Also, the sky is blue. Water is wet. Winter is coming.
Twitter is infuriating. I saw a strip of posts in my timeline about people bragging on their massive Wal-Mart or Target hauls. People who are hardcore collectors rummage retail locations for packs and boxes. But it wasn’t until today that I finally sat back and said, “but why?”
Why are we (by that I mean, why are YOU) running through retail locations? Why aren’t we (again, I mean why aren’t YOU) taking all that money to your locally owned, locally grown trading card hobby shop? I mean, seriously. Hobby packs have better hits, hobby shops survive exclusively on hobbyists. But you’re going to multi-billion, multi-national, big-box chain stores to buy your baseball cards?
What the actual, literal & physical fuck?
The pandemic has resurrected the collecting hobby, but we’ve done it the dumbest way possible. Instead of bringing all that new money into the hobby, we’re giving it to the same people who sell us our frozen dinners, Rick & Morty t-shirts and trash bin liners. Do you have any concept of what your weekly $100 or $200 purchase would do to a local hobby shop? If all you twits standing in line at Target, pulling guns on each other went to your local card shop, do you have any clue what that would mean to that shop’s owner and the hobby?
First of all, baseball cards at Target are an impulse-buy. That’s where kids get into the hobby. So leave them alone, let kids buy those cards.
Second of all, everybody wants to buy baseball cards, so let other people buy them. Get your cards at card shops where there is a near-limitless supply of cards. Just look at the numbers. If one store gets 5 new “hardcore” collectors from a Target, and they spend $100 a week each. That’s $500 a week total for $2000 a month. A small storefront can cost around $3000 a month. 5 new good customers like that can basically off-set rent. That is a sea change for a store. That can be the difference between keeping the store open full time and going out of business.
Now, that $100 that you’re not spending at Target is being spent by 10 people who aren’t collectors. And those people are now collectors, and if one of them end up as a regular at your local card shop, those 5 new customers have generated 5 new customers, and the cycle continues until there’s another recession and we all go back to eating condensed soup again.