Tuesday, August 2, 2022

It's Pretty Obvious

*sits down, takes a sip of piping hot coffee from the backup coffee maker, and gets ready for today's newest post*

You can tell a lot about your local collecting by your retail card section.

My recent trip to Walmart told me the story I have assumed all along.

Even with the uprise of "the hobby", I still have no actual collectors around.
This is what my card section used to look like pre-covid (besides the rise in prices) and now looks like this on a weekly basis at all three Walmarts I am near. 

Except we used to be able to actually buy products like Prizm football and basketball, which is the only gap on the shelf. We can still get UFC and WWE Prizm, but those aren't important.

With Prizm being one of the more sought-after products, this tells me that flippers only exist here. They come in, swoop up the popular products like Mosaic, Prizm, Select and Optic and leave the rest. Because if actual collectors were here, everything would be selling equally, and everyone would have an equal opportunity at it.

Not just the good stuff.

What does your local retail outlet tell you about collecting where you live? Flippers? Actual collectors? Or does everything sell and you can't tell?

Let me know in comments today.

Hope everyone has an awesome Tuesday.

*Coffee Card Blogger Out*


  1. Is there baseball in that second photo? I can't tell. ... My Target is almost always sold out of baseball, no matter what it is. Might find a stray pack of Big League. Walmart hasn't had cards on display for over a year. I don't even know if they sell them because I'm not standing in line at customer service to beg for them.

  2. There are rarely any blasters of any kind on the shelves of my local Targets. Up until the pandemic, I'd get most of my retail fix in Portland or Vegas, because their Targets would have blasters on their shelves. These days... I might grab a box here or there on Target's website.

    As for Walmart, there's only one within 5 miles from my house... and the parking lot was poorly design (it's a literal parking jam every time I've been there), so I avoid it like the plague. Plus... the stopped carrying blasters a few years ago.

  3. Even pre-covid, products like Prizm and Optic (basketball and football) wouldn't last on the shelf in my area. And before that, it was Topps Chrome Football. This was before there was a ton of flippers.

  4. Nothing but FLIPPERS big time in my area!

  5. There aren't any big box stores where I live, but I do have an LCS. I can get most products I want, except for basketball. It's either sold out, or too expensive. Sometimes they might have an odd blaster or two but that's about it. In general though they sell hobby boxes or factory sets. This really makes me think hard on what I want to get because instead of spending $25 on a blaster I have to spend triple digits on the hobby box. What's worse is that very few products are sold as just packs. You either have to buy the box or you're out of luck. Could you imagine if it worked this way in other sectors? What if you could only buy Costco size paper towels? Or forced into getting 16 hamburgers when you only need a few? But that's seemingly the direction the card industry is going. Driven by hits and perceived profits card shops are hesitant to sell packs individually, afraid that it will scare off consumers that feel the box might no longer contain any autos or relics. Gone are the days of the budget set collector. Sorry for the long rant, but that's how I feel when I go to the card shop which is kind of like my Target/Walmart I guess.

    1. My local shop does sell individual packs also, but the price of a pack is what the price of a box was a few years ago. For example (not specific cause I am not sure of the exact price), say it is a 2021/22 Prizm Basketball Hobby. The box is about $1000-$1200 for 12 packs. That is almost $100 per pack, for 12 cards. I know I can't spend that type of money on 12 random cards. I bought a 2021 Optic Baseball set, with the 9 variations and 4 full inserts set, delivered for just under $100. And a Roger Maris rookie (very rough) and 2nd year card (it was a nice example) for under $100. And less the 10 years ago (I know that is a long time), Topps Chrome Hobby boxes ran $80-$100 depending on where you purchased. The days are long gone of buying 3- boxes to build a Chrome/Optic/Prizm set. And I am not sure we will ever see that again.


Cards and coffee go together like PB&J, so don't you and leaving a comment below. Take a sip and let me know your thoughts!