Props to Topps…and a card shop is born.
It’s been a pretty interesting week. The positive financial news from Topps would seem to indicate that the hobby is pretty strong. Sales of new cards are up and even though it really takes a few of those strong quarterly reports to make a trend, it has to be encouraging to card shop owners who depend on customers for their livelihood…or for ‘weekend warriors’ who like the extra income from card shows.
There was a lot of concern that kids have drifted away permanently, more concerned with playing video games and surfing the net. It is a much more confusing hobby than it was when those of us in our 30s and 40s were growing up –and I wish gas stations and drug stores still carried cards right next to the candy counter. But it’s better than it was.
The partnership Topps created with Madden was a stroke of genius. Whether you’re a fan of Topps products or not, it’s a good sign…and Topps admits it played a big role in helping grow their business in the second half of 2006. Hopefully the other companies are doing as well.
I had fun writing the story about Dan Fox opening his card shop in Marion, IL. That’s about 2 hours from SportsCollectorsDaily.com’s world headquarters and so we take a special interest in those kinds of stories. He’s just a guy who thought his town needed a shop and so he decided to combine that mission with his hometown’s need for downtown redevelopment and build one of the nicest stores you’ll ever see.
He’s invested a ton of money and skeptics will say he’s going to have to be open 24 hours a day to make it go. But that’s the beauty of our hobby in the 21st century..you can be open 24/7. Brick and mortar during the day plus internet sales will work if you know what you’re doing. I have a feeling Dan and his crew have a clue. They’re also banking on a lot of traffic coming from fans who visit Marion’s new ballpark, built to house the city’s Frontier League baseball team that will begin play this summer and this weekend he’s busy doing a private signing with a Major Leaguer.
It’s nice to see even one shop open in the Midwest. I live in a city of over 100,000 and we only have one well-rounded store. Two have closed in the last couple of years but it’s really no different than any other business. Work hard, be smart and treat customers well and you’ll do OK. Catch part II of the series this coming week.