Hobby Musings: National Hobby Shop Day Makes A Mark In 2019 – National Hobby Shop recently happened at brick and mortar trading card stores across the country. The event once again offered collectors a chance to score some sweet prizes and enjoy the experiences that the hobby community has to offer. Among the stores participating this year were Dennis Worden’s Triple Play Sports Cards in South Dakota, Mel Lundgren’s Bel Air Sports Cards in Maryland and Ron Florey’s Triple Play Sports Card and Memorabilia in Ohio. All three owners offered their thoughts via email about how NHSD went over with their customers this year.
KS: How do you feel National Hobby Shop Day went for your store this year?
DW: This is our third year doing NHSD and it went very smooth. We had a great day in sales, but that is only a part of it. This event was great for community building for our collectors and a way to give back to those who support us all year long. There was excitement in the air all week long leading up to it.
ML: NHSD was a huge success and the buildup six weeks prior to the event provided me plenty of time to adequately promote the event. NHSD was by far our single busiest day of the year.
RF: It was a record day for our store.
KS: Overall, how many people attended?
DW: We had 109 paying customers.
ML: Over 75 different customers.
RF: 339 people walked through the door, and we had 176 transactions for the day.
KS: What is it about NHSD that makes it unique from other in store promotions?
DW: We gave away nine autographed memorabilia pieces and collectors could pick which item they wanted to try to win. We also gave out gift bags to all who came in, even to the few that didn’t buy anything. Gift bags included supplies, promotional packs, eBay gift cards and a few other items. We had hourly drawings and gave away two items per hour to collectors who bought something during that hour.
ML: The support overall from GTS and the manufacturers who all donate and contribute to the NHSD promotion. It is not just one manufacturer but a collective group, which is nice because it helps to draw in customers who support one or multiple companies.
RF: I think for our store, it is a community event. There is a lot of excitement due to the amount of giveaways all day long.
KS: What did you do to promote the event this year?
DW: We mainly use Facebook to advertise. We added more details each day to our posts during the week to build the excitement. We had a big display of prizes and ticket boxes that we made sure everyone who came in our store knew about.
ML: I started a Facebook campaign about six weeks prior to the NHSD and promoted our in-store incentive during that six weeks. The in-store incentive was for every $25 spent during the time leading up to NHSD, you received a raffle ticket that was good for one of the 10 prize buckets. Prizes were displayed in store and promoted on the store’s Facebook page, and customers would place their tickets in the prize bucket of their choice sort of like a Chinese auction. This year we went through 1 1/2 rolls of tickets.
RF: We’re active on social media with Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. We placed signs all over our store, and we had a dedicated showcase for all of our giveaways.
KS: What was your customers’ reaction to some of the prizes this year? Which one do you think excited them the most?
DW: We had some great prizes this year, the two prizes that received the most tickets were the Kyler Murray Football and Giannis Antetokounmpo Basketball we gave away, but I was surprised at how many people tried for the Mike Tyson Signed photo.
ML: We provided prizes from all four of the major sports that ranged from memorabilia to wax boxes and single cards. The Christian McCaffrey jersey was by far the most popular prize item.
RF: The ones that had the most excitement were the Dr. J autographed basketball, Cleveland Cavaliers Loge seats tickets, Columbus Blue Jackets tickets and a Jerry Rice autographed jersey.
KS: Did you have a pizza party or put on anything extra in addition to the card and memorabilia extras?
DW: We did serve pizza. We made gift bags out of the smaller items that we received from GTS, including the eBay gift cards. We added a pack of sleeves to these gift bags out of our own inventory so at a minimum, everyone received a packs of sleeves and a promotional pack in their gift bags.
ML: The store provided donuts and bottled water in the morning, then we did the pizza party at 3:30 in the afternoon prior to the prize drawing at 4:30PM. Also the PLAYZONE Game room was open and customers were able to experience the NBA Shot, Ice Ball, Skee-ball and Boom-A-Rang Air Hockey arcade games.
RF: We give away gift bags to the first 80 people who spent $20.00. We also started the day with donuts and then had pizza for the afternoon session.
KS: Do you plan on participating in NHSD again next year?
DW: Yes for sure.
KS: If you could make one change to the promotion, what would it be?
DW: The only thing I would like changed is getting the promotional packs a bit sooner so I have a little more time to prepare.
ML: The timing seems a little overwhelming to customers – we have Panini Black Friday / Topps Holiday Pack Promotion – Small Business Saturday all within 10 days of NHSD. The timing of the delivery of the giveaway freebees could be a little earlier for those of us who want to make up grab bags etc.
RF: Consider changing the date of the promotion. We could use larger window posters. Also, we need product about two weeks earlier to add to our showcase.
KS: What would you say to your fellow store owners who didn’t participate this year?
DW: It is fairly inexpensive to get involved, so give it a try and see what happens. The promotional package and support from GTS and other sponsors was awesome.
ML: I have been involved in the promotion for two years, it creates excitement – brings people in to the store and is overall very successful.
RF: They are missing out on a great opportunity to connect with their collectors.
KS: As we near the end of 2019, what kind of year do you think this was for the hobby and your store overall?
DW: The hobby is very strong, we are seeing new customers daily. Many who collected during the “bulk era” are now getting back into the hobby with their 5-10 year-old kids and reliving their collecting days. This is our 19th year as a store and it is our best by far, but not just in sales. The collecting community we are building through the promotions such as NHSD, Father’s Day, Black Friday, etc. and our own Reveal Parties is really the rewarding part of this year for me.
ML: The state of the hobby is currently in a very good state – the economy is strong and the rookie classes have been better than expected the last couple of years. That being said, I am still being cautious about the future and will be prepared to sense and adjust as needed. The new store location this year was much needed and we are excited about the opportunities the expanded card bar and retail area can provide in addition to the PLAYZONE Game/Party room, which should provide another source of revenue throughout the year.
RF: It’s been another strong year for the hobby overall. Some products have been a little softer in 2019 compared to last year. It’s been a record year for our store.
KS: What would you say is currently the hottest property in sports cards right now? (ie Vintage, rookie cards, sealed wax)
DW: Although we are seeing success in all areas of the hobby right now, I would say sealed wax is the hottest in my store. While this is great, it makes restocking very hard or impossible on some items.
ML: For our location, the sealed wax and rookie prospects are definitely in demand along with graded cards of the top players.
RF: Sealed wax, vintage and rookie cards. 2018 football products and anything 18-19 basketball has been popular here too.
For more Hobby Musings from Kelsey Schroyer, follow him on Twitter @KelSchroy75.
Hobby Musings: National Hobby Shop Day Makes A Mark In 2019
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