Reviving the LCS - Printable Version
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Reviving the LCS - hongkongfooey - 11-16-2012 06:20 PM
If you were to have the ability to, and in this economy, the balls to, open up a card shop and prevent it from being a failure, how would you keep the doors open and make enough money to be comfortable living on?
would you be in a strip mall? shopping mall? flea market?
what demographic area would you be located in? i.e. you don't want to be near a retirement community or a college, you don't necessarily want to be in the high income part of town, or do you?
what media source(s) would you advertise with?
what could you offer the kids that they'll like better than gamestop?
what % of your business will be online? how would you keep that from taking priority over walk in customers?
(that might sound silly but cavaliercards (same ebay userid, they suck) here in charlottesville, va does NOT care who walks in, they are busy sniping bids on ebay)
how would you stay relevant in the community? trade night? athlete signings? yu-gi-oh tournaments? (or whatever the weird kids are playing now)
I posted this because I think a lot of places have lost touch with the people who can help them thrive and it'd be fun to see what's important to each person.
and if you own a shop, maybe you'll get a fresh idea or 2 to help you in the future.
RE: Reviving the LCS - nyyankeesfan28 - 11-16-2012 06:40 PM
They are pretty much all in strip malls, I've noticed. I would have a website but I wouldn't have it take away from walk-in customers. I think trade night is a good idea, as are local athelete signings.
RE: Reviving the LCS - aprirr - 11-16-2012 06:56 PM
Those are great questions and all valid points. There hasn't been a card shop in my little town for nearly 20 years and, back then, there was no eBay, mem cards or $500 per pack boxes. Just relatively inexpensive packs of cards with the opportunity to pull great cards for the money (Ex: 1992-93 basketball with Shaq rookie-$1.50-$2 a pack) The LCS here had a Bid Board that the owner would load up with misc. cards on Monday and have an auction for them at 5 P.M every Friday. Man, you had to squeeze your way in there on a Fri. night and there was always good stuff up there (I got my 1971 Topps Nolan Ryan off of that board for $25 in 1992). But today, with the huge selection on eBay, it's hard to imagine something like that working as well as it did back then. I would guess the profit margin is much less with the high end stuff nowadays as well: less clientele who can afford it and less product. One thing I think shops could do is set up a trading network with their customers on a site such as this so that everyone who frequents the shop could try to find someone, anywhere in the country, who would be interested in trading their Milwaukee Brewers, for example, for your St. Louis Cardinals. In my experience here in Wisconsin, very few people hanging out at the card shop here was interested in trading ANY of their Brewers, Packers or Bucks away which sometimes made it quite difficult to get nice cards of your favorite players. I apologize for the rambling, long post. Thanks for the great thread!
RE: Reviving the LCS - oneofakindcards - 11-16-2012 08:15 PM
The LCS has been replaced by regular people selling on Ebay unfortunately. This is too bad because I think the hobby is better without regular people selling on eBay (or anywhere else for that matter) all the time.
RE: Reviving the LCS - RobbinsDynasty - 11-16-2012 08:32 PM
I love post like this because I myself would like to open one up. As I have said before anytime I have done time in a new area I like to check out if there are any LCS. Take notes of what I do and dont like. I def. look around for high traffic areas. Better if it is foot traffic. Also make sure you are visible from the roadways. Also with a presence at the local flea markets and as well as local shows. perfect area would one that has a pro team from the major sports, also a college within the area as well as area close to tourism, also a military base. To me the key for the military is that all these people came from somewhere else so they will not just be fans of the local teams. thats goes for the tourist as wel. keeps your stock varied and not concentrated. and no you are not looking for the high end area of town. looking at working area high end area bring in high end rent. would advertise with beckett and well as been on board such as these or blow out , must be online one way or another. either ebay or a website that might have direct links to your sales on ebay or other such sites. also photo shots of some events. Pack wars, trade nights, case breaks, etc. also do giveaway. (Good Grades get GRADED) kids get honor roll they pick a graded card. also maybe a kids only trade box. like at amusement parks where they trade pins some case only have kids only trading. make friends with local players or even players that were from the area in the past. hire a kid from the local high school thats into or playing sports. people who walk through the door should always come first they are the ones that will spread word of mouth not the guy bidding from high smart phone hoping he can get it low so he might be able to flip. sorry for it being long and kinda all over the place.
RE: Reviving the LCS - gosports1 - 11-16-2012 08:34 PM
I've been at a Nice Flea Market for 11 years, Near Carowinds Amusement park
I just pay the rent out of my pocket. It used to be Great but now it's has probably 85 % Spanish Traffic. They are not into Sports Cards,just used clothes and shoes.
RE: Reviving the LCS - krn001 - 11-16-2012 09:59 PM
(11-16-2012 06:20 PM)hongkongfooey Wrote: If you were to have the ability to, and in this economy, the balls to, open up a card shop and prevent it from being a failure, how would you keep the doors open and make enough money to be comfortable living on?
Great questions but i feel the chances to run a viable LCS are slim. Thats not to say they are a thing of the past but you have to look at the base cost just to open a business such as this. Factor in your cost of merchandise, % mark up etc and i think its a tough biz to make a fair profit.
The last LCS in my town in back in 2004 depleted their card inventory & strictly went to selling just card supplies. Even that didn't last long, i asked him about the card/supply business aspects & simply put he couldn't compete with auction & online sites. The other LCS in town went from cards to coins, that too couldn't keep up with internet selling.
How often do we see posts here regarding a "steal" on ebay, a LCS probably couldn't reduce their price of a same card to match that without taking a financial hit.
It's a great hobby & wish anyone attempting to open a store nothing but success. Not only card shops but many conventional businesses need new ideas to be successful. It would be interesting to see detailed retail business data over the last 20 -30 years.
RE: Reviving the LCS - nyyankeesfan28 - 11-16-2012 10:11 PM
(11-16-2012 08:15 PM)oneofakindcards Wrote: The LCS has been replaced by regular people selling on Ebay unfortunately. This is too bad because I think the hobby is better without regular people selling on eBay (or anywhere else for that matter) all the time.
I agree. I think some individuals would be okay, but not as many as there are now. There's just something about walking into an LCS...
RE: Reviving the LCS - uvaspina - 11-17-2012 01:32 AM
I like it when a card shop has a table set up for you to open your box of cards. This serves a very importan purpose: I can open my $75 box of cards without the inquiring eyes of my wife (ha ha). My LCS in Lansing, Michigan will give you a pop (i.e., soda for all you non-Michiganders) too, which is nice. (My barber gave me a beer last week, which was pretty cool. Probably not cool to serve under-the-table beer in a LCS though).
RE: Reviving the LCS - nyyankeesfan28 - 11-17-2012 09:14 AM
(11-17-2012 01:10 AM)Ziveus101 Wrote: A couple of things I'd consider would be:
I'd definitely go to an LCS like that!