So it’s been an interesting time at the shop (when is it not?) with new products arriving, nice collections coming in, finding restocks whenever possible and signing up 100 younger collectors into my new Kid’s Club in about a month’s time.
You may have heard “kids aren’t interested in collecting anymore.” I beg to differ. Starting in May, we invited kids to sign up for free monthly gifts and exclusive deals. I was hoping to top out at 200, but with so many kids interested, I might have to go above that number. Our kid collector traffic might be stronger than any time in my shop’s history. You know you have been at it for a while when the kids who used to frequent my store are bringing in their own kids.
I’ve learned in a small span that I need to make many more grab boxes and restock my affordable jersey and autograph card box on a more frequent basis. When collectors drop off unwanted cards, we give them away a small stack at a time, no strings attached. I am having so much fun helping so many younger collectors enjoy all the fun my shop offers.
It would be my hope that other shops get their own Kid’s Club going so that a manufacturer would find enough interest in supporting stores. We started off by giving out some older Panini Player Of The Day packs that we had not previously given out and it has been fun getting those free cards into the hands of younger collectors.
I even topped things off by giving away signed photos from our past autograph sessions with a minimum purchase. We have seen about 25% of those collectors take advantage of this deal in less than a week and I can’t wait to see how high we can get with that percentage before July ends.
Sure we have been bumping our sales to kids, but plenty of adults have been stopping in as well to crack boxes. Such as…
1) 2019 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions
I have always been a fan of Goodwin since it arrived in 2011. It’s a bit of a departure from their exclusive hockey license and a cool way for my collectors to acquire cards of their exclusive spokespeople, stars shown in a different light and the usual assortment of fascinating oddball subjects they drop into the boxes.
When I saw the Michael Jordan signed sneaker cards previewed earlier this year at their CDD conference, I knew that it was going to be well received. I surprised my collectors by putting a $3,230 bounty on anyone pulling a signed MJ sneaker and selling it to me on the first day. Sadly it didn’t happen, but what did happen was moving through four cases of Goodwin in the first few days.
2) 2019 Panini Elite Football
Yes 2019 NFL doesn’t have the OMG rookie selection (at least currently) compared to 2018 but that hasn’t stopped my pigskin pullers from going deep into this year’s products. Elite has a long history of delivering cool cards and it didn’t hurt that Elite offered collectors the first peek at the new crop in their pro uniforms. Boxes offer 3 autos or relics with all the cool inserts and parallels that Elite fans have grown to love and they have more than loved it as I am boxes away from being done with my initial allocation.
3) 2019 Topps Museum Baseball
Museum Collection was due initially much earlier in the season and while I would have have loved it back then, by waiting Topps was able to add rookies like Pete Alonso, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Fernando Tatis and Eloy Jimenez. In the long term, it’s a fair trade to make and the hits have remained solid since it was first released.
Boxes offer four packs with one hit in each. Typically, full boxes offer a single relic, an auto, a multi-relic and an autographed relic with possible framed autographed cards. Topps also does a pretty good job saving some of the sweeter patches for this release. I went deep on this one and don’t regret it as not only has it been selling well, the long term interest tends to remain strong on Museum.
4) 2018/19 Upper Deck SP Authentic NHL
SP Authentic was released in early June but is still among our top sellers. With a tradition that extends back into the 1990s, it’s one of those products that collectors count down for release date. This year’s SPA offers two autographs per box with the Future Watch singles getting a ton of attention as usual.
On top of Elias Pettersson and the other rookies, UD pulled a cool one by adding previously Leaf exclusives Jack Eichel and Nolan Patrick as throwback Future Watches with their autographs appearing in Upper Deck boxes for the first time.
OK, now I don’t want this to come across as wrong, but many shops buy Noir in most years as a means to acquire other higher end releases. This year with rookies like Luka and Trae coupled with increased breaker activity, Noir has been a money maker for shops.
I initially brought in four cases and flew through them. I’ve gone through another couple since and have been impressed with what I’ve seen. Full disclosure: it always looked good, but I’m seeing some gems this year. Boxes offer a scant ten cards with seven of those being either autographs or relics and yes, if you asked me for a box today, I wouldn’t be able to offer you one.
Looking ahead at the wax box on deck circle, I would expect to see the next Hot List be filled with either Gold Standard Football, Diamond Icons Baseball, UD Premier NHL, Allen & Ginter Baseball, Certified Football or Topps Tribute MLB. I’m not sure any of my kid collectors will be busting any of those higher end releases, but I’ll be ready for them if they want some.
Also, if you have a store and have interest in getting a Kids Club going or would like to suggest to your LCS that they do, I’d be glad to make myself available to help them get it going as well. Also, while I haven’t booked it yet, I might be breaking my streak of not attending The National. If you see a burly guy wearing some Mike’s Stadium Sportscards gear, feel free to say hello. If you run into some of my collectors or son, feel free to be nice to them as well.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, CO. His column normally focuses on what products are selling best in hobby shops. He’s got thousands of cards for sale on COMC.com under the ID cardmn5150. 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]