One of my favorite things to do working in a card shop every day, is follow sports closely and have the opportunity to be able to come in the shop and thumb through our various row boxes and find rookie cards of guys who are flying under the radar. I will check box scores, league leaders and highlights on ESPN each morning before getting my day started and I inevitably end up finding a player or two that we had relegated to our common boxes.
Most recently a few young cats in the NBA have caught my eye including Anfernee Simons, the Portland Trailblazers shooting guard who is finally coming into his own after a few years in the league.
Following in the footsteps and path of Damian Lillard, Simons has become a bonafide young star averaging north of 23 points per game. As I was looking at cards of him at the shop, nothing major jumped out but a customer came in with a few boxes of cards to sell and, sure enough, he had a few Prizm rookies and things of that nature. The very next night Simons went off for 45 points.
Another young player who’s been well under the radar is Alperen Sengun. The Houston Rockets big man is averaging double digit points and nearly double digit boards. The Turkish big man is another guy I was looking to find in some of our under appreciated and neglected boxes of cards. I didn’t manage to find any but again our customer Colin came through. He was the aforementioned who brought in the boxes with the Simons cards also had a few of Senguns, so I managed to snag those, too. Nothing too crazy, just a few decent RCs of the young guy. Most remain pretty inexpensive.
Someone definitely the other end of that temperature scale is ice cold Zach Wilson. The once much heralded young Jets quarterback now finds himself on the bench. We have a decent amount of his cards, so if he doesn’t turn it around at some point this season we’ll probably be taking a loss on those. Remember when Baker Mayfield cards were going for five figure prices? Someone dropped six figures on his National Treasures NFL Shield 1/1 in October of 2021. He was released by the Panthers Monday.
Not every high draft pick sees up arrows every month.
Zigging and Zagging
We’ve seen sales of some our repack graded card boxes dip in recent week so we opted to offer them as singles instead. We had graded thousands of cards that were intended for those grab bag-type boxes we sell but have now packed them in two-row boxes and put them out on the counter at prices that aren’t much more than the cost of grading.
We’re hoping to move a few hundred cards at a great discount to our customers. Sometimes breaking even or taking a slight loss is best so you can put that money into things that are more profitable.
Night Time Hours and New Arrivals
The shop’s online orders been on the uptick each day since Thanksgiving. We’ve been staying incredibly busy in the back room and out front with our walk in traffic in the lead up to the holidays.
Thursday night was what our town calls Late Night Shoppers, so participating stores on Market Street are open until 8 o’clock instead of the usual 5 or 6, giving locals a chance to support our fair city of Sunbury, PA. There are refreshments, door prizes, a scavenger hunt and other fun aspects brought into the equation. Those few hours led to a lot of walk-in traffic, but most people were just browsing. We did manage to pick up a few extra sales, however, and hopefully some will come back during the remainder of the season. If nothing else, we got ahead of the game on our shipping for the next day.
This week saw the photogenic 2022 Topps Stadium Club Baseball show up at the shop. Our allotment of boxes didn’t last long as the Stadium Club name recognition carries weight as do the beautiful cards and increasingly nice inserts found in the product.
Two autographs per box doesn’t hurt this popular annual release either. With roots in the early 1990s, it’s sort of a “cross generation” release that our collectors look forward to.
We also saw the much anticipated 2022 Absolute Football Hobby boxes hit our store. Those have been selling well and you can definitely take a look at the box we broke in store right here.
My weekend was a weekend off in which my wife and I traveled to Oaks, PA for the Philly Show, which you can also read about here. As someone who works in a shop, I find it valuable to get out and see pricing on some of the modern boxes and singles, take in some of the hobby buzz and just get a feel for the market.
It was another busy week at Sports Zone and I’m sure there’s a busy one lying ahead as that’s to be expected this time of year. I’ll pull myself away from the backroom and check in again soon.