Sunday, April 29, 2018

Not all card shops are created equal.

Last Saturday I went to a card show and sent some time digging through a couple of 10 for a $1 boxes full of 2018 Topps Series I looking for a J.D. Martinez card; the last card I need to complete my D-Backs team set from that set. Looked through several thousand cards, but I had no luck.

This past Friday, I had a little extra time to kill during my lunch break so I went to a card shop close to my work that I've only been to a couple of times.

I started looking through some 5000 count boxes and found some 2018 Topps, so I began looking for the J.D. Martinez card I needed and found it fairly quickly.

I also came across a box full of 2018 Heritage and remembered that I still needed the A.J. Pollock card for the team set, so I started looking. Found it!

In addition to the Pollock, I saw a couple of the World Series cards that I wanted, so I set them aside. I also started to come across a few of the All-Star cards so I added them to my pile.

None of the boxes were labeled so when the guy asked how I was doing I asked him how much the cards were that I was looking through. His answer was that they would be anywhere between 50 cents to $2 each. I was a little shocked and asked him if they had any dime boxes. He answered, "Dime boxes don't exist anymore." He went on to explain that because most boxes cost $100 or more these days, there is no such thing as dime boxes.

Well that's weird because the two card shops that I usually frequent not only have dime boxes, but the one has boxes upon boxes of cards priced at 15/$1 and I spent an hour or so less than a week before rummaging through dime boxes at a card show. I told him just that and his response was that these are all newer cards and they just haven't had time to go through and sort everything.

I put everything back with the exception of the J.D. Martinez and the A.J. Pollock and handed them to him. He looked at them and said, "Well these are going to be about 20 cents each." I pulled out a dollar bill and handed it to him. He gave me back 75 cents. I walked out and most likely won't be back.

They can charge whatever they want. I don't have to buy, if I don't agree with the price, but don't tell me that dime boxes don't exist. This tells me that they really aren't in touch with the hobby.

I know a lot of you either don't have card shops close by or your card shop doesn't have any dime boxes, but what are your thoughts on my interaction? Are there other things that you've noticed at card shops that tell you that they aren't really connected to the hobby?


  1. I think you should have looked around and perhaps asked beforehand if prices were not marked - you could have decided whether or not to bother picking out cards in the first place.

  2. Yeah, he is way out of touch with the hobby. The advantage of "back in the day" was there was a lot less product to have to sort and you knew what you paid for each product. Nowadays it seems that some stores feel like they have to charge so much because they are afraid of getting ripped off, but they have no idea how much they paid in the end...and how much they can charge to come out ahead. I went to two card shops in Norfolk a few weekends ago...and they had boxes upon boxes of 1990s junk wax product on the shelf with crazy prices. If they had $5 on a box I would have picked up a few. Lack of updated pricing tells me that they are way out of touch with the hobby.

  3. I hate when there is no pricing. It's bad enough at a show, but in a shop? Crazy.

    I've been to a few shops in my area, and they don't have dime boxes. But when I go to shows, there are always dime boxes, and often cheaper, down to nickel boxes. The shops I've gone to are generally way overpriced compared with shows. I understand they have overhead, but I'm not going to pay much more for a card than I would at a show.

  4. the one LCS that gets my occasional hobby box dollar has no dime boxes or .25ers for that matter. He does have a display of $1 cards but most are over priced. I asked the owner once why he doesn't do this. "People steal from dime boxes - he doesn't have time to keep an eye of them." I suggested keeping them available for customers he CAN trust. If you see me walk in the door, pull out the box. I can spent $20 or more and have many times, at card shows. Your fella is definitely out of touch.

  5. Dime boxes do still exist, I was just digging through my LCS' box last week lol. Although then again I think most of their inventory is stuff the high end box breakers just left behind after nabbing all of the hits :P.

  6. Sorry to hear you had a bad LCS experience - that’s pretty lousy.
    I’ve been to few shops like that. They don’t take the time to keep up with the hobby and are more worried about making a quick buck than creating good customer relationships. And then to justify ripping you off when they realize that you know what they’re saying is BS, they victimize themselves and try to make you feel sorry for them for not being able to keep up with the demand.

  7. I guess this shop owner doesn't read your blog or Dime Box Nick's. Kudos to Topps (I don't say that very often anymore) on that awesome photo of Martinez. I don't even mind them cropping off his feet.