Collectors are always looking for good deals and places to find their next addition. While many know where to look such as eBay, Wal-Mart, Target, and the local card shop, these places attract lots of collectors seeking the same or similar items. While the popular watering hole may be familiar and comforting, it also gets crowded and someone is always drinking from it.
Here is the second of five alternative locations that might go under the radar and but could produce some helpful leads based on my personal experiences, research, and interviews with other collectors.
The Good: While Newbury Comics isn’t known for their card selection, they are probably one of the most underrated sources and hidden gems. The store typically sells music and pop culture items like clothing and action figures, they are one of the few retailers that I know of that sells hobby packs over retail, including on occasion some high end products like Topps Triple Threads. Additionally, not many others flock to Newbury Comics for cards so most of the time the shelves are well stocked and ripe for the picking. While individual success isn’t guaranteed, I did manage to pull a patch auto relic of George Springer, a Jose Berrois Atomic Refractor auto /10 and two 1/1 printing plates (one of Cole Hamels and Gabriel Rosa) in less than a month when I bought three Bowman Platinum packs. They also offer Magic, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and other non-sports trading cards if you also collect those. Newbury also usually has packs from a few years ago unopened and discounted. 2011-2012 Bowman packs for about $3-$4 can be found with some luck and effort of looking and since they are hobby, a Trout or Harper auto is more likely to be there than a retail pack. Newbury carries all four major league sports cards too so chances are you can score on your favorite set or sport.
The Bad: Newbury Comics locations are few and far between. Most of the stores are in malls and Newbury is only located in every New England state except Vermont. If you’re planning a trip to visit New England either to see the foliage or Tom Brady, and you collect, you should definitely check out Newbury during your visit—or find someone who lives in the area to see what they can find and if they’d ship it to you. Their online website is hard to find cards on since they are much more focused on their music and comic sales.
The Ugly: Since Newbury Comics main demographic and image is not that of sports cards, they tuck them with the other cards in a corner of the store and most employees aren’t knowledgeable. Since cards in general are not flying off the shelves I have had many encounter with infamous pack searchers. I recall one incident where I called the guy out in front of an employee and he ran for the hills as the employee was trying to get security. I also bought the pack he had picked out to smite him and well I did pull a Upper Deck SP future watch auto of a rookie on the Minnesota Wild. It was numbered, too. Secondly, Newbury Comics charges almost 50 cents to almost $2 more per hobby pack than most local card shops or eBay offerings. A pack that would normally cost $3 – $3.50 might run $4-$5 and a jumbo hobby pack could be $14-$15 when typically they can be purchased for $12. They also don’t carry any sports memorabilia, but since most shops are in a mall, there is probably a shop in the same mall that specializes in that sort of thing.
Part Three: AP Boombox
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