- How to Start a Trading Card Business?
- Understanding the Market
- Licensing and Legal Considerations
- Reselling Sealed Products to Start a Trading Card Business
- Building an Online Presence
- Selling Singles to Start a Trading Card Business
- Hosting Tournaments and Events
- Providing Card Grading Services
- Customer Service and Retention
- Staying Updated on Industry Trends
- Last Word Before You Start Your Trading Card Business
How to Start a Trading Card Business?
The trading card game (TCG) industry has experienced a massive resurgence in recent years, fueled by popular franchises like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic: The Gathering, and more. As the demand for TCGs continues to grow, starting a trading card business can be an exciting and profitable venture. According to Yahoo!, the sports trading card market size represents 6.1B dollars.
In this guide, we will explore the essential steps to establish a successful trading card business, focusing on reselling sealed products and selling singles, along with other valuable insights.
Understanding the Market
To start a trading card business, you must have a solid understanding of the market and the TCGs that are currently trending. For example, Pokemon, Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh! have consistently been among the most popular TCGs, attracting a large and dedicated player base. Analyze the popularity of different TCGs in your region and identify your target audience. Are you catering to competitive players, collectors, or both? Understanding your customer base will help you tailor your product offerings and marketing strategies accordingly.
Licensing and Legal Considerations
When dealing with popular TCGs like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, it is crucial to ensure that your trading card business operates legally and with the necessary licenses. Many TCG products are officially licensed, and selling counterfeit or unlicensed products can lead to severe consequences. Establish relationships with reputable distributors who supply authentic and licensed TCG products. For instance, you can partner with The Pokemon Company International for Pokemon products or Konami for Yu-Gi-Oh! products.
Reselling Sealed Products to Start a Trading Card Business
One of the primary revenue streams for a trading card business is reselling sealed products. Sealed products, such as booster packs and starter decks, offer the excitement of opening new cards and the possibility of finding valuable and rare cards. Purchase sealed products in bulk from authorized distributors at wholesale prices. For example, if you’re focusing on Pokemon, buy booster boxes of the recent expansion set, such as “Pokemon TCG Scarlet And Violet – 151” which is already available in Japan and will arrive soon in Europe and in the US (September 2022)
To attract customers, consider hosting pre-release events before the official launch of new sets. These events allow players to experience the latest cards before they are available to the general public, creating hype and anticipation. Organize fun activities, giveaways, and contests during these events to make them memorable and encourage participation.
Building an Online Presence
In the digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for any trading card business. Create a professional website with an easy-to-navigate interface and an online store where customers can browse and purchase products. Optimize your website for relevant keywords like “buy Pokemon cards online” or “Yu-Gi-Oh! singles for sale” to improve search engine visibility.
Utilize social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to engage with your audience and promote your products. Post engaging content, such as card reveals, deck-building tips, tournament highlights, and trivia related to Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! These posts can attract followers and potential customers who share a passion for these TCGs.
Selling Singles to Start a Trading Card Business
Selling individual cards (singles) is another essential aspect of a trading card business. Popular Pokemon cards, like Charizard or Pikachu, and sought-after Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, such as Blue-Eyes White Dragon, can fetch high prices in the secondary market. Purchase collections from players looking to sell their cards or attend trade shows and conventions to acquire rare and valuable singles.
Reselling singles can be an exciting and rewarding aspect of your trading card business, offering a wide range of individual cards to cater to the diverse needs of players and collectors alike. A strategic approach involves exploring multiple avenues to acquire singles, including buying bulk from individuals or professionals and importing cards from Japan.
Buying Bulk from Individuals
A cost-effective way to acquire singles for your inventory is by purchasing bulk collections from individuals. Many players and collectors often decide to sell off parts or their entire card collection, presenting an opportunity for you to negotiate deals and acquire cards at competitive prices. Local gaming stores, community events, and online forums are excellent places to connect with sellers looking to offload their collections.
When buying from individuals, ensure that you thoroughly inspect the condition of the cards. Transparent communication and fair pricing can build trust, leading to potential future purchases and referrals.
Sourcing Singles from Professional Sellers
In addition to buying from individuals, you can establish relationships with professional sellers who specialize in selling singles. Professional sellers often have an extensive selection of cards and can offer bulk deals to businesses like yours. These sellers may have access to rare and valuable cards, making it an excellent opportunity to expand your inventory with sought-after collectibles.
Networking within the TCG community and attending trade shows and conventions can help you connect with professional sellers and forge mutually beneficial partnerships.
Importing Cards from Japan
For some TCGs, especially those with a strong following in Japan, importing cards directly from the source can provide access to exclusive and rare editions. Japan often receives unique promotional cards and sets that may not be available in other regions. By importing these cards, you can attract collectors and enthusiasts eager to own these Japan-exclusive releases.
Establish relationships with Japanese distributors or sellers to streamline the importation process and ensure you comply with any customs regulations or tariffs.
One option to buy from Japan is Buyee.jp which is a middleman between Japanese sellers and you. Eventually, you can look for cards on specialized cards website such as magi.camp, which also offers a middleman service to international buyers. Please note that even if prices can be interested, those websites will chargea fee on the sale and that high shipping fees can be applied. You should make research on these point before ordering.
Setting up a Seller’s Account on Cardmarket or Troll and Toad to Start a Trading Card Business
To reach a broader customer base and tap into a vast online marketplace, consider setting up a seller’s account on platforms like Cardmarket or Troll and Toad. These websites have a global reach and a dedicated user base actively searching for singles to complete their decks or collections.
When creating your seller’s account, ensure that your listings are clear, concise, and include high-quality images of the cards. Competitive pricing and excellent customer service can help establish your reputation and lead to positive reviews and repeat business.
To ensure customer satisfaction, accurately grade and authenticate the singles you offer for sale. For example, use professional card grading services like PSA or Beckett to provide transparent and reliable card grading information to potential buyers.
Hosting Tournaments and Events
Hosting tournaments and events can significantly benefit your trading card business. Organize official Pokemon Play! events or Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series tournaments. These events attract competitive players who are eager to test their skills and win exclusive prizes. By offering unique and sought-after products as prizes, you can increase event attendance and boost the visibility of your business.
To foster a sense of community and encourage regular participation, consider running local leagues or weekly tournaments. These events can be more casual and focused on players who want to enjoy the TCG experience without the intense competitive atmosphere.
Providing Card Grading Services
As the trading card market becomes more competitive, offering card grading services can be a differentiating factor for your business. Partner with reputable card grading companies to assess the condition and authenticity of cards. For instance, if a customer possesses a rare and valuable Pokemon card like a first edition Charizard, having it professionally graded and authenticated can significantly impact its market value.
Display graded and authenticated cards on your website to attract collectors and investors looking for professionally evaluated cards. Emphasize the benefits of investing in graded cards, such as preservation, increased value, and confidence in the card’s authenticity.
Customer Service and Retention
Excellent customer service is vital for building a loyal customer base. Respond promptly to inquiries, address concerns, and provide assistance with purchases. Offer personalized recommendations based on customers’ preferences and budget, enhancing their shopping experience. Consider implementing a customer loyalty program, such as offering discounts on repeat purchases or providing exclusive access to pre-sale events.
Staying Updated on Industry Trends
To thrive in the competitive trading card business, staying informed about industry trends and new releases is crucial. Follow official announcements from The Pokemon Company, Konami, Wizards of the Coast (creator of Magic: The Gathering), and other TCG publishers. Participate in online forums, Reddit communities, and social media groups dedicated to Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and other TCGs to stay up-to-date with the latest news, card prices, and player preferences.
Last Word Before You Start Your Trading Card Business
Starting a trading card business centered around popular TCGs like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! requires dedication, knowledge, and a commitment to customer satisfaction. By understanding the market, providing exceptional customer service, and staying informed about industry trends, your trading card business is poised for success in this vibrant and ever-growing niche. Embark on this exciting journey and turn your passion for trading card games into a thriving and rewarding business venture.