Retail Cards May not be as Scarce as You See

A Guide to Help You Find Product
  • September 07, 2020

Walmart 1

EVERY time you go to Walmart or Target, you see the same thing - empty shelves.  You're convinced that collectors are camping out in the store, hoarding boxes; you may not be wrong.  You may still find product IN the store and elsewhere, though!

Empty shelves every single time you try to go find sports cards; we know exactly what you're going through.  Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the card industry has boomed!  Whether boredom during quarantine or a necessity to help make ends meet, other collectors have gotten back into the hobby you love.  The downfall for you - the stock in every store has dried up.   Don't worry - we have a little inside information and a few tips that will help you find the product you're looking for!

Where the Cards Come From

The cards you see on store shelves come from a company called MJ Holding.  This company partners with retailers like Walmart and Target, along with brands you collect such as Topps and Panini to distribute the cards. Your blaster boxes, fat packs, hangers, etc. - all come from MJ Holding. A mixed box will arrive at the store for a vendor to stock. 

Why are the Shelves Empty

Walmart 2

As you know, re-sale prices of cards have SKYROCKETED.  Basketball cards from this season are seeing historic prices on the secondary market thanks to rookies like Zion Williamson and Ja Morant.  Collectors trying to cash in on valuable packs and boxes will attempt to time the vendor by waiting in the store to purchase entire displays of product the second cards are available. You may have heard rumors or know employees that are "on the take", knowing exactly when deliveries are set to arrive and are purchased before packs even get to the shelf.  We have seen collectors standing in line, waiting for a product t be stocked!  Empty shelves and hoarding collector rumors are only partially true... 

Stores MAY Have Product


Store employees aren't fools; workers know a hoarder when they see one.  We were in a local store recently - we can't ell you which store, but it may or may not rhyme with Shmarget.  Looking for 2020 Topps Fire for personal collecting only, an extremely nice employee, saw how ecstatic we were to see hanger boxes ON the shelf for once and let us in on a tiny secret - more boxes were in the stock room.

This local store and the employees would see the same people venture in every stocking day and wipe the shelves clean - every week.  Legal - yes. Ethical - debatable, and we'll get into that shortly.  The sweet employee knew we saw our first packs since March and quietly told us that to prevent the same handful of people emptying the shelves, only a few boxes were being put out sporadically throughout the week!  We were also told the store truly received only a few packs of basketball and no boxes, but baseball was available. Employees at this store are not allowed to buy the products themselves until scanned in and placed on the shelf; employees, here at least, are not "on the take."  

A few moments later, the employee walked into the stock room, and brought back a Topps Fire blaster box for us!  Two more hangers and a blaster box were put on the shelf for the next customer, too.

This purchase took place on a Sunday afternoon; not even a stocking day!  Now, this is just one store and one very kind employee - do NOT assume all stores do this, and do NOT bug the employees to "check the back" or act snarky if you're told no. Be kind, and ask politely; you might go home with a box of cards!

Are Cards Every Person for Themselves?

Is it wrong to wait in the store all day and buy a whole display of cards?  We are not going to tell you yes or no; there are always two sides to every story.


  • Extra money during a pandemic; re-selling cards to pay bills
  • Collecting - everyone needs a hobby
  • You're actually keeping the store IN BUSINESS; store makes sales
  • Legal - you're only shopping


  • Collectors cannot build sets or obtain cards of favorite players
  • Prevents kids from learning the hobby; our hobby would stall 
  • Inflated prices on the secondary market 
  • Ethics 

There is no right or wrong - just your own opinion!  

Where Else You Can Get Product

Aside from being kind and gracious to store employees, there are a few other ways you can get new cards!

  • Facebook Groups

We have told you how easy to is to BUY and SELL on Facebook in this BLOG

No need to bother store employees.  Shop at your leisure.  Avoid eBay fees.  Talk with other collectors that appreciate what you do - the list of positives are endless!   Relax - shop on your schedule, and find the best deal.

We are fond of THIS buy and sell Facebook group.

  • Facebook Market Place

This morning, we met up with a seller found on a local Market Place and had a smooth transaction for two more Topps Fire hanger boxes.  On our own time, we searched the market place in this Zip Code, and found the $9.99 hangers offered for $15.  While other sellers asked $30 or more, this mom & son duo had a nice price. We picked a public place, in the daylight, and swapped information with which cars we drove.  We avoided paying auction fees and shipping to save money.  Naturally, we took precautions (as you should!) so you wouldn't see our faces on the next Lifetime movie.  Just take your time, and search our the right price for you.

  • Just Collect

Hey - that's us!  Did you know we SELL and BUY?  If you're looking for modern wax like 2019-20 National Treasures basketball, 2020 Topps Baseball Chrome, or vintage tobacco cards, CALL US!  If you have any modern wax or vintage cards to sell - CALL US!  Hate using the phone?  Maybe you're at work and don't want the boss knowing you're calling us - SEND AN E-MAIL!  We won't rat you out..

Plenty of ways to reach us:

Maybe you are on the FOR side of camping out in the store and you're hoarding a case of Illusions basketball; we might be interested :) 


  • Vintage Breaks

Our sister site offers packs, set breaks, and spots into just about anything you could dream of!  We just mentioned this year's NBA National Treasures - spots are HEREPRIZM, CHROME and VINTAGE - Got it - got it - got it. The fun part our sister site, VB, is they go LIVE with breaks right on their FACEBOOK page. You'll see your breaks happen in real-time with exciting content.  Daily prizes and bonuses are always offered, too! 


Product IS out here.  Shelves may LOOK empty, and maybe they are, but we hope you know there are cards out here for you; we'll help you find them :) 



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