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Solid133
Well I just got back into the hobby a few weeks ago and was saddened to learn my LCS had closed down earlier this year. I've been purchasing online the past few weeks but it just doesn't have the same appeal as breaking boxes with people around. I live in the Tampa Bay area in Florida so you would think there would be more than 1 shop, but the other card store only sells a few boxes and is prmarily a memorabilia shop.

Point of this post is two things:

1st has anyone here had the inkling to open your own LCS, if so why or why didn't you?

2nd is there anyone else in the Tampa Bay Area of Florida that happens to know if there is any place to purchase boxes/cards at?

Thanks
Zimbow
talk to dodgerblue. I believe he recently opened up one
northicehero99
I just did a google search and found this listing: http://directory.tbo.com/FL-Tampa/Trading-Cards


It showed these 8 hobby shops listed:

Business Listings

A

Memorabilia Magic
(813) 259-0052

500 N Willow Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Dist: 2.6 miles
Trading Cards

B

Encore Select
(813) 282-7073

5019 W Nassau St, Tampa, FL 33607
Dist: 3.9 miles
Hobby Shops, Trading Cards

C

Nuance Galleries
(813) 875-0511

804 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33609
Dist: 3.9 miles
Art Museums and Galleries, Picture Framing, Trading Cards

D

Triple Play Sports Cards and Memorabilia
(813) 831-0652

2225 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33629
Dist: 4.5 miles
Trading Cards

E

Heroes Haven
(813) 269-8859

4339 Gunn Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618
Dist: 4.8 miles
Trading Cards

F

Ian's Collectibles
(813) 269-8613

11733 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618
Dist: 5.1 miles
Trading Cards

G

Baseball Card Clubhouse
(813) 882-8390

7710 W Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL 33615
Dist: 5.6 miles
Hobby Shops, Trading Cards

H

Yankee Bill Sports Collectibles
(813) 986-1212

9250 E Fowler Ave, Thonotosassa, FL 33592
Dist: 9.5 miles
Trading Cards
Solid133
Believe me I already checked all of those. Some no longer exist, some sell strictly memorabilia, some sell singles in flea markets, and two of them are strictly comic book stores. That's why I'm considering opening up a store of my own, none of these are viable hobby shops like my local one that closed down.

QUOTE(northicehero99 @ Nov 18 2011, 09:42 PM)
I just did a google search and found this listing:  http://directory.tbo.com/FL-Tampa/Trading-Cards
It showed these 8 hobby shops listed:

Business Listings

A

Memorabilia Magic
(813) 259-0052

500 N Willow Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Dist: 2.6 miles
Trading Cards

B

Encore Select
(813) 282-7073

5019 W Nassau St, Tampa, FL 33607
Dist: 3.9 miles
Hobby Shops, Trading Cards

C

Nuance Galleries
(813) 875-0511

804 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33609
Dist: 3.9 miles
Art Museums and Galleries, Picture Framing, Trading Cards

D

Triple Play Sports Cards and Memorabilia
(813) 831-0652

2225 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33629
Dist: 4.5 miles
Trading Cards

E

Heroes Haven
(813) 269-8859

4339 Gunn Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618
Dist: 4.8 miles
Trading Cards

F

Ian's Collectibles
(813) 269-8613

11733 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618
Dist: 5.1 miles
Trading Cards

G

Baseball Card Clubhouse
(813) 882-8390

7710 W Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL 33615
Dist: 5.6 miles
Hobby Shops, Trading Cards

H

Yankee Bill Sports Collectibles
(813) 986-1212

9250 E Fowler Ave, Thonotosassa, FL 33592
Dist: 9.5 miles
Trading Cards
*


aceecards
I think you better do the research! Who is the distributor in the area?

You cant just buy productdirect unless you deal in volume.

How much is rent? How much will signage, cases, etc cost? Insurance? Alarm system? Advertising?

What will your profit margins be? How many shows will you have to attend to sell unsold inventory?

Will you ebay singles?

There is a lot more layout at first that anyone thinks

Figure you need 30K minimum for startup inventory, rent, advertising , utilites , insurance, etc.. Do you have that? Can you borrow it? What are the costs of that money!

Then you will need to, at minimum, have great enough sales , at a decent profit margin to cover the overhead described above, while ekeing out a living for yourself.

I know a lot of shop owners.. some have been around for 30 plus years.. NONE of them live like kings, princes, royalty etc.. Most are at or below middle class!

They work 6 and 7 days a week most weeks especially around the holidays and thru the summer. They are in 3 or 4 sport markets like yourself that are avid sports fans. They sell it all.. memorabilia, comic books, cards, fantasy cards, pokemon, yu-gi-oh.. etc..!

They sponsor fantasy sports leagues, gaming days , etc to draw in potential or existing clients more frequently.

They Cannot price stuff higher than what one can buy it online plus shipping!

They end up with a lot of commons for nothing that take up space!

It is a very tough road to hoe and in this day and age and in this economy , Id say get a job and you will earn better wages!



Solid133
Thanks a lot for the insight. I'm going to take what you say in consideration. Fortuntely the last part of that doesn't apply to me because financials aren't a big deal for my situation as I would have more than enough to open and run a LCS, I would be doing it more for the love the hobby and sports in general, thanks for your advice.

QUOTE(aceecards @ Nov 18 2011, 10:07 PM)
I think you better do the research! Who is the distributor in the area?

You cant just buy productdirect unless you deal in volume.

How much is rent? How much will signage, cases, etc cost? Insurance? Alarm system? Advertising?

What will your profit margins be? How many shows will you have to attend to sell unsold inventory?

Will you ebay singles?

There is a lot more layout at first that anyone thinks

Figure you need 30K minimum for startup inventory, rent, advertising , utilites , insurance, etc.. Do you have that? Can you borrow it? What are the costs of that money!

Then you will need to, at minimum, have great enough sales , at a decent profit margin to cover the overhead described above, while ekeing out a living for yourself.

I know a lot of shop owners.. some have been around for 30 plus years.. NONE of them live like kings, princes, royalty etc.. Most are at or below middle class!

They work 6 and 7 days a week most weeks especially around the holidays and thru the summer. They are in 3 or 4 sport markets like yourself that are avid sports fans. They sell it all.. memorabilia, comic books, cards, fantasy cards, pokemon, yu-gi-oh.. etc..!

They sponsor fantasy sports leagues, gaming days , etc to draw in potential or existing clients more frequently.

They Cannot price stuff higher than what one can buy it online plus shipping!

They end up with a lot of commons for nothing that take up space!

It is a very tough road to hoe and in this day and age and in this economy , Id say get a job and you will earn better wages!
*


aceecards
QUOTE(Solid133 @ Nov 19 2011, 08:46 AM)
Thanks a lot for the insight. I'm going to take what you say in consideration. Fortuntely the last part of that doesn't apply to me because financials aren't a big deal for my situation as I would have more than enough to open and run a LCS, I would be doing it more for the love the hobby and sports in general, thanks for your advice.
*



Love of the hobby and sports in general does NOT always pay the Bills.
There is an old saying.. Bet with your head not with your heart! You can certainly let your emotion cloud your judgement!


Ask yourself.. has it ever paid your bills before?

Are you willing to make your leisure time into your work? Are you prepared to work 6-7 days a week every week. No breaks, druring posted business hours?

Im not trying to steer you in either direction but I am trying to dicuss the facts!

If you buy a case for $800 and sell each of 12 boxes for $90 SRP that comes to $1080 or a 21% magrin correct. How many cases will you have to move in a month to

Pay Rent lets say $1200 so that means 6 cases
Pay Utilities lets say $300 Phone lights internet so that means another 1 1/2
Buy Next months product $40,000 so that means 200+ cases
What about advertising and phone book $ 200 thats another case per month
Insurance for business and inventory $300 a month another 1 1/2

Will you bill able to sell 210+ cases of product a month? Thats just to keep the business open.

This will be your minimum at that profit margin without YOU getting a dime!

Now you need money to pay bills, groceries, gas.. better add another 6 or cases. Or maybe more depending on your rent/house payment..

Thats now 220+ cases at a minimum for you and your shop to exist!

You claim financials are not an object, so Ill assume you just won the lottery and the Money Flame is eternal in your case. You just reach in your pocket and pull out whatever you need? For the next 30+ years? how fast can you turn that money press to cover a shortfall if you dont meet minimums? $40,000 in a month is a lot of money. Id personally wipe out my liquid savings in 2 months!

I have seen more Hobby lovers, open shop and file personal bankruptcy than I have seen success stories.. Ive seen more hobby lovers struggle to pay their personal electric bill month after month even after 20+ years of being in business.

aceecards
here is a great indicator of St Louis

in 1986 when I moved here there were 28 actual card shops. Sonme had been around since the 1970's!

by 2006, even though I was their patron my two favorites closed and there was only 8 shops left (5 more run out of their internet, house and garage still)

Today , 5 years later, There are essentially 4 REAL shops in the entire METRO area (from st louis city to Wentzville and all points in between) and everyone of them are struggling to keep the lights on.

One guy doesnt even stock cards.. he has packs from one box ..but can order anything you want to come pick up the following wednesday as long as you prepay for it! (LOL) I call him the museum becuase all I ever do is look when I go in there!

Another shares space with a used book, video game, cd store that pulls in some decent traffic. Most of the time when you visit there you have to wait for him to get done waiting on those customers to come take care of you.. Again no box sales, but a heckuva singles collection and pack selection!

Higher rent, lower traffic, less margins because of internet competition (of which they are one), higher taxes, higher insurance.. In fact if it wasnt for his internet traffic for 8x10 pictures, my favorite haunt today would be closed!

Not a pretty picture!


Solid133
Cant really argue with u on any points lol. Your right financially I may have money enough but I could lose it pretty fast in . business I appreciate the help in helping me think,this through. Btw read your other article about the state of the hobby and agree with u. Thanks for the insight and advice
aceecards
your welcome..

All my negativity recently.. JEEZ.. tongue.gif
urbanmonk
QUOTE(aceecards @ Nov 19 2011, 10:23 AM)
your welcome..

All my negativity recently.. JEEZ.. tongue.gif
*



Your sucha downer man wink.gif laugh.gif.... but economy way it is doesn't help anyone in about any kind of employment.

I would say a brick and mortar store at this time would be a way too high of risk right now, sure you can think of better ways to throw away money. and if not I can use it wink.gif laugh.gif But seriously, you might think about going the card show/flea market route, as you do have the working capital to give it a wing. That would allow you to:

1. Test the water so to speak, see if no hope in making a profit.
2. See if something you really want to do, as if you can't stand doing it every weekend then all week would be brutal.
3. Meet people and see what the demand is in your area, as the one Hobby Shop closed you said and that's a bigger city there is either not enough demand or they ran it wrong (but really hard to compete with the internet these days as your cost on boxes thru a wholesaler at or a few dollars less than what Joe Sportscard can buy online with the Big Boys.

You could incorporate or whatever form of business that makes most sense (from an accounting standpoint and other things). That way you get your tax ID and find out what prices you can get things from wholesaler as you won't be able to buy direct from manufacturer. You would be able to write off your expenses and all that and find out if any hope of a profit at all without having the overhead of having a shop (rent/insurance/alarm company/utilities etc..). You could also do the Ebay or the like along with the weekend stuff above to add to the weekend activity. You can still probably lose money, but wouldn't be starting in a giant hole that no hope of climbing out of. And you are more in control of doing it when you want (which weekend you want to work, take a few weeks off etc...).
Solid133
You also have a good point about a flea market. I think starting small and getting a feel for the market here and the people would be a better route instead of just going all out.

QUOTE(urbanmonk @ Nov 19 2011, 01:45 PM)
Your sucha downer man wink.gif  laugh.gif.... but economy way it is doesn't help anyone in about any kind of employment. 

I would say a brick and mortar store at this time would be a way too high of risk right now, sure you can think of better ways to throw away money. and if not I can use it wink.gif  laugh.gif But seriously, you might think about going the card show/flea market route, as you do have the working capital to give it a wing.  That would allow you to:

1.  Test the water so to speak, see if no hope in making a profit.
2.  See if something you really want to do, as if you can't stand doing it every weekend then all week would be brutal.
3.  Meet people and see what the demand is in your area, as the one Hobby Shop closed you said and that's a bigger city there is either not enough demand or they ran it wrong (but really hard to compete with the internet these days as your cost on boxes thru a wholesaler at or a few dollars less than what Joe Sportscard can buy online with the Big Boys.

You could incorporate or whatever form of business that makes most sense (from an accounting standpoint and other things).  That way you get your tax ID and find out what prices you can get things from wholesaler as you won't be able to buy direct from manufacturer.  You would be able to write off your expenses and all that and find out if any hope of a profit at all without having the overhead of having a shop (rent/insurance/alarm company/utilities etc..).  You could also do the Ebay or the like along with the weekend stuff above to add to the weekend activity.  You can still probably lose money, but wouldn't be starting in a giant hole that no hope of climbing out of.  And you are more in control of doing it when you want (which weekend you want to work, take a few weeks off etc...).
*


THUNDER9
My 2 cents - Have hours that accommodate the 9 to 5 working collector, maybe noon to 8pm. Host pack wars and trading nights, Have a trade board with customers wants and needs. Weekly give away drawings. Part of the job is educating the uneducated collector. Don't talk down to prospective customers when they come in with their collections of Pro Set and 80's and 90's cards. Have a "free" bin full of those same 80's and 90's commons so they might get the subtle hint. Speak clearly, and politely - I had a LCS that employed a guy who mumbled like he had a mouth full of marbles. Get the school kids in there with a report card reward program. Have the local teams commons available - newbies want a card of their favorite player but don't want to shell out $10 a card. Like the old saying about art, ( I don't know art, but I know what I like.) those people just want a neat good looking card of their favorite player. I collected Topps Gallery sets because they're gorgeous! Sure you want to upsell, but word of mouth that you run a clean, honest, shop is the best advertising there is. Oh, and let customers use the restroom, which you should keep spotless.
osufan2383
Acecards hit this topic dead on.

My friend owns his own store and he does card shows, ebay, and the store. It has to be done in this economy
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