Stores seek new ways to sell sports memorabiliaSep 08, 2022 02:18PM ● By Greg James
By Greg James | [email protected]
The sports collectible market has had its ups and downs over the last few years. Local collectors have turned to alternative ways to buy, sell and trade cards.
“Our bid board has become like an in-store eBay for our local collectors,” said West Valley City’s Finders Keepers owner Brian Dong. “We have a little bit of everything come in on that board.”
His bid board acts as an auction. A card collector can bring any piece of memorabilia he would like to sell. After paying a small fee it is placed for inspection on the public bid board. When the time period for selling is up the product is sold to the highest bidder.
“We have had some high-end cards placed up for bid. Right now, we have a complete collection of boxed cards available. I usually have quite a few from my collection available,” Dong said.
The idea for the auction-style board came as a way to avoid shipping costs and the dishonesty of some sellers on the national sites.
The auction is not the only way he has looked to generate card sales. He also hosts a once-a-month trade night.
“The shop is open and we encourage nothing but trading, no selling. We have had graded cards and even Pokémon traders on those nights,” Dong said.
Card shows are another way to find or sell your precious collection. Collectors get together and buy and sell their favorite cards in large groups held at malls and other meeting rooms across the valley. They have developed a Facebook page to help them advertise for each event. In August there were two such shows, one at the Valley Fair Mall (Aug. 20) and at the Mountain America Expo Center (Aug. 6).
“The card shows have everything from toys, sports cards, and collectible coins,” sports collector Kelly Pack said. “In the mall we get shoppers and they eat this stuff up. My son even comes with silver, gold and currency. I have been doing this for seven years.”
In this area, collectors look for specific types of cards.
“The Jazz are not as popular as you might think,” Dong said. “I get fans that want LeBron (James) or Steph Curry. Michael Jordan sells.”
“There is such a variety of stuff available. I think Jordan toilet paper would sell. I have seen collectors that only want BYU players. At the tables, you try to watch the trends and see who is hot.”
At the onset of COVID, the collectible industry boomed. eBay and other sites saw an increase in sales and purchases of cards.
“I think it has slowed down a bit. We have been open for about two years. We sell Funko Pops, some jerseys, superhero toys and Transformers have been a big seller for me,” Dong said.
The 42nd annual National Sports Collectors Convention was held in Atlantic City July 25-31. It boasted over 90,000 attendees and will be held in Chicago in 2023. Bo Jackson, Rickey Henderson and Dale Murphy were some of the hundreds of athletes who spent time in the autograph pavilion at the convention. A VIP pass could be purchased for $210 and the ticket included entrance to the entire week of the convention and autograph priority.
This year Mac Jones’ Prizm 1 of 1 card sold for $100,000.
“We have had autograph tables before,” Pack said. “Vernon Law and Harmon Killebrew spent time at one of our shows.”