July is only two weeks old but I am ready for it to be over. Between an unexpected vet bill, constant rejections from jobs, and trying to keep a level head because of my PTSD; I have been pretty overwhelmed. On Tuesday, I had business in Burbank. So despite money being tighter than normal, I jumped at the chance to take time and visit one of the bigger card stops on the west best coast.
Burbank Sports Cards is 2 or 3 Freeways and about 35 miles from my home, depending on how much time you want to spend on the hellacious 5 freeway. I know for some of you 35 miles is nothing but in Los Angeles traffic, 35 miles is misery. Add this to the fact that my business was during peak rush hour and the car ride felt like an eternity.
After losing 5 pounds from sweat on the way there, I finally arrived at the nondescript building. Even with the GPS on my phone, I overshot the shop by a block. When I arrived at the shop, I was worried that I came after it closed. It wasn’t; they just have a unique entrance. You have to hit a buzzer for the door to unlock for you. Considering the inventory on the premises, an entrance like this is not surprising.
I don’t know what I was expecting. At first, I just saw a typical card shop with a ton of dollar boxes for you to go through; with hobby boxes in the glass underneath that they were sitting on. On the other side was more glass cases with hobby boxes and a selection of any type of sleeve, top-loader, or protection that you can dream of for your cards and memorabilia. I was the only customer in the shop at this time and the guy in charge, started talking with me. He took me in back and showed me the warehouse. To non collectors, all you would see boxes of cards, but what I saw made my jaw drop. Boxes upon boxes in aisle after aisle. All organized and all full of cards. It was a sight to see. Afterward, he took me to a computer back in the storefront and told me how I could browse. The computer was their storefront on Beckett.com. I had time to kill so I said ‘why not.’ Now this is where my only nitpick on the place comes in. I feel the store is best appreciated by a more educated collector. If you read their Yelp reviews, you will see the reviews are clearly populated by collectors without a knowledge of the hobby; this is actually true for every card shops Yelp that I have ever seen, but more so for Burbank Sports Cards. (Side note: I gave them a legitimate 5 star review on Yelp because my day was made from the visit.) I put in an order for a few cards for $15; hey I had to walk away with something. In the time it took to help another customer, my cards arrived to the front.
So there you have it. Next time, I am coming armed with a ton of cash and my want-list.
I only took a picture of the inside when you walk in because I didn’t see a good one floating online. For a picture of the warehouse, check out a great article by Sports Collectors Daily: http://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com/volume-business-keeps-burbank-sports-cards-busy/
Update, thanks to great Twitter users: When I printed my Beckett invoice from the shop, I was cut a great deal from the printed price. I wasn’t concerned because all their cards are the lowest priced anyway.