Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Now Taking Nominations for the Worst LCS in the Country

The Industry Summit is less than 48 hours old and already a heated topic has been brought to the forefront with Panini's new slogan, "2011- The Year of the Hobby Shop". Minimum pricing, early release protectionism and more are part of what Panini has described as the winning formula and necessary moves for the long-term health of The Hobby.

While I am sure there are many well run Local Card Shops, I am all too intimately familiar with several that are run by people with no business acumen whatsoever, who believe they are still operating in the early '90's and that this whole Internet thing is just a fad or passing fancy. Disorganized stores, unhelpful customer service, over inflated prices, inventory so old it collects dust, no online presence, no in store customer interaction opportunities.

While I enjoy going to a good card shop like anyone, as a full time employee, father, and husband, I have little time, if any, to actually make my hobby purchases there. The Internet has revolutionized the way we live, interact with each other, and purchase goods and services. To employ a marketing strategy that protects a fragment of the market as a whole seems silly. But so does loading Target and Wal-Mart with Topps Heritage product over a week before your LCS but what do I know.

So enough of my still formulating rant and opinion and before you chastise me, I really do understand the importance of a well run LCS. Well run, obviously being the operative phrase here.

The real purpose of this post is to hear from the only people that really matter, YOU, the collector about the LCS's out there that make you shake your head and wonder how they are still in business. Also, to you pundits and naysayers, I'll follow this up with nominations for The Best LCS, but for now I am more focused on getting a better read on exactly what it is that Panini and Upper Deck think is so important to be supporting through price and distribution manipulation.

So please provide the name of the store, city, state, and reasons why you think they are one of the worst shops in the country.


Unknown said...

Heaven Sent Sports Cards:
Tualatin, Oregon

This shop owner literally has no idea how to make a good "store" of any kind, much less a hobby shop.

Similar story as most, bloated card prices, singles in dingy glass cases and a ton more singles in boxes that you can't see.

What sets this guy apart is his attitude. In front of me, a customer, he was rambling about his ebay store where he's trying to list his items somewhere between "book value" and auction values. And he was obviously frustrated.

In addition to that, he said he just can't make good money in the store - and pondered the idea of charging admission to his store so people could see some of the memorabilia he had.

All this said in front of a customer.

He's a crotchety sort, living in the ruins of a Beckett Mecca philosophy.

Oh, and when I got back into the hobby, I had no idea about the online marketplace. The guy straight up sold me three boxes of product at $140 a pop - when they were being sold online for $90. Suffice to say he had no interest in developing a return customer interaction.

Rob- AKA "VOTC" said...

Classic case of someone knowing everything about the variations in 1962 Topps but nothing about running a business. Thank G_Moses

Fuji said...

I'd like to call out one of my LCS... but the owner is sort of a friend... or somewhere between a friend and acquaintance.

Either way... I still go to the shop for supplies and an occasional deal (like 20 year old Sports Illustrated's for a buck)... but I don't even both to look at singles, wax, or boxes, because they're way overpriced.

I can understand charging up to 10% more than Ebay... especially for the local stuff. But he looks to get full book (and sometimes more) on most of his Sharks, Warriors, A's, Giants, 49ers, and Raiders cards.

I'm not sure how he stays in business... but thankfully he does. I'm not looking forward to the day that I have to buy supplies only online (shipping is too expensive on supplies).

the sewingmachineguy said...

The Bullpen in Toledo Ohio is the WORST. Period. End of story.
I did a write up about a few months ago. Here is the link to it;


What makes it such a hole? it's a total mess. There is not one bit of organization. There are clumps of actual dust on some of the stuff.

Ross said...

House of Cards
Belleville, Illinois 62223

Its an actual residential home. The "shop" is 3 glass display cases and a poor old bookshelf that had boxes of cards with dust bunnies that were taking care of their grandkids they had been there so long.

Went in for a box of 2008 Goudey at the time and he wanted over a $100 for the box - I believe it was $125. I just turned around and walked out. Didn't even bother to browse through the dust because I knew I wouldn't be able to afford anything I wanted anyway.

Anonymous said...

I would nominate someone, but all the the crappy shops in my area have closed. The recession took care of them.

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