HERMITAGE, Pa. (WYTV) – In the early 1990s, the baseball card industry was a billion dollar business. Now it’s only worth a quarter of that amount.
Investors spent a lot of money on cards during the ’80s and early ’90s in the hopes of turning a profit later in life.
Jim Danilovics says the industry was booming in 1989 when he opened The Baseball Card Shop in Hermitage.
“What had happened in the earlier ’80s, people could buy a box of cards and two or three years later, it could be worth four, five, six, seven, eight, ten times what they paid for it.”
In the mid ’90s, producers made too many cards and the market became flooded. The cards lost value, some that once sold for $50 to $100 began to sell for under $5.
Danilovics’ store is more of a warehouse today. He estimates it’s holding around a million cards, most of which are stocked in boxes.
Only 50 to 60 customers come to the store weekly, but he says thousands of people visit his website each week.
“My business has become 98 percent internet and 2, maybe 3, percent in the store.”
Even with today’s buyer generally being older males, Danilovics says millennials still purchase cards but you don’t see them in the store. He says the business will never die, even when competing with video games and smart phones.
“It’s just like the game of baseball. I don’t think you’ll ever get rid of the collecting of the cards.”