What gets you into the hobby shop?

I was doing some editing on one of our sports trade magazines the other day when I came across an article talking about ways hobby store owners could attract customers to their store.

Some of the logical suggestions were to offer fair prices, be friendly and offer a selection of material to appeal to a wide audience. Some of the more interesting thoughts were to hold events (such as a BBQ, movie showing or box break gathering) to attract new customers.

So I ask the diehard collectors of Tuff Stuff’s Sports Collectors Monthly, what makes you go to the hobby shop to pick up packs or boxes of cards? Do you go just to feed that collecting need, regardless of any gimmicks used to get you in the door? Are you looking for high-dollar or low-buck items in particular? Are you walking through the door because it’s kind of like Norm in “Cheers” – you feel at home and love the people and customers that are already there?

Other factors that were suggested to attract customers was a well lit, organized store. But I have to say, some of those shops that are crammed full of stuff and haven’t been dusted in years are kind of fun to check out. It’s like a treasure hunt – you don’t know what you’re going to find.

But maybe the best part is walking in the door and just chatting with link-minded fans about the local nine or the gridiron greats. If a hobby shop can offer that, I’m always visiting. 

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