This question is for everyone including myself and may not be specific to this post but it applies for all purchase you make not just cards. My comments are also not aimed directly at anyone who has commented in this thread or others like it. They are just general comments, though if you take them heart it just may help out some of those local shops. Anyway, disclaimers finished on to the real reason for my post. The next time you are lamenting the loss of yet another local mom and pop card shop (or video store or gas station or anything) ask yourself these questions.
When was the last time I bought something from that shop?
When was the last time I bough something on line (or from another shop) that this shop carried?
If the answer to the second question is more recent than your answer to the first one you just might have had something to do with the shop closing.
Now I realize that certain circumstances come into play. Maybe the shop is far away from you? Maybe they didn't have the things you want? That's all well and good and they are legitimate reasons for buying elsewhere but if that local shop is down the block and you just bought penny sleeves and top loaders on line to save a couple of bucks you have no right to lament the closing of the shop.
Traditional retail is changing that is for sure and mom and pop shop owners have to adapt or die there is no doubt about that. However, as a retailer and a mom and pop shop owner nothing bothers me more than people claiming to be saddened by the loss of yet another mom and pop business when they are buying all their stuff from ebay and amazon.com. Don't get me wrong, money is tight these days and people have to save money. I don't begrudge anyone saving a few bucks wherever they can. Heck, I do it myself. What I don't do however is sit back and cry about how much I will miss the local shop after it closes down.
I've got customers who buy everything from me even though they know they can get it cheaper elsewhere. I appreciate these customers and I give them breaks whenever I can. I've also got customers who tell me how happy they are that I sell crickets because the next closest place is 20 miles away but they have no problem buying everything else the need to keep their lizards alive on line so they can save a few bucks.
Once again, I stress that I am not saying any of you are like this. Maybe some of you are and maybe you are not. If you support your local shop then I am sure the owner appreciates it. If not well that is your choice and the choice will get easier eventually when he closes his doors.
You are absolutely right and on point. However, I have always done business with this particular shop when I was in this area visiting. The main reason, was to see what he had in comparison to the shop in Lubbock where I have been living for the last11 plus years. I was here the last week of February when many of the soldiers were coming home from deployment and this shop was raking in business left and right. In less than a month the sign was off the building and this guy is just gone. I was hoping that he had moved to another location but that isn't the case.
I have always enjoyed going to the local shops to shoot the breeze with the owner and other collectors and have always spent money while I was there. I'm just trying to figure out how a shop, in a military town and a local population upwards of 300,000 can just vanish at a time when it's biggest client base is just returning with money burning holes in their pockets. I am in the car business and since the soldiers have started to return we have gone from 161 sales in January to 216 in February and we are over 200 sales this month with two days to go.