Tip: Sign A Short Term Lease
Don’t get talked into signing a long term lease for your sports card store. Anything over a year I would stay away from, and if I could go month to month I would. The retail real estate market has TANKED since 2008. You should be able to find a good deal unless you are opening a store in downtown San Francisco or the heart of Manhattan. Most retail landlords are begging to acquire tenants, don’t get suckered into a long lease.
Take your time finding a location. Be patient and don’t rush into anything. GO CHEAP. Anything over $1,000 a month rent is too much for a first time card store in my opinion. You have no business having to fork over $1,000 a month just for retail rent when you have no clue how much you’ll make on a daily basis. If you can’t find something for less then $1,000 keep looking. Consider sub-leasing a space inside another store, like I did in my card store example, before you spend a lot of money on rent. Go small, go cheap, start slow, take your time finding a place. You have the leverage as retail space should be plentiful in most of the United States.
One of the biggest mistakes I made when I opened my card store was I signed a 3 year lease, and my total rent with utilities was about $1,100. That was way too much, and I really needed to start my store with a rent in the $400-$500 range.