Tony Reid offers his weekly dose of happenings inside Sports Zone, the Central Pennsylvania shop where he works.
Early this week, on top of our usual shipping and receiving, we did a small buyout of a number of different sports related die-cast vehicles, from Hummers to ATVs to bullpen carts and everything else under the sun.
In all honesty, there are times where I walk into the back room and just shake my head with the amount of back stock, overstock and dead stock we have. Like I say pretty much every week, we are very diverse, and we are trying new products and items regularly but sometimes we do that to excess, and that becomes frustrating at times. I’m a super organized person and I try to keep everything in our back room to where it makes sense. Sometimes that becomes a challenge too big to manage.
Ultimately this is not my business, so it’s not my decision, generally speaking but I’m not going to sugar coat it. When I saw cases and cases and boxes of boxes of 20-plus year-old die cast team logoed Hummers (who has a Hummer anymore?), I was less than enthused.
I’m thinking this won’t end well but I will definitely keep you posted in the weeks to come. There is a reason the stuff was sold to us for pennies on the dollar and that reason isn’t because they are super popular and easy to sell with a nice margin. I hope I’m wrong.
One category that we restocked on that is a great seller for us are the Riddell NFL mini helmets. These have done well for us, almost across-the-board, for years now. In our recent restock we even picked up some of the old serial numbered pieces from the early 2000s.
These guys are a tad bigger than the standard mini helmet with a little more detail and the serial number. These literal throwbacks are a higher quality version of what you see on the shelves today.
On the card front, we now have the newly released 2022 Topps Chrome Platinum in stock. Hobby boxes which offer one chrome autograph card per box. They rehash the classic 1953 Topps card design.
Although this is a scenario we’ve seen time and time again, these cards are actually really nice. There are some very cool color parallels, low numbered cards, and all that fun stuff. There’s one autograph per box. We have them on the shelves for $95 per box. A fun box like this at this relatively low price point usually does well for us.
We also got the highly anticipated 2023 National Treasures Football, which sold out almost immediately via our online store.
One of my favorite aspects of my job is when cards walk in off the street. This week, one of our regulars had a few boxes for us to go through and I managed to find a few cards to purchase myself including a really nice 2004 Leaf Rookies and Stars Fans of the Game Michael Phelps autograph.
This is a gorgeous and borderline iconic first card and first auto of the iconic swimmer and Olympian.
On Friday, we had a gentleman who’s been in a number of times recently drop off a box, a bag and a binder of 1963 through 1965 Topps baseball cards, including a number of star cards and even a few rookies from that time frame.
Like I always say, it never gets old seeing vintage cards come through the front door. I might even have to add the 1965 Topps Phil Neikro rookie card to my PC.
This past week there was a young kid that has been spending more and more time in the shop. It was such a regular and hours long occurrence that we started wondering what was up. As we started to talk to the kid a bit more and ask questions, it turned out he and his family are getting evicted from their home in town. To add even more drama to the situation, Friday was his 12th birthday. He’s more into the RC cars than anything else. The boys in the shop chipped in and basically fixed his ragged and decrepit vehicle, replacing about eight different pieces and parts. They miraculously got it fixed and running for him. He was so happy when he picked it up.
What a great way to end the week. Hopefully we helped brighten up his day during what I’m sure is a very difficult time.