The last week of 2021 found us still very busy in the shop and online. The post holiday drop off hadn’t hit quite yet. Apparently people were still spending their Christmas money and looking to add to their collections.
It was great to have our guy Kyle back in the helping most of the week. He was home for winter break and decided to give us a much needed hand. He will be with us through mid-January, so I’m excited for that fact.
Our PSA 10 mystery boxes are still flying off the shelves. That has been a real hit for us since it’s inception just a few weeks back. Of course, we have been actively buying up PSA 10 modern rookie cards in a price range that makes sense for us to offer the blind boxes at $50 apiece. There seem to be plenty of them to go around so far.
We have been looking into different packaging options for the cards, too. We have created our own stickers and boxing options but that might not be sustainable over the long term.
Trying to come up with innovative ways to offer products consumers want is one of a hobby shop’s toughest jobs and just a little creativity goes a long way.
There are far worse ways to spend $50 in the current card market than guaranteeing yourself a PSA 10 rookie card of a current star player. Case in point would be the 2021 Elements Football Hobby box we saw opened in the store this week. A very young collector came in and dropped over $400 to walk out with five cards with very little actual value. As a shop owner or a shop associate, there are times that we’re almost embarrassed at what people pull from Hobby boxes for the amount of money they spend on them.
I don’t know how long collectors will continue to shell out hundreds, if not thousands of dollars only to receive pennies on the dollar in return for offering up their hard-earned money. No one should drop $2,000 on a box of cards and see $50 in value come out of it, even if that person’s purpose is not to flip the contents for a profit.
I’ve said countless times that buying boxes and packs of sports cards in the current market is sometimes like scratching a lottery ticket with your favorite athlete on it. I understand that every box can’t be a home run but for higher end products there should be some rock bottom level of minimal value you can reasonably expect to receive in each box, one way or another.
I personally have almost sworn off opening packs, let alone boxes, because I see this far too often. I will bite the bullet and buy the single card I want to add to my PC before dropping goofy money on packs or boxes. I will give in once in a great while and almost instantly regret it. And before you stop to tell me the obvious, yes, I understand that the hobby is geared in large part towards breakers doing box breaks but for those buying Hobby product to collect and PC cards it’s a really tough proposition at the moment. Even breaking a box with five or so cards for the insane amount of money needed to cover the breaker’s cost and, in turn, the buyer’s price per team doesn’t often work in the buyer’s favor.
Don’t get me wrong. The Hobby is a beautiful place. Many of the cards themselves are like pieces of art. Innovation is at an all time high. I mean, if you can fit a Reebok Pump on a card you have my ultimate respect. The packaging and production of trading cards is at an all time high. The Hobby is rolling like never before but we can’t keep having the everyday collector losing their shirts. We need to find solutions and maybe I just stumbled on to my next Shop Talk topic.
Speaking of new hobby product, we got did two really popular ones in late last week. 2021 Bowman Draft Baseball Jumbo made its way to the shop–and it made its way out to buyers as quickly as it came in.
The annual release is still enormously popular and the Jumbo version serves up five autographs. Draft is one that can yield significant future value if you land a prospect or two who go on to great things. It’s also an education in minor league prospects.
We’ll see a busy time for new sports card releases over the latter half of January, so this is just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s hoping we see some big hits for those who are willing to dole out some of that hard earned cash.
The customer I wrote about last week who was buying high end product for his sons for Christmas has made it a point to buy pretty much every high end product we get in stock. He joked that he could have bought a new truck for the amount of money he spent with us recently and he’s really not joking. When we asked him this week what he was getting out of all of these crazy high-end products he looked at us puzzled and admitted he wasn’t even sure, so I’m not quite sure how to take that. During one of his visits this week his son came in and we asked him the same thing because we were really curious to see what they pulled but again the son wasn’t exactly sure, so I’m not sure what to tell you guys. Ill keep you posted if we hear of any big hits.
I was saddened to hear the news about the passing of iconic coach, broadcaster and personality John Madden. Any football fan my age grew up glued to their TV screen listening to his legendary calls in the booth with Pat Summerall, watching his creative use of the telestrator, playing his video game and collecting Action Packed’s Madden football cards.
I always admired his successful run as coach of the Raiders–one of the most fascinating teams in football history–and then leaving on his own terms for a new career that still kept him close to the game.
The sports world lost a true titan.
That’s all for this week. I hope your 2022 is off to a great start and we’ll check in again soon.