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(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.
(11-16-2012 08:15 PM)oneofakindcards Wrote: The LCS has been replaced by regular people selling on Ebay unfortunately.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.
(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.