I went between looking at prices on the Internet and calling hobby shops for prices. Online, I could get a hobby box of Topps Chrome for $65. At the hobby shop, it was $75.
I thought about it. Do I want to purchase a hobby box, pay for shipping, then wait two days to get a box? Or drive to shop, talk to the nice guy who owns the place and open my cards immediately.
It actually didn't take that long to make the decision. Since the BF had never been to the hobby shop – that Marie and I found during one of our escapades – we drove about 45 minutes. Yes, so there was gas money involved as well.
But nothing beats the shop experience. It was worth the extra $4 (that includes shipping from the Internet) and gas money.
I walk into the shop and the owner recognized me immediately. This may have only been the third or fourth time I have been there. We talked about cards for a bit. We talked about Topps Chrome. Then grabbed some supplies, which you don't really think about when buying a box online.
Then, the BF and I headed to a great little grill around the corner where we opened his spanking brand new box of hobby cards.
I shared some of hits on Twitter. He had a really great box of cards, which I will post when I get back from the mini-vacation we're on.
However, I just wanted to point out that great experience. It didn't last more than 10 minutes, but that's what is special about great hobby shops and why New Concept III in Medford, NJ is still around. The owner makes the experience worth it for the customer.
There was a place that literally one mile from my home that had baseball cards and Topps Chrome for the same price, but the BF and I both thought how the other place is not a hobby shop, but a sports store that just happens to have baseball cards on its shelves. They don't talk about cards or even know enough about them to have a meaningful conversation.
Even though the hobby shop we enjoyed is 45 minutes away, we'll continue to go there when there is a hobby box of something we want to buy.
Support your local hobby shop!