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I was never really one to  get too riled up by the idea of packsearching. If you want to go through the trouble of finding some $5 GU card at Target, more power to you. But when they’re sifting through hobby packs at the only place I can buy hobby packs, well now it’s a problem!

There’s a local market here that stocks sports cards. Unlike its counterpart a bit north of here, the boxes are out on a normal market shelf, and customers are free to go through them. Furthermore, it’s situated by a busy service counter, so even if their employees cared to discourage packsearchers, they couldn’t during busy hours. I was there, clearing out the last of their 06 Fleer Tradition (and at .49 a pack, why not). As I was doing this, someone clearly packsearching was doing his thing. I’ll admit I was even more irritated when he started to rub some 08 Upper Deck packs, since I wanted one too. I shot him a dirty look, and he went back to searching football packs. He eventually settled on a box of 08 SPx Football. He ended up opening his purchases there, though I never noticed if he found the AU/GU he was looking for.

As I mentioned, I’ve never really bothered to care about packsearchers. But it really irked me to see someone actually do it, and at the only place I can now buy cards. Both card shops in my area have closed their doors for good. This isn’t surprising, given how little traffic came through these stores.

That said, knowing packsearchers are active here is definitely discouraging. I shouldn’t be surprised, but to see it actually happen isn’t so great. Admittedly, I’ve had great luck pulling good cards at this store. But is this is an anomaly? Or are the packsearchers not interested in what I’m buying?

It’s also discouraging seeing these few card shops disappear. Presumably, I can go into a shop and not have to worry about packsearchers. But seeing what I’ve seen in card shops all over this state, I can’t imagine many of them sticking around for very long. You want to talk about a sector that’s desperately clinging onto something intangible? Card shop owners. You would think given the amount of money a place like the aforementioned market makes on cards, that owners would attempt to modernize. Instead, I see card shops in complete disarray, with years of dust covering their product. Who wants to go searching for singles in places like that? I don’t. I see card shops continuing to overcharge for their product. I realize they too are trying to pay their bills. But they’d have a lot more of those bills paid if they moved product continuously and had high traffic in their stores. And they’d have that if they charged anywhere near the actual MSRP for their product.

Ultimately, I can always buy and trade cards online (or at my local market). And I don’t need to have the shop experience. But it’s sad how this experience will someday be forever gone, due to what I feel is a lack of foresight on the hands of shop owners.


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