Inspired by their colleagues in traditional retail, some sports card shops have been having their own Black Friday/Thanksgiving weekend sales, staying open late or opening extra early.
Panini passed out packs that shop owners were free to distribute as they wished, some packed with 1/1 autographs or relic cards. They were well received but ultimately it was up to the stores to keep the cash registers buzzing.
On our Facebook page, we asked shop owners how sales went on Friday and how they promoted them:
Jeff DeGraw (Matt’s Sports Cards, Joliet, IL):
On Friday, we opened at 5 am. At 4:50 am I had 11 people in my store. I was busy with customers till 11:30am when I finally had no one in the store. It picked up again in the pm...It was a long day, but worth it. Had plenty of specials, the Panini packs to give out and great ticket incentives for our monster drawing on Wed, Nov 28th.
Steve Mandy (Attack of the Baseball Cards, Union, NJ):
Didn't have a break in my store all day Friday thanks to Panini's Black Friday Promotion! I had customers waiting at my door when I arrived to open, I ate meals on the run & went from one customer to the next. In my 30 years in the hobby I'd never done well on Black Friday till Panini started running this program last year. When run correctly as it was intended to be used it's an incredible marking tool. My facebook page is loaded with photo's & a video of our customers great pulls from that day. https://www.facebook.com/attackofthebaseballcards?ref=ts&fref=ts
Mike Fruitman (Mike’s Sportscards, Aurora, CO):
Off the hizzle. We went from 9:30 PM - Midnight (Thursday night) so we could give out our Black Friday packs first and we were selling hard right up close. Today was going great for Panini releases until Topps Triple Threads hit and now it is crushing things.
Lauren Henderson (Carl's Cards, Havertown, PA):
We promoted Black Friday sales through Facebook, on our page and by making an event, Twitter and our website. Business was great for us on Friday. People definitely came in to take advantage of our sales. I think most of our customers come in to buy stuff for themselves (ha ha).
I'm not sure there is exactly one thing they were after. Everything was up for grabs because of the sale. Autograph signing tickets and wax boxes were excluded. But we sold a little bit of everything, autographed pucks and baseballs, framed items, etc. I would say we are optimistic. It'll be interesting to see if our online orders pick up from previous years or if people still like coming into the physical store and buying things. But yes, with the advances in Facebook and Twitter I think this holiday season will be good for us.
Timothy Broman (Collector’s Connection, Duluth, MN):
Opened 2 hours early. Offered "Buy One, Get One" for those first two hours. After that, rest of the day is "Buy Two, Get One". As of now, 70% of all purchases were in those first two hours. About as expected.