Friday, March 21, 2008

The Last Straw For A Local Card Shop

One of the nice things about running a successful blog is that I tend to have spies everywhere. Many extra sets of eyes, if you will. In the past few days this has even turned up an elusive Cleveland Indians card of Harold Baines, which I purchased on Beckett Marketplace last night with the gift certificate I won in the Beckett image uploading contest a few months back.

The following occurred at a local card shop, in full view of one on my readers named Steve. I'll let him explain it.

"Well, I don't think I'll be going to Baseball Dreams and Memories anymore. The guy's a real jerk. A group of kids were in the store admiring the cards (around 9-10 yrs. old) and he goes to them in a real snippy voice 'Don't you guys have anything better to do than just HANG around?' They said nothing and he said 'Oh, you have nothing to say' and laughed. Needless to say the kids were scared and left. I thought I would send this to someone who shops there; then I'd feel like I was doing something about it."

This is another reason why card shops are dying out. I find this absolutely unacceptable behavior. Even if you're having the worst day, you don't scare browsing kids out of your store. They tend to be a store's best customers in a few years. It's positive experiences that will keep them coming back to spend money. Plus, kids that age tend to con their parents into spending money on their interests. I have a feeling that store just lost some decent business.

You may remember me talking about this store before, even though I didn't mention it by name. This would be the store with the great selection of individual packs and the hit or miss service. This time they definitely missed.

The problem with this scenario is that I only know of two card shops in my area. So, unless I find a few more shops close by, I may be forced to shop there for some items. Can anyone suggest any great card shops on the South Side of Chicago?

I already have a great atmosphere shop in RBI Sports Cards in Burbank, Illinois. It just doesn't have the selection that I'd like sometimes. I've talked about this shop too, although never by name. The owner, Tony, is a wonderful guy. He loves to talk shop and the atmosphere is outstanding! I would prefer to go there for all my pack needs, but the higher end stuff only sells by the box.

I've had pleasant experiences at Baseball Dreams & Memories, but I think that is because I am in my thirties. I've had just as many bad experiences at that shop. I can remember a time where I was charged for four packs of Allen & Ginter and only found three in my paper bag. It was difficult to tell until I got home because I purchased many other items, including different packs.

I definitely need to find a replacement shop! There are a few items that I am almost forced to go in there for. I really don't want to go into this shop again. I've been on the fence for months, but this was the last straw. If anyone has info on good card shops, please leave the info in the comments section. If we get enough, I will do a posting listing the card shops after my personal visit.

I think reader Steve summed up the card shop experience best in his follow up e-mail.

"As fleeting of an industry as baseball cards are you'd think an owner would appreciate any sort of customers. It was an outrage."

I couldn't agree with you more Steve. Thanks for the heads up about this incident. Now, I leave it up to the local area readers to let everyone know about the good card shops around here. Out of area readers can join in too, if they know of a great online shop. We need to get a listing done pronto!

Horror stories or great experiences are welcome in the comments as well.


Rich said...

They might be huge, but to me they're my local shop. To you they're online, and with outstanding prices on a lot of things:

Dave And Adam's Card World.

Bubba said...

I shop at Hometown Sports & Collectibles in Cold Spring, KY (just south of Cincinnati). I've never been disappointed there, and the owner treats my sons well too. We don't spend a lot (I think the highest single visit was around $20, and sometimes we only spend $1-2), but he still treats us well when we go in. I just found them online too:

But I haven't had time to browse the site, so I'm not sure what exactly he offers online.

Bay Rat North West said...

I guess I am an exception to the rule. I have never had a bad experience in a card shop.
On the Mississippi Gulf Coast - Gulf Coast Sports Cards. In Edgewater Mall, Biloxi was the first true shop I bought from and they have great guys and knowledge about the full spectrum of cards and memorabilia.
In Utah I use Clayton's Cards in Roy, Utah. People drive from Idaho and Colorado to go this small shop. He may not have the biggest selection but can get you what you need.

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