Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I told you so...

I'm trying to not do a lot of 'told you so's'....really, I'm trying.

But, damn if I didn't predict a lot of this. The latest is the thunderstruck article in the paper this morning about how "Convenience" is disappearing from retail.

What? You thought they'd cut their bonuses first?

Or the idea that Bend might actually have an out-migration. I saw this first hand in the '80's, but if you hadn't seen that, this prediction probably seemed pretty crazy.

It's actually the reverse side of people moving to Bend solely on the basis of it's amenities -- for the grass is greener idea. Seems to me, this is bound to create disillusionment, especially when the economy goes sour.

Moving around looking for the best place to live, is a lot like businesses moving around looking for the best place to sell. Sometimes it make sense, but if you see a business or restaurant constantly moving, there's something off.

There isn't a magic location, or a magic formula in business. Just hard work, and brains, and energy; but most of all, a need that isn't already being filled.

I talked to my main man, Roger, down in Grant's Pass yesterday. Magazine Exchange has been my sport card distributor since 1986, when he was the only guy to actually deliver what he promised. Did huge business with him for years, but have slowly tailed off.

He's one of those steady-freddy guys; I know that the answer to my question, 'how are card shops doing?' is going to always be answered, 'some are slow, some are busy.'

I sort of challenged him yesterday: "O.K. Roger. Name me the card shops in Oregon....."

He could only come up with two in Portland.

So that kind of confirmed what I've been feeling: cards in Oregon are all but dead.

So....like I always thought would happen, I was there at the beginning; when you could only find a few dusty packs at Safeway; and I'm here at the end, when you can only find a bunch of regurgitated, recycled crap at Shopko.

I stuck with cards out of sheer cussedness, because I wanted to see this day.

So I could, in fact, say "I told you so."


stusigpi said...

Springfield sportscards on fifth and main

Hookers in Eugene
The new hobby in Salem
Heaven sent in tualatin
BBC and more in ptown

Cards are not dead in Oregon and actually those shops have good sales. The net is where the action isbecause the shops charge way too much for wax. The last wholesale list I saw was at least 50% higher than what I can get boxes for any day of the week.

Duncan McGeary said...

"The last wholesale list I saw was at least 50% higher than I can get boxes for any day of the week."

Like I said -- dead.

stusigpi said...

I still disagree. The fact that the wholesale list is so much more expensive only means that the shops need to get their product from high volume online sources to stay viable.

Back in the day in Eugene/Springfield, a shop was stuck with McDonald Wholesale, now McDonald and Magazine Exchange are irrelavent to the card shops. The shop can simply order from an onlince wholesaler, mark it up whatever they want to and that gives the shop much more margin to play with.

As I said, those shops I mentioned seem to be doing well. The card shop is there to please the gotta have it right now crowd. Since cards are nothing but a want, card shops can survive on that model.

Duncan McGeary said...

No, thanks.

I'm sure hock shops make money, too.