Sometimes I use a comment as a springboard for a post:
Looks like somebody is already workin on that card shop!
I have no illusions that opening and running a card shop is easy. I am trying to get as much information as I can from the collecting community. I read and think about every comment, even if I don't initially agree with it, I try to view the idea from that person's perspective.
I see the landscape of card collecting to be different this time next year, whether it be few products or a shift back to set collecting or whatever. Frankly, UD cancelling products is good for the hobby, but I am concerned that they may cut the wrong products.
For example, cutting masterpieces might be a mistake. I understand that you can have technology or GU/autos but not both. I don't think I agree with it. Masterpieces may be more expensive to make, but you put fewer cards per pack, like chrome, and limit the number of packs per box. If by technology, one is referring to UD X, Spectrum, or whatever, they can keep that crap. That was the problem with cards in the 90's, too much "technology" and not enough substance. But I digress.
I think the basic idea of running a business now and then are the same. You have to carry wax that people like to buy. My idea, unless I see something I really like or really hate, is to see the reaction of the bloggers and such within the first couple of days after release. In addition, I can see how much interest I get from customers. If it is a lot I can make sure I have a few boxes on hand at release, but not worry about a case or more, because I can have a case in my shop in 3 days.
If I had a couple boxes of masterpieces (which was a flop at retail because the boxes didn't yield much value) and I didn't sell them, i could dump them on ebay, or bust them for singles, losing $10 a box at most. At least I didn't lose $10 on a case worth of boxes.
You have to meet the customers needs, but losing $20 worth of profit because I didn't have enough in stock and missed out on one or two sales isn't as bad as losing $10 on a case worth of boxes. I think there is a balance to be struck.
Another Idea I thought about was having a couple HDTVs ( one time $1000 expense) up on the wall with HD sports on them. Also, having wireless internet available ($50 a month). I can administer my own (network).
The comment I have received about customer appreciation and raffles was a great idea. I planned on running a promotion where, with each box over $40 you get a free 800 count box, over $60 free binder and 20 plastic sheets, over $100, all of the above and some toploaders. Or giving people their choice. I know that supplies are one of the things I hate buying, but are necessary.
After I build up a client base, maybe having case break parties with a discount on the case. The nice thing is that you can do this with kids on some lower end stuff. Maybe even offer birthday parties for kids with a baseball theme or football or whatever.
Hours: My dad will be running the shop most of the time with me there on Weekends. I was planning on being open Tuesday - Sunday 11-6:30 staying open late for promotions.
Advertising: I will probably start a second blog that is only about the card shop. Youtube box breaks, maybe. Ebay Sales on higher end cards that I pull from boxes and boxes to drive revenue. Phone book ad with hours and mention of promotions.
Inventory: Because I can buy as many or as few boxes as I like. I was thinking of purchasing a case and a half of the main products. The case would be for box sales only so I could guarantee that I had not opened any of the boxes from that case and thus the case hit is available. I would then open half a case or a few boxes to have some hits, singles, and set building commons available. I like the idea of having cards sorted by teams, but I think I have to choose between catering to set builders and team collectors. Maybe for a products such as A & G I could sort by number for set builders, but for sets that people dont seem to be building I could sort by team. I have to work through that.
Thanks for all of your comments, I would encourage all of you to comment and let me know your thoughts. Don't be afraid that I might not like it, all input is important.