My LCS Experience II: The Finale

My loyal readers (the two of you) may recall that my trip last month to my local card shop did not go well. Here's a handy link where you can find details on that experience.

Yet, I went back. I can't help myself. I just like being surrounded by cards I don't have. I like window shopping a bit. I like thumbing through whatever is on display. I always walk out with something new that's old.

So I enter the store and say hello. I got a quick glance and "hey" from the owner. I see several piles of various cards on the counter. In the past, I've seen his customers picking up such piles and looking through them and so I asked if he minded me doing the same. I said I was looking to pick up a few Gypsy Queens or new Bowmans, perhaps. Gruff as always, he said he didn't have any Bowmans - that they sold out fast - but "go ahead and look through the stacks for queens if that's your thing."

(I'd like to interject here that I've gone far out of my way to be nothing but polite and kind to this man in my handful of visits. I have little choice - he reminds me of the Soup Nazi - sans the laughs.)

So, I sat down and looked through the stacks. Ten minutes later, I had found five bronze- and green-paper frame Gypsy Queens. I also found plenty of Bowmans but nothing I really wanted except a Brandon Belt Chrome.

So here are the prices he quotes:

Brandon Belt Chrome: $30. "Really, I had no idea," I say. He offers, "These are hot. Bryce Harper's going for $150 on ebay." I say, "OK, what are these Belts going for?" He says, "About $50."

He then quotes me $8 each for three random green-paper frame Gypsy Queens and $5 each for three bronze-paper frames. I offered that I was surprised. That I had no idea they would be that high. I feigned ignorance, a bit. He says that the greens are very rare - much more than the bronzes.

Huh? Am I missing something? (Seriously, I'd like to know because maybe I am.)

I took a pass and picked up just these three instead. No more big spending vintage for me at this LCS.

I didn't really think I cared too much for these inserts but I couldn't resist two members of my favorite players collection - and pretty much any Jackie Robinson card works for me. (Side note: I also have the Carlos Gonzalez and Roy Campanella versions for trade.)

But back to the store story: In any case, we're moving four hours away in about two weeks so this is likely it for me and this particular LCS. Or, will I be lured in one last time and finally unleash my sarcastic streak that I've heretofore kept a lid on? Stay tuned.

Here's hoping my new LCS will actually feel like selling cards to customers.


  1. You would think that card shop owners would want to get more customers these days. But there's a shop in the SF area that's the same way. It's the card store that's furthest from me, so it's not like I'm missing anything, but I bet he could help me finish a set or two if he was more friendly. Like you, I should probably give the store a second chance next time I head that direction.

    I'm sure you'll have better luck elsewhere, because in my experience most LCSs are friendly (if not overpriced in some of them).

    And regarding green and bronze, even though the greens aren't numbered, I think they were inserted only into rack packs (granted at three per pack, I think). Each hobby box had about three bronze, plus they were inserted into the retail packs and boxes too. It's possible that the greens are more limited, but in the end I think they'll end up about the same price.

  2. Harpers have faded fast. Chromes don't touch $150 unless it's possibly of the refractor variety. Belt should be way less too. Man, grumpy shopkeeps are the worst. I haven't really seen too much of that and I do hope your next LCS is much friendlier. We collectors can't buy all our cards on eBay or at Target!

  3. Guys: Thanks for the comments.

    Ryan: That's interesting about the green and bronze. I just assumed the bronze cards would be more rare and collectible due to numbering. As for aesthetics, I think I prefer the greens a bit.

    Ted: I have faith I'll have better luck next time. You're right about eBay and Target. Thank goodness for fellow bloggers! Which reminds me - I packaged up six trades in the past two days. Time to head to the post office!

  4. I think you know how I feel about grumpy LCs owners...

  5. Nothing worse than going into a shop intending to spend money and being met with anything but enthusiasm. Always been my dream job to have a shop. I know I wouldn't treat my customers that way!

  6. I have those interactions with my local card shop owner, too. Normally I eBay stuff I may want before I go in. Then if they say $30 for a Belt Chrome, I can say, "Really? They go on eBay for about a buck." The last time I did that, I heard a "Well, you never know on eBay reply." I get supplies there and that's about it anymore.

    I still have some cards for you and was waiting to hear back from you before I pulled more. Have you gotten my emails?


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