I would like to start out by wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. It is a very special time of the year and I hope you all are able to spend it with those that you love and care about.
On this Thanksgiving I will start off my day watching parades with my kids, around noon head over to my wife’s family for my first dose of turkey and follow that up close to five with a trip to my mother’s house for more turkey, my mom’s world famous orange jello and also a sliver or two of cheesecake. After that, I will spend some time with my sports card family at my store.
Yes, for the second straight year, I will be headed to my store at 9PM, unlocking the door at 9:30 and starting to sell our 2013 Panini Black Friday boxes at 10PM. Last year I thought I would give it a try and in three hours, we gave out well over 1,000 free Black Friday packs and cleared over $11,000 in sales. Those three hours seemed more like a feeding frenzy from Shark Week off of Seal Island than what you would expect out of a post dinner visit to your LCS. By the end of it, I was more than glad to have to make three runs to the dumpster to get rid of all the debris.
Driving up to my center last year, I had concerns about whether I would be sitting along in my L-tryptophan stupor and could not believe it when I saw numerous cars waiting for me to open my doors like it was a Mervyn’s commercial. All that was missing was some faces pressed against the glass uttering “open, open, open.”
Looking ahead to this year, we ordered fewer products and I am already regretting it. I literally spent muchof the last four days calling around to see if any distributors had more cases to ship. Most of my cases have been reserved and when I started sharing some of the previews of what’s inside those Black Friday packs, THEN the calls starting coming.
I actually expect to be sold out of the all the cases I brought in for this year by 12:00AM Friday.
If you are looking for a list of participating card stores, please click on this link and scroll down under the photos to find the LCS near you.
This promotion comes at a perfect time to bolster sales at a trying time in the market. NFL sales are lagging without a major impact rookie to hang its hat on, it is a bit early for the NBA first-year players to have become household names, too many of the late season MLB offerings fell on top of each other after the season was over and the lone bright spot appears to be NHL sales.
Sadly a few dirtbags have already started offering their packs and singles on eBay. Those are supposed to be for the customers. I personally hope that Panini nukes their accounts or at the very least uninvites them from future promotions. Crummy as it may be, it does at least offers some insight to what some of these cards will be fetching on the secondary market.
Here is a Yasiel Puig Cracked Ice rookie year card that did not do badly either.
Props need to go to Panini for stepping up and supporting stores with this and their Father’s Day promotion. My shop regularly offers exciting giveaways, trade nights and drawings, but nothing tops this one in terms of both sales and being able to reward collectors. Please take a look at the list of participating stores in the link above and step out of the house instead of parking on the computer this Friday if there’s a show within a reasonable driving distance. I am sure you find some great deals and hopefully your 2013 Panini Black Friday packs will make you want to say thanks to Panini as well.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, Colo. You can read his column here every week (or close to it), focusing on what products are selling best in hobby shops. See his eBay listings here. Enjoy new arrivals and big hits from Mike’s on Twitter. Mike’s is always looking for more friends on Facebook and you can email him at [email protected]