I must say sitting in Central Pennsylvania last week, I had a pretty legitimate case of FOMO as the collective collectibles world converged on Chicago for the National. The only thing that kept me going was that I could live vicariously through social media and the daily coverage of the show on this website. We’ve already made the decision as a store to make the trip to Atlantic City next year. It’s a little closer for us and I hope to see each and every one of you there in late July 2022.
Hoop Drop, Single Splurge
During this week’s price check and comping, we got a cold, hard dose of reality repricing our basketball packs and boxes. Every single product we had across the board, with the exception of one, had gone down since the last time we compared online prices.
The lone uptick was our random 2012-13 Panini box.
We literally went through 50 or more different products and every single one of them had decreased in value, many by a significant amount. With basketball basically being out of season now, the focus seems to be more on baseball and football. Those things, coupled with the market just softening a bit, was kind of a perfect storm for us. Basketball certainly isn’t dead–there’s still plenty of demand–but it’s not quite the sizzling market it was a couple of months ago.
Monitoring the market and adjusting as much as possible is important so we can stay competitive, but we also have to watch our bottom line.
Meanwhile, I think I finally talked the shop’s owner into becoming even more of a card shop. I joke from time to time that we carry so many other items that we almost aren’t even a card shop anymore. Of course, that’s not true but after you spend an entire day shipping, receiving and just flat out moving radio controlled cars, parts and other items around the store, you have weak moments and say things that you don’t mean.
Variety has been the shop’s calling card through the years and a big reason why we’re successful, but we also want to take advantage of the enthusiasm in the hobby for anything and everything trading cards.
We’ve recently purchased a wide array of PSA 10 and BGS 9.5 gem mint mid to higher end rookie cards in baseball, basketball, football, hockey and even some golf and tennis. I must say this makes me a very, very happy boy. There is nothing I like more than looking in our showcases and seeing legitimate heat in the form of superstar rookie cards. I can now look down and see Brady RCs, Kobe RCs, Gretzky RCs and other popular rookie cards that aren’t so expensive. They’re great attractions for our regular customers and for those who come in for the first time, but they sometimes don’t last long.
The Cost of Doing Business is Going Up
We’ve been hearing from a lot of suppliers and vendors to stock up now on various products that we carry because of the looming and ever-increasing price of containers coming from China and other places overseas. We are seeing marked cost and therefore price increases on some of the items we carry. We are trying our best to not pass that increase on to our customers.
Everything from the aforementioned RC cars to action figures and various other products are rising with no sign of a correction in place. We trying to stock up early for the upcoming holiday season so we have what we need in store. It is already making for a bit of a challenge space-wise within our four walls but we are making it work. I’ll let you know if we have to start storing product in the parking lot.
In all seriousness, we are hearing the same from many of our delivery services such as FedEx. We were told this week that shipping rates will continue to rise with no end to the price hikes in sight. We were told that we are lucky to even have our packages picked up right now. Ouch.
It was a busy week and although I worked Saturday morning, I got to enjoy the afternoon with my wife and daughter as we celebrated my 43rd (yikes) birthday. A nice, dinner out and some cake with those close to me was the perfect way to slide into an abbreviated weekend.
We have another busy week ahead in store. We have a local card show at our mall this coming weekend with a number of our regulars sure to be attending and even a few setting up tables and booths. The show scene is strong all over the country and it’s great to see the energy, even at smaller events. We’re anxious to see how this one goes, especially just after the National had such a large and enthusiastic crowd.
I’ll check in next week with all the fun from the shop and the show.