Thursday, April 14, 2011

Designing the Perfect LCS

Sometimes it's easy to find fault with our favorite LCS, but making a profitable business isn't easy. So I ask all of you, if you had the means, motivation, and market to open a good old fashion brick and mortar retail, hobby shop, what would it entail? Would it be sportscards only or would you carry other items; trading card games, sports figures, comic books, coins, etc What marketing have you seen in your LCS that you would replicate? What hours would the shop be open? What special promotions would you run? How would you acquire your initial inventory? Would you offer services like custom framing, eBay consignment, etc? Let's make this a group project and design the premier LCS/hobby shop? Ready? Go!!!!


Unknown said...

1) The shop will not be a freaking rectangle, long and thin. Make it have enough room side to side to have a trading area.

2) Needs to be open 7 days a week. If you're going to be closed in the mornings and open at like 11-12 PM, then stay open until 8-9 PM at night.

3) Need to have some sort of event at least twice a month. Be it 'local athlete autographs', trade night, pack wars, group case break....SOMETHING.

dogfacedgremlin said...

Community involvement...ummm, community involvement, and involvement. That's the key and that's why so many shops fail. If no one knows you are around and everyone thinks you are the typical greedy "comic book guy" type of dealer, you will fail every time. My LCS has done really well because they do sponsorships, trade nights, pack wars, branding promotions, and very often donate to different organizations.

Rob- AKA "VOTC" said...

From Facebook-
Joe Swaykos In a perfect world, Id order in ridiculous bulk so I could compete with internet pricing, and I think a focus on 'games' like Magic or whatever (I'm not familiar with any of them) is a must - those things are always "in". Also - supplies,, supplies!! That's how I found my shop. I googled a place to buy supplies, called them, and I went. I'd driven by the place a hundred times and not known it was a shop, and if they didn't have supplies I never would've gone.

Joe Swaykos Just noticed the ebay consignment idea - my shop actually does this, and it's a great idea. It's a way to get more legitimacy from your sales for just a small cut to the shop. Totally worth it. I would NOT fear the internet, I would embrace it. I think Atlanta Sports Cards has a very good model going.

Fuji said...

Wow... so much to think about... and after a long week in front of the class, my brain is fried. So... I'll offer the thing that stood out the most in your post... Shop hours.

The LCS around me close as early as 6 and as late as 7.

If I owned a shop, I'd keep it open longer to allow people who work all day access to the store.

Oh... another thing just popped into my head. Competitive pricing. I understand that I'd have to pay rent and other various bills... but I wouldn't stock my glass cases with cards at full Beckett... when people can head over to eBay or COMC and pay a percentage of the cost. Maybe charge 10 to 15% over eBay and explain to customers that at the same time, they're saving on shipping by buying from you.

Damn... now that you have me started... one more thing. I'd offer excellent customer service... especially to kids... a.k.a the future of the hobby.

Pablo said...

Boy, the economy is so bad, you would have to be really crazy or really stupid to want to open your own card shop. I'm surprised any card shops still exist, or that people collect cards anymore. I've even posted a comment before about a great store that closed (yeah, it had great prices, local player signings, great location, community involvement, clean store, showing sports on multiple tvs, sold various products, etc.) but apparently, nobody paid attention. I will say it again: The economy is TOO BAD to open a card shop! The economy is worse than what the government and complient media is telling us. Read your newspaper about the economy or listen to some radio talk shows.

But...If I were to open a card store, I would sell the cards 50% or less than the prices in Beckett. And...Most importantly...I would advertise the hell out of my store: Online, yellow pages, flyers all over the place, and even a radio ad.

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