Hobby Stores Hurt By Late Release of 2010 Baseball Card Products
With 22 Major League teams already in off-season mode, Topps and Panini recently released 2010 Topps Chrome, 2010 Topps Triple Threads, 2010 Topps Pro Debut Series 2, and 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition. On top of that a flurry of additional products are scheduled to release in the next couple months. With the NFL season heating up and the MLB season nearly over, Hobby Stores nation wide have been put in an extremely difficult position.
The equation for box price is fairly simple, the higher the demand for a box, the higher the box price. When a Hobby Store commits to purchasing a product months in advance, they commit to pay a certain price per case, 1/2 case, or box. What often comes back to bite a hobby store is that they are at the mercy of the card companies, if they don't purchase a product they won't be giving their customers a chance to purchase the latest products, yet if they do purchase a product months in advance and it either ends up being a poor product or was released too early or late, they often end up breaking even or even taking a loss in the process of selling that product.
Currently, hobby stores are understandably frustrated by the timing of this season's baseball card releases. The fact that roughly 1/2 of all baseball card products will release after the regular season has concluded is already hurting Hobby Stores, the stores that committed to products early are seeing box prices dropping drastically due to the timing of their release. Ideally, a store should be able to offer every product to their customers, but this is becoming too risky a venture for many hobby stores. With the 2010 football card season hitting it's stride, many stores are unable to carry enough product to meet the demands of their customers due to the amount of post season baseball card offerings they have already committed to. What this does is send potential business to secondary markets and retailers like Wal-Mart and Target.
What compounds the frustration is that during the mid-Summer Strasburg/Heyward craze, stores couldn't get enough product to meet the demand, now a slew of products will release months after the craze has calmed and Stephen Strasburg has undergone Tommy John surgery.
At the end of the day, the hobby is only as strong as the hobby store. Hobby store owners aren't asking for a handout, they just want card companies to understand the impact of poor planning on their small business. As a collector, the dry spell of baseball products this Summer was both confusing and frustrating considering the amount of products that have and will continue to come out after Baseball's regular season has come to a close.
Below are a few of the baseball products that have yet to release:
- 2010 Bowman Chrome
- 2010 Topps Update
- 2010 Topps Sterling
- 2010 SP Authentic Prospects
- 2010 Bowman Sterling
- 2010 Topps Sterling
- 2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects