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Baseball card shops- what happened?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by skorittnig, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. skorittnig

    skorittnig

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    I realize ebay and the rest of the internet has made it difficult and less practical to pay the overhead of an actual storefront- but geesh, I haven't been in a decent baseball card shop in about 10 years!

    Are there any other card collectors on here?
     
  2. E-2-E

    E-2-E Long Trail

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    I used to collect but kinda got out in the early, mid 90's when things went downhill. A friend of mine closed up his shop 2 yrs ago. I should check ebay since I'm 18 cards short (commons) for a complete "74" Topps set, just got lazy.
     

  3. norton

    norton

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    My son collected cards while he was in Jr and Sr high school. I went along with him, and have approx. 150 Ryne Sandberg cards.
    I stopped as soon as he lost interest. Still have the cards. Can't imagine now why I spent $ on these.
     
  4. NorthCarolinaLiberty

    NorthCarolinaLiberty MentalDefective

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    I stopped collecting years ago, but it seems supply outstrips demand. There was Topps, Fleer, and Donruss when I was a kid. Then came Upper Deck and all these others later.

    I just bought a whole shoebox of cards for $3.00. I priced the rookie Randy Johnson card on ebay for $1.00! That does not seem right, unless I'm mistaken and it's his second year card.
     
  5. PBCounty

    PBCounty

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    It seems to me that interest just suddenly dried up. I was never into them, but my family was seriously into the cards and anything else baseball related. They don't pay any attention to it anymore. I don't see any stores at all anymore and I never hear of the shows which used to be advertised at out local convention center.

    It seems the comic book stores and shows are drying up too.
     
  6. ssfeldjager

    ssfeldjager

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    On the baseball cards of today, in addition to the player's batting averages and so forth, do they also include arrests and convictions? It sure would make them more interesting, if they did. More people might start collecting. :rofl:
     
  7. rahrah12

    rahrah12

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    They just released Tops "Baby Momma Edition"

    Some interesting looking girls...
     
  8. Jay S.

    Jay S.

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    Soon to be brother-in-law is into cards, sports memorabilia etc; Him and a few of his friends set up a booth at different events. I don't know if he makes any money at it or not - I think he just enjoys it. Really gets his goat when my sister refers to his action figures as "his dollies". :rofl:
     
  9. S.O.Interceptor

    S.O.Interceptor Khem-Adam

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    I spent a good portion of my free time from age 8-23 or so in a baseball card shop run by a friend. I got to see first hand what all happened to the hobby.

    I collected for 15 years and still own everything I ever bought. I have a half-million cards or so, give or take a few. I used to collect the 4 major sports, baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. I can't stand basketball anymore and don't follow hockey anymore, so now I only collect antique and rare cards and the occasional modern card of my favorite players. I collect 95% baseball and 5% football I use Ebay most of the time but occasionally find a deal at a small antique store or flea market.

    What happened to baseball cards shops is the card companies themselves. Sure Ebay took a bite out of them, but mostly the card companies. Pick up a Beckett price guide sometime and look at the HUNDREDS of different brand and sub-brands and offshoot companies, series, sub-series, limited series, etc etc etc. The Beckett section from 2000-2010 is 4-5x thicker than the section of it covering from 1880-1999. And the modern section only list the superstar cards where as the older section list the majority of the cards. And then look at the prices of modern cards. Cards now days can start out at $10 per card and often $100 per card. And the prices of packs has gone up 20x in the last 15 years and the amount of cards per pack has been cut by 75%. And it's because the card companies are trying to do to modern cards what time and nature did to cards from the 1800s to the 1980s. They are artificially making their cards rare and collectible from the day they manufacture them by producing half of what the demand is.

    Card companies have taken the fun out of collecting and robbed kids of the pleasure in favor of BIG business. Of course part of that is the fault of the players themselves. It used to be that the honor and pleasure of having your name and face on a baseball card was payment enough. Now these primadonas demand millions from card companies for their names and likenesses. And so do the teams as well as the players associations. Everyone wants their cut for something that used to be considered an honor.

    It also doesn't help that now days everyone thinks of themselves as a wheeler dealer because they bought a Beckett. Nobody knows anything about grading or the true value of cards. A friend that used to run a shop used to buy cards off people who came in. He would explain the value of them based on their condition, explain what percentage he could pay for them, and even tell people what price and the percentage of markup he would sell them for. There was a time when people understood this and accepted it as the price of doing business. They understood that they had something they were trying to sell for various reasons, and that they were getting a fair price from someone who had cash in hand and was willing to buy right then and there. But sometime in the mid 1990s that changed. People would come in with a card that was maybe 50%, with wrinkles and creases and discoloration, and demand 100% of the price guide value because that's what the book said. Nobody wanted to admit they had no idea what they were doing and nobody wanted to listen to the reasons their card wasn't worth what they thought. Everyone wanted to strike it rich and couldn't handle it when their delusions of grandeur were shot down. So they called the card dealer names and stormed out with their card.

    There were some other factors, but that's what essentially drove my friend out of business as well as a lot of other shops. As the original poster mentioned, it was roughly , but not quite, 10 years ago. 2001 or 2002.

    The shops that survive now are usually all-in-one collectibles shops that carry comic books, figurines, action figures, those crappy role playing game card games, host tournaments for them, etc etc etc, and also carry a small assortment of sports cards. But most of the card-only businesses are gone.
     
  10. tous

    tous GET A ROPE!

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    Probably the same reason all of those Beany Baby shops are now gone.
     
  11. S.O.Interceptor

    S.O.Interceptor Khem-Adam

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    I forgot to mention the cost of manufacturing all of these specialty cards now. The silver and gold foil, "chrome" cards, thick cards with pieces of jersey, or a base in them. Ultra super duper uber embossed cards with fancy designs cut into them. It's gotten insane.
     
  12. tous

    tous GET A ROPE!

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    In my baseball card buying days, you got two cards and a stale slab of bubble gum for 5 cents. I didn't clothespin them to my bike like many did and I had two shoeboxes full of them by college.

    My mother gave them all to a neighbor kid while I was away in the Navy. :fist:

    It's okay, Mom. I forgive you. :hearts:

    NB: I doubt that I would ever purchase anything like a baseball card that needs authentication any other way but face to face. Maybe I'm just old. How'd that work out for you?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010
  13. Remander

    Remander

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    There was an article about this on Slate in 2006. Here's an excerpt:

    Baseball cards peaked in popularity in the early 1990s. They've taken a long slide into irrelevance ever since, last year logging less than a quarter of the sales they did in 1991. Baseball card shops, once roughly 10,000 strong in the United States, have dwindled to about 1,700. A lot of dealers who didn't get out of the game took a beating. "They all put product in their basement and thought it was gonna turn into gold," Alan Rosen, the dealer with the self-bestowed moniker "Mr. Mint," told me.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2146218/

    Link below to another good Slate article about the card business, which notes that in 2009 Major League Baseball announced that it had struck a deal to make Topps the game's exclusive trading-card maker.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2224864/
     
  14. glockfanbob

    glockfanbob

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    I collected as a kid with my father. Going to shows/stores were probably some of my favorite father/son memories.
     
  15. cgwahl

    cgwahl Sheriffs a near

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    Pretty much what Interceptor said. Companies saturated the market with different makes/types of cards and made things more expensive than they needed to be. On top of that players became jerks. Some would even go as far as only sign certain brands/makes of cards.


    They were all their own worst enemy.


    Same thing happened to comics. Not to mention those silverish coins that became popular in the 80's/90's. I forget what they were called, but they were marketed as collectible which was the furthest thing from the truth because they saturated the market so much.
     
  16. PBCounty

    PBCounty

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    I remember those. "Official tender of Liberia." They were slinging those monkeys on TV all the time. Not to mention at booths during every public event.
     
  17. cgwahl

    cgwahl Sheriffs a near

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    Nah, these were something else. Will have to see if I can find it.
     
  18. cgwahl

    cgwahl Sheriffs a near

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    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010
  19. gatorhugger

    gatorhugger

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    I agree the card companies themselves killed the golden goose.
    You can't "make" a collectible.
    It doesn't work that way.
    But oh they tried, one of 1000, one of 5000, platinum 2000 series,
    on and on.
    Churning out product, it oversaturated the market, which collapsed it.
     
  20. JMag

    JMag

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