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Full Version: What keeps you coming to your LCS?
Collector Zone > Collector Corner > Hobby Talk
Im just curious as to what aspects of your local card shop keeps you coming back. What aspects does your LCS lack that you would like to see? For the LCS owners, what aspects are the most popular? Be as detailed as possible.
I don't go to my "LCS" very often because the closest one is 50 miles away. However, for me, it's more of a convenience thing than anything else. When I want a hobby box, or even just some packs, it's a lot better than waiting on the 3-5 day shipping for it. I also like that they sell singles and, albeit expensive, I don't have to pay for shipping. It helps, too, that most of the singles are comprised of players from my favorite teams (Texas teams). Most of the shop owners are pretty good about negotiating the prices too, and working with you if you buy more than just 1 of anything.
I'd love to have a LCS.. we don't have one.. at all.. there used to be two, but the trading card thing was a fad here.. except for me obviously biggrin.gif (and probably more, but Ive never met or talked with any blink.gif )
I literally will go into the LCS when I'm bored and spend an hour or two talking about cards with the worker thats working that day. I'm good friends with every worker at the shop.
I love the atmosphere of my LCS. Everything from a HD TV with every sports channel and wax ripping tables. But the variety of the wax is terrible. I collect basketball the only products he carries in stock are NT and Exquisite, which on a weekly basis could get pricey. Plus living in Canada everything is hockey, so I mainly stick to buying singles from Ebay and buying wax online.
Good things are usually the owners are nice people and fun to chat with. Used to go to several different ones off and on every other week.

Why I don't anymore:

Store #1 - Had a kid selling packs, he told me where the hit was in the box. I figured if he knew that, then other boxes would be plundered and not worth buying packs out of cherry picked boxes. About 2 years later that shop closed.

Store #2 - Owner always would say he would not let buyers pick packs, but I knew of two guys who often picked their own packs. Similar to store 1, figured not worth buying packs out of cherry picked boxes. The second factor was I pulled a rare card at another LCS and was told this LCS wanted a good % of the sales value to list it on ebay for me. Figured the % was high as I did not pull (buy the packs) it in that store.

Store #3 - After about 5-6 years of contanstly going to that shop, I changed jobs so did not frequent it as much. When I called about a hot product, I was told prices similar to a customer who never bought there before. I know I had not been there in a while, but that was an opportunity to win-lose my business, guess what it lost it.

The final factor is price. I get the LCS has overhead, but so do I and if I can save $20 in my pocket, why shouldn't I? No offense to store owners, I get it, but again I have to minimize my hobby expenses as much as possible.
I love going to the shop for a few reasons.
1. He loves to talk sports and cards.
2. He loves to trade and always works out a deal you can both be happy with.
3. If i'm interested in somthing and he has not opened it he will open a pack or 2 to take a look.
4. He holds Dolphins cards for me.

Just a great atmospher and guy.
MJDA - do you go to SMP in Grapevine?

I like hitting the card shop because the odds/quality of the hits are better than buying blasters from the big box stores. If I have time, I like to hang out, talk about what's hot, what other people are hitting, if they have them, plow through their singles boxes to find stuff I might want/need. Best is when you have a couple of us buying boxes of the same stuff, and seeing what each other gets and possibly trading. The fore-mentioned SMP started a Wed. box break club. I haven't been able to try it yet, but it's a nice effort to get people out to the shop.

Lastly, I was stiffed on a guarenteed hit I bought at the store. Went to the manufaturer web site and they wanted the number off the box, the receipt, all the wrappers from the box, and my first born to consider replacing it. I told Scott at SMP about it and he said "no, I'll call them". We've been waiting a while, and he said that if they dont' fix the issue, he'll take care of it with me. He doesn't have to do that. Not his fault that the box was short. But it's nice that he stands by his customers and would offer to do that.
I miss it more than I can possibly convey in words.

I worked at Steve's Collectibles for almost 7 years.
We closed the store on March 31, 2008 after 10
years in business in two locations.

I learned a great deal from both sides of the counter.
I met collectors, enthusiasts and flippers. I still stay
in touch with a handful of the hard-core guys. Several
of us are discussing setting up a table or two at the
National in Baltimore in August.

I completely agree with Brian (northicehero99)
concerning the costs. The days of the brick and mortar
are numbered, even the very established and
heavily traveled ones. It is impossible to compete
with the online giants. The overhead is simply too
much to compete for profits with an online operation.

That stated, I sorely miss the interaction, the pulls
that I witnessed and the simple camaraderie of the
shop. I wouldn't trade the experience for all of the
profits in the world. It was a great ride.

Collect Hard!,
QUOTE(Bobcats110 @ Dec 29 2011, 09:44 PM)
MJDA - do you go to SMP in Grapevine?

No, I go to one in Wichita Falls. I can't even remember the name of it. I was told about it by Gforce083. I also go to What's on Second in San Antonio every year when we vacation there. I did miss it last vacation though. sad.gif
Nothing. I stopped going. Then they shut down about a year ago.
QUOTE(northicehero99 @ Dec 28 2011, 11:09 PM)

The final factor is price.  I get the LCS has overhead, but so do I and if I can save $20 in my pocket, why shouldn't I?  No offense to store owners, I get it, but again I have to minimize my hobby expenses as much as possible.

I understand this 100% and I never begrudge someone who is trying to save some money. If you do buy on line (or from another venue) though all that I ask is that you NEVER EVER complain to your LCS owner about the bad deal you got or how you got ripped off elsewhere. At the very least he probably won't care and at worst he will probably feel like "good for you"
They always have a great amount of supplies. Really nice people! And they have a huge wax selection!!
I'll be celebrating 10 years in business in April. It is very challenging to say the least. I have used an unconventional formula and have had great success. 2011 was my best year yet after two straight years of declining sales. People come in for the human interaction. They love to talk sports and tell stories. I have a small yet devoted group of regulars that I know I am always on the lookout for unique items just for them. Granted most of them have the disposable income to spend, but they could easily get stuff online and spend their cash elsewhere as well. Even though they are the minority in today's hobby, some people still prefer to examine what they are buying in person. I look at eBay as a supplier. I spend hours scouring the site for deals on things I can re-sell. Over the past year, I have really begun to concentrate on singles rather than unopened material. I still carry a small selection of packs/boxes but sell a ton more singles than anything else. I also added a product line that no one else carries which appeals to youngsters that may not be traditional sports fans......WWE merchandise (action figures, trading cards, 8x10 photos, autographs, DVDs) and it has been huge for me! The only other shop in town basically concentrates on MTG cards and any sports stuff he sells is just a bonus. He is nearing retirement after 35 years in business so I have begun planning for my next move when he closes and I become the only game in town. The LCS can still work it is just very difficult. Many shops blame the rise of online retail as the final nail in their coffin. As I have said many times, that element of the industry has made in difficult but not impossible. An LCS owner just has to get creative, work harder, and try to stay ahead of the curve to make things work. Sadly, many of them aren't willing to do that. I can't count the number of times I have changed my strategy over the years. It is a constant battle to keep things going. Just think of all the changes to the hobby itself in the last 10 - 15 years. I enjoy it even though it is very frustrating at times.
I stick with my LCS because he's a good, honest guy who can still manage to get pretty good prices compared to the online stores. Plus, no wait for shipping!

Heck, I've gotten the best pull of my life from there. I don't imagine I'll stop going soon!
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