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Old 03-29-2013, 09:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default There's going to be a new Comic and Sportscard Shop opening on Las Vegas Blvd...

and it's going to be owned by, ME!

I've told a few people on the boards this news in the past few weeks, and now I want to make the official announcement. I will be opening May 1st, and my shop will be on Las Vegas Boulevard and Silverado Ranch, caddy-corner from the South Point Casino. It will be called Stripside Comics and Sportscards, and for those who don't know, I founded and owned Baseball Card Heaven in Las Vegas for two and a half years before selling it to some friends who kept it open another two plus years (it was still doing successfully when they closed, just a three-way partnership that saw an unbalance in time worked and direction).

When I opened my first shop, I was 23-years-old and a little clueless in the beginning. I'd like to think I learned a lot, and the shop was doing amazing when I sold it, I just over-exerted myself with many, many 70-90 hour work weeks, so I wanted out. About a month or two after I sold it, I wanted back in ironically. The first time around at Baseball Card Heaven (let's call it BBCH from here on), I only did Sportscards. Over the last year particularly, my emphasis has been on comics, and it's nice that I love collecting both.

As of right now, there are three Sportscard shops and thirteen comic shops in the greater Vegas area; there isn't a single shop that does both. Also, there are really neither of each within ten to fifteen minutes of my shop, but that doesn't mean I'm out in the Boonies. I have high income residential near me in Southern Highlands, Silverado Ranch, and Anthem; so I do love my location. I am on Las Vegas Boulevard (it's about four miles from Mandalay Bay and six miles from Belaggio/Caesar's) and I have great freeway access just a block off of the I-215. Very easy acces for much of the Las Vegas area locals and tourists alike.

My starting costs in fixtures and licensing alone are going to run around $12,000 it's looking like for my 1227 Sq. foot location. BBCH that I ran in 2003-05 was about 850 Sq ft, so I've upgraded the size a little, but will have a little bit of a squeeze between cards and comics. I have my ordering license from Diamond Distributors for my comics, and I have my dealernet account to order any unopened wax for sports cards. Not sure if I'm jumping into the MTG and other gaming equation, I know nothing about it really and I won't have a ton of free space for tournaments, but we'll see. Opening is May 1st, and I wish I could tell you it's going to be glorious and exactly as I want it to be on opening day, but that's not realistic. I will have a solid base of both comics and cards, with extra money to spend when stuff comes through the door, but my goal is for the shop to look better on June 1st than it does on May 1st, better on July 1st than it did on June 1st, etc, etc, etc...

As far as getting the word out, I plan on starting some solid Sports Radio campaigns on local radio (did well for me with BBCH and was very affordable IMO) and the comic world will get a huge introduction to my shop from June 14th to the 16th at The Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con (being held at the South Point Casino right across the street from my location), which I will have two booths at and I am in the works to sponsor several events at and host several give-a-ways at as well. I signed a three year lease, and I got my shop at $1.00 per sq/ft the first year and $1.10 the next two years (plus CAM fees which are about .37 per sq/ft). I asked my landlord what this shop was going for in the boom until 2007 and he said he was getting $1.80 per sq/ft for reference.

I have big hopes with artist and writer signings as well as top MLB prospects that come through AAA Las Vegas 51's (currently the Mets affiliate with Travis d'Arnaud and Zach Wheeler playing for), I want to do once-monthly Sunday Cosplay and artist sketches for kids and adults, and a ton more to be actively involved in the Las Vegas collecting community. Just to point out, I know several of the Sportscard and Comic shop owners in town, and support has been amazing. For reference, I have been in Baseball Fantasy leagues for years with both owners Marcel at Legacy Sports Cards and Jeremy at Ultimate Sports Cards, they are both great guys and have been very helpful. I told a local comic shop owner from Forsaken Toys and Collectibles I would be opening, and he said if there's anything I can't get from Diamond as far as new release comics, he'd be happy to give me part of his order if I needed it. The Las Vegas Card and Comic community seem amazingly helpful to one another and I am glad to be a part of it again.

If anyone ever visits Vegas and wants to stop by, I had a policy at BBCH for those who called and asked how far I was from a particular Strip Casino; if I have another employee at the shop at the time, if you pay for a cab ride to my shop, I will be happy to personally drive you back for no charge. In the two plus years I owned BBCH, I probably only used that program three times, but it will be there for anyone as long as you call in advance. As far as locals, I had the General Manager of a local Hotel and Casino become one of my better customers for about a six month span before he was transferred across the country, but he usually got off work at 9:00, and he would sometimes call me around my closing time of 6:00 and ask if I could wait for him to get off work, and I would usually oblige as long as I didn't have anything major going on. I am a pretty decent guy and also try to extend that offer too. (And as a sidenote, he brought in one of his really high up corporate guys in a few times and they would probably drop about $1200 per visit; his corporate honcho pulled one of the most gorgeous modern Hank Aaron cards in existence from 2005 Donruss Classics that was a 1/1 AUTO with most of the Indian's head from a 1960's Braves uniform, and it has probably never seen the light of day to the collecting community since it was pulled by a multi-millionaire who's probably never sold a card on eBay in his life. I really wish I would taken a scan of it, sorry to those Aaron collectors out there)

Anyways, if you made it this far through my dragged out post, thank you sincerely. I could probably go on for hours about how excited I am to be back in the game. If you have any questions, ask them openly on this post or through PM, I will be glad to answer. All comments and advice are appreciated.

Thanks,
Jason
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Congrats and good luck with the store. Are you going to have any of your Think Tank Art in the store as a display? I personally think it would be a good way to introduce some of the comic world to sports collectors...
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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well next time i'm in vegas i definitely know where not to stop. no way i'm finding any good deals like sixth gun for cover, or cheap sketch covers. so no reason to even come by.

but really congrats on the shop. sounds like a lot of satisfying hard work. i'm really thinking hard about moving out there or to texas next year when i graduate school for respiratory therapy at the end of this year, to look for work since it's so compacted out here in cali. so it would be nice to know i'd already have my regular wednesday spot lined up if i ever do make the move.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yep, next time I'm in Vegas, I'm totally going there and complaining about something. I'll wear a fake beard so you won't know it's me!

P.S. Congrats! awesome news.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Congrats! Definitely living the dream I would like to live. Soon.....it WILL happen
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So when I watch Pawn Stars now and somebody brings in some comics or cards and Rick says... I'm gonna call a buddy... will that be you? lol
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the well wishes guys. A few other notes I am extremely excited about and didn't add:

The shopping center the shop is in is a perfect hot spot for Dudes (my target market); a very busy Del Taco that faces my store, a Capriotti's Sandwich shop, a pizza place, a 24 Hour Asian Massage parlor (and don't laugh too hard, but it will great for security if anyone ever tries to break in and the alarm is going nuts), a discount liquor outlet, a smoke shop, a kid's tutoring-karate-dance-music studio that you literally HAVE to walk by my store to get into, a Shell station, a dry cleaners, a few insurance brokers including State Farm, and what can be great for the Original Comic Artwork I hope to get into-a frame shop.

But the biggest, biggest, biggest supplement to my shop, a collectible coin and currency shop is opening next door (attached) to my shop. There is a ton more money in the collecting of coins and currency, and many of those guys double-dip into comics and cards. We have the perfect Collector's Corner of Las Vegas and we have been in talks to advertise exactly as such.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Congrats man, very cool... Will be there on my first trip to las vegas
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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As of right now, the plan is kind of 50/50 cards and comics. I love collecting and dealing in both, and time will tell which direction the shop goes in; I'm adaptable. If I end up being forced to do 80% comics and 20% cards, no biggy. If it goes the other way and I'm doing 80% cards and 20% comics, I will be fine with that as well, as long as I'm making a living, of course.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Cool, congrats. If I'm ever hitting up the strip clubs and casinos I'll stop by. I'm sure your store will do great being you have the knowledge and know how of a "speculator". No getting those Sixth Gun's #1's or Peter Panzerfaust #1 for cover at your spot.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrbeaz View Post
So when I watch Pawn Stars now and somebody brings in some comics or cards and Rick says... I'm gonna call a buddy... will that be you? lol
No, Jeremy of Ultimate Sportscards has that on lockdown for cards, but I've never seen a comic book guy on the show. Hmmm....
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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might have to go to the vegas comic con and come hang out, lol. too bad it won't be during football season though, cause south point is a great spot to bet on and watch games at.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Wow that is pretty great news. I cant wait to see how a show owned by a fellow speculator works out. Its a shame you didnt open up on the east coast where i could visit though
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The one thing I can tell you, and you probably know this is to cater to the condition concious collector.

And you really need to do gaming, the profit margin is great, they dont beat you up on prices and they must buy the new expansion ever 3 months to keep up with the current meta game. Plus supplies are about a 45-60% margin.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Great News ! Congrats !
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrbeaz View Post
The one thing I can tell you, and you probably know this is to cater to the condition concious collector.

And you really need to do gaming, the profit margin is great, they dont beat you up on prices and they must buy the new expansion ever 3 months to keep up with the current meta game. Plus supplies are about a 45-60% margin.
Gaming as in cards or video games
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skel1977 View Post
Gaming as in cards or video games
magic and yu-gi-oh
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Wow that is pretty great news. I cant wait to see how a show owned by a fellow speculator works out. Its a shame you didnt open up on the east coast where i could visit though
Yeah, I have to see how it works out myself. If I choose to speculate on a book, I guess I can order what I expect to be a reasonable amount for the shop at cover price, and then add a certain amount of copies I would like to speculate on myself. I don't want it to backfire on me, and I can guarantee you that I will never see a comic selling for $10-$15 on the day of release and all of a sudden decide to stash and mark them up. But for example, let's say I see a new hot series coming out. For the comparative size of my store, maybe a smart amount to order would be ten copies for the shelf. If I think the book has Saga or Nowhere Men type potential, maybe I'll order 20 copies for myself to hold onto and see where it goes.

There might be a fine line there, as if I sell those ten store copies within a few hours because they are $10 already online, I am out of my initial store supply. A few days later someone comes in and I can either say I'm out since I am out of what I wanted for the store, or I can say I have some for $10 each and risk being labelled as that one store in town that just marks up everything that's hot right away and scare a certain percentage of customers. I can tell you this; I will always be 100% honest about situations like this, and also, I will try to get the word out on books I perceive as hot when I am ordering them two months in advance. If I can turn some local speculators on to buying five or ten of a hot series and have them pre-sold in their pull boxes, let them sell those books for $10 or more down the road, I will then also be providing a service that other shops don't and be winning some speculators/flippers over.

Like I said, that is a very fine line to tread, and in a perfect world, I won't piss off anyone in that regard, but that probably just isn't realistic. I taked to some friends who work at Maximum Comics (my LCS) and on the day Peter Panzerfaust #9 came out, a woman was already waiting at the door ten minutes before opening to buy them out. I already had three put in my pullbox (they still only gave me two), and all ten copies they ordered were already in pull boxes before they hit the shelf. Apparently this woman was yelling at them in the store and demanded she get some copies, but naturally they didn't want to short their regulars who spend money there consisitently. Just an example to show you can't please EVERYONE with the whole "What's Hot" speculation.

I gained a very good repuation in town when I owned my card shop, there are always situations beyond your control. When certain card products come out, I might sell a product for $70 a box upon release. The product blows up and I have to pay more from distributors, so a week later after I run out I have to mark it up to $90. I would get people saying they saw it for $70 a few days before, which is why they came back to the store to buy some, then they're raising their voice at me calling me a rip-off and saying they'll never return. There are just some things beyond a store owner's control.

I would also hear all the time that some collectors wouldn't come to my store anymore because they didn't get any big hits out of the five boxes of cards they bought from me, so even though my prices were cheaper, they would go to another store and pay more. Of course I would have people only come to my store and say they won't shop at the other place because they never hit anything big from there. One or two big hits at one shop, and three or four bad boxes from another DEFINITELY spelled conspiracy in their mind, even though I knew that both of our shops got the same product from the same distributors all the time. People will formulate their opinions of you in a multitude of ways. From my experiece, if you offer fair prices and great customer service, people will keep coming back and you will make money.

Opinions welcome on the whole speculation and raising prices on recent hot books if I ordered a certain allotment for my own speculation, please.

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Old 03-29-2013, 11:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Congrats man....im going to school for criminal justice but way down the road i hope to run a store like this....good luck and hope it works out
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:48 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Congrats, Jason. I wish you all the best of success.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:31 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I would also give a HELL of a deal to people who buy cases like a $5 over your cost per box per case if they are 10-12 box cases. $10 over your cost per box for 6-4 box cases.

This will only help you because it will keep your volume high with distributors and big case breakers in your store always spur others to buy.

I can't tell you how many times I would be busting a case in the store people would see me hit something and they would buy a box or two.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:36 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Good luck....

I'm almost at 2 years owning my shop....

It is interesting to say the least
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:25 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I'm going to be Vegas in September. I'll try to stop by hopefully i can win some to buy some stuff. Goal win money for comics and strippers. Lol
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:39 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Wow & congrats.

I simply wonder if in a high-roller area, you have to carry high-roller cards?
My shop caters to nickle-&-dimers, so has lots of $3 autos.
Do you stock up on Hank Aarons & Babe Ruths?
Same with comics -- do you feel pressure to carry 'key books'?
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:56 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Congrats! That's awesome !!
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