Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sometimes You Just Wonder...

So, this weekend, I was on a trek to the grocery store, and I spotted a store that I had never seen before. It had always been there, I just never noticed it tucked away in a little strip mall, about 10 minutes from my apartment my mother's basement.

From the decorations, it is one of those shops that never updates anything, and just relies on being there for customers. I decided to go in, despite the Beckett propaganda all over the front entrance. It was a small store, but they seemed to have a few people inside, which was intriguing, but not encouraging. The experience I had was one of the worst experiences I have had in a store since I started writing. It wasnt poor customer service, and it wasnt mean people, it was just pure, unadulterated loathing and ridiculous comments.

I wanted some SPA packs just to try my luck, but this store didnt even have anything past Bowman Chrome on the release calendar except for a monsterous display of, you guessed it, Triple Threads. I immediately cringed.

As I walked through the store, the guy had singles upon singles, upon thousands of singles, mostly baseball, ALL priced AT book value. In the cases there were big signs that informed that most of the cards were 25%-40% percent off for their Valentines day sale. Ha. However, when the cards are already inflated 100% past ACTUAL value, 25-40% is a drop in the bucket. Again, I cringe.

The store owner, a seemingly nice guy, comes over to me while I was looking at the Football case. He starts to talk about how this guy comes in with hundreds of "SIIIICK" cards, and he buys them all for a lot of money because, "people eat that shit up." *cringe* The cards in the case were all the 2 dollar jersey cards and scrub autos from all the sets of the year, with the best of them being a McFadden Press Poop auto in a 3 inch thick plastic screwdown. On top of all this, there was a huge sticker on it that said "McFadden MOJO - $150!" I almost barfed up my corned beef sandwich I had eaten for lunch. He proceeds to show me all of his "siiiick" cards, which include a Dwayne Jarrett exquisite jersey card, a Joe Thomas Absolute RPM jersey card, and a Felix Jones jersey out of Classics retail - all priced above 50 dollars.

He even mentions how much he paid for around 350-500 cards, none of which would break the ten dollar barrier on eBay: $2,500 dollars. I actually laughed. He gave me a weird look, and I said, "Wow, you took him to the cleaners" in a sincere fashion. The owner goes, "I know! The guy was an idiot!" Wow, good for him. Good for him.

I walk over to his front counter with the wax, filled with Becketts, and another customer was already there. He was about to buy a box of the *new* 2008 Topps Football, and he saw the guy's new holy grail behind the counter. A Steve Slaton SPA patch auto, without a price sticker on it. He asks if its for sale, the owner says no. "Slaton has an UP ARROW in the new Beckett, so I want to wait and see where it ends up." The guy says that Slaton is awesome, and he buys his box and leaves. I saw the price of the box - 85 dollars. Holy fuck.

I ask if he has any more SPA, for shits, and he says he sold his box already. He opened one himself and pulled the Slaton. He then says a line that I had to leave before I busted out laughing for good. "You should get this Triple Threads stuff, there is some of the Sickest Mojo I have ever seen in my entire life! Best set ever produced. I bought two cases because I know people will buy it all up."

I left without hesitation. It was like being in a church if I were a vampire.

It is at this point in reading my post that you wonder how a store with all this shit going on stays open. I know that I couldnt fathom how shops are closing everywhere, but this guy is still having the time of his fucking life. See, the Beckett disease is still supporting hobby idiots, and people are still using it for their daily collecting life. Its sad. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the affected.

Dont be that guy.

What a waste.


  1. jeez...i wonder how much this guy would pay for a joe flacco auto or something worth more than 50 cents? and i hope you didn't even buy penny sleeves from this guy, probably charging 5 bucks for them..

  2. "some of the Sickest Mojo I have ever seen in my entire life!"


  3. Woah! Slaton has an up arrow?! eBay here I come to get all the cheap Slaton stuff to sell much much higher later!

  4. Heh. Right after reading this post I came across a relevant thread on FCB:

  5. It's stories like these that make me smile when I read about hobby stores closing. If the guys running the stores are this stupid, they deserve to go out of business.

  6. yummy... corned beef sandwich sounds good right now.

  7. you just described the two shops I know about here in Calgary.... except the prices here are above bv because of "scarcity"....

  8. "It was like being in a church if I were a vampire."

    Actually churches are like vampires - they both suck the life out of you. But that's my beef.

    As much as that store sucks, let's face facts. The reason the shope owner does this is because people still pay attention to those donkey rapists Beckett and will pay those prices and buy those cards/products. Supply and Demand. If bogans (Australian term) don't buy them, then the shop owner either goes out of business or has to change his pricing and stocking.

    The people you should really be laughing at and deriding are his customers. Yes, he is caught in the dark ages, a time before Ebay, but obviously he has never had the need to get with the times because there are other dropkicks in the same boat who are his customers.

    Still, anyone who refers to cards as "SIIIIICK" needs a sharp dose of Steve Irwin to make them come to their senses.

  9. Card shop owners who aggressively refuse to educate themselves about reality will fail soon enough, and they deserve to fail. Price items to sell = success. Overprice everything = failure. The same thing has happened with antique dealers who failed for relying on "book value" without regard to condition or provenance or tons of other factors. Those who don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

  10. Man, you should buy a 'jersey lot' on ebay for $20 then sell it to him for 20-30X that... What a moron that guy is...

  11. You know who we should be really calling stupid? It's the people buying packs and boxes when you can buy just about any card in the set for less than the price of one box. Maybe beckett book value is what cards should be going for if we want these new products to survive. I see a big crash coming in the hobby very soon. Look on eBay lately at what cards are going for. Sure the economy sucks, but the prices are so low now how can anybody justify buying packs? Just for the 1 in a million chance of hitting some uber rare card? Good luck.
    So anyway, I think that book value represents what the cards should be worth going by the cost to buy the packs in the first place, but in reality stuff only goes for what people want to pay. Which then leads to why the hell do we buy packs? The 2nd big crash is coming, very soon.

  12. My local store marks up boxes by 50% and then gives you 15% back in store credit if you buy one. The owner will also try to talk you in to buying great products like 07 chirography at only $349 a box. 8 guaranteed autos, what a steal!

  13. That just blew my mind.

    How in the world can this guy be that ignorant about the hobby and own a shop and make a living!?

    Dude... get on a computer and read up on the hobby! Educate yourself. Read some blogs. Check out Sports Card Forum. Look at the price of things on ebay.

  14. The last player I ever saw with an up arrow was....... Aaron Brooks? haha its been A while with Beckett. Great post.