Promotions, Business Sense Keep SoCal Card Shop Alive

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.