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.


  1. I think the leagues are partly to blame.MLB,NHL,NFL,and NBA.Are charging too much for the right to make the cards.Thus tieing the hands of the companies making the cards.

  2. Don't blame it on the Leagues. It is not the Leagues business to promote or push for a cheaper product per article (which I agree with).

    I understand the fact that card companys need to recoup cost but do they care about product quality.

    Your name goes a long way. It's hard for con man to rip you off twice. Without beening blind.

  3. To the retard who wrote the last comment.Learn how to spell and learn about the hobby before you leave posts.

  4. I am tired of hearing about the kids. They don't drive the hobby anymore. When we were kids, before the Internet and XBOX, sports cards were one of the only ways of connecting with our sports heroes. There are many other options today. I don't need cheap product. I need good design and value.

  5. In response to Rob AKA VOTC- If the kids don't get interested like the kids of the past then in the long run the hobby will die off with the present day purchasers who are mostly 50 and older.

  6. I think the real problem is that the base card isn't worth anything anymore. All anyone wants is the rare cards (which in some cases aren't that rare). I remember when I was growing up where my friends and I would go crazy over base cards, and if we had a rookie then we hit the jackpot. Now, its, "aww I didn't get a jersey or auto card." I think as collectors it's our responsibility to expand the hobby to younger generations, friends, and family. I really haven't heard of much community outreach when it comes to sports cards or card shops. It's we're hiding in our shell pointing fingers at everyone else but ourselves. I think what I've spoken is just one small problem and solution to the bigger picture of things. It's going to take everyone's involvement to get sports cards back on track. Thank you.