`
 (Toll Free)
Post Reply 
Share Thread:
 
Thread Rating:
  • 2 Votes - 3 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Reviving the LCS
11-16-2012, 06:20 PM
Post: #1
Reviving the LCS
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.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-16-2012, 06:40 PM
Post: #2
RE: Reviving the LCS
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.

[Image: k4VFlSs.png] [Image: xnRMc6d.png]

I collect Dirk Hayhurst.
Thank you jbel4331 for the banner!
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-16-2012, 06:56 PM
Post: #3
RE: Reviving the LCS
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!

Collecting Nolan Ryan, Derek Jeter, Mike Trout and especially...Jonathan Lucroy (my daughter is his #1 fan!)

Lucroy Collection : 187/216 non 1/1's (86.6%) and 15 1/1's

http://s1280.photobucket.com/albums/a488/aprirr/
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-16-2012, 08:15 PM
Post: #4
RE: Reviving the LCS
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.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-16-2012, 08:32 PM
Post: #5
RE: Reviving the LCS
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.

Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-16-2012, 08:34 PM
Post: #6
RE: Reviving the LCS
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.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-16-2012, 09:59 PM
Post: #7
RE: Reviving the LCS
(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?
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.

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.

Collecting: Heyward, Harper, Freeman, Jeter, Posey, Strasburg, Ripken, Mantle, Rivera, Pujols
Auto's - GU - Bat,Jsy - Refractors
[Image: banner4.jpg]
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-16-2012, 10:11 PM
Post: #8
RE: Reviving the LCS
(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...

[Image: k4VFlSs.png] [Image: xnRMc6d.png]

I collect Dirk Hayhurst.
Thank you jbel4331 for the banner!
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-17-2012, 01:32 AM
Post: #9
RE: Reviving the LCS
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).

[Image: 36cc0864-5f8d-4b58-93b8-fdc0967187ff_zps685e4742.jpg]
Always looking for Verlander, Cabrera, Maybin, Mike Stanton (marlins), and Avisail Garcia.
*TRYING TO COMPLETE MY VERLANDER ROOKIE COLLECTION. 44/47. ONLY 3 TO GO!*
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
11-17-2012, 09:14 AM
Post: #10
RE: Reviving the LCS
(11-17-2012 01:10 AM)Ziveus101 Wrote:  A couple of things I'd consider would be:

*Making sure another card shop isn't in the same area
A lot of other replies in this thread have mentioned this but I think it'll definitely help if you're shop is the only card shop in town.

*Have a point card system
Basically give the consumer a point card where they get 1 point per 10 bucks or something and once they reach a certain point they get something like 10 bucks off their next purchase or something. However, be warned that some people may fake their points so having some really obscure and rare stamp might be necessary.

*Make a name for yourself (or rather your store) online
And what I mean by that is not only running a website for your store, but also being active in various cardboard related sites on the net. Be active on sites like here, Blowout, Cardboard Connection etc... Host box breaks on Youtube everyonce in a while advertising both the product and your store (you might attract some customers if you pull an insane hit). Having some auctions on eBay everyonce in a while might help as well.

*Offer more than just sports related cards
Nowadays kids (or rather the age 7~13 demographic) are into a lot of the gaming cards like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic The Gathering. So it might help to sell those cards as well. Chances are you're store might appeal to families since there's gaming cards for the boys and sports cards for the dads. Selling stuff like Playboy cards to appeal to the older males might be an option as well (especially amongst males who just came into the store because they were dragged there by their friend[s]), sex sells after all.

*Have lots and lots of base cards (and inserts) ready and organized
A lot of people (like myself) go into card shops hoping to pick up some cheap singles to either help complete their PC or to help finish building their sets. Having loads of cards arranged neatly in order of year or company or team will definitely help the customers and might encourage them to come back as soon as a new product comes out. Organizing them all will be a pain, but it'll definitely be worth it.

*Have some cash ready for people looking to sell
Because baseball cards are looked at as an investment there will be people looking to sell some cards for a quick buck. You could also do some creative stuff such as trading packs/boxes for cards.

*Host some nice promotional gimmicks every now and then
Buy 2 Hobby Boxes Get 1 Free, Kids Get 50% Off, Kids Who Bring Their Report Cards And Have Lots Of A's Get 75% Off, The One Pack Challenge: Get A Hit In A Loose Pack And Win An Auto - type promos.

*Make sure you have different areas set up
What I mean by this is that it'll definitely be a huge plus to the customers if you set up tables for people looking to do various things. Such as a table where people can look through all of the singles they need out of the dime-boxes or whatever you choose store the cards in, a table where people who just bought a box of something can sit down, open their box and see what they got (and show it off) and if you're store sells gaming cards, have a table where people can have themselves a little duel. This last one will really help boost sales (singles-wise) if people realise that they have some holes in their stragety and need to buy a card or two to fill it.

Now not many of these'll probably help keep a shop from being a commercial failure, but they'll all at least provide the customer with some of the best service they could've asked for.

I'd definitely go to an LCS like that!

[Image: k4VFlSs.png] [Image: xnRMc6d.png]

I collect Dirk Hayhurst.
Thank you jbel4331 for the banner!
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)