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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Why I Stopped Buying Retail.

It took me a handful of frivolous retail purchases to realize my money could be better spent on singles from eBay, anything from my defunct turned risen-from-the-grave LCS, or games of pool with my buddies.

When I first re-entered the hobby back in 2010, I would occasionally make a purchase from Target, as it was a couple of random retail packs that served to welcome me back into this glorious passion of ours. A blaster here, a loose pack there, and a jumbo pack mixed in for good measure.

It was definitely a lot of fun, but eventually I realized that it was - for me - money wasted, because I could buy actual cards I wanted from the aforementioned avenues of eBay or my local. Instead of the crapshoot that is retail, I could add an actual card of Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, Russell Martin, Ryan Getzlaf, or any of the other guys I collect. An autograph, a relic, a short-printed parallel, or a bunch of packs with base and perhaps an insert, with the extremely rare hit (I think two via retail my entire retail career)?

For me, the decision quickly became obvious and easy.

I haven't purchased retail since about late 2010.

I know retail is for some pretty much the only option beyond eBay/COMC/etc., as their LCS is either nonexistent or entirely overpriced. To those, however, I would only say that eBay is a wonderful route to go, as is saving up for a box, be it Gint-A-Cuffs related or just to get that pack-ripping fix.


  1. Have to agree whole heartedly. Retail is such a waste of money. Not that I haven't pulled some good stuff from retail and there were times that retail was the better option than hobby, ie 2010 Topps Heritage for some reason. And there are some retail only exclusives, but to get the ones you really want it's just easier to buy them on ebay or COMC. Especially for higher end stuff. But if you're looking to fill a PC set with base cards or fill a set justcommons.com and sportlots is the way to go that way.

  2. I agree 150% with everything you said. When I got back into collecting in 2007 my purchases were about 50% eBay and 50% retail. Now I'd say they are 98% eBay/COMC/Sportlots and 2% retail. If I feel like opening a single pack of something to scratch the itch retail is fine, but with eBay/COMC/Sportlots I get everything I need. Great post!

  3. I use retail as a means to scratch the wax-ripping itch. Mostly rack packs, as they often net you twice the value of a blaster, easily. I have been houding nearby Wal-Marts for 2011 Update Series boxes at 1/2 off for the throwback patches, though.

  4. Different strokes.

    I like the thrill of the card aisle, seeing the packages up close, the gamble, the chance, the excitement. If you keep it in check, it's a lot of fun.

    You don't get that shopping online. (There is a different thrill there, but it's not as interesting to me). I'm not a bargain hunter. Never have been.

    I do appreciate saving your money and a good deal, but I reserve most of that for real life stuff.

  5. Retail is good for low-price stuff (Triple Play, Score Football). That satisfies the "pack-ripping" surprise factor.