I told this story to my wife, and we just started laughing.
When the guy said, "I'm going to shove these cards up your ass," I answered, "I was thinking of doing that myself."
Everyone in the store sort of hesitated. This really puzzled look came over the guys face, and I thought of trying to explain myself...
And then, the argument went on.
Capped by the customer's remark, "Well, that went well, considering..."
About 15 years ago, the card customers became so difficult to deal with, I stopped trading for singles. A couple years later, I stopped buying. Now....I'm going to stop selling the singles.
The comment I had back then was, "When a 'service' becomes a problem, it's no longer a service."
I haven't made money off singles for years. They are strictly an add on bonus service.
And yes, it is a way to avoid burn out. If I carried one product and devoted 100% of my attention to that product, I would be equal or in advance of any possible customer.
But by having 8 product lines, and devoting say, 20% to each product line, I'm still working 160% as hard, but probably don't know as much as the more hardcore customers in any single product line.
Most customers accept that. A few seem insulted that I'm making my living doing something they know so much more about.
But this broad, diverse product offering, but with a light touch on each product, is the method I've found to survive in Bend. Like a "General Pop-culture Store" I need to carry a little of a lot.
If Bend was bigger, or demographically different, I might be able to focus on one or two product lines. But it more than a little revealing that there aren't any full card, comic, game or pop culture toy stores in town. But one store who does all four.