Thursday, September 8, 2011

Is Target the new "Hobby" Shop?

I can already hear the collective gasp from the collecting universe. However, let me explain. This thought started when I posted a picture to Twitter last week of a recently closed hobby shop in my area and someone replied that whenever Chris Olds (famous for his Ripping Retail posts) or other collectors buy product from Target the sound you then hear is another LCS (local card shop) closing its doors for good. While to some degree I understand the sentiment, it's not quite that simple.

Read the rest.


Anthony Hughes said...

Truth - nothing pisses me off more than this concept of "hobby store" only product, or that hobby packs have greater odds of choice inserts, and so on. It's insulting to me.
Target/Walmart should tell Topps, either let us sell your hobby packs or we just stop selling your crap all together. They have the power to do that if they wanted, I bet.

It is not as far as I can see doing anything useful to keep card shops in business. They're dropping like flies for same reasons as brick & mortal book stores are slowly going extinct.
It's just a matter of time before they're mostly all gone.

I live in Houston, 4th largest city in the US, population of 3+ million and all we have is a single card store here that is only open 3 days a week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11 to 5. (Apparently they think they're a bank or something).

Card stores are pretty much dead, unless they offer some greater value that buying at Target, or checkoutmycards cannot do for you.
When I travel on business, I always look up card stores and there are a few good ones. Tim's in Chicago and Collector's Planet in Corpus Christi are a couple good examples.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry when I hear of other people's woes re: their local card shops. I have an LCS near me that is great; sometimes I go just to talk baseball and watch an hour of whatever game is playing at the time. The cards are not overpriced, and although unorganized, it's fun to browse.

How does he do it? Well, I think he has pretty good business going online as well, but I don't feel the need to pry. All I know is, I'm counting my lucky stars.

Anthony Hughes said...

mmrhubarb, as recent as 2 years ago, there were 2 card shops within 10 minutes of me. Both shops were a great place to hang out and talk baseball, buy some packs, pick up some old cards, and so on. No idea what happened to those guys but I guess they just couldn't make money. I always wonder why comic book guys don't team with baseball card guys and share rent. Houston has tons of comic book shops.

Pablo said...

I don't blame Target, Walmart, or Best Buy for selling sports and non-sports cards. What for? The reasons why card shops are closing is because the economy is so bad and hobbies take a huge back seat to necessities like food, clothes, home, and gas. It's the economy, stupid! And speaking of gas, I only go to the nearest card shop once a month because of the price of gas, and the shop is 2 small cities away! Plus, there's no point in blaming the internet and Ebay either since those will probably be the last places where you can buy and sell cards.

If you want to blame someone, you can blame YOU, the collectors, for not spending enough money at the dealers' card shops! I'm pretty sure there a few dealers who would blame the lack of collectors spending money in their stores. Or the collector's tastes changes. Or the collector's refusal to spend hundreds of dollars on mediocore cards. Or the ton of the collectors who left the hobby thinking cards could better investments than stocks!

Is this not the Voice of the Collector? Is not the price of cards, the future potiental value (if any) of cards, and lack of originality and creativity the reasons why people people also stop buying cards altogether?

So if there any card shops left out there, support your local card shop. They sure could use the help!

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