He started his brick-and-mortar business at the height of the sports card boom of the early 1990s, opening a 500-square-foot shop. Twenty-nine years later, Joe Davis is still at it. J&J Sports Cards, his Atlanta area hobby shop and Got Baseball Cards, his online business, are thriving, better now even than in those crazy days of the latter part of the junk wax era.
A production and content team from eBay recently paid a visit to Davis’ 10,000-square-foot facility in Loganville, GA and is highlighting Got Baseball Cards in its 25th anniversary celebration of some of the company’s top sellers.
Davis opened his first packs of baseball cards as a child in the 1970s and fell in love with collecting. He bought and sold through hobby publications of the time and promoted shows in Georgia. He was still a college student when he opened his first storefront in 1991.
These days, Davis is well-known among colleagues in the sports card industry and customers across the country. In all, his inventory consists of approximately 10 million cards and collectibles. He has sold 238,000 items through eBay over the last ten years; over 28,000 in 2019 alone.
This year? It’s been a whirlwind, despite the pandemic. His eBay sales more than doubled from the first quarter of 2020 to the second quarter. Sales have been skyrocketing thanks to new collectors entering the market and collectors from years ago using their downtime to get back into the hobby.
“We’ve got a whole country returning to their youth, and they’re buying things that maybe they couldn’t afford back then,” Davis said.
Davis said opening his eBay store in 1998 helped change the course of his business. Not only did it open a fresh sales funnel that’s always open and reaches around the world but helped him build a long-term customer base and even helped him determine which items sold best and how to price items at the right level.
“It’s not one specific sale that stands out, but 22 years of sales that have led to friendships with collectors all over the globe,” he said.
A couple of years ago, J&J/Got Baseball Cards moved to a three-story facility that includes retail space along with areas for handling mail orders and processing collections that are purchased. He’s also doing online box breaks.
Got Baseball Cards currently has over 600,000 items listed on eBay, ranging from vintage cards and memorabilia to current sports card boxes and graded cards.