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The Sports Card Bulletin





Out of the 25 essays that were sent in, 16 were in favor of a good baseball card shop, 9 were in favor of a good baseball card show. This was a small sampling of opinions, but it definitely leaned in a direction that card shop owners should feel good about. Maybe there's useful information in these essays that shop owners could learn from? One consistent theme in the shop owner essays was the relationships and comradery that shops can help nurture.

There is of course no one right answer to this "shop or show" essay question, but the opinions, suggestions and stories submitted are very inspiring. Once you finish reading them you'll likely have the urge to visit a good local card shop followed by a fun weekend show. If only we all had easy access to both!

Here's the winning essay from our "Baseball Card Shop or Baseball Card Show" essay contest

Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?

A brick and mortar shop is best, a place where the proprietor greets us and our kids by name. We're reliable customers because the shop receives timely shipments of the latest product; there is no price gouging; pack searching is verboten; children are truly welcome. In fact, the shop keeps a box by the register so kids can reach in for a pack that costs 99 cents. The owner runs ads in the local paper mentioning what's coming up to keep us apprised of what to hope for.

The good shop is akin to the home team, and a card show is more in the realm of the visiting team, energizing but not so comfortable. Because nothing beats a familiar haunt where we emerge with one more story, another memory to share.

Did a friendly baseball player sign your son's Topps card once? Did your uncle or granddad keep a stack of Bowman cards, wrapped in a rubber band, in a shoebox? Did your grandmother slip a Johnny Mize card in the corner of the oak mirror in her bedroom? Is there baseball cardboard in your DNA?

Everyone has different motivations for collecting, but two themes emerge consistently: nostalgia and seeking the happy kick provided by hope in a pack or a box. Sure, shows can be fun.but one never knows. We might burn some serious fuel to get there, we might stand in line to gain entry and then be thwarted by dealer after dealer with inexplicably overpriced singles or boxes. Of course, we may find a little gem that will convince us the trip was worth it. Perhaps.

But sometimes in this fractured world we seek consistency even as it seems to be fading away. We want to be lucky enough to find that good shop in walking distance of the stadium, or the girls' fast pitch softball field, or the college ball park, a friendly shop where someone has committed square footage to the old-fashioned notion of helping people stumble upon what they seek. Where at least there's a chance. A chance that as we remove, with a sigh, the last pack from the last hobby box of that set we like, we hear the faint click of baseball cards in bicycle spokes, or catch a glimpse of a flipped card as it soars through the air, and when we get to the car, that last pack will have in it something we really wanted to find.

By Patricia
Dinged Corners (

Here are the rest of the essays from our "Baseball Card Shop or Baseball Card Show" essay contest - read them all, you'll be glad you did!

Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
If given the choice between a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop, I would prefer a good baseball card shop. Granted, baseball card shows offer unique features such as the opportunity to see 'eye candy' items that a card store may not have in their inventory, the ability to talk with numerous dealers about the industry, and the access to get items signed by a sports figure, but there are numerous intangibles missing from a show that a good card shop fulfills. These are friendship, knowing the needs of the consumer, and offering special evenings for regular patrons.

For the purpose of this essay, I shall use my local card store as the perfect example of why a good card store is better than a good card show. My local card store is five miles away. It's open from 2 PM to 7 PM Monday through Friday, and 12 - 5 on Saturday and Sunday.

There are two employees at my local store, the owner and a person closer to my age. Both know me by name. I have developed a friendship with both. However, I have had a great friendship with the person closer to my age. We have gone out numerous times to eat, watch movies, or just hang out. We initially shared the common bond of cards, but after getting together outside of the card shop, we've realized we have a lot more in common on other topics. He's been a great friend to my wife and daughter as well. He has been very product savvy and has told me which products he believes to be worth the price and which products he believes to be not. I know I can count on him for advice much more than someone at a show because I trust him as a friend. You can make friends with dealers at shows, but generally your only contact with that person might be at a show, and that may be only a couple times a month. I have been able to see my friends at their shop numerous times a week. Moreover, I'm not obligated to buy something everytime I go to the shop. Quite often it's just to say "hi" if i'm passing by and to chat about anything from sports to seeing if anyone pulled a good card lately.

The second reason a store is better than a show is that a good store knows the needs of the consumer. My shop knows what I'm collecting. The owner sets up at a show every Sunday. The show is an hour away. With gas prices the way they are, it's really not worth going to a show to get a bunch of commons to fill sets. As a courtesy, he's allowed me to give him lists of cards I need to fill my sets. He, in turn, takes my list to the show and gives it to a couple of people who fill it, and charge him very little for the cards selected. He then brings the cards to the store later in the day on Sunday and gives them to me at the price he paid at the show. This is a great advantage of having a good card shop over a good show. A good card shop owner can save you a great deal of time and trouble by doing favors such as this. Obviously, in return, I will continue to buy cards from him to start my sets and then give him the lists to help fill them. Further, because he knows many of the dealers at the show he sets up at, they are more inclined to give him a better deal, which in turn is passed on to me.

Finally, and most important, my card store has special evenings for its regular customers. The owner of the store periodically sends out emails to people who register their email addresses with the store informing us of special evenings. These special evenings include 'pack wars', special promotional nights and trader nights. He has agressively approached both Topps and Upper Deck about promotional nights and has received numerous promotional items to give out during these nights. He buys pizza and soft drinks or, if it's an Upper Deck promo night, Italian food that is free of charge to the patrons. He then plays 'pack wars' or has promotional nights of a product in which there are amazing prizes such as multiple autographed memorabilia, wax boxes, novelty items such as mugs and hats, and even top loaders and sleeves. All are welcome to attend. There's a sincere feeling of excitement when you see a friend pull an amazing card out of a pack. The electricity fills the room when you see the person's eyes light up and say, "wow...check this card out!" Sure, you secretly are a little jealous and wish it were you, but if it's not you, you're happy that it's someone you know. My eleven year old daughter has come to many of these nights and has won amazing items. Recently she won an autographed Jonathan Papelbon framed 16x20 picture. The owner sent her picture with her winnings into Upper Deck, and they have subsequently put the photo in their brochure.

Aside from getting great food and winning prizes at these promotional nights, it also gives an opportunity for the regular customers to get together and enjoy an evening of comradarie. We talk about recent good pulls, products we like or dislike, cards we need to collect, and who's worth their weight in gold in fantasy baseball :) Moreover, it's a group of guys and girls getting together and having a great time for about three hours or so. This is something a good sports card show would never be able to accomplish.
Although I certainly recognize the enjoyment a person could have going to a good card show, there's no question a good card store can give this enjoyment many more times a month than a Sunday show. A good card shop is not just a business. It's a place where you always feel welcome, can enjoy the hobby, socially network with friends and feel like you're part of a family. This is the experience I have at my card store and this is why I strongly believe a good card store is substantially better than a good card show.
Thank you.
Dave Alcox

Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
You would think that being in a major metropolitan area such as Jackson, MS would give to multiple options when it comes to Trade Shows and Sport Collectibles Storefronts. Unfortunately for me and the 180,000 some odd people located here, this is not the case. However, fortunately for us there is one option for both.

The first is a trade show that takes place roughly every two to three months. A gentleman by the name of Roland Belcher hosts a trade show, which is advertised in Beckett, in Pearl, MS. The show is held in a small room of a local hotel, roughly 15X15, and is packed wall to wall with a really good selection of boxes, both new and old, and some great singles.

The second option is a small Sports Card Shop located in Clinton, MS. The shop is ran by a gentleman by the name of Jerry. Jerry and I have become good friends over the last year as I stop in at least once a week to see what's new. Even if I'm not "buying" anything at the time I always walk out with something. I never leave empty handed unless I'm completely broke. Although the few hobby boxes he carries usually don't stay on the shelf long, he has a pretty good selection of singles on hand.

It's hard to have an opinion about a question like this when you have so little to choose from in your area. It would have been easier to answer 8 years ago when I first came to Jackson. At that time, there were at least 5 shops that I remember. The various malls and hotels hosted a show almost every weekend. Gone are the days, I suppose.

So which do I prefer? My answer leans heavily towards that which I feel will help to prolong the hobby as we know it (or knew it, as some might say.) My choice would be, hands down, a good baseball card shop. I will take "local homegrown" over "traveling salesman" any day.

I can't tell you how many times I got ripped off as a kid at trade shows. Unscrupulous dealers, counterfeit cards, prospectors, pack searchers, you name it, trade shows have it. You may get taken and never see it coming. Let Jerry try to swindle me and I know how to find him. Let a dealer from another state get away with a "steal" and you can chalk it up to experience.

Card Shops allow you to build a local community of collector's in a way that Trade Shows do not. You get to know your shop's dealer and vice versa. You trust them and they trust you. Neither is trying to get over on the other. There's too much at stake for both parties. Trade shows aren't quite the same. I have been to most all of Mr. Belcher's shows over the last year and the dealers never seem to remember me. Even though I always come in with my loud-mouthed, 4 year old, t-ball star who wants ONLY more vintage Ninja Turtle Cards.

Although I love any and every opportunity to look at, talk about, and purchase sports cards, I will never be much more than a consumer to the dealer at a trade show. When I hit the door in Clinton, MS, the bell rings, the dealer hops up from his seat watching SportsCenter, and heads to the counter. No matter what happens before I head back out the door to go home, you can always count on, "See ya next week, Jason?" to be followed with "You bet, Jerry!"

Most days, that's more important to me than the cards could ever be.

Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
It has been a long, long time since the good old days of Good card Shows. We all watched the days and years gone by to the new collector and salary booms like never before seen. Card shows for the young and for the family have long been disappearing and card collectors searching for that certain authentic money cards inserted in packs that a normal collector (young) cannot afford. Sure there is Profit in the Nation’s oldest and favorite pastime. I have seen the eyes of those collectors both wishing to complete their sets and those that have done so with the help of Card shows or connections as these days require all the connections possible in the hobby.

I have been a collector for the past 21 years of my 22 years in marriage and with priceless memories of Card shows with my children and wife. Since my children were months old we would bundle them in snow suites back in Connecticut during the winter months of plenty snow days and go to the nearest card show and making it a family pastime as often as we could afford. At the Card shows we would meet others both traders, buyers and people like me, from there we ask where the nearest card shop or show is and we would just drive and go from one part of the state to the other or in another state. We would make this an all day family outing which you don’t find anymore and meeting people has come to an end except online or if you get a young child interested in your hobby. I can say that my marriage has been a big help staying so consistent with this hobby, but I give a lot of credit to the card shows that involves the entire theatre of family and Collection. Memories will always be the best part of my collection and they all start at Card shows. Card shows offer a variety of items that like hard to find memorabilia or a great place to get bargains on hard to find cards. As a young collector the shows would also inspire my interest and make a clear picture of my dream one day. I believe that the hobby should be a fun and rewarding pastime. As I write this essay I find myself as a unique Collector of the card shows that once were a favorite and now only a disappearing pastime for the young generation. Good Card Shows have long been a distant memory and should be revived for the health of our family and collector.

Sam McClure (peacekeepr)

Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
To preface this subject I must admit that I have a good collector hobby shop within 2&1/2 blocks of my house. But this does not prejudice me for card shops over card shows. We also have a small monthly show here in town which can range from good to not real good.

But in looking at the big picture even if my situation were different. I would still pick a good reputable baseball card shop over even a series of local baseball card shows. I feel the number one reason is that a shop represents a reputable constant standard that even a series of shows cannot reach. A collector can always relie on this standard, whereas a show even in a series can change from good to fair and back to good again, in a catch as catch can fashion. As a collector gets to know a shop and its owner, he enters into a valuable relationship that is unbeatable. The owner of the shop can inform his customers of the latest industry promotions, specials, etc., and any instore items that he happens to obtain for the shop (i.e. people selling their collections to the shop). At a shop you can most always relie on the resale items being of quality, in contrast to a show where the quality can range sometimes greatly. Another advantage of a hobby shop is that the owner can customize his inventory to a degree to fit the continued patronage of his regular customers, whereas a show vender cannot do this. The only minor setback to a shop is that the prices could be on the high side due to the overhead that a shop owner is burdened with. But this is usually far outweighed by the aforementioned advantages of a collector hobby shop. So, all in all, the reliability, the customer service, and the contancy factor make a local collector hobby baseball shop head and shoulders above any show or show series.

Submitted by Jack W. Coons (dawgsman)

Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
When given the choice of a good local card shop available every day or a good card show available every few months, the decision is easy. I'll take the card show. Why? Because I already have a good card shop within 20 miles of home and I rarely go there because they don't carry, for the most part, what I am usually looking for. As a budget minded, primarily low-end collector, I can't shell out $50 a pack or $200 a box for a chance at a rare gem card, even though I'd love to get one. I'd rather spend my $100 on an actual card that I can see and touch, one that I know I want and know I will own with my purchase. Price is the #1 factor.

Another reason I'd prefer the card show is that while local shops offer a nice selection of today's top stars and local team favorites, they don't have a good selection of common base cards of the average everyday player, especialy selections of matte cards suitable for getting signed at the ballpark, one of the reasons I collect in the first place. Because I'm not a set builder, assembling those sets takes a large amount of time and money, especially considering that I won't even see most of the players from the national leagues at Safeco Field and don't have a need for the cards. Where am I supposed to put thousands of cards? Individual selection and my space limitations are the #2 factor.

A third reason I'd prefer the card show is the opportunity to see and perhaps buy commons of long ago players without having to rip open overpriced wax packs at a card shop that "might" contain a Ripken, Seaver, or Gwynn rookie card. My local card shop doesn't sell older commons individually, and although there are opportunities on-line at sites such as Beckett Marketplace and e-bay to purchase these, alot of times no picture is available. Plus you don't get to actually "see" the card, just a picture that may or may not have been tampered with. So factor #3 is accessability and accountability, the transaction takes place immediately.

These are the 3 factors why I'd prefer to have a good card show come to town rather than have a good card shop to shop at everyday.


Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
I've had just a little experience in the large card shows. Living in central PA, it was only a 90 minute drive to Fort Washington for a yearly show. And it was a good show. I'm sure the Chicago shows and those in other metropolitan areas are just as good or better. Lots of displays and freebies, plenty to buy, and always a little sleaze to be cautious of. After all, I didn't really know these people.

I've also had the luxury of having several card shops in my town over the years - Big Bob's, Bleacher Bums, Sportcard Connection, and so on. They seem to have a life of about five years. No glitz, maybe a small promotion once in awhile, but I ran into sleaze only once in 25 years of come-and-go card shops.

My preference will always be the small local business guy trying to make a go of it. The guy who gives up a job to live the dream of owning his own shop. After he opens, and I find him, we do a dance - the "getting to know you waltz." We feel each other out and get a sense of the person each of us happens to be. We either develop a relationship or not. But if we develop trust, we can move on to know one another. I have valued the people I've met this way. It's a good dynamic to build trust and friendship. You can be cynical and suggest that I've been taken in by a good sales pitch learned at a seminar, but I can promise you that none of these guys would no Dale Carnegie. If you brought up the name, they'd ask who he plays for! There's also the other customers of these shops. They often have hobby knowledge and ideas to share. And,they can become future trading partners once you get to know each others' collections. I also believe that building trusting relationships of this type spills over into high level card trading communities such as Sportscardfun, and vice versa.

Do I get any of this at a national show? No. The time is short and the hype is high. There's no opportunity to build a friendship. Once and done. "See ya next year."

I'll always support a local business guy in a start up card shop over a big, nearby show. Perhaps the big card companies could give greater support to entrepeneurs in small ventures made of bricks, mortar and friendships, rather than invest and promote only in their own internet interests and big shows that only a small percentage of the collecting public can attend.

Big card companies can supply product endlessly. That's what they do. Only real people in good situations can grow the hobby.


Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
Here are some of my reasons for this decision. The shows are a place for people to meet and enjoy a mutual hobby. It makes for a nice days outing. Big shows enable you to obtain that "hard to find" card. Trading is also practiced at most all shows. There are always good deals at a show. Card packs of all sports are most always available. One may meet their favorite player and obtain an autograph! And if you are really lucky it could be your day to win the drawing.

There is one card shop in town here in Salem OR. There use to be 6 shops about 5 years ago. Unfortunately, like most owners he is not able to inventory large varieties of cards and packs as one could find at card shows. Although this owner is very fair in his pricing he is unable to compete with most show prices on packs and cards due to the many dealers and sellers.

I remember when I first started collecting I could not wait until the weekend to go to a card show. That's right! Not only were they weekly but multiple shows could be found in town! There was a lot of competition and good prices prevailed. You can meet a lot of people and discuss a lot of your favorite sport subjects. And don't forget, you could rent a space and sell your cards!

I feel the hobby still needs card shows. Although the internet provides a huge market for sports cards, there still is nothing like attending a card show and meeting with other card collectors to discuss the sports, the players and their collections!


Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
What a choice to make, a great card shop, or a great card show every couple months........hmmmm. As much as I love card shows I would prefer to have a Great card shop. Living in Massachusetts there seems to be a lack in either of them. I have to think back to the 1980's when I was in my teens, I got excited for the rare card show that came to the city, but there was nothing like the local card shop. Back in the late 80's and early 90's the hobby was different, there wasn't the need to walk into the shop with much more than $20, unlike today when that will only get you a pack or two..........or not even that if you want a good product. But what made the card shops great back then, can still be done nowadays. There's nothing like going into a shop, spending an hour or two talking with the owner about the local teams, the local prospects and what prospects to grab now while they are still reasonably valued.

A perfect shop would have a mixture of the newest products for sale, by the pack or the box, but also will have the 5000 count boxes of commons, semi-stars, and stars that are needed to complete sets. What makes a Great card shop, is a Great card shop owner. The owner would be knowledgeable, able to cater to the high dollar spender, but also the kids. I remember some shops where the owner would bust open a box or two of each product and they would always pull some great stuff, which was just as much fun to look at in the plexiglass covered cases. I love having a shop where the owner and collector get to know each other and help each other out. Trading is great, and necessary part of the hobby.

All of the above can be found at a good card show as well, but the relationship with the owner of the shop, and the ability to go into the shop, show your collection, talk cards, talk sports, and just hang out is what makes a card shop much more desirable. The card show is fun, but reminds me of the traveling carnival that comes to town a couple times a year, fun, but just there to get your money.

Card shops should be a place where kids, and adults, can go show their collection, trade, buy, and no matter what leave happy, anticipating your visit tomorrow. Whether you have cards worth hundreds or if you are looking for the five dollar David Ortiz insert that is going to be the centerpiece of a young collectors collection a Great card shop is there everyday. Unlike the card show, that packs up, and like the carnival, moves on to another city.


Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
To be honest, I'm not really a baseball card collecting fanatic. I have only recently got into the hobby as a way for my son and I to do something together-male bonding that only slightly irritates mommy as we sneak off to buy another 5 packs of cards!. We have bought cards off of auction sites, traded with others via the internet, gone to our local card store to buy packs and a box here or there, and we have even attended a couple of card shows. Over the short time we have been collecting, my son and I have learned several things about the hobby, not the first of which is "you'll never get rich unless Ryan Zimmerman makes it to the hall of fame!" We have also learned that collecting baseball cards can be boiled down to three basic categories: getting a good price, having access to the specific cards one collects, and getting a card in the condition one desires.

Online auction sites can offer a wide selection and sometimes a good price, but one must rely on the word of the vendor for the quality of the card. Also, specific cards may be difficult to find as one gets deeper into the collection. Third, one usually must deal with multiple vendors to find the various cards one wants, thus driving the cost for shipping through the roof.

Online trading services can also offer a wide selection and costs involve postage only, but it often takes a lot of time to find specific cards you need and matching one's wants with another trader's wants can take a lot of search time and often falls through. Further, time is taken attempting to assess the book value of various cards for trade. Finally, one must have cards to trade cards, thus the small collector usually has fewer desirable cards making trades with others scarce.

Local card stores can offer good customer rapport and one can inspect and judge for himself the condition of any desired card. However, local stores generally have high overhead and often have limited selection as they want to carry cards that will move quickly. If one collects specific cards, one might also find that they can be more expensive and harder to find at the local store.

Local or regional card shows can offer the best venue overall for price, selection, and quality. Cad show vendors often trade cards not only to make some money, but also for the love of the hobby. They have a depth of knowledge about the hobby and about the sport that is readily available to those that ask. Card show vendors offer great customer rapport and often can offer deals that other venues cannot. Further, card shows offer exposure to a wide-variety of cards from vintage to new, from Hall-of-Famers to obscure players, and from any trading card company under the sun. If one vendor does not have what one is looking for, they are often quick to refer one to another vendor that might have it as they often know each other. Finally, at local card shows one can inspect the card and know the quality of the card up front, thus allowing one to buy with confidence.

Buying and trading online or buying cards at your local card store are good venues for collecting baseball cards, but the local card show is superior to all other venues for getting a good value, for access to cards that one collects, and for the quality of the cards. Now, if only one would come our way soon, so we can sneak off and aggravate mommy just a little more!


Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
The enjoyment of collecting baseball cards seems to be two-sided. There is the self-enjoyment which occurs when we open up a pack and receive a rare card, or as we strive to finish our sets. But the other part is just as, or even more important; this is the enjoyment we receive when we share our hobbies with others who understand the feelings and thrills that come with it. For this reason, I prefer my local hobby shop over a large baseball card show.

Card shows have there advantages; the selection of boxes and being able to find that one card you need. However, the internet also works just as well for that. But going to the local hobby shop is much more than a card buying experience. Only there will someone actually care about the Ian Kennedy Auto I pulled out of my last pack and it's hard to talk over the internet about how steamed up about the half box of cards I bought and got absolutely no hits. Baseball card shops have an additional aspect to them because card collecting is as much about the sports as the cards. Sports hobby shops are a great venting place where I can spend some time complaining about the Eagles or Phillies, and everyone knows what I am talking about. Need the latest update on new prospects? Someone down there can give you some info. maybe not a lot, but a heck of a lot more than my wife would know :)

The hobby shop is about the companionship and experience of baseball card collecting, where as the internet and card shows are more about the acquisition of cards.


Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
Card stores have come and gone over the past twenty five years. I have seen many stores open up make a quick buck and shut down hurting the hobby and more importantly hurting collectors that they took advantage of. Card shows are a staple of our card collecting hobby. Card shows have been around for many years. And in my opinion, card shows are critical for the survival of our card collecting hobby.

Card shows feature a wide variety of cards and memorabilia in one location. For free or a small admission charge card shows offer a collector many different dealers under one roof , many different cards and pieces of memorabilia in many cases at a reasonable price.

Collectors can go to a card show and be able to fill their wantlists. They actually can see and inspect the cards before they buy them. As compared to the internet or mail order sales, a collector can make a much better determination before buying a card. Collectors will also save money by not having to pay shipping charges for their cards and thus be able to buy more cards or memorabilia.

Collectors may be able to learn about their hobby from a show. Many dealers are eager to share their knowledge about what they know about a card set or piece of memorabilia. This interaction is essential for our hobby. Camaraderie is developed between dealers and collectors. Collectors can see in person many cards and memorabilia they may have read about or heard about. The more knowledge a collector has the better the hobby becomes for him or her. And in the long run, a collector will keep coming back to a well run card show and keep buying items.

I would like to take the card show concept a step further. I would like to see at a card show, an area set up for traders who could pay a nominal fee to set up a table and just trade with other collectors. This would also increase traffic at the show and give collectors the best of both worlds.
Yes, I will take a good card show any day over a card store. I hope to see you at the next show


Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
I would prefer an established card shop over going to a card show.My reason is there is nothing like opening a pack of cards in a card shop and wheeling and dealing.Also without card shops we wouldn't be able to find a reliable place to buy,sell,or trade cards.Also they tend to have more boxes of products to open as well as older and recent cards available.It is also better for the local economy to visit and buy cards at the card shop instead of buying at a show where you don't really know the person running the table and how honest or dishonest the seller may be.You also know with the local card shop if they are honest and if they do or don't search the packs and boxes to pull the real good pulls.You can also build up a reliable reputation with the card shop owner and let him know whom and what teams or players you collect.Overall I think that their is more comaradie with the local shop owner then a card show seller.They also have more cards of local or regional interest players.
Thanks for the contest,
Fairon Spears

Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?

Luckily, I live in an area where both are plentiful.

But to me, a good baseball card show is much better. Granted, a show only occurs once every few months, while the card shop is accessible almost every day. If I feel a need to get cards in between shows, there are always plenty of other venues, from the internet (trading clubs, auctions) to big box retailers (Walmart, Target, etc.). However, the show has the major advantage of competition. This does two things: increases variety and decreases price.

Since a show has multiple dealers, you can typically find most anything: unopened packs and boxes, singles and lots, stars and commons, vintage, card supplies, and inserts and other oddball items. With so many dealers, you are bound to find something of interest.

Since some of these dealers have similar items, each one looks to make the sale by lowering the price. Card shops have a much larger overhead for the store (rent, utilities) rather than a dealer's table rental. It seems much easier to make an offer to a dealer if you purchase a larger amount of items from him, while the card shop seems more rigid in price. Prices always seem to be lower at a card show than at a card shop.

So, if I had to give up one, I'd rather give up the card shop rather than the card show.

Andrew Algava

Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
I would have to say that I prefer a good baseball card shop. While a card show has many exciting things going on and you can usually get discounts on cards, they do not compare with a card shop.
The main reason a card shop is better is the relationship you establish with people running the shop as well as other card enthusiasts. This relationship is hard to achieve at a show. You may run into some of the same people time and again but it is not the same. For the casual card collector this may not matter much. But the experienced card collector needs this kind of interaction. The shop personnel get to know you and your collecting tendencies and are always willing to get you the products you want. Having that personal relationship makes the difference when collecting cards.

Another reason is the excitement of ripping through that new pack of cards looking for that dream pull. Getting it at a card show doesn't come close to the sense of euphoria you get to share with the people at your local shop whom you have collected with and shared so many experiences with.
Finally, unless you live in an area where card shows are frequent, the main way o get your "fix" is to either go to Wal-Mart (only retail packs) or visit your friendly neighborhood card shop where the latest and greatest hobby products are at your disposal.


Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
The question of the day is what would you rather have, a good baseball card shop or a good baseball card show? In my opinion having a good baseball card show is by far the better of the two. There are many reasons for this in which I will use this essay to convey why.

The first and foremost thing is variety! There will be numerous dealers, which collect different cards, items, or genres. A baseball card shop would only give you one dealer, which collected certain things. Having numerous dealers allows you to have more of a chance to find the card you have always wanted or needed. Unlike Joe's Baseball card shop if he doesn't have it then you are out of luck.

Secondly, is dealer cost overhead. Joe' Baseball card shop has to pay rent and electricity, this is going to be directly embedded in his prices. A card show will rent a public space and sell tables or booths to dealers. This is a lot cheaper then renting a place month to month. This will allow you to find unbelievable deals at card shows. Its like going to a garage sale versus going to the store.

Lastly, shows have special guests sometimes signing autographs, or big name manufactures showing what is coming out in the near feature in the product lines. These are big attracters and it is very hard for Joe's Baseball card shop to get Nolan Ryan to come to his shop to sign autographs.

These are the reasons why you should go to a Sports Card Show near you! You never know what deals you may find!


Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
A good baseball card show is a great thing. It brings a large variety of dealers and collectors together from a wide area which allows people to network and discuss baseball cards face to face with others whom they normally wouldn't be able to. However, I would prefer a good baseball card shop over a show any day. From the previous writing contests everyone agrees that the baseball card industry needs help and something needs to be done to get kids interested and keep them interested in the hobby of collecting baseball cards and a good, local baseball card shop could help that.

A good, local baseball card shop can be used as a watering hole for all collectors in a certain small area where they can discuss cards, baseball, whatever. While the card shop serves your collecting needs you are, at the same time, building a local network of people who share the same passion as you. Now that you have this meeting place and this local network you don't have to wait 2 or 3 months before the next big card show to come to your area to be able to discuss your latest great pack pull, your favorite player, or the newest set to come out. You can do it all from your local card shop! A local shop will also help keep kids interested in the hobby because it's there all the time. If a kid has to wait 3 months for the next show to come, they'll get bored in between shows and find something else to keep them busy, but a local shop is always accessible. With a local card shop reward programs can be set up for kids where they receive cards or credits based on their grades at school, performance at little league games, etc. What better way to get a kid hooked on collecting than by giving them cards for free!

I would prefer a good baseball card shop because of the personal interaction. You can go to a card show and stare at a display case full of terrific cards with price tags on them but I find it much more interesting to see that great card with the person who pulled it and hear the story on why it's such a special card to them.


Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
I prefer a good baseball card show over a card shop for the mere fact that shows bring in dealers who have different collections for buyers to look at. A card shop doesn't offer the changing variety of cards. A good card show usually has bargains that you can't get in shops because of the overhead shop owners and renters have to pay.

A good card show is an opportunity to meet and connect with other collectors. Many times I have made deals with other people attending the shows as well as the dealers at the shows. I've also exchanged e-mail addresses and phone numbers at shows. The bigger the show, obviously the better.
Card shows also usually have a bigger selection of supplies and other kinds of memorabilia not found in shops. I also like the fact that you find more vintage cards at shows than at shops.
Finally, with the price of gas these days, one big card show eliminates having to travel all over the place to visit card shops. This allows a collector to spend more money and provides dealers with the ability to pay table fees.

Bob Novy

Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
I personally prefer a good baseball card shop over a good baseball card show for many reasons. A good baseball card shop provides you with your burning desire to buy, sell, and trade your treasures. You can discover new treasures and let go of the old. Knowing that a dealer is nearby to cure your addiction is something everyone dreams about. At a card show you see different people and different stuff everytime. Not necessarily a bad thing, but you like to be comfortable with what and who your are doing businnes with. A good baseball card shop is great for all the simple reasons of all the excitemnet that it contains. The thrill of that extroadanry pull, while at a card show those magnificent cards have already been found and handled. That is why i think a good baseball card shop is better than a good card show.

Kevin Wezowicz

Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
Well-now days-you just do not see all of the mom and pops card shops out there anymore-I used to go to the same shop for about twenty years-But it was not a big card shop-But the owners and my faimly got a bond throughout the years-To where they knew us all by name-So having a card shop to visit was pleasant and rewarding in ways-I would go in there every friday night-whitch was pay day-And pick up my kids each a box or packs of cards-and we would talk and talk-But at least having a card shop to visit when ever you wanted-was great-because you could keep up on all the different cards and brands-and the shop owners would be there to ansewer any questions-But they could not keep up with all of the cost and decline in customers-Because the cards were geting so much more costly for them to buy-And then for them to have to sell the cards for such a higher cost-They lost a lot of the younger generation-So i really would rather have a card shop than a card show here in Vermont-Because as it is-If you open up a beckettes-You will see in the card show selection-That most of the time-Theres not not even a card show in Vermont-And when there is-Its most of the time in the bigger citys-Whitch is hours away from here-Sure the card shows are fun-Ive been there with and without my kids-and every show to us is different-Because normally the shows would be monthly-and you would see newer products every month-But in all-I really do wish there could be a card shop in every town of every state-But everyone has different thoughts-and not everyone gets to have card shows in there state-so its going to be a mix of ansewers on this one-


Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
I would prefer a good baseball card shop rather than a good card show. A good show provides great opportunities to meet many great suppliers and owners of shops. But shows only last a couple days. I would rather have a great shop that I can go to often and that can help me build a collection over time. While I may find more options at a good card show, I can have more long term success with a great card shop. Also a good card shop allows me the opportunities to meet local people to collect with. At a card show you can meet many people, but several could be from all over the county. With a good card shop I have a chance to find a group of people and build a local sports card community. It allows you the chance to build your collection with a group and meet people to share your hobby with. A good card show can help you in the short term, as opposed to a good card shop with can help you in the long term. I would much rather have a chance to find good cards over a long period of time rather than at one show.


Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
A good card shop is what is needed for any collector in the hobby world of sports cards. But a true one is hard to find. I don't really have favorite one another. But the local store in my town is real close to what is know as a good shop to go to. When you walk in they treat you like NORM from cheers! Everyone knows you and your wants, as well you know everyone else.

Then they have the basics and keep them on a regular basis; from supplies to packs, even commons which you rarely find now a days. Even carry other sports items as well from jerseys to photos. ESPN on the TV and chatter about the new rookie or last night games is always fun to have. Where all the air is sports from your collection to the newest item due out next week. And even though we all know the guy behind the counter has to make money to keep the shop open. We don't need to hear it on a daily basis. Just a place to go where you can have a good time with your friends any day of the week from all the hassle of the outside world


Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
I actually prefer a good baseball card shop over a baseball card show mainly due to the comradeship you can get when dealing with a neighborhood store. I would much rather support a good baseball card shop and get to know the owner/workers of that store. I find when you get to know the people in the store, it's much easier to deal with them and they'll usually go out of their way to help you out whether it's tracking down a certain card, pack, etc. (Customer service is even more important in this era of card shops quickly closing down.)

A disadvantage of a baseball card show is that it can be very difficult to try and track down specific cards. There are usually so many vendor's, it can be difficult to keep track of each one. I feel rushed when I'm at a show and I would much rather peruse at my own leisure. When you find a card it's usually because of luck whereas a shop can sometimes track down that card if they themselves do not own it.

Finally, I find collectors at baseball card shows usually have some sort of attachment to their cards and tend to overvalue their own collection whereas the card shops will mainly set their prices based upon book value.


Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
I live about 45 minutes from the nearest card shop, and central Virginia rarely holds card shows. In my case, and considering where I live, I would rather have a good baseball card shop. If I lived in a big city, I might choose a good show, though.

One reason I would prefer a good card shop is because you can visit just about everyday, depending on the hours of operation. It would be nice to have a local shop five or ten minutes away, especially if I needed supplies. Plus, you could build a hobby bond that could mean a lot to a collection. I am a player collector, Nolan Ryan, and the more cards I knock off my want list, the harder it is to find the ones I need. So, with a local shop owner, they normally travel to shows and such, and he/she might find something rare for me.

I also wouldn't mind stopping in to chat cards from time to time. My wife and family aren't really into cards, so having that local shop might be a little bit of a motivating tool. With gas prices, and the distance from my house to the closest shop, it costs too much to stop in. However, I enjoy going into a card shop and buying that box of cards every now and then.

I enjoy card shows, but they only come every so often. You can't just stop into a card show every Tuesday after work, like you can at your local shop. Don't get me wrong, I love the big Expo card shows, especially when I have a couple hundred dollars to spend. The atmosphere is great! Most of those big shows have an admission fee, which I don't mind paying, but a shop is free to visit.


Which ONE do you prefer, a good baseball card show or a good baseball card shop? Why?
I live in an area where there are more than 3 million people living within a 100 mile radius and we haven't had a decent show in 5 years or more!! Here in the Salt Lake Valley, we once had a dozen good shops. Now we only have 2. There is a hard core group of collectors but it isn't growing. This scenario is probably similar in other parts of the country as the card collecting industry is slowly shrinking and dying. The idea of putting on a vibrant card show here, I feel, would help revitalize interest in card collecting. A well organized show with local and regional dealers would be the beginning step in making people more aware of the hobby. Like other trade shows it would bring together everyone who has an interest or wants to have an interest in sports collecting. Just about everyone here in SLC follow the Jazz. It's the only "major" league team we have. But they all have favorite teams in other sports. The opportunity for these fans to attend a sports card/memorabilia show would inject more energy into the hobby and bring together the collectors, cards shops and dealers the industry needs. If a major sponsor was found to help finance it would further boost interest. The main challenge would be to find the right location and effectively advertise the show. Like the movie "Field of Dreams" if the people know about it they will come.






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