Should you be online? – By Terri Rehkop of Press Pass, Inc

This is an excellent article written by Terri Rehkop, who is the Director of Customer Relations at Press Pass, Inc.  It discusses how being online can really help your business, specifically within the trading card industry.

The trading card industry is fascinating. It’s one of the few industries left that is still resistant to the idea that change and new technology can make a business more efficient and effective. Granted, many advancements have made doing business more challenging, but I believe that’s because of how retailers and distributors are implementing these changes, not because the changes themselves are bad.

I have been asked more than once by people in the industry if they should be on the Internet. I have danced around the question in the past because of the negative implications of the question. However, if I were asked that today, I would answer yes. The key objective of any business is to reach its customers. If a big percentage of your customers are on the Internet, how can you justify not being there yourself? As a business, you have to make your decisions based on how you can make it easier for your customers to do business with you. Anything else is counterproductive.

Of course, the question of whether or not you should be on the Internet is driven by price. Early adopters in the trading card industry have made ripples because everything they do is driven by being the lowest cost option for customers. While this strategy can give a short-term bump to profits, over time it erodes both the product value (extremely important for everyone in the trading card industry) and the value your business provides to its customers.

By competing solely on price, you guarantee that your customer will look around before making a purchase. If they find a better deal elsewhere, they will buy elsewhere and you have lost a sale. However, if you look at the Internet and your overall business strategy as a way to build loyalty with your customers, you can go a long way toward ensuring that you keep the largest share of your customers’ trading card spending.

Everyone needs to take a hard look at their business and decide if they are doing everything they can to make their customers loyal to them. Are you talking to them on a regular basis? Are you tracking their preferences and what products they buy? Are you making sure it’s as easy as clicking a mouse to do business with you? All of these things are accomplished by an Internet presence. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated or fancy.

Just think about the companies you do business with. What do you like best? What do you not like? Take that information and apply it to your business. The trading card industry is definitely unique…running a customer-centric business is not.

I would challenge everyone in this industry to make their New Year’s resolution finding ways to make their businesses work harder for their customers instead of the other way around. The more you do for your customers, the more likely they are to resist spending their money elsewhere.

What Would You “Superfractor”?

The Superfractor.  It is the pinnacle of all chrome/prospect based products.  Started by Topps in 2005, these cards can demand extremely high prices, and many of the players haven’t stepped one foot onto a major league field.  Superfractors usually receive a lot of attention, but this year in particular they are feeling the heat from collectors.  I find it interesting that people will spend many thousands on a Superfractor of a prospect just because the card is serial numbered 1/1.

After watching the Stephen Strasburg 2010 Bowman Superfractor sell for over $16,000, it got me thinking.  Superfractors have only been around for 5 years.  I wonder what other Chrome cards that came before 2005 would be worth if they had a Superfractor?  Can you imagine what an Albert Pujols 2001 Bowman Chrome Autographed Superfractor would be worth?  It would be insane!

If you could “Superfractor” any card prior to 2005, what would it be?


Thanks Blowout! – Have You Seen This Pack Searcher?


I’d like to thank Blowout Cards for using this image in an e-mail they sent out to collectors.  Its a great laugh!!!  Anyone ever see this pack searcher at your local Wal-Mart or Target?

If You Had To Choose

Who would you rather see try and sell you a box of 1988 Donruss?


Don West


Billy Mays – This guy made the famous catch, right?


Dan Ackroyd

I have to go with Don West.  He was really fun to watch.

If You Had to Choose

Lets say you are searching through your grandma’s attic and find an old baseball bat.  She says you can keep it if you want, if not she would just throw it out.  You take the bat home and decide to take it to the 2009 National Sports Collectors Convention next year to see if anyone can help you identify it.  A year goes by and you take the bat to the show.  Walking around the show for a bit you find Mastro Auctions and decide to check them out to see if they can help.  Placing the bat down on the table, many of the employees of Mastro Auctions rush over to take a look at the old piece of wood.  After closer insepction and doing some research, they identify it as an authentic bat once used by Connie Mack, the 1937 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee and Philadelphia A’s catcher/manager.  Mastro Auctions says that they have never seen an item like this before and if they were to put it up for auction it could sell for $75,000.00.  The National Baseball Hall of Fame found out from Mastro Auctions that you have a full size bat once used by Mack and would like to add it to their museum.  The HOF tells you that they cannot purchase the bat because they only accept donations.  Major League Baseball has declined to buy the bat from you and donate it to the Hall of Fame.  You are left with a decsion to make.  Do you sell the bat and make $75,000.00, or donate the bat to the HOF and have your name next to it saying, “Authentic Connie Mack Used Baseball Bat donated by XXXXXXX” forever encased with the rest of the artifacts?  What would you do?

Collect What You Like

There are so many people that collect things just because other people do.  If you enjoy sports card collecting, you should collect what you like, not whats popular with everyone else.  For example, many people like to open packs and boxes of Bowman products which usually is prospect oriented.  After they open the product they are always in a hurry to see if they did good.  People rush to message boards seeking other people’s opinions on what is good and bad.  It is important as a collector to think for yourself not rely on others.