Jan 31, 2009

When Will Card Shops Figure It Out?

As my birthday approaches in another week, my wife has been on the hunt for what to get me. One of the nice parts of an early February birthday the last couple of years has been the release of Topps at the same time, which makes for a pretty easy gift. Today my wife headed out to shop while my daughter and I napped. When she returned I found out that she decided to drop by our local card shop to ask a few questions about release dates. Since my birthday is next weekend, my wife wanted to surprise me by getting the cards this week and giving them to me on my birthday, rather than getting them off the internet and forcing me to be patient for a couple of days. I love this lady.

Unfortunately, it all went downhill once she actually arrived at the card shop. The owner and his daughter who run the shop were both sitting outside when my wife arrived, taking their smoke break apparently. My wife and I are by no means high rollers, but we do buy cards from the shop semi-regularly. While the internet is considerably cheaper, I like the idea of getting cards from a shop even it costs a little more. Well, I'm going to need a new shop to frequent after today.

As my wife walked up to the daughter, she was greeted with a curt hello and asked what she needed. My wife explained that she was hoping to find out when the new Topps release would be in the shop, since she wanted to get it for my birtheday the next weekend. She was told when it would release and then apparently made a huge mistake. She asked if they knew about how much the boxes would be selling for. The daughter looked at her father who shook his head in some disgust and let out a sigh. Not exactly the friendly customer service one might hope for. The daughter continued to stare at her father and after a few more seconds without a response, she gave her estimate. My wife then asked what their hours were and if it would be possible to have a box held so she could pick it up and not risk them selling out before my birthday. This was met with another dismissive sigh and a slight rolling of the eyes from the owner. At that, my wife just paused for a second in shock and then walked back to her car.

Are you freaking kidding me?! I know my wife wasn't there to ask about Triple Threads or some other overpriced monstrosity, but does she really need to be treated like crap. My wife is a very patient woman and she came home pissed! She couldn't believe that she was treated with such disrespect and a feeling of contempt from the owner. The woman is coming into your shop with the hopes of giving you money for your product and instead leaves feeling like she's an idiot for asking questions. Is it any wonder that these places are having so much trouble staying in business.

I'm only good for a few hundred dollars a year at the local card shop, which is less than a lot of people probably spend in there in one afternoon, but I can guarantee we won't spend another dollar in there again. Even as I type this, I'm just sort of fuming. I can't see the logic in treating a customer like crap. Thanks a lot card shop owner guy, for once again proving what an a-hole you can be.

Go Halos!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Well, whats the name of the shop? Where are they located?

  3. I've had card shop owners evade questions about upcoming box prices because their cost can sometimes be volatile depending on the distributor. For example, I locked in my box of 2007 A&G at about $95, then when I went to pick it up at noon the day it was released, the box price was already at $120, because everything he had immediately sold out (except for the boxes he had on hold) and the price for additional boxes from the distributor went through the roof. I can see if they don't want to quote a hard price. The rest of the rudeness is inexcusable and I agree they shouldn't get your money anymore.

  4. Yeah, I have no problem with them not wanting to quote a hard price and my wife would have been fine with an answer like, "I'm not sure yet". Anything would be preferable to making a non-collector feel like an idiot for entering your shop.

  5. Does it seem reasonable to do some of the 'research' yourself and then give the information to your wife?

    Would it be unreasonable set up an account [to order cards] with Dave and Adam's Card World and/or Blowout Cards online and then point your wife to the right direction as far as your card choices?

    It seems like it is really 50/50 as to whether or your not you'll find a card shop with people who cater to the customer and those who are happy doing it their way.

    The owner of the card shop has to realize there are probably much more options to shop for cards with the Internet.

  6. My wife has ordered cards off the internet before and I would have given her the information had she asked me. However in this instance she was looking to surprise me for my birthday and didn't want to ask me or go through me. Instead, she was trying to pick up the box on her own and give it to me as a gift.

    I don't think being reasonable and answering questions is too much to ask of an owner. Not everyone who walks through your doors is going to be an expert. If I went into Michael's to buy scrapbooking supplies for my wife, I'd like to think that I would be treated kindly and not be made to feel stupid for asking questions.

  7. As far as doing your own research - what I mean to say is maybe it would have been easier for you to get the pertinent information to give to your wife, so it would have been more hassle-free to find your a present.

    I totally agree with the idea that someone who owns a card shop should be able to answer questions, whether it is coming from a non-card collecting person or an experienced collector. Even if a person coming into a store and just needing a question answered should be treated with some courtesy.

    If the card shop owner doesn't have the information to give his or her customers, they should have the courtesy to tell the customer without getting offended or acting in a way that doesn't really make for a positive shopping experience for the customer.

  8. Yeah it's just the lack of courtesy that gets me.

    Normally, I would have done the "research", but this just came about because my wife wanted to surprise me.

  9. No excuse period. It is not anyone's job to know the product before they go into the shop. That is what the people that work the counter are for. It isn't rocket science for the owner. A little courtesy would have been nice.