Whether they were selling three-year-old boxes of football cards, someone else’s 1966 Topps Luis Aparicio or freshly signed photos of Aaron Judge, major players in the sports collectibles industry say holiday shopping promotions have resulted in record-setting sales.
Blowout Cards, which offers minute-by-minute specials for several hours on Black Friday, reported a double-digit sales increase from 2016 with conversion rates from web traffic “at an all-time high,” according to owner Tom Fish.
Blowout sold a record number of heavily discounted boxes and cases, mostly products produced in the last several years. According to Fish, among the best selling items were 2014 Turkey Red football boxes (at $4.95 each with one autograph inside) and any 2016-17 basketball products with Ben Simmons rookie cards. A strong MLB rookie class didn’t hurt either.
“2017 Topps baseball, across the board, continues to drive sales,” Fish told SC Daily.
Blowout was still processing Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday orders as of Wednesday, but anticipated having all orders on the way to customers in the next few days.
Online trading card consignment seller COMC called its annual Black Friday and Cyber Monday “an overall huge success,” with more traffic to its website Friday than any other day in company history.
“Over the four-day sales event, we saw a nearly 35% increase in site visits over Friday-Monday of the previous week, and more than double the amount of page views,” stated Grant Wescott, COMC’s Senior Business Analyst. “Customers spent over 25% more time shopping on the site as well.”
Like most major hobby businesses, COMC doesn’t release specific sales figures, but said that coupled with a previous online promotion conducted November 6-16, it had shipped 25% more cards in the month than the same time period in 2016.
Online mega-retailer Fanatics, which operates SportsMemorabilia.com and Fanatics.com says NFL quarterbacks (even injured ones) have been among its hottest sellers during the early part of the holiday buying season. Sales of Carson Wentz items are up a whopping 748%, followed by Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Le’Veon Bell and Drew Brees. Other hot selling athlete autographs were Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews (up 331%), Las Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid.
An exclusive autograph deal with 2017 American League Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge has been worth it for the company so far.
Wentz and Judge were neck-and-neck for overall product sales for November, with the two young stars topping sales charts for all sports.
While Friday and Monday have traditionally been among the most heavily promoted sale days of the shopping season, many companies have opted to continue at least a portion of their sales through the week.