Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Sports Card Industry Forgets Kids and Low End Buyers
The sports card industry is leaving kids and people with less money to spend behind.
In his wonderful article on http://www.beckett.com/ Chris Olds states that the Card industry has gone from a billion dollar industry to a $200 million industry in the last decade. There are lots of reasons that Chris Olds states and that everyone should read at http://beta.beckett.com/group/185223/?tab=tabArticles&p=1003036#ViewArticle
However, I want to take this in another direction. The reason that the industry is failing is because they have left the poor and middle class out of the card industry. Box prices from 5-10 years ago are up anywhere from $20-200 per box. What happened to the cheaper items where you got good bang for your buck?
When Donruss and Fleer were around there were cheaper products which people purchased such as Fleer Tradition and Donruss Originals. Both products had lots of cards that made consumers happy.
The people who can afford to buy the high end products will always be there but the people who can't will just disappear if the card companies do not make cheaper products.
Even in the high end products things happen that are not right. For example in Upper Deck Ultimate you only get 4 cards. When the product first came out it was going for $80-85 and now is around $115-120. Now you have a chance to get 1 auto or relic and 3 numbered cards that are numbered to 599. If the relic is a good one then you got your money's worth. However, what happens when you get a Koji Uehara autograph which is only valued at $15-35. You've basically been ripped off. I know of 2 people who got that card in a box.
An article came out about 2009 Topps Tribute having made like seat cards are bat cards. After the article I've witnessed a $250 product go up $100. How is this possible? A product is reported to have a problem and the price goes up? Could Toyota do the same thing right now?
At some point there needs to be more checks an balances on the industry. Has anyone ever gone to the Better Business Bureau site and seen the complaints against Upper Deck and Topps? You will find it interesting.
It is time for the card companies to attract the low end consumer and give people a fair shake on the products they are selling. If they don't then the $200 million industry will become a $200,000 industry.