by Keith Neuhart
It seems as though at this time of year, many of the year’s best products hit the shelves. Topps Baseball, Limited Football, SP Authentic Football, and Plates and Patches have all been released in the last couple of weeks. The new releases always bring collectors who are anxious to get a look at them. The release of 2012 Topps is something hobbyists look forward to all winter as it marks the start of baseball and the upcoming spring.
Needless to say, most collectors spend their hard earned money on the new products. However, there are always those who come into the shop and spend their time browsing through our vintage selection.
People always ask me how the economy has affected my business. My answer is always the same. Collectors will always have money to spend on the items that make them happy. And vintage collectors always spend when they find a card they need to upgrade their set or a card that brings back a childhood memory. Located in central Ohio, we always have success selling Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Rocky Colavito, and Jim Brown.
Lately, though, I have seen a trend in the shop that either I have not noticed before or has just become popular. Collectors and investors buying raw vintage cards planning to send them in for grading and make money if those cards come back with high grades. They sell for a premium to those who are putting together graded sets or buying graded star cards.
I have seen more than a couple collectors bring their monthly SMR magazines from PSA to the store while looking through our vintage selection. If they find a card that meets their criteria, they will look in their SMR for a value. If the value is there, the decision is made and the card is purchased. If the value is not there, they will keep looking. Don't get me wrong, I am fine with this if it leads to a couple of sales. After all, ultimately it is my job to provide the cards collectors are looking for in return for some of their hard earned money.
Keith Neuhart of Neuhart Cards in Delaware, Ohio will be posting a short piece every week, helping us take the pulse of the hobby. He'll tell us what's hot and what's heating up in the retail world of sports cards and sports memorabilia. Keith traded in his stockbroker uniform after 16 years to follow his dream and open a sports card shop about a year ago. He's sold on eBay since shortly after the site launched in the 1990s. You can reach Keith through his website, NeuhartCards.com.