Visit your local shop soon, before it’s too late
The next time you walk into your local hobby shop, have a good look around. Don't stop until you remember every crevice and every crack in the wall.
For years, local hobby shops have been closing. This isn't new news, but the rate has escalated in recent months.
In this economy, the situation has gotten worse. BC Sports Collectibles filed for Chapter 7 last month. It was a chain based out of the Pennsylvania with shops along the East Coast. It was in local malls and busy shopping areas. The stores were located in high-foot traffic areas.
It sounded perfect, but now the stores are closed. Trading cards, memorabilia and sports knick-knacks gain dust while small children (or me) stare longingly through the metal gate.
If a chain that has high-profile autograph signings, trading cards on multiple shelves and great pieces of memorabilia can't make it, what hope do the local card shops have?
Collectors who used to hit the card shops on the way home from work aren't showing up anymore. They don't have jobs. People who still work are saving money to help the family.
Collecting cards is just a hobby and it's one of the first things that go when people are looking for ways to save money. Unfortunately, there is a trickle effect.
Consumers don't buy cards. Card shop owners aren't making money and don't know what to order from distributors. Distributors pre-order fewer products from the manufacturer, who in turn make less of a specific card line.
And that makes hobby boxes more expensive. But if boxes are more expensive, how can people who are trying to save money afford product? That's the problem.
It's a bad market right now - great for people who have money, but not right for sellers. So look at your card shop closely. You don't know if it will be shuttered the next time you show up.
Susan Lulgjuraj writes for 'A Cardboard Problem,' http://www.cardboardproblem.com
A blog providing information on collections, thoughts and more.