Tony Reid offers his weekly dose of happenings inside Sports Zone, the Central Pennsylvania shop where he works.
It was a steady if not overly busy week at the shop. We’ve been pleasantly surprised that the orders are still flowing, not quite like they were over the holiday season but a tick above this time last year, which is very promising. Having a strong online presence through eBay, Amazon or wherever you choose to sell is so important for hobby shops.
I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the biggest sports news and maybe national news of the week. Thankfully, Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills not only survived a potentially fatal hit, but was tweeting from his hospital bed six days later, watching his teammates return the opening kickoff touchdown. However, when things didn’t look quite so good, the morbid side of our hobby reared its ugly head.
Whenever an athlete passes away, suffers a catastrophic injury or is in the news for non-sports related topics, there are numerous cards and other items listed online, as the public tires to capitalize on it.
We have no Hamlin cards in the store, and even if we did, we would not take advantage of such a situation. Many folks in the community had agreed to blow up many of these listings online, bidding them up to astronomically high prices and not paying. That’s one way to handle it. We had one, just one, customer ask us if we were interested in Hamlin cards and we passed.
The dramatic situation has come become much bigger than football and much bigger than the sports collectibles industry, of course. Hopefully, people will now collect Damar Hamlin because of his wonderful story of survival thanks to the medical team that quickly sprang into action.
This week was another fun week of new releases that featured 2022 Mosaic Football, 2022 XR Football and a few others that we were able to offer our customers as the final week of the NFL regular season approached.
Make sure you check out my Brief Box Breaks to see what we got in the particular boxes that we opened ourselves. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t much to write about.
This week, we made a concerted effort to open a PSA dealer account, so we spent time on the phone with a few representatives that were all very helpful. We’ve spent a pile of money and sent countless cards to CSG over the past year or so, due in a large part due to the cost effectiveness of CSG and the crazy turnaround times of the bigger companies. Within the next few weeks we should have a package together where we are in an official PSA shop and can offer our collectors even more choices for having their cards graded and doing so ourselves.
I had Saturday off, so what I decided to do was go look at sports cards, of course. It was time for the annual “Shik Show” held at my alma mater Shikellamy High School in our fair city of Sunbury, PA.
The show, going strong since 1991, is a great example of how strong the hobby is in our little community. There were over 40 tables and, charging only a dollar for admission, you’d be crazy not to stop by if you are ever in town. There was a ton of modern cards, as to be expected, but also some dealers who specialized in vintage. There was definitely something for everyone, including snacks and a young autograph guest who called his appearance “surreal.”
Of course, I saw a number of people from the shop and from the local collecting community. It was great to see everyone out in full force supporting Shikellamy and the marching band that benefits from the proceeds.
As far as pricing, there were still some dealers who seem convinced that it’s still 2021. That being said, there were deals to be found. I spent a good bit of time picking through modern rookie cards in the 5 for $20 boxes and 3 for $15 boxes and fun spots like that.
Looking at cards to add to my PC was a great way to end the week. We’ll be back at it again this week, ready to ship you stuff to add to your PC.