Mason From Card N All Gaming
I was thinking about a buy on my way over [to the store] I had the other day and it’s very weird. One of the weirdest buys i’ve had here recently so it’s just a weird situation. This middle-aged couple comes in with a binder of pokemon stuff and they had i’m assuming their [adult] son that could have been [developmentally challenged]. They had this binder and they did not look like they were the pokemon type when people come in you can kind of get the feel [what kind of player they are]. I start asking them questions talking about them and trying to get some information out of them like:
Have they had this stuff in their collection for a while?
Are they collectors?
Do you know they have any interest in this kind of stuff?
Where’d you find it you know what story behind it?
You kind of get a feel for people which come in and so this couple came in and they gave me a binder. It was an interesting range of cards it was mostly e-series stuff like Aquapolis, Expedition, of course Skyridge. It’s just very odd for you to have this specific time in pokemon’s history which was not a very popular time that you have stuff that you’re bringing in. [The collection had] every common, uncommon, and rare of which multiple pages are the same common. The cards were very clean even the commons and uncommons. Very little whitening on the back the holos were very clean. They had multiple hauls of the same holo but nothing crazy or amazing just a couple that were worth $40-50. Everything has value just because of the scarcity of the age range. These people obviously think they have you know thousands and thousands of dollars worth of cards and realistically it was maybe $500 worth of stuff. I’m trying to get information out of them apparently they buy storage lockers or somebody had this in storage or whatever you know whatever the story is and they just brought them in there
I knew this was kind of a waste of time at that point after I got about halfway through it. I was like all right well let’s do the due diligence and give them a ballpark range and then at least give some information so when they do if they want to go sell them or you know taking somewhere else they don’t you know get completely taken advantage of or whatever. It’s the the age-old like you know graded cards and you know anything on ebay and people just look up a card and the listings pop up and they just immediately go oh well that’s got to be what it’s worth. I’m going to do three examples of something that’s a $2000 collection. Someone comes in with just commons on commons and run the mill reverses just everything all mixed together and nothing is organized [we would do] a bulk purchase that we buy calculated by weight so we put it we’ll take the cards out put them on a scale and then we know the range of where 100 cards is weight-wise and then we multiply that divided by how many they got or the ounces that the thing weighs and we get how many there are and then we give them a value. Basically you buy cards for two cents piece for store credit and or a penny per card for cash. Even if the card is worth 10 cents the store owner is doing the work on selling these and some may never sell which is why a 10-20% buy in is the required price to remain a profitable LGS. There are no guarantees so this is what you have to offer and it may get you bad Facebook and google reviews saying you try to rip people off, but having a profit margin and valuing you and your employees time is how you maintain a business. There’s more than one way to get two thousand dollars worth of cards.
These cards are a dollar or two a piece so here I’m going to pay $0.40-$0.60 a piece. The two graded rares on top are also worth $2000 they are easier to move so these can be more aggressive buys for an LGS. You have to value your time when buying collections particularly bulk.
Note from StokedWallet: Don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal if you think the customer might get offended. For instance say “Wow that’s a great collection, but I don’t think it’s a right fit for our store right now.” Frankly you don’t need the cards and it’s better to disappoint a customer with pie in sky expectations than make them angry by meeting their misguided thinking with cold hard reality.