Customer - Do you sell Topps 5 Star baseball?
Me - Yes, we have them for $420 a box
Customer - I don't want a box, I just want a pack.
Me - No problem, there is one pack in each box.
Customer - I just want one pack though.
Me - This box (now holding it) has one pack in it.
Customer - Wait, you get one pack inside that box? Why does it cost so much?
Me - Each box contains a number of autographs and low numbered relic cards including a chance a 1/1 cards.
Customer - Can I just buy one pack?
Me - You CAN buy one pack, it's just costs the same as a box?
Customer - So how much is one pack?
Do you guys sell Denver Brooncos motorcycle helmets?
Customer - Do you buy Jay Cutler cards?
Me - We are not purchasing his cards right now.
Customer - Why not?
Me - We sold his cards pretty well when he was with the Broncos.
Customer - Well my Cutler cards have him in a Broncos uniform.
Me - Since he left here, selling his cards has been a bit of a challenge.
Customer - Why is that?
Me - Well he didn't exactly leave on good terms and people got upset with him.
Customer - So that makes a difference?
Me - I wish it didn't, but it does.
Customer - I wish he wasn't such a d***.
Me - So do I sir. So do I.
Customer - How much are you paying for John Elway signed mini-helmets?
Me - It depends on who provides the certificate of authenticity.
Customer - I don't have a certificate of authenticity.
Me - I can give you the name of some companies who can certify your helmet so I can purchase it.
Customer - Do they charge to do that?
Me - Yes they do and they can tell you what they charge.
Customer - So I have to pay to get my item signed in order to sell it?
Me - Basically without a COA, I would sell it for $25.00 since it isn't certified.
Customer - Now I don't feel so badly.
Me - Why is that?
Customer - I just paid $10.00 for it at Goodwill so I'm up $15.00.
Me - Way to go sir.
Me - No sir we do not.
Customer - Why not?
Me - We don't have a strong calling for them.
Customer - Well you would sell a bunch of then if you carried them.
Me - So far sir, in 20 years, nobody has asked me for one that wasn't signed by Joe Montana, Jerry Rice or Steve Young.
Customer - Well you're missing out big time.
Me - I will take that to heart sir.
Customer - Do you sell pieces of the outfield wall from Coors Field?
Me - No sir, we do not. Have you seen them available somewhere else?
Customer - No, I just thought it would be cool to own a piece of the wall.
Me - Have you thought about calling the Rockies?
Customer - Do you think they would sell me a piece?
Me - I have no idea, but if anyone would, I'm guessing they could.
Customer - That's a great idea, I was thinking of ripping off a piece tomorrow when I am going to the game, but I might get into a trouble.
Me - Yeah, I hear they frown on that.
Customer - What happened to your front window?
Me - Some guys were playing around out front and they broke it.
Customer - I just figured someone was ticked at you.
Me - I'm sure any number of people are angry at me, but so far none have broken my windows.
Customer - Do you buy Magic The Gathering singles?
Me - No sir. We sell packs and boxes at very competitive prices, but we do not deal with single cards.
Customer - Why not?
Me - I haven't taken the time to educate myself as to which ones are good ones and which ones are commons and I simply don't have the space to work with them.
Customer - So you have room for the packs and boxes, but not the singles?
Me - Yes sir,
Customer - Well that's bull****. If you carry boxes, you should have to carry their singles.
Me - Fortunately my distributors sell me the packs and boxes without making me carry the singles.
Customer - Your prices are really good, but you had better start carrying singles.
Me - Had better?
Customer - Yeah, I'm going to stop coming here if you don't.
Me - Sir, are my box and pack prices better than the other local stores?
Customer - Yes, but they sell singles.
Me - If you feel the need to go to the other stores and pay more, you certainly can.
Customer - I'm going to just do that unless you start carrying singles.
Me - It's been good knowing you sir.
Customer - How much would you give me for this Don Mattingly jersey card?
Me - How much would you be able to sell it for?
Customer - I saw one on ebay for $100.00.
Me - That seems like a lot, can I look it up?
Customer - Sure, here you go.
Me - Sir, the book price for this card is $20.
Customer - That's wrong. It's on ebay for $100.
Me - (looking at ebay) I do see it on ebay for $100. I see that the seller is in Aurora, CO. Any chance that is you?
Customer - Yes, I figured I would sell it locally for just $50.
Me - But the card is worth $20.
Collector - Yeah, but it's on ebay for $100.
Me - I wish you the best of luck sir.
Customer - Do you buy cars?
Me - Sir, cars or cards?
Customer - I have a car I am trying to sell.
Me - Sir, are you aware that you called a sports card store?
Customer - Do you buy sports cars?
Me - It's not really what our collectors are looking for.
Customer - I have a sports car I'd like to sell.
Customer - I have a 1998 Honda Civic.
Me - That is neither a sports car or a sports card.
Customer - It goes really fast.
Me - Sir, would you like me to Google a place that might buy your car?
Customer - Yeah, would you?
Customer - Do you sell anything from Mile High Stadium?
Me - I actually have a garbage can from Mike High.
Customer - Why would I want a garbage can from Mile High?
Me - What part of Mike High Stadium did you want?
Customer - I really just wanted a piece of metal from the stadium.
Me - Why would you want a piece of metal from the stadium?
Customer - To say I owned a piece of it.
Me - Are you sure you couldn't enjoy a garbage can from the stadium?
Customer - What would I ever do with a garbage can?
Me - You could have the coolest garbage can out there if you were a Bronco fan.
Customer - No thanks, a piece of metal would be so much cooler.
Customer - I see you guys are bringing in Nate Robinson from the Nuggets for an autograph session.
Me - Yes sir, he will be here this Saturday from 4 - 5:30.
Customer - Do you ever bring in good players?
Me - Well Nate is the only 3 time Slam Dunk champion.
Customer - Yeah, but I mean good players like Magic, Bird or Jordan?
Me - Sadly we haven't had any of those players come over to sign autographs for us.
Customer - You guys suck.
Me - Thanks a lot sir. Can I answer any other questions for you?
Customer - Yeah, will you be bringing in any of those guys anytime soon?
Me - I'd like to but I have a bunch and sadly it looks like he tore his ACL in the last game.
Customer - I know, I want to get rid of all of his cards before they drop in price.
Me - Did you think I would not know that he tore his ACL?
Customer - I wasn't sure if you paid attention.
Me - Yeah, I kinda have to know when players might miss a year or so.
Customer - You mean that's important?
Me - Yes, missing a year or so can have a negative impact on a player's card values.
Customer - Later man, I'm going to call some other stores fast.
Customer - How much will you pay me for this Sammy Sosa card?
Customer - Why not?
Me - We have a great number of them and selling them doesn't seem that easy these days.
Customer - Why is that?
Me - He was alleged to have used steroids during his career.
Customer - So, is that important?
Me - It is apparently important to collectors of his cards.
Customer - Big deal he took steroids.
Me - Many people consider that to be cheating.
Customer - So, lots of people used steroids.
Me - If your wife cheated, would you stay with her?
Customer - I get your point now.
Are you guys going to sell pot?
Customer - Do you sell holders for unfolded booklet cards?
Me - Yes we do have magnetic holders for unfolded booklet cards for $10.
Customer - Why do they cost so much?
Me - I simply base my prices on what I pay for things.
Customer - That doesn't explain why they cost so much.
Me - Sir, rest assured, I don't pay $1 for them and I buy them by the case.
Customer - Can you sell me some for $2 each.
Me - Sir, I just said that I don't pay $1 each for them.
Customer - But can you sell me one for $2 ?
Me - Can I buy them from you for $1 each?
Customer - Hell no!
Me - Then I can't sell them to you for $2.00.
And my favorite call of the year .....
Me - We are able to buy some of them, but to be honest, we can only pay so much for them.
Customer - Why?
Me - Conservatively we have a hundred thousand of them or so and they are not our biggest sellers.
Customer - Why?
Me - It appears most of our collectors have a hundred thousand of them as well.
Customer - Why do you think that?
Me - Because I get about 4-5 calls like this a week.
Customer - Do you buy their cards?
Me - Not at first, but usually after they try to sell them on eBay or Craigslist I do.
Customer - Really? I would think they would sell well on there.
Me - Please give it a try and let me know how you did.
Two weeks later...
Customer - Hey, do you remember telling me to list my late 1980's and early 1990's baseball cards on ebay?
Me - Yes I do.
Customer - You owe me $10.
Me - I owe you $10?
Customer - Yeah, they didn't sell and that's how much I owe in fees.
Me - I believe I also suggested Craigslist which is free.
Customer - Yeah, but I didn't want strangers coming over to my house.
Me - Sir, I'm not going to be able to pay you $10 but I will be glad to look at your cards.
Customer - Will you give me $10 for them?
Me - I will do my best.
Customer - Can you come over to my house?
Me - Aren't I a stranger?
Customer - Yeah, but you're a professional.
Me - I'm a professional stranger?
Customer - (dial tone)
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, Colo. You can read his column here every week (or close to it), focusing on what products are selling best in hobby shops. See his eBay listings here. Enjoy new arrivals and big hits from Mike’s on Twitter. Mike’s is always looking for more friends on Facebook and you can email him at [email protected]