How to Open a Trading Card Shop with Sports Images


As part of our continuing series on how to open a trading card shop, we spent some time with Daryl McKay from Sports Images. Take a listen as he provides some tips to be successful in this industry as a shop owner with promotions, finding the right location and how to stock your shop.

Daryl was also kind enough to answer some follow up questions for us:

Sports Images' corporate headquarters in Woburn, MA.

Question: What should the focus be of a new store?

Daryl at Sports Images: “I think the main focus should be to remember that stores make money selling product. The more of an item you can profitably sell, the more you will make. The majority of your time and effort should be spent attracting customers and making it a fun and easy store for consumers to buy items. Consolidating your buying into fewer sources saves you time, and time is money.”

Question: What resources should shops use to stay updated on new products and programs?

Daryl at Sports Images: “Subscribing to industry emails and blogs is a really good idea. As is becoming a fan or following key manufacturers and industry experts on Facebook and Twitter. As a store owner your customers will expect you to be on top of the latest news!

“Sports Images hosts a regular webinar series that allows retailers to interface with manufacturers as well as other retailers. It is a great time to share ideas, learn about new products or enhancements and new promotions! Our next one is coming up on March 27, 2012 at 10am EDT with Upper Deck. Give us a call at (781)938-4340 to learn how you can take part!”

Question: Should I be selling more than just trading cards?

Daryl at Sports Images: “YES! I believe offering a diverse selection of products will provide you a great opportunity to increase sales and your customer base. We offer over 20,000 items in addition to trading cards for this reason. You may not start out having an autographed Michael Jordan UDA basketball in your case, but it is a good idea to know who to call quickly when that sales opportunity comes up! And you are going to want to have some memorabilia on display for sale. You may not sell it immediately, but it helps to add to the décor of the shop.

You are not going to sell a signed Michael Jordan framed photo every day, but having great regional sports memorabilia on display in your shop is a great way to merchandise your store and get people asking about these items.

“We go to many trade shows as well to showcase great new items besides just trading cards! We hope to see you at one of the shows too! They are a great opportunity for stores to see new items and learn more about the business.”

Question: What other products besides memorabilia should I look at carrying?

Daryl at Sports Images: “We are pleased to work with all of our vendor partners to create new and exciting licensed items. Our goal is to work together to innovate so that your fans are always excited about the product mix in your store. One of the hottest new items for 2012 is the OYO. This great mini figure is licensed by MLB and the MLBPA and we have hundreds of players available – all limited editions, all with DNA codes for added web authenticity. This mini figure is compatible with all building block sets. Fans can collect an entire team or a group of All Stars.”

For a trading card shop it is important to always stock the new, hot items. Your customers will ask you for them, so it is critical you partner with suppliers who can get them for you.

Besides just offering webinars to his customers, Daryl and the Sports Images team do a great deal with regard to promotions for their shops. Last season we partnered together to run a pack attack event throughout New England and the results were great. Make sure that you ask the distributor(s) you partner with about what types of promotions they offer and can help you out with.

Looking for more information on how to open up a trading card shop of your own? Check out the first stories on how to open up a shop here:

How to Open a Trading Card Shop with Southern Hobby

How to Open a Trading Card Shop from a Shop Owner’s Perspective – Part 1

How to Open a Trading Card Shop from a Shop Owner’s Perspective – Part 2

How to Open a Trading Card Shop with Grosnor Distribution

How to Open a Trading Card Shop with Magazine Exchange

The information provided in this story is for assistance only and is not intended to be and must not be taken alone as the basis for an investment decision. Opening a trading card store, like any other business, presents certain risks for the business owner. Each reader of this information should make such investigations as it deems necessary to arrive at an independent evaluation of an investment.

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