Should You Really Open A Card Store?

If your best friend came to you and said they wanted to open a Ty Beanie Babies store what would you say to them? You might try to talk them out of it. OK, you would ask them if they were crazy, and then wonder if they had used drugs recently. You’ve probably been exposed to sports cards your whole life, so you think opening a card store might be a good idea. To be perfectly honest, opening a sports card store is about on the same level as opening a brand new Blockbuster video location.

Toughest jobs in sports: Baseball Card Shop Owner – Yahoo Article

Before you start any business you should question if it’s a good idea or not. That is the healthy thing to do. Especially when your business involves something as risky as sports cards. It’s been almost impossible to keep a card store open the last 15 years. What makes you think you can survive when so many others have failed? 

If you aren’t selling sports cards online, and making at least a few thousand dollars a month doing that, you have no business opening a card store. Online is probably where you need to break into the business. There are probably some old time dealers still in business today that have never touched the internet. But those guys probably have several decades more experience then you do. Just because you collected cards in the 1980’s-1990’s certainly doesn’t mean you have any chance of running a profitable card store.

Do not open a cards store if:

  • You’ve never set up and sold cards at several different card shows and had success
  • You think eBay, Twitter, Facebook and the internet is the devil
  • If after 6 months of slow sales you’ll blame DA Card World and Blowout Sports Cards for all your problems

Personally, I wouldn’t open a sports cards store unless it was to ramp up an existing successful business I had going already. Say I was killing it selling cards on eBay or Check Out My Cards. Clearing a few thousand a month profit. I might consider opening a card store just to have a place for my inventory if I sold a lot on eBay. Maybe I was making several thousand a month conducting group breaks online, same idea, I might open a store for strategic reasons associated with group breaking.

Don’t open a card store if you lack motivation:

Most people act too quickly and don’t think through what opening a sports card store means. When you open a card store you are buying a full time job. A full time job that guarantees you no paycheck, will require long hours, and you’ll have the potential to lose your entire investment. You will most likely get robbed during your time as a card store owner. Very few shops make enough revenue to hire someone on a full time basis, so most of your days will be spent behind the counter at your shop. It’s not a glamorous lifestyle at all.

Outside of your own family and friends, you will not get much help from anyone when you open your card store. Topps and Panini America will not care about you or send over a welcome package. Your distributor won’t call you unless you owe them money. You are the star of the show and if you can’t strap it up and be ready to work 7 days a week and potentially lose money, get a normal job.

Don’t open a card store if it has to pay for your personal bills right away:

You must factor in your personal bills before you open a sports card store. If your store revenue has to pay for your own day-to-day life then you have now increased the amount you need to make per day by a lot. Many people open a card store and don’t take into account how expensive their daily life is. If you don’t have a handle on your own personal finances, don’t open a card store.

If you expect to be raking in money right away and will be able to pay for your personal bills like food, rent, entertainment, car, and such……. keep dreaming.

If you have a child and think opening a card store will open the door for you to pay for a college eduction…. please stop.

If you are still interested in starting a sports card shop, this website will try to walk you through some of the necessary steps you’ll need to take and what to expect.

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