Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Looking For a Reason to Visit a Card Store

As a kid, I loved going to a card store. I went to several and never really had a favorite, but I had a choice depending on where the parents were driving around that day.  

You'd beg to stop at one so you could get a pack of cards, look for a few singles and get back in the car before your mom's Buick started embarrassing you with that annoying car horn.

Fast forward too many years to count and what reason does a kid have to visit a hobby card store?

What can you get a hobby store that you can't at Target, Walmart, eBay, Freedom Cardboard, Sports Card Forum and Beckett.

I've blogged several times here, here, here, and here about ways for card shops to capture the passion of card collectors.

Unfortunately, I'm not seeing a change.


David said...

What reason does a kid have to visit a video game store? They can get a game at Target, Walmart and Ebay as well. I don't think the problem is with the card shop as much as it is the desire of the kid to visit the place.

When we were kids almost everyone collected baseball cards. Some of us even collected football, basketball and hockey cards too. A lot of times my mom picked up packs for me at the grocery store. Have you seen cards in a grocery store recently?

Times have changed and as a whole, kids aren't interested in cards as much as they are in having a video game. How many kids have Madden NFL or MLB games? The game companies have aggressive advertising campaigns geared toward kids and young adults. Can you say the same about the card companies? Have you seen television advertisements for sports cards?

Traffic may pick up at shops if the companies providing the product created interest in them. Sooner or later all of us 'old' guys won't be around and then who will buy the product?

My kids have been exposed to the hobby and they love it. I'm sure most kids watching football would love to discover the thrill of ripping through packs looking for their favorite players.

James said...

@David - Thanks for the comment and stopping by.

Agree that card companies haven't focused on the kids and that probably has an affect on the card store traffic.

However, I don't think the card stores have adapted to the changing times and they need to take the lead on marketing their venue.

They can't do it on a national scale like Madden '11, but I don't think you need that to be successful in toda's world. There are plenty of social marketing campaigns that can help the little guys. I don't see stores doing it to help themselves.

Thanks again.

David said...

I have purchased cards on-line from dealers that have web pages and I've also done the ebay thing. When purchasing older cards its not always so easy to know what you're getting. Some dealers have great scans of their cards while others...I'll leave it at that.

The internet has helped me acquire cards that I may not have otherwise been able to find, but more than once I've had to return a card because it wasn't as stated.

I will agree with you that more card dealers need to advertise on the internet. I travel a lot and trying to find them isn't always so easy.

I do enjoy reading your blog.