Home Trading Cards & Memorabilia Forum

Why are distributors still a thing?

It seems that if they were to cut out the middle man and open their own warehouse/shipping dept., Tools and Panini would be able to make more profit. Seems it is already beginning to happen. It would also cut out some of the shenanigans that go on with distributors.

Seems a no brainer to me

Comments

  • blurryfaceblurryface Posts: 878 ✭✭✭

    money and plausible deniability.

    BEEP, BEEP!

  • ndleondleo Posts: 3,385 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 17, 2020 8:53AM

    @blurryface said:
    money and plausible deniability.

    To expand upon blurry's point, every good scam needs 3 people - the card companies, the distributors, and the sucker hobbyist like us to take advantage of.

    Panini Direct used to be OK. Now they open products at $200 that "MSRP" at $80. Isn't Panini the M in MSRP?

    Mike
  • rexvosrexvos Posts: 2,494 ✭✭✭✭

    I work for a manufacturer. Direct customers are not worth the extra margin. Logistically the amount of orders and creating a distribution network should be left to those who do it on a regular basis. Plus the ability to lump other products by other manufacturers or categories is something that Topps or Panini does not have in their core business

    Looking for FB HOF Rookies
  • dustinspeaksdustinspeaks Posts: 265 ✭✭✭

    Pablo didn't deal to the end user either.

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 4,006 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It sure seems there is money to be made in distribution, otherwise distributors wouldn't be in business. Distribution is not rocket science. Seems a natural way to grow your business. Add a warehouse, crew and new systems and profits would certainly be higher. I am sure it comes down to short sighted CEO's not wanting to take the investment hit and getting the stockholders upset.

  • @dustinspeaks said:
    Pablo didn't deal to the end user either.

    . . . And he got shot.
    On a side note Colombia now has a problem with hippopotamuses running wild that all are descendants from the hippos Pablo brought in for his zoo. Turns out Colombia is a perfect environment for hippos to breed and flourish. Sorry, not card related but interesting nonetheless.

  • blurryfaceblurryface Posts: 878 ✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:
    It sure seems there is money to be made in distribution, otherwise distributors wouldn't be in business. Distribution is not rocket science. Seems a natural way to grow your business. Add a warehouse, crew and new systems and profits would certainly be higher. I am sure it comes down to short sighted CEO's not wanting to take the investment hit and getting the stockholders upset.

    as the owner of a national wholesale distribution company, i can testify that there is a little more to it than this.

    think of it like this. ford needs 5 tires on every car it spits out the factory. that's a lot of tires. would only seem natural they'd produce their own tires to cut down costs & capture more of the profits. but apparently there's a lot more that goes into tires than just melting and forming rubber circles. outsourcing properly is way more profitable than attempting to enter a business that you know nothing about.

    BEEP, BEEP!

  • rcmb3220rcmb3220 Posts: 912 ✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:
    It sure seems there is money to be made in distribution, otherwise distributors wouldn't be in business. Distribution is not rocket science. Seems a natural way to grow your business. Add a warehouse, crew and new systems and profits would certainly be higher. I am sure it comes down to short sighted CEO's not wanting to take the investment hit and getting the stockholders upset.

    There’s a reason distribution companies exist. And there’s a reason basically only really large companies have their own distribution networks.

  • dustinspeaksdustinspeaks Posts: 265 ✭✭✭

    @uncbuddha said:

    @dustinspeaks said:
    Pablo didn't deal to the end user either.

    . . . And he got shot.
    On a side note Colombia now has a problem with hippopotamuses running wild that all are descendants from the hippos Pablo brought in for his zoo. Turns out Colombia is a perfect environment for hippos to breed and flourish. Sorry, not card related but interesting nonetheless.

    I was talkin about Picasso.

  • rcmb3220rcmb3220 Posts: 912 ✭✭✭

    @uncbuddha said:

    @dustinspeaks said:
    Pablo didn't deal to the end user either.

    . . . And he got shot.
    On a side note Colombia now has a problem with hippopotamuses running wild that all are descendants from the hippos Pablo brought in for his zoo. Turns out Colombia is a perfect environment for hippos to breed and flourish. Sorry, not card related but interesting nonetheless.

    That is fun. Another fun fact i like is that Australia has the largest feral camel population in the world.

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 4,006 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 17, 2020 4:23PM

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:
    It sure seems there is money to be made in distribution, otherwise distributors wouldn't be in business. Distribution is not rocket science. Seems a natural way to grow your business. Add a warehouse, crew and new systems and profits would certainly be higher. I am sure it comes down to short sighted CEO's not wanting to take the investment hit and getting the stockholders upset.

    as the owner of a national wholesale distribution company, i can testify that there is a little more to it than this.

    think of it like this. ford needs 5 tires on every car it spits out the factory. that's a lot of tires. would only seem natural they'd produce their own tires to cut down costs & capture more of the profits. but apparently there's a lot more that goes into tires than just melting and forming rubber circles. outsourcing properly is way more profitable than attempting to enter a business that you know nothing about.

    I think your analogy is a little off base. I agree, outsourcing can be more profitable, but that is not what i am talking about. your analogy would be more akin to if topps still manufactured their own cards (they dont) getting into the cardboard production and ink manufacturing business to keep everything in house. That is not what we are talking about. we are talking about a system to warehouse and ship already manufactured product without a middle man.

    i heard an interview from a rep from GTS and he was asked basically what they bring to the table. His best reply was that they have warehouses and can act as an extension of topps marketing department. well, the major card manufactures are not having any problem selling through releases. All the distributers are adding at this point is an extra hand that needs to be fed. they allocate hot product to their cronies, jack prices up on product and purchase cards on the secondary market to mark up as well. they really are just large retail stores. topps/panini should skip the middle man. its all they are.

  • BLUEJAYWAYBLUEJAYWAY Posts: 5,049 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Maybe some companies don't want to pay the employees and related benefits they would have to if they ran the distribution end of things. More paperwork, worker related issues as well.

    Successful transactions:Tookybandit
  • blurryfaceblurryface Posts: 878 ✭✭✭
    edited October 17, 2020 7:29PM

    @craig44 said:

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:
    It sure seems there is money to be made in distribution, otherwise distributors wouldn't be in business. Distribution is not rocket science. Seems a natural way to grow your business. Add a warehouse, crew and new systems and profits would certainly be higher. I am sure it comes down to short sighted CEO's not wanting to take the investment hit and getting the stockholders upset.

    as the owner of a national wholesale distribution company, i can testify that there is a little more to it than this.

    think of it like this. ford needs 5 tires on every car it spits out the factory. that's a lot of tires. would only seem natural they'd produce their own tires to cut down costs & capture more of the profits. but apparently there's a lot more that goes into tires than just melting and forming rubber circles. outsourcing properly is way more profitable than attempting to enter a business that you know nothing about.

    I think your analogy is a little off base. I agree, outsourcing can be more profitable, but that is not what i am talking about. your analogy would be more akin to if topps still manufactured their own cards (they dont) getting into the cardboard production and ink manufacturing business to keep everything in house. That is not what we are talking about. we are talking about a system to warehouse and ship already manufactured product without a middle man.

    i heard an interview from a rep from GTS and he was asked basically what they bring to the table. His best reply was that they have warehouses and can act as an extension of topps marketing department. well, the major card manufactures are not having any problem selling through releases. All the distributers are adding at this point is an extra hand that needs to be fed. they allocate hot product to their cronies, jack prices up on product and purchase cards on the secondary market to mark up as well. they really are just large retail stores. topps/panini should skip the middle man. its all they are.

    it is and it isn't. i think you missed the overall point that it isn't as easy as you think. tires manuf and/or distribution are totally different businesses than what each company is in. i'm glad you brought up the fact that they don't even print the cards these days. that's outsourced as well and drives home my point even further.

    and if you are saying that topps should sell directly to the end user, you realize how many more different customer service reps, phone reps, call center, shipping center, shipping personal, training, continual training, insurance, warehouse space, supplies, forklifts, racks, trucks, liability, security, returns department, management for all the above, management for them, human resources, more insurance on top of more insurance, utilities, information systems, hardware, software, maintenance and most importantly more legal resources to protect them against any mishaps during all the above.

    there's a reason amazon is amazon. and the quicker answer as to why topps doesn't have their own distribution is there are countless more reasons NOT to have it than to attempt to take a crack at it. it's a money pit and the juice isn't worth the squeeze, in fact it has killed more than a few notable companies.

    BEEP, BEEP!

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 4,006 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:
    It sure seems there is money to be made in distribution, otherwise distributors wouldn't be in business. Distribution is not rocket science. Seems a natural way to grow your business. Add a warehouse, crew and new systems and profits would certainly be higher. I am sure it comes down to short sighted CEO's not wanting to take the investment hit and getting the stockholders upset.

    as the owner of a national wholesale distribution company, i can testify that there is a little more to it than this.

    think of it like this. ford needs 5 tires on every car it spits out the factory. that's a lot of tires. would only seem natural they'd produce their own tires to cut down costs & capture more of the profits. but apparently there's a lot more that goes into tires than just melting and forming rubber circles. outsourcing properly is way more profitable than attempting to enter a business that you know nothing about.

    I think your analogy is a little off base. I agree, outsourcing can be more profitable, but that is not what i am talking about. your analogy would be more akin to if topps still manufactured their own cards (they dont) getting into the cardboard production and ink manufacturing business to keep everything in house. That is not what we are talking about. we are talking about a system to warehouse and ship already manufactured product without a middle man.

    i heard an interview from a rep from GTS and he was asked basically what they bring to the table. His best reply was that they have warehouses and can act as an extension of topps marketing department. well, the major card manufactures are not having any problem selling through releases. All the distributers are adding at this point is an extra hand that needs to be fed. they allocate hot product to their cronies, jack prices up on product and purchase cards on the secondary market to mark up as well. they really are just large retail stores. topps/panini should skip the middle man. its all they are.

    it is and it isn't. i think you missed the overall point that it isn't as easy as you think. tires manuf and/or distribution are totally different businesses than what each company is in. i'm glad you brought up the fact that they don't even print the cards these days. that's outsourced as well and drives home my point even further.

    and if you are saying that topps should sell directly to the end user, you realize how many more different customer service reps, phone reps, call center, shipping center, shipping personal, training, continual training, insurance, warehouse space, supplies, forklifts, racks, trucks, liability, security, returns department, management for all the above, management for them, human resources, more insurance on top of more insurance, utilities, information systems, hardware, software, maintenance and most importantly more legal resources to protect them against any mishaps during all the above.

    there's a reason amazon is amazon. and the quicker answer as to why topps doesn't have their own distribution is there are countless more reasons NOT to have it than to attempt to take a crack at it. it's a money pit and the juice isn't worth the squeeze, in fact it has killed more than a few notable companies.

    if the juice isnt worth the squeeze, then why does GTS exist? apparently the juice is worth the squeeze to them. I mean, topps is working toward this anyways with the exclusives, topps now, topps living etc. It seems like you are equating running a warehouse and shipping department is akin to putting a man on the moon or curing cancer. there are lots of warehouses and lots of people who know how to run them.

  • blurryfaceblurryface Posts: 878 ✭✭✭
    edited October 17, 2020 8:05PM

    @craig44 said:

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:
    It sure seems there is money to be made in distribution, otherwise distributors wouldn't be in business. Distribution is not rocket science. Seems a natural way to grow your business. Add a warehouse, crew and new systems and profits would certainly be higher. I am sure it comes down to short sighted CEO's not wanting to take the investment hit and getting the stockholders upset.

    as the owner of a national wholesale distribution company, i can testify that there is a little more to it than this.

    think of it like this. ford needs 5 tires on every car it spits out the factory. that's a lot of tires. would only seem natural they'd produce their own tires to cut down costs & capture more of the profits. but apparently there's a lot more that goes into tires than just melting and forming rubber circles. outsourcing properly is way more profitable than attempting to enter a business that you know nothing about.

    I think your analogy is a little off base. I agree, outsourcing can be more profitable, but that is not what i am talking about. your analogy would be more akin to if topps still manufactured their own cards (they dont) getting into the cardboard production and ink manufacturing business to keep everything in house. That is not what we are talking about. we are talking about a system to warehouse and ship already manufactured product without a middle man.

    i heard an interview from a rep from GTS and he was asked basically what they bring to the table. His best reply was that they have warehouses and can act as an extension of topps marketing department. well, the major card manufactures are not having any problem selling through releases. All the distributers are adding at this point is an extra hand that needs to be fed. they allocate hot product to their cronies, jack prices up on product and purchase cards on the secondary market to mark up as well. they really are just large retail stores. topps/panini should skip the middle man. its all they are.

    it is and it isn't. i think you missed the overall point that it isn't as easy as you think. tires manuf and/or distribution are totally different businesses than what each company is in. i'm glad you brought up the fact that they don't even print the cards these days. that's outsourced as well and drives home my point even further.

    and if you are saying that topps should sell directly to the end user, you realize how many more different customer service reps, phone reps, call center, shipping center, shipping personal, training, continual training, insurance, warehouse space, supplies, forklifts, racks, trucks, liability, security, returns department, management for all the above, management for them, human resources, more insurance on top of more insurance, utilities, information systems, hardware, software, maintenance and most importantly more legal resources to protect them against any mishaps during all the above.

    there's a reason amazon is amazon. and the quicker answer as to why topps doesn't have their own distribution is there are countless more reasons NOT to have it than to attempt to take a crack at it. it's a money pit and the juice isn't worth the squeeze, in fact it has killed more than a few notable companies.

    if the juice isnt worth the squeeze, then why does GTS exist? apparently the juice is worth the squeeze to them. I mean, topps is working toward this anyways with the exclusives, topps now, topps living etc. It seems like you are equating running a warehouse and shipping department is akin to putting a man on the moon or curing cancer. there are lots of warehouses and lots of people who know how to run them.

    and how's that going for them? there's loads of people complaining that their ben baller limited edition chrome boxes are a month over due, misshipments left and right. tracking numbers issued for weeks w zero activity. go read the "ben baller chrome" thread.

    and this is just one micro-line within a single line of cards. 1/1000000th of their overall business.

    look at comc. they have been months behind in processing orders and it has hurt their business tremendously. in fact, i'm not sure if they can recover from it. we'll see.

    eta: have you tried calling topps or comc lately? now imagine 250,000+ more customers asking where their mega box is.

    look at the psa price increase thread, there's a guy wanting to leave simply because of a $3 price hike. direct customers are a pain in the...

    BEEP, BEEP!

  • nebishnebish Posts: 38 ✭✭

    People have hit on it. The manufacturers in most everything I can think of do not want to deal with direct. It's a whole new hassle and undertaking with uncertainties and liabilities. Everyone has their role to play and what they are good at and what they aren't good at.

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 4,006 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:
    It sure seems there is money to be made in distribution, otherwise distributors wouldn't be in business. Distribution is not rocket science. Seems a natural way to grow your business. Add a warehouse, crew and new systems and profits would certainly be higher. I am sure it comes down to short sighted CEO's not wanting to take the investment hit and getting the stockholders upset.

    as the owner of a national wholesale distribution company, i can testify that there is a little more to it than this.

    think of it like this. ford needs 5 tires on every car it spits out the factory. that's a lot of tires. would only seem natural they'd produce their own tires to cut down costs & capture more of the profits. but apparently there's a lot more that goes into tires than just melting and forming rubber circles. outsourcing properly is way more profitable than attempting to enter a business that you know nothing about.

    I think your analogy is a little off base. I agree, outsourcing can be more profitable, but that is not what i am talking about. your analogy would be more akin to if topps still manufactured their own cards (they dont) getting into the cardboard production and ink manufacturing business to keep everything in house. That is not what we are talking about. we are talking about a system to warehouse and ship already manufactured product without a middle man.

    i heard an interview from a rep from GTS and he was asked basically what they bring to the table. His best reply was that they have warehouses and can act as an extension of topps marketing department. well, the major card manufactures are not having any problem selling through releases. All the distributers are adding at this point is an extra hand that needs to be fed. they allocate hot product to their cronies, jack prices up on product and purchase cards on the secondary market to mark up as well. they really are just large retail stores. topps/panini should skip the middle man. its all they are.

    it is and it isn't. i think you missed the overall point that it isn't as easy as you think. tires manuf and/or distribution are totally different businesses than what each company is in. i'm glad you brought up the fact that they don't even print the cards these days. that's outsourced as well and drives home my point even further.

    and if you are saying that topps should sell directly to the end user, you realize how many more different customer service reps, phone reps, call center, shipping center, shipping personal, training, continual training, insurance, warehouse space, supplies, forklifts, racks, trucks, liability, security, returns department, management for all the above, management for them, human resources, more insurance on top of more insurance, utilities, information systems, hardware, software, maintenance and most importantly more legal resources to protect them against any mishaps during all the above.

    there's a reason amazon is amazon. and the quicker answer as to why topps doesn't have their own distribution is there are countless more reasons NOT to have it than to attempt to take a crack at it. it's a money pit and the juice isn't worth the squeeze, in fact it has killed more than a few notable companies.

    if the juice isnt worth the squeeze, then why does GTS exist? apparently the juice is worth the squeeze to them. I mean, topps is working toward this anyways with the exclusives, topps now, topps living etc. It seems like you are equating running a warehouse and shipping department is akin to putting a man on the moon or curing cancer. there are lots of warehouses and lots of people who know how to run them.

    and how's that going for them? there's loads of people complaining that their ben baller limited edition chrome boxes are a month over due, misshipments left and right. tracking numbers issued for weeks w zero activity. go read the "ben baller chrome" thread.

    and this is just one micro-line within a single line of cards. 1/1000000th of their overall business.

    look at comc. they have been months behind in processing orders and it has hurt their business tremendously. in fact, i'm not sure if they can recover from it. we'll see.

    eta: have you tried calling topps or comc lately? now imagine 250,000+ more customers asking where their mega box is.

    look at the psa price increase thread, there's a guy wanting to leave simply because of a $3 price hike. direct customers are a pain in the...

    And yet distributors like GTS still exist...

    People will always complain, but will always come back for their fix. Totally different scenario for comc. They are a marketplace not a manufacturer. Look at the threats from people to leave the hobby over redemptions. They never do, and the ones that do just loose their place in line to get new product. This stuff practically sells itself.

    It's not because distribution is not profitable (it is). It's not because it is rocket science (it isnt). It's because CEO's don't want to upset stockholders with material investment in warehouse infrastructure.

  • blurryfaceblurryface Posts: 878 ✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:
    It sure seems there is money to be made in distribution, otherwise distributors wouldn't be in business. Distribution is not rocket science. Seems a natural way to grow your business. Add a warehouse, crew and new systems and profits would certainly be higher. I am sure it comes down to short sighted CEO's not wanting to take the investment hit and getting the stockholders upset.

    as the owner of a national wholesale distribution company, i can testify that there is a little more to it than this.

    think of it like this. ford needs 5 tires on every car it spits out the factory. that's a lot of tires. would only seem natural they'd produce their own tires to cut down costs & capture more of the profits. but apparently there's a lot more that goes into tires than just melting and forming rubber circles. outsourcing properly is way more profitable than attempting to enter a business that you know nothing about.

    I think your analogy is a little off base. I agree, outsourcing can be more profitable, but that is not what i am talking about. your analogy would be more akin to if topps still manufactured their own cards (they dont) getting into the cardboard production and ink manufacturing business to keep everything in house. That is not what we are talking about. we are talking about a system to warehouse and ship already manufactured product without a middle man.

    i heard an interview from a rep from GTS and he was asked basically what they bring to the table. His best reply was that they have warehouses and can act as an extension of topps marketing department. well, the major card manufactures are not having any problem selling through releases. All the distributers are adding at this point is an extra hand that needs to be fed. they allocate hot product to their cronies, jack prices up on product and purchase cards on the secondary market to mark up as well. they really are just large retail stores. topps/panini should skip the middle man. its all they are.

    it is and it isn't. i think you missed the overall point that it isn't as easy as you think. tires manuf and/or distribution are totally different businesses than what each company is in. i'm glad you brought up the fact that they don't even print the cards these days. that's outsourced as well and drives home my point even further.

    and if you are saying that topps should sell directly to the end user, you realize how many more different customer service reps, phone reps, call center, shipping center, shipping personal, training, continual training, insurance, warehouse space, supplies, forklifts, racks, trucks, liability, security, returns department, management for all the above, management for them, human resources, more insurance on top of more insurance, utilities, information systems, hardware, software, maintenance and most importantly more legal resources to protect them against any mishaps during all the above.

    there's a reason amazon is amazon. and the quicker answer as to why topps doesn't have their own distribution is there are countless more reasons NOT to have it than to attempt to take a crack at it. it's a money pit and the juice isn't worth the squeeze, in fact it has killed more than a few notable companies.

    if the juice isnt worth the squeeze, then why does GTS exist? apparently the juice is worth the squeeze to them. I mean, topps is working toward this anyways with the exclusives, topps now, topps living etc. It seems like you are equating running a warehouse and shipping department is akin to putting a man on the moon or curing cancer. there are lots of warehouses and lots of people who know how to run them.

    and how's that going for them? there's loads of people complaining that their ben baller limited edition chrome boxes are a month over due, misshipments left and right. tracking numbers issued for weeks w zero activity. go read the "ben baller chrome" thread.

    and this is just one micro-line within a single line of cards. 1/1000000th of their overall business.

    look at comc. they have been months behind in processing orders and it has hurt their business tremendously. in fact, i'm not sure if they can recover from it. we'll see.

    eta: have you tried calling topps or comc lately? now imagine 250,000+ more customers asking where their mega box is.

    look at the psa price increase thread, there's a guy wanting to leave simply because of a $3 price hike. direct customers are a pain in the...

    And yet distributors like GTS still exist...

    >
    topps co attempted to distribute the small batch, micro-artesianal ben baller boxes. it was direct. 😉

    BEEP, BEEP!

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 4,006 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 18, 2020 6:09AM

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:
    It sure seems there is money to be made in distribution, otherwise distributors wouldn't be in business. Distribution is not rocket science. Seems a natural way to grow your business. Add a warehouse, crew and new systems and profits would certainly be higher. I am sure it comes down to short sighted CEO's not wanting to take the investment hit and getting the stockholders upset.

    as the owner of a national wholesale distribution company, i can testify that there is a little more to it than this.

    think of it like this. ford needs 5 tires on every car it spits out the factory. that's a lot of tires. would only seem natural they'd produce their own tires to cut down costs & capture more of the profits. but apparently there's a lot more that goes into tires than just melting and forming rubber circles. outsourcing properly is way more profitable than attempting to enter a business that you know nothing about.

    I think your analogy is a little off base. I agree, outsourcing can be more profitable, but that is not what i am talking about. your analogy would be more akin to if topps still manufactured their own cards (they dont) getting into the cardboard production and ink manufacturing business to keep everything in house. That is not what we are talking about. we are talking about a system to warehouse and ship already manufactured product without a middle man.

    i heard an interview from a rep from GTS and he was asked basically what they bring to the table. His best reply was that they have warehouses and can act as an extension of topps marketing department. well, the major card manufactures are not having any problem selling through releases. All the distributers are adding at this point is an extra hand that needs to be fed. they allocate hot product to their cronies, jack prices up on product and purchase cards on the secondary market to mark up as well. they really are just large retail stores. topps/panini should skip the middle man. its all they are.

    it is and it isn't. i think you missed the overall point that it isn't as easy as you think. tires manuf and/or distribution are totally different businesses than what each company is in. i'm glad you brought up the fact that they don't even print the cards these days. that's outsourced as well and drives home my point even further.

    and if you are saying that topps should sell directly to the end user, you realize how many more different customer service reps, phone reps, call center, shipping center, shipping personal, training, continual training, insurance, warehouse space, supplies, forklifts, racks, trucks, liability, security, returns department, management for all the above, management for them, human resources, more insurance on top of more insurance, utilities, information systems, hardware, software, maintenance and most importantly more legal resources to protect them against any mishaps during all the above.

    there's a reason amazon is amazon. and the quicker answer as to why topps doesn't have their own distribution is there are countless more reasons NOT to have it than to attempt to take a crack at it. it's a money pit and the juice isn't worth the squeeze, in fact it has killed more than a few notable companies.

    if the juice isnt worth the squeeze, then why does GTS exist? apparently the juice is worth the squeeze to them. I mean, topps is working toward this anyways with the exclusives, topps now, topps living etc. It seems like you are equating running a warehouse and shipping department is akin to putting a man on the moon or curing cancer. there are lots of warehouses and lots of people who know how to run them.

    and how's that going for them? there's loads of people complaining that their ben baller limited edition chrome boxes are a month over due, misshipments left and right. tracking numbers issued for weeks w zero activity. go read the "ben baller chrome" thread.

    and this is just one micro-line within a single line of cards. 1/1000000th of their overall business.

    look at comc. they have been months behind in processing orders and it has hurt their business tremendously. in fact, i'm not sure if they can recover from it. we'll see.

    eta: have you tried calling topps or comc lately? now imagine 250,000+ more customers asking where their mega box is.

    look at the psa price increase thread, there's a guy wanting to leave simply because of a $3 price hike. direct customers are a pain in the...

    And yet distributors like GTS still exist...

    >
    topps co attempted to distribute the small batch, micro-artesianal ben baller boxes. it was direct. 😉

    I'm not saying they are good at it now, I am saying an investment in company infrastructure and hiring the right people to manage distribution would be a good one. There is clearly enough money to be made in distribution to support numerous distributors

  • blurryfaceblurryface Posts: 878 ✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:

    @blurryface said:

    @craig44 said:
    It sure seems there is money to be made in distribution, otherwise distributors wouldn't be in business. Distribution is not rocket science. Seems a natural way to grow your business. Add a warehouse, crew and new systems and profits would certainly be higher. I am sure it comes down to short sighted CEO's not wanting to take the investment hit and getting the stockholders upset.

    as the owner of a national wholesale distribution company, i can testify that there is a little more to it than this.

    think of it like this. ford needs 5 tires on every car it spits out the factory. that's a lot of tires. would only seem natural they'd produce their own tires to cut down costs & capture more of the profits. but apparently there's a lot more that goes into tires than just melting and forming rubber circles. outsourcing properly is way more profitable than attempting to enter a business that you know nothing about.

    I think your analogy is a little off base. I agree, outsourcing can be more profitable, but that is not what i am talking about. your analogy would be more akin to if topps still manufactured their own cards (they dont) getting into the cardboard production and ink manufacturing business to keep everything in house. That is not what we are talking about. we are talking about a system to warehouse and ship already manufactured product without a middle man.

    i heard an interview from a rep from GTS and he was asked basically what they bring to the table. His best reply was that they have warehouses and can act as an extension of topps marketing department. well, the major card manufactures are not having any problem selling through releases. All the distributers are adding at this point is an extra hand that needs to be fed. they allocate hot product to their cronies, jack prices up on product and purchase cards on the secondary market to mark up as well. they really are just large retail stores. topps/panini should skip the middle man. its all they are.

    it is and it isn't. i think you missed the overall point that it isn't as easy as you think. tires manuf and/or distribution are totally different businesses than what each company is in. i'm glad you brought up the fact that they don't even print the cards these days. that's outsourced as well and drives home my point even further.

    and if you are saying that topps should sell directly to the end user, you realize how many more different customer service reps, phone reps, call center, shipping center, shipping personal, training, continual training, insurance, warehouse space, supplies, forklifts, racks, trucks, liability, security, returns department, management for all the above, management for them, human resources, more insurance on top of more insurance, utilities, information systems, hardware, software, maintenance and most importantly more legal resources to protect them against any mishaps during all the above.

    there's a reason amazon is amazon. and the quicker answer as to why topps doesn't have their own distribution is there are countless more reasons NOT to have it than to attempt to take a crack at it. it's a money pit and the juice isn't worth the squeeze, in fact it has killed more than a few notable companies.

    if the juice isnt worth the squeeze, then why does GTS exist? apparently the juice is worth the squeeze to them. I mean, topps is working toward this anyways with the exclusives, topps now, topps living etc. It seems like you are equating running a warehouse and shipping department is akin to putting a man on the moon or curing cancer. there are lots of warehouses and lots of people who know how to run them.

    and how's that going for them? there's loads of people complaining that their ben baller limited edition chrome boxes are a month over due, misshipments left and right. tracking numbers issued for weeks w zero activity. go read the "ben baller chrome" thread.

    and this is just one micro-line within a single line of cards. 1/1000000th of their overall business.

    look at comc. they have been months behind in processing orders and it has hurt their business tremendously. in fact, i'm not sure if they can recover from it. we'll see.

    eta: have you tried calling topps or comc lately? now imagine 250,000+ more customers asking where their mega box is.

    look at the psa price increase thread, there's a guy wanting to leave simply because of a $3 price hike. direct customers are a pain in the...

    And yet distributors like GTS still exist...

    >
    topps co attempted to distribute the small batch, micro-artesianal ben baller boxes. it was direct. 😉

    I'm not saying they are good at it now.

    exactly. they are terrible at it. and that's been my point, not yours.

    BEEP, BEEP!

  • blurryfaceblurryface Posts: 878 ✭✭✭
    edited October 18, 2020 7:41AM

    would you like to be launched into orbit in a rocket made by topps? why not?

    and enough of the charade. why do you want topps to distribute their own product? because you want them to make more money? or think it will actually lower the cost of boxes? because the answer to both is it won't.

    the only thing that would happen is 80% of the orders will be made by the same people stalking the walmart / target aisles only w bots. box scalpers. of course topps could charge more but their overhead increases ten fold along w the workload and risk of directly pissing off their entire customer base.

    and so please, explain to me the benefits. in detail. because i've tried to convey the reasons it doesn't make cents/sense.

    BEEP, BEEP!

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 7,612 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For several years I bought frozen pizza from a local manufacturer. I had my customers, he also had a couple of trucks and sold to the same type of businesses as I did. I sold about $250,000.00 of pizza per year.

    He actually made a better profit (and less headaches) selling the pizza to me at a lower markup than to buy me out and make more per pizza. He only wanted customers that bought larger quantities and were closer in distance.

    Baseball cards are a seasonal item (as is pizza) so if you have a bunch of small customers spread out over a large area, it can be a money loser running around making just a little bit of money when your cost of delivering them remains the same.

    One of my customers once told me that they found the same brand of pizza in town cheaper than I was selling to them. This was a customer who was the furthest from my home base. It costs a LOT to run a gas guzzling truck. I bit my tongue and asked if they were getting the pizzas delivered and they said "no, we have to run to town to get them". I wanted to scream at them that it costs money to deliver the pizzas out to the middle of no where and I actually needed to get paid as well. Silly me!

    I had another customer that wanted to buy a single case of pizzas (10 in a case) and he was about 30 minutes out of my delivery area, one way. I asked if he could buy at least 2-3 cases (at the beginning of the season), he said no, and I told him I couldn't do it. He got kind of mad and said "that's what the other guy told me". Adding an hour and a half to my day to make $30.00 before the cost of gas (probably $12.00) just wasn't going to be worth it to me.

    Bottom line is once you actually try to run a business, you learn that it's not that simple.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • 80sOPC80sOPC Posts: 548 ✭✭✭

    Haven’t read the whole thread but Topps and UD are in the process of eliminating their whole distribution channel. Look at all the topps direct releases and their Montgomery Club. Panini Direct releases. Upper Decks ePack.

    Sport card releases are ridiculously easy to sell online direct. The middle man and the shop are dead - future distro is big box retail and online direct. Why give up all that margin when you can charge an annual subscription and then sell out a release in minutes.

  • blurryfaceblurryface Posts: 878 ✭✭✭
    edited October 18, 2020 8:55AM

    upper deck is all but dead. epack requires no physical distribution.

    please provide factual proof about topps eliminating their distribution for bulk product.

    montgomery club is a members club as well as topps now are "made to order" products similar to the topps binder/banner/locker/team insert cards from the 70/80s. they've been doing these terribly for decades and is no inclination that they are gearing up to distribute their flagship lines themselves.

    musical acts have fan clubs w limited early access to tickets. that's all this is. ticketmaster is there for the bulk.

    BEEP, BEEP!

  • blurryfaceblurryface Posts: 878 ✭✭✭
    edited October 18, 2020 8:54AM

    eTopps.

    /thread.

    BEEP, BEEP!

  • ndleondleo Posts: 3,385 ✭✭✭✭

    Jokes and price manipulation aside, I'll speak from the corporate customer side. I ran the food procurement operations for a large location in SoCal. We purchased the majority of our items from distributors, not the manufacturer or producer. From the customer side, it made more business sense to place orders with fewer vendors than more. First managing a bunch of small vendors is a pain and costs a lot of overhead to maintain - POs, invoices, returns, etc. Second I can leverage my consolidated spend better with a distributor than a single manufacturer. Lastly if I had a shortage, it was easier for me to have the distributor look for it than my own buyers.
    So distributors can add value. Even the hobby distributors add value in the sense that I can place a single order for products from different manufacturers.

    I think the price spikes you are seeing in hobby is coming from a combination of the manufacturers, distributors and ultimately the hobbyist. For the past few years the easiest way to make money (at least in modern football) was to buy product and sit on it for a year. Basically it looks like the other two parties in that chain want to reclaim some of that value. In the end the hobbyist need to make a stand if you want it to change. The reality is none of these products are scarce by any true definition like palladium or rare earth metals. The basic components - paper, ink, presses, etc - are all readily available. The prices are up because we buy at these levels. Even though I said I would not buy 2020 Donruss at $200+, as soon as Herbert and Burrow started hot, I ended up buying 4 boxes. I did skip Flawless and National Treasures, so at least I have some dignity left. :wink:

    Mike
  • ndleondleo Posts: 3,385 ✭✭✭✭

    @blurryface said:
    upper deck is all but dead. epack requires no physical distribution.

    Ha Ha. I am actually in Carlsbad CA today. Yes Upper Deck is all but dead. If I have time, I will drive by their location and take a pic. Panini should buy the strong brands - SP Authentic SPX, Upper Deck, Exquiste - and re-release. Easiest money ever for Panini.

    Mike
  • 80sOPC80sOPC Posts: 548 ✭✭✭

    Blurry are you a Topps distro centre? Because topic seems personal.

    I have no proof of anything Topps
    Is doing other then what they are actually doing . Which is moving more products and options online. Project 2020 will sell around 1.5mm cards at 18 dollar average. Around 30mm gross on that product. Ben Baller release isn’t flagship but it looks and feels like product that would end up on shelf somewhere.

    And lets be honest, Topps doesn’t have to do direct well. They have a captive audience and since when did collectors care about good customer service. The hobby is a joke in that aspect. The same guys whining about their ridiculous Ben Baller boxes being late will climb over each other to purchase the next release.

    I can’t predict the future but the customer direct model when it comes to sportscards is a slam dunk. We are an online hobby, companies have exclusives, and you can always outsource the actual print, pack and ship. The product is small, expensive relative to size, easy to ship. The audience for the product is captive. Tailor made for customer direct channels.

    I don’t see where the hobby shop fits in long term, but that isn’t a new trend.

  • blurryfaceblurryface Posts: 878 ✭✭✭
    edited October 18, 2020 9:41AM

    @80sOPC said:
    Blurry are you a Topps distro centre? Because topic seems personal.

    no.

    I have no proof of anything Topps

    ok.

    Is doing other then what they are actually doing . Which is moving more products and options online. Project 2020 will sell around 1.5mm cards at 18 dollar average. Around 30mm gross on that product.

    made to order. they print the amount ordered in a 48 hour time frame. butchered it went it got big.

    Ben Baller release isn’t flagship but it looks and feels like product that would end up on shelf somewhere.

    people still waiting on boxes from a month ago. this line will never end up in bulk stock like flagship products. it's a spin-off of a spin-off.

    And lets be honest, Topps doesn’t have to do direct well. They have a captive audience and since when did collectors care about good customer service. The hobby is a joke in that aspect. The same guys whining about their ridiculous Ben Baller boxes being late will climb over each other to purchase the next release.

    since the moment they laid their money down. and even more pissed when the guy next to them got their product last month and they are sitting there w a tracking number that hadn't left it's origin in weeks.

    I can’t predict the future but the customer direct model when it comes to sportscards is a slam dunk. We are an online hobby, companies have exclusives, and you can always outsource the actual print, pack and ship. The product is small, expensive relative to size, easy to ship. The audience for the product is captive. Tailor made for customer direct channels.

    we are an online hobby. we are an online culture. but i guess the millions of businesses worldwide decided amazon might make better sense. pwcc and probstein flourish why? because people don't wanna deal w the bs that is end users. several other people have said this. who do you consign w again?

    I don’t see where the hobby shop fits in long term, but that isn’t a new trend.

    exactly. see above. who said anything about hobby shops? it's either a small subsection of an aisle in a big box store (distributor), blowout, d&a (secondary distributors) or online breaks.

    BEEP, BEEP!

  • blurryfaceblurryface Posts: 878 ✭✭✭
    edited October 18, 2020 9:37AM

    you have a piece of lettuce in your teeth. but you guys win. leave it there and best of luck hooking up tonight!

    BEEP, BEEP!

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 4,006 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @80sOPC said:
    Blurry are you a Topps distro centre? Because topic seems personal.

    I have no proof of anything Topps
    Is doing other then what they are actually doing . Which is moving more products and options online. Project 2020 will sell around 1.5mm cards at 18 dollar average. Around 30mm gross on that product. Ben Baller release isn’t flagship but it looks and feels like product that would end up on shelf somewhere.

    And lets be honest, Topps doesn’t have to do direct well. They have a captive audience and since when did collectors care about good customer service. The hobby is a joke in that aspect. The same guys whining about their ridiculous Ben Baller boxes being late will climb over each other to purchase the next release.

    I can’t predict the future but the customer direct model when it comes to sportscards is a slam dunk. We are an online hobby, companies have exclusives, and you can always outsource the actual print, pack and ship. The product is small, expensive relative to size, easy to ship. The audience for the product is captive. Tailor made for customer direct channels.

    I don’t see where the hobby shop fits in long term, but that isn’t a new trend.

    you get it and you are correct. Blurryface mentioned earlier in the thread that he works in distribution so i am sure that is why he is so passionate and adamant about the value distributers add. Just like realtors and surveyors, distributers will be a dying profession in the future. especially for a high demand product like sports cards. it just is not needed.

  • blurryfaceblurryface Posts: 878 ✭✭✭
    edited October 18, 2020 7:05PM

    @craig44 said:

    @80sOPC said:
    Blurry are you a Topps distro centre? Because topic seems personal.

    I have no proof of anything Topps
    Is doing other then what they are actually doing . Which is moving more products and options online. Project 2020 will sell around 1.5mm cards at 18 dollar average. Around 30mm gross on that product. Ben Baller release isn’t flagship but it looks and feels like product that would end up on shelf somewhere.

    And lets be honest, Topps doesn’t have to do direct well. They have a captive audience and since when did collectors care about good customer service. The hobby is a joke in that aspect. The same guys whining about their ridiculous Ben Baller boxes being late will climb over each other to purchase the next release.

    I can’t predict the future but the customer direct model when it comes to sportscards is a slam dunk. We are an online hobby, companies have exclusives, and you can always outsource the actual print, pack and ship. The product is small, expensive relative to size, easy to ship. The audience for the product is captive. Tailor made for customer direct channels.

    I don’t see where the hobby shop fits in long term, but that isn’t a new trend.

    distributers will be a dying profession in the future. especially for a high demand product like sports cards. it just is not needed.

    you know what? you could be right. seems amazon stock is down 1.98% today and has plummeted to $3272 a share! 😉

    whoever's last out the building, please turn the lights off. they ded.

    BEEP, BEEP!

  • softparadesoftparade Posts: 8,942 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 19, 2020 4:42AM

    @craig44 said:

    @80sOPC said:
    Blurry are you a Topps distro centre? Because topic seems personal.

    I have no proof of anything Topps
    Is doing other then what they are actually doing . Which is moving more products and options online. Project 2020 will sell around 1.5mm cards at 18 dollar average. Around 30mm gross on that product. Ben Baller release isn’t flagship but it looks and feels like product that would end up on shelf somewhere.

    And lets be honest, Topps doesn’t have to do direct well. They have a captive audience and since when did collectors care about good customer service. The hobby is a joke in that aspect. The same guys whining about their ridiculous Ben Baller boxes being late will climb over each other to purchase the next release.

    I can’t predict the future but the customer direct model when it comes to sportscards is a slam dunk. We are an online hobby, companies have exclusives, and you can always outsource the actual print, pack and ship. The product is small, expensive relative to size, easy to ship. The audience for the product is captive. Tailor made for customer direct channels.

    I don’t see where the hobby shop fits in long term, but that isn’t a new trend.

    you get it and you are correct. Blurryface mentioned earlier in the thread that he works in distribution so i am sure that is why he is so passionate and adamant about the value distributers add. Just like realtors and surveyors, distributers will be a dying profession in the future. especially for a high demand product like sports cards. it just is not needed.

    Depends on the industry. I work in a industry where distribution thrives. Manufacturers have never and show no sign what-so-ever of dealing with the end user to collect money, handle warranties, or deliver to a job. They want absolutely nothing to do with it. They love nothing other than to show up with huge trucks, drop the material, and bill us. Done. We handle all the bullshit that comes with it. Distribution is thriving like never before in many industries. Trading cards though? Not so sure ..

    ISO 1978 Topps Baseball in NM-MT High Grade Raw
    3, 60, 100, 103, 263, 302, 347, 376, 416, 466, 481, 487, 509, 534, 540, 554, 579, 580, 622, 642, 673, 724


  • craig44craig44 Posts: 4,006 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @softparade said:

    @craig44 said:

    @80sOPC said:
    Blurry are you a Topps distro centre? Because topic seems personal.

    I have no proof of anything Topps
    Is doing other then what they are actually doing . Which is moving more products and options online. Project 2020 will sell around 1.5mm cards at 18 dollar average. Around 30mm gross on that product. Ben Baller release isn’t flagship but it looks and feels like product that would end up on shelf somewhere.

    And lets be honest, Topps doesn’t have to do direct well. They have a captive audience and since when did collectors care about good customer service. The hobby is a joke in that aspect. The same guys whining about their ridiculous Ben Baller boxes being late will climb over each other to purchase the next release.

    I can’t predict the future but the customer direct model when it comes to sportscards is a slam dunk. We are an online hobby, companies have exclusives, and you can always outsource the actual print, pack and ship. The product is small, expensive relative to size, easy to ship. The audience for the product is captive. Tailor made for customer direct channels.

    I don’t see where the hobby shop fits in long term, but that isn’t a new trend.

    you get it and you are correct. Blurryface mentioned earlier in the thread that he works in distribution so i am sure that is why he is so passionate and adamant about the value distributers add. Just like realtors and surveyors, distributers will be a dying profession in the future. especially for a high demand product like sports cards. it just is not needed.

    Depends on the industry. I work in a industry where distribution thrives. Manufacturers have never and show no sign what-so-ever of dealing with the end user to collect money, handle warranties, or deliver to a job. They want absolutely nothing to do with it. They love nothing other than to show up with huge trucks, drop the material, and bill us. Done. We handle all the bullshit that comes with it. Distribution is thriving like never before in many industries. Trading cards though? Not so sure ..

    I agree that distribution works well for some industries. I am specifically talking about sportscards. they practically are selling themselves. I dont know a thing about frozen pizzas or other things that need distribution.

  • blurryfaceblurryface Posts: 878 ✭✭✭
    edited October 19, 2020 12:43PM

    works well for all industries. from tires and pizza to sports cards. and sure they sell themselves. but they don't ship themselves. and that's what this conversation is about, right?

    hadn't been in modern long but just from my brief stint lets review some of topps direct products and how well they distributed them:

    etopps - catastrophe
    ben baller - catastrophe
    home run challenge cards - catastrophe
    bowman big league challenge - catastrophe
    project 2020 - catastrophe
    redemptions cards - catastrophe

    and let's get to your argument. i asked you several direct questions way above that you ironically dodged.

    BEEP, BEEP!

  • blurryfaceblurryface Posts: 878 ✭✭✭
    edited October 19, 2020 12:33PM

    @softparade said:

    @craig44 said:

    @80sOPC said:
    Blurry are you a Topps distro centre? Because topic seems personal.

    I have no proof of anything Topps
    Is doing other then what they are actually doing . Which is moving more products and options online. Project 2020 will sell around 1.5mm cards at 18 dollar average. Around 30mm gross on that product. Ben Baller release isn’t flagship but it looks and feels like product that would end up on shelf somewhere.

    And lets be honest, Topps doesn’t have to do direct well. They have a captive audience and since when did collectors care about good customer service. The hobby is a joke in that aspect. The same guys whining about their ridiculous Ben Baller boxes being late will climb over each other to purchase the next release.

    I can’t predict the future but the customer direct model when it comes to sportscards is a slam dunk. We are an online hobby, companies have exclusives, and you can always outsource the actual print, pack and ship. The product is small, expensive relative to size, easy to ship. The audience for the product is captive. Tailor made for customer direct channels.

    I don’t see where the hobby shop fits in long term, but that isn’t a new trend.

    you get it and you are correct. Blurryface mentioned earlier in the thread that he works in distribution so i am sure that is why he is so passionate and adamant about the value distributers add. Just like realtors and surveyors, distributers will be a dying profession in the future. especially for a high demand product like sports cards. it just is not needed.

    Depends on the industry. I work in a industry where distribution thrives. Manufacturers have never and show no sign what-so-ever of dealing with the end user to collect money, handle warranties, or deliver to a job. They want absolutely nothing to do with it. They love nothing other than to show up with huge trucks, drop the material, and bill us. Done. We handle all the bullshit that comes with it. Distribution is thriving like never before in many industries. Trading cards though? Not so sure ..

    he wont get it. everyone's telling him the same thing. and when asked why he wants topps to get into the distribution and whether or not he thinks it will lower prices, he dodges.

    in closing, just give up. you literally have every one else in this thread beating you over the head w the same answers from costs, headaches, liability, etc. there's proof of amazon and their $3k+ stock price, there's proof topps has a terrible track history on shipping the few lines that are direct. as you said, they don't even manufacture the cards, yet you want them to distribute them?

    it's your thread and i get you want to defend your stance, but when you literally have everyone else in it beating you over the head w the same answers, your stance goes from being prideful to a little ridiculous, putting it politely.

    go back a reread it. you don't have to agree w us, just bow out gracefully at least.

    BEEP, BEEP!

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 4,006 ✭✭✭✭✭

    of course it wouldnt lower prices. it would make topps more money. that is for sure.

    Do distributors make a profit? of course they do, or they wouldnt be in business.

    Is there a learning curve to customer direct sales from topps and panini? of course there is.

    dont you think if topps hired on a warehouse team, an experienced warehouse/distribution manager and customer support team they could figure out this system you seem to think only the few and the proud can manage to decypher? of course they could.

    you make it seem as if distribution/shipping is akin to mapping the human genetic code. it isnt.

    I am also not the only one who thinks this is aready the direction topps is going.

    I have absolutely no skin in the game. i dont collect modern cards and hav ent opened a pack in years.

Sign In or Register to comment.