Want to run a successful sports card shop? This may be the blueprint.
Hundreds of new sports memorabilia shops popped up during the baseball card boom of the late 80s and early 90s. A few years later, the buzz was off and a lot of those start-ups hit the finish line faster than planned.
But the good stores --and the good business people--stuck around. Their success was built on customer service, keeping a toe in the vintage sports card market and running their shops like any good retailer would. Promotions and an ever-evolving sense of what will sell has helped South Bay Cards in Lomita, California beat the odds.
Owner Scott Allen says it's a family affair. "There are 4-, 5-, 6- and 7-year-olds that want to know about Ty Cobb," he says.
The shop is successful enough to give away thousands of dollars worth of cards every couple of months--which naturally brings in even more business. Max Zimbert does a little business blogging about the shop in the Daily Breeze.