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Trading Cards - a diminishing customer base ?
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Picture of Chris M
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Just a quick comment. I don't think the hobby is declining numbers wise (collectors). What dealers are experiencing is simply more competition. Naturally, with more competition, prices drop (try to undercut the other dealer). When your sales profits drop, you may think there are less collectors, but they are simply buying from the guy who sells everything on eBay for next to nothing (I would too, as a collector).

As a dealer, we have tried a number of things, but sadly the only thing that has kept us alive, has been expanding our product line. We now sell items not even related to trading cards.

So, while the collector base as I see it, will maintain itself or even grow, it's the dealers you'll see decline.
 
Posts: 125 | Location: Cincinnati, Ohio USA | Registered: March 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of DoctorChristmasJones
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There are currently 166 eBay auctions for "Alias Season 3" (and an additional 11 for "Alias Season Three")in the trading card section. And there isn't a frenzy for these auctions.

I find this very surprising, as the release date was less than one month ago. One month after the release of Alias 2 last year, there were close to 1000 auctions running for it.

I'm not prepared to draw any sweeping conclusions from this, but it is (to me) a striking fact.
 
Posts: 2272 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: January 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of mtlhddoc2
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I think alot of it has to do with the fact that alot of us, me included, have relatively abandoned ebay for our dealer friends, you know, you may pay 25% more to the dealer, but he/she sends you promo cards, sell sheets and gives you bulk discounts. And they do become FRIENDS, something you could never get on ebay

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Posts: 7774 | Location: Censored | Registered: November 26, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Titanium Card Talk Member
Picture of wolfie
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quote:
Originally posted by Graham:
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.

.



I never knew that. Something else i,ve learnt.

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Posts: 28273 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of wolfie
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quote:
Originally posted by dis68:
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 ?
Smile



No as most people do not have QVC so it,s reach is very limited.

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Posts: 28273 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Titanium Card Talk Member
Picture of wolfie
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quote:
Originally posted by Bytoryyz:
Who is this new member from "planet Earth" to say the hobby is dead or dying?

.



This new member is a long time dealer with a vast amount of knowledge in the selling arena, not only in cards but in many other things aswell. Wave

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Come, it is time for you to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.
 
Posts: 28273 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jane
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quote:
Originally posted by LesleyW:
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


A lot of adults unfortunately think of trading cards as a children's hobby. When I show my friends my array of autograph cards, they either look politely or marvel at the fact that I paid more than $20.00 for an autograph card, or that X card is worth over $100.00. I went to a BUFFY convention last year and watched a card dealer explain over and over what the trading cards were all about. He happened to have some BUFFY promo cards on his table for free. I heard "Oh my, do you mean there are trading cards for this?" about 100 times.

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Posts: 3016 | Location: Queens NYC | Registered: September 21, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jane:
When I show my friends my array of autograph cards, they either look politely or marvel at the fact that I paid more than $20.00 for an autograph card, or that X card is worth over $100.00.


Oh yes, the polite look, I know it well. Big Grin
 
Posts: 3862 | Location: UK | Registered: December 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Chris M:
So, while the collector base as I see it, will maintain itself or even grow, it's the dealers you'll see decline.


What effect do you think a diminshing dealer base will have on the hobby ?
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of mykdude
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quote:
Originally posted by jane:

A lot of adults unfortunately think of trading cards as a children's hobby. When I show my friends my array of autograph cards, they either look politely or marvel at the fact that I paid more than $20.00 for an autograph card, or that X card is worth over $100.00.



Jane, I think you hit on exactly why this is a hobby with
incredible "explosion" potential. Most sports cards collectors dont get the strange looks. After the boom in the late 80's everybody knows about it and when you add it to childhood memories it strikes a "fondness" chord for many people. The rise in the non-sports titles was just an after shock of the sports quake. As everyone knows "overproduction" became the headstone for the entire genre. Currently sports cards are still cranking out quite a bit, the manufacturers just got smart and broke everything into multiple release titles with different insert odds. In my opinion if Peyton Manning signs 5000 cards a year I could care less if they are inserted in one set or one hundred sets it still equals out to 5000 autographs and you can put one of whatever and it doesnt make it any more valuable to me. I think this is why we are seeing very low (in appearance) numbered autographs of very popular players going for some very low prices. Non sports is currently riding a different track. Even with multiple releases over many years you are not dealing with the sort of numbers and insert repedivness that an individual sport will release in just one year.

When you add our current low production numbers to just the right piece of publicity or some crazy high paying auction and "KA-BOOM!" Because everything (base sets to inserts) is currently very small and quality is so high I think just about every release over the past five years could be easily labled as the new golden age or "base line" if such an explosion were to occur. Not that I am in this hobby for investment or future profit but I think this is a very real possibility. All this hobby has to do is win the right popularity contest and we will all be in a very different game.
 
Posts: 3341 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of WarriorBabe
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quote:
Originally posted by DoctorChristmasJones:
There are currently 166 eBay auctions for "Alias Season 3" (and an additional 11 for "Alias Season Three")in the trading card section. And there isn't a frenzy for these auctions.

I find this very surprising, as the release date was less than one month ago. One month after the release of Alias 2 last year, there were close to 1000 auctions running for it.

I'm not prepared to draw any sweeping conclusions from this, but it is (to me) a striking fact.

Where as the Xena Art&Images set, released a few months ago, is still attracting a fair amount of attention on ebay I have noticed.

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Is beginning to realize that collecting cards is like an itch that never goes away......
 
Posts: 1959 | Location: UK | Registered: December 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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quote:
Originally posted by mykdude:
. All this hobby has to do is win the right popularity contest and we will all be in a very different game.


I get a very real sense from some collectors that they would like it to remain a small collecting community, insular looking, and that widening the appeal to a mass market would actually diminish their enjoyment of the hobby....
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Patdata
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There is a market for cards out there, you only have to look at how much is spent on Magic and other game cards. The problem for the manufacturers is finding the right licence that brings in these other card buyers. Not easy when you consider some of the big failures in the CCG market itself, like Marvel game cards. Marvel Heroclix are very popular so why did the game cards fail? There are a lot of things you have to get right to make a big hit. Getting into the psyche of people and coming up with something with mass market appeal isn't an easy task.

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Posts: 1098 | Location: Northern Ireland | Registered: February 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Patdata:
There is a market for cards out there, you only have to look at how much is spent on Magic and other game cards.


I agree with your general point, but game cards have the interactive aspect and appeal that non-sports collectors cards don't.

In the case of Magic, if you become a good enough player, you can also make a healthy living by competing in tournaments....
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of cverdec
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quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by mykdude:
. All this hobby has to do is win the right popularity contest and we will all be in a very different game.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



I get a very real sense from some collectors that they would like it to remain a small collecting community, insular looking, and that widening the appeal to a mass market would actually diminish their enjoyment of the hobby....




I'm mixed on this one. I want to see the industry grow and be healthy. I don't want the influx of new blood to turn the non-sports world into a semblance of the sports card market.

I love the fact that I personally know between 1/3 and 1/2 of the cardtalk members. I also am a huge believer in the shows and truely miss the shops. I am also very active on line through trading, auctions & card talk (of course), but as many have mentioned, this doesn't replace the personal interaction that happens at shows and stores.

I think there is a happy medium between the huge "explosion" and where we are today that would make alot of people happy.

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Thanks,

Chris
 
Posts: 920 | Location: Woodbridge, VA | Registered: August 21, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Arvin Sloane
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quote:
Originally posted by Patdata:
There is a market for cards out there, you only have to look at how much is spent on Magic and other game cards. The problem for the manufacturers is finding the right licence that brings in these other card buyers. Not easy when you consider some of the big failures in the CCG market itself, like Marvel game cards. Marvel Heroclix are very popular so why did the game cards fail? There are a lot of things you have to get right to make a big hit. Getting into the psyche of people and coming up with something with mass market appeal isn't an easy task.

Well said! We've all seen not only kids, but moms as well get swept up in some of the more recent collecting fads.
 
Posts: 2206 | Location: SD6 Headquarters | Registered: April 01, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Arvin Sloane
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If some members of this board have the view that it is better to limit the expansion of nonsport cards to the masses, it could be due to past experience.
All the recent fads were sweet deals until the original owners soldout and the new owners of the licenses went crazy saturating the market with product.
I also believe people fear companies like Inkworks and Rittenhouse would become so big that they would become Topps Jr, and the attention to detail and customer service that we have come to love and expect will no longer be there.
 
Posts: 2206 | Location: SD6 Headquarters | Registered: April 01, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by cverdec:
I love the fact that I personally know between 1/3 and 1/2 of the cardtalk members. I also am a huge believer in the shows and truely miss the shops. I am also very active on line through trading, auctions & card talk (of course), but as many have mentioned, this doesn't replace the personal interaction that happens at shows and stores.

.


The sense of community within the hobby is very appealing and I can understand why people wouldn't want that threatened...
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Earth... mostly !!!! | Registered: January 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of mykdude
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quote:
Originally posted by Cyberbats:
quote:
Originally posted by mykdude:
. All this hobby has to do is win the right popularity contest and we will all be in a very different game.


I get a very real sense from some collectors that they would like it to remain a small collecting community, insular looking, and that widening the appeal to a mass market would actually diminish their enjoyment of the hobby....


And I am probably one of those collectors but what I am talking about probably wont care what current collectors think or want.


quote:
Originally posted by Arvin Sloane:
I also believe people fear companies like Inkworks and Rittenhouse would become so big that they would become Topps Jr, and the attention to detail and customer service that we have come to love and expect will no longer be there.



I guess I would veiw this just the opposite. Topps lack of attention to detail, poor website navigation with a latency in updates and questionable customer service is just bad management and has nothing to do with their size. If Inkworks or Rittenhouse (even NSU for that matter) have the opportunity to become "Topps Jr" (or better yet full fledged Topps compitition) then I would fully applaude and support it. These companies have built themselves from the ground, paid their dues and deserve any amount of success they can achieve. My little card collection should not cause me to be so whiny and selfish that I get upset over someone "honestly" building the American dream.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: mykdude,
 
Posts: 3341 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Chris M
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quote:
Originally posted by Chris M:
So, while the collector base as I see it, will maintain itself or even grow, it's the dealers you'll see decline.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



What effect do you think a diminshing dealer base will have on the hobby ?


A diminishing dealer base will benefit the few dealers that remain and cause higher prices for collectors. You would most likely see less product available.
 
Posts: 125 | Location: Cincinnati, Ohio USA | Registered: March 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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