As some of you may know, I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Not exactly the hot spot for card collecting. I only knew of two card shops in this city of over a million people. The largest city in North America. (land area wise) These two shops are kind of, well, pathetic to be honest. One I don't even bother going to, and the other is going even further into the tank as the owner passed away and his grandson is ruining what business he did have. So it's a lot of online buying for me. It's the only way to get anything you want... and a heckuva lot cheaper than buying local.
So when I found out about a third shop, I was thrilled. I patiently waited for my day off, and drove the 45 minutes to this new, uncharted wonderland. And was the wait worth it! I walked in and there lay before me 900 square feet of yummy collecting goodness. The man behind the counter in his Calgary Flames jersey, Flames sweat pants, and surprise! Flames hat, asked if he could help me. I mumbled something about being okay for now.... while I wandered around in amazement. There were two walls of wax boxes.... he promised that if it came out in the last two years, he had it on the wall. Baseball, Hockey, Football, and even basketball.
Figurines, autographed photos, and every supply one could ever need was here, waiting to be scooped up and taken to a good home. My home. My wife would understand. Right? The only thing he didn't have was boxes of cards to sort through to fill sets. But that was okay. I have never seen that in any card shop here in Calgary. No biggie.
After an hour of drooling and ogling... I was ready to start purchasing. I began piling up supplies on the counter.
2 boxes of 9 count pages... check
1 box of 8 count pages... check
8 more ball cubes, UV protected... check
4 packages of top loaders... check
And now, the wax... by this time the store employee had come back over... "anything else?" he says. Oh yes. Oh yes. I'll take 2 packs of that, and 3 packs of that, and a pack.........
Wait. He's interupting me. What is he saying? Why isn't he getting me my packs?
WHAT? No. That can't be right. "Um, excuse me, can you repeat that?" I say.
"We don't sell packs." he says. "Well," I say, "What are those?" pointing to the thousand or so wax boxes on the wall. "We sell boxes, not packs" he says.
The room is now spinning. I feel light headed. I look for someone to tell me it's all a joke. but no one is around. And then it hits me. In the hour plus I've been there... I haven't seen anyone.
"How many kids do you get buying stuff?" I ask... "oh.... none. We never get kids in here. They can't afford it" he says.
I turn around, and slowly walk out.
So coming in at #4 is retarded card shops and their owners. Dooming themselves, and the hobby in one fell swoop.