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How to Buy Valuable Cards in a Store

How to Buy Valuable Cards in a Store

With every type of collectible you can think of skyrocketing in value, trading cards/sports cards are one of the items leading the charge. Certain packs of these cards can fetch you triple the amount you paid for them in a matter of minutes of listing them online.

For this reason, it’s become insanely difficult to find most kinds of cards in an actual store. From Pokemon to NBA and NFL cards, if you want to start finding packs in store, you’ll have to take a more calculated approach to it.

Aiming at stores like Target and Walmart will be your best bet, even though Barnes & Noble has recently started to have a lot more cards in stock.

Sadly, in most scenarios asking the employees at these stores will be no help at all. In a lot of cases, employees have no clue when cards come and aren’t even the person who stocks the cards. Vendors from a third-party company are the ones who stock cards and they have their own schedule.

The goal is to arrive right when the vendor shows up if you really want to find the cards you’re looking for. To do this, you’ll have to follow these steps.

Track the vendor’s stocking schedule

Most vendors tend to stock certain stores on the same day. If you can track the rhythm of when that vendor is going to stock a certain store then you can be right there as the shelves are being stocked.

To do this, you’ll need to show up at your local Walmart or Target every day for an entire week and check the cards section. It seems like overkill, but you’ll only have to do this once.

What you should be looking for is any sign that the cards section has been fixed up or stocked at all. Some people even go inside and take a picture of the cards to document any noticeable difference. If you do notice a difference then it’s safe to assume that the card vendor was stocking at that store the day before. Now you know which day of the week to check that specific store.

As far as timing goes, it can be a little more tricky. If you can go before work in the morning then that will be your best bet. Sometimes vendors stock in the evening, but it’s usually in the morning.

Other common types for vendors to stock besides first thing in the morning and in the evening are between 10 a.m. and noon. This is because the vendor has a different store on their route first and is coming to your store second.

You might notice a line when you’re waiting for the vendor. That’s how you know you’re at the right spot. If you can, try to strike up a conversation with the other people in line to kill time. It’ll help you get information about when the vendors come for nearby stores in your area and how other people are buying cards. Networking is big in the card community.

Depending on your area, if you’re in a Walmart the people in line might decide to divide the cards up among everyone evenly. In some areas, the first person in line will just take everything.

Target is a little different. Typically, they have a UPC limit so customers can only purchase a certain number of each UPC. This means more people in line will be able to get a good number of specific products.

Timing up the vendor is really one of the only ways to find cards in a store. Some Targets have waiting lists but it really varies depending on where you go so it’s best to get out there and start looking. Once you find a vendor’s time, it’s all about getting to that store before other people.

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