Early this week, we had our new rep from FedEx come in with his boss and a few other associates to wine and dine us in an effort to capture some of our shipping business. By wine and dine, I mean bringing Original Italian Pizza from two doors down and a two liter of Diet Pepsi, which is wining and dining by my standards. This is a road we’ve been down before with every other major shipping company and some of the minor ones, too. If were shipping an item that weighs one pound or below, USPS is so dirt cheap that their rates would blow anyone else out of the water. Even with said rates increasing a bit over the past few months and years, the old post office still offers rates that no one else can touch, not even M.C. Hammer.
The business that UPS, FedEx, DHL and the other carriers are bidding for is essentially our business above one pound. We seem to use all other carriers pretty evenly when we’re talking the pound-plus range it just totally depends on the rate when we’re pulling the order up on Shipstation. By this time we know our zones and the rates all too well and it’s a pretty straightforward deal. But to these other companies’ credit, they’re always trying to be creative and get us better rates. That’s never a bad thing.
Part of Sunbury’s Scavenger Hunt
We’re trying to get in the fun holiday-ish spirit as we have been dubbed for our local town scavenger hunt. This involves certain codes that need to be tracked down but ultimately there are thousands of dollars worth of prizes and we’ve already had people in asking about the program and spending time trying to figure out certain clues, so it’s definitely been fun for the community already.
New Arrivals…Minus QB Autographs
Over the last week and change, we’ve been receiving all of the big releases including 2023 Topps Chrome Update Baseball in all of its forms. Weve snagged Optic Contenders, basketball, Panini Elite Tmall Football and the biggest release of the newish football season in 2023 Certified football.
Not that it’s breaking news but we’ve really been noticing the lack of autographs from most of the top tier rookie quarterbacks in the recently released products. We’ve already dropped the price of Certified, as there are no autographs of CJ. Stroud, Will Levis or Bryce Young that we can see on any checklist. One of our biggest customers was in Saturday and he and I were having that conversation and I said to him that it appears as though Michael Rubin, the owner of Fanatics has locked up the top tier rookie QB talent, and that’s going to be his way to battle Panini in these last few rounds before the official takeover takes place. Sure, the top quarterbacks will have base cards, parallels, numbered cards and even memorabilia, but don’t be shocked to see a complete lack of John Hancocks throughout the season. Like I mentioned, that’s not necessarily breaking news, but it’s starting to affect the hobby in real world time in our shop.
It’s interesting that Wild Card has a plethora of autographs of all the great rookie quarterbacks and that might be the only place to find them this year. Of course, that means settling for college uniforms, and a lot of creative photoshopping and air brushing but that might be your only option this year. On a positive note, Colts (injured) rookie QB star Anthony Richardson appears to have sigs in almost every product, so there’s that.
New Repack Product Set for Launch
To the owner’s credit, he’s always trying to work on new in-house products. Many of those include repacks and our newest is a PSA graded autograph repack product. The checklist is pretty star-studded and we’ve had great response in store and we’re about ready to launch it online so we’re eagerly awaiting to see how this is received by the community but like I said, the names in this product are big stars and many of the autographs are from high end products. This product is going to be part of our big push into the holiday season.
Card Show Incoming
I’m personally getting pretty excited for Saturday’s Susquehanna Valley Mall card show. It’s a great local 40-table show I’ve attended numerous times over the years and I’ve also taken my little daughter Isabella to the past few and she loves it.
I’ve been saying forever that we need to get a table there just to experience the show from a seller’s perspective at least once. So, that’s exactly what we’re going to do. I’ve been picking my spots to get my inventory ready. I will have multiple 5,000 count boxes full of 50 cent cards, a few full of dollar cards and smaller boxes with $2 cards, $5 cards and up as well as two solid showcases with some of our better inventory.
In the category of good timing, I submitted a number of vintage cards to PSA as well as some modern autographs and they are all coming back this week in the lead up to the show which is really working out well for us. I’ll be sure to document the whole experience and share it with our readers very soon.
That about wraps up the talk from our shop for this week. I’m looking forward to a fun-filled weekend store and a fun-filled Saturday afternoon at the mall with my baby girl. Wish us luck.