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Some of the excuses that people make about cards not being popular today don't make any sense ... considering the card companies themselves could have gotten into some of these businesses.
Direct to consumer sales
Leaf and former Topps employees are full with excuses & very bearish on cards.
.... strange, I was at COMC last week & they were expanding!
The biggest problem I see are that card companies own NOTHING, but a licensee (with royalty). They don't make the cards. They don't even do the basic tasks they've left themselves with (redemption card fulfillment, releasing product on the date they said ... Ect).
That's not good.
You tell me - would you rather own a printer worth at least a few thousand in scrap metal (let alone if it works) .... Or a license to make cads you have to pay more for each year + royalty?
Ok, so Panini & Topps dropped the boat on printing technology, not that it's a great business anyway - who reads magazines or direct mail these days?
But - there are other ways they could have made money. Geico has ads all over the place, how about an 800 number to save 15% on a dupe card? How about licensing your card data to Beckett or a site like this? How about pictures of your cards? Or just put it on your site?
How can COMC or ebay be doing so well? Topps or Panini could have done what they did & gotten their faster. Blowoutcards/DA and niche distributors is a warehouse, a few employees, a fax machine and a UPS account. Topps or Panini couldn't concur that mountain too?
Do you think Blowout Cards, FCB, SportsCardForum just exist to make friends in the card community??? Nah, those are (were) 5-figure earning forums. Topps, Panini ...ect could have been doing the same thing for the last decade too.
Beckett adds some things to their services. Coins, appraisal, fan shop. 800 number added to the top of the website.
Certified Appraisals for 1/1, "Black Friday" type cards & rarer odd-ball stuff can be appraised for:
1-4 cards = $15 per card
5+ cards = $12 per card
Double rookie class young guns drop in price because Beckett published lower than normal prices.
Brian Gray (I assume) put out some interesting tweets last week. Vaguely referring to Topps license with the MLB "if they make the wrong choice"
DA Cardworld has these Hit Parade packs, which essentially are repackaged product with some foofoo hits or prizes.
1000 Packs Made
Listen To Show #144