to the premium/chase/auto/pieceworks cards that accompany the set.
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by mykdude:
One disturbing factor for me for new product(especially with sports) is the hype value. Year in and year out sports has a real tendancy to trample all over the previous years collectible values, so you have to sell it quick. .


We don't deal in US Sports, but its interesting to learn that new titles don't retain their value...

Its different with the european/asian market. In relation to sports, we sell predominantly football (soccer) cards - and their is a always a hunger for both new and old titles alike.
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Cyberbats:
If you are a Buffy or xena fan, then the more releases the better, if you arn't....


Actually I think there are too many Buffy releases considering the show has stopped.

Xena has had just one release a year which is why I think it has sustained itself so well. Plus Xena has an incredibly strong fanbase.
 
Posts: 3862 | Location: UK | Registered: December 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by LesleyW:

Actually I think there are too many Buffy releases considering the show has stopped.

.


That probably has something to do with the manufacturer having to get every last penny out of an expensive license !

That said, it does seem that releases are dominated by a few distinct titles, whilst vast swathes of the collector base of old are ignored.

Getting new collectors into the hobby is one avenue of expanding the customer base, but surely care has to be taken to retain those collectors that are already hooked, but have nothing in terms of new releases to inspire a purchase.....
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by LesleyW:

Xena has had just one release a year which is why I think it has sustained itself so well. Plus Xena has an incredibly strong fanbase.


I totally agree !
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Kennywood:
Most people simply aren't aware that non-sport trading cards exist. Even when I tried to explain it to my own family, they kept saying that I collect baseball cards.



Glad I'm not the only one who had problems trying to explain to someone who didn't know what a trading card was what they are.

In the end I got out some of my binders to show them - I think they thought I was completely mad. Big Grin
 
Posts: 3862 | Location: UK | Registered: December 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by LesleyW:
Xena has had just one release a year which is why I think it has sustained itself so well. Plus Xena has an incredibly strong fanbase.


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Definetely agree. As a collector, I get the base set, maybe a couple of packs to try my luck and a few promos. Since I joined ebay however, and have seen some of the box prices, thats my plan for the next set I want (although I have no idea what it is yet!)

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Posts: 1956 | Location: UK | Registered: December 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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