Friday, November 29, 2013

Big D's Sports Cards

I was shocked a few weeks ago to find out that a new card shop started up recently in Raleigh.  I was really excited at the prospects of finding new places to find cards.  If you read those cool places to live lists Raleigh, Durham, and its immediate suburbs often appear on those lists.  Money Magazine recently rated my corner of North Carolina, Apex, as the ninth best place to live in the US.  In reading all of these lists and accolades the writers often do not take into account the fact that the Raleigh-Durham metro area has almost zero card shops.  How does a metro area of almost two million people end up without any decent card shops? 

For eight years I have been perplexed at the lack of card shops.  It's not that there are none, but it's more like the ones that are here are a little disappointing.  The major hurdles facing card shop in the area are plentiful, but I mainly blame two factors.  First, college sports rule in central North Carolina.  While there are college sports products and memorabilia, it's a little bit of difficult market to base a whole card shop around.  Second, Raleigh-Durham is a huge transplant area.  During my twenty-five minute commute in the morning I am often astonished to see how many NFL, NBA, and NHL team stickers and license tags I see on different cars.  Name a major sports team, drive around Raleigh for a day, and you will see something of that team attached to a car.  Imagine trying to stock a card shop for a city with a diverse population of different fan bases.

I can be a little bit tough on card shops, but I have my standards and I stick to them.  Finally, almost eight years to the day that I moved to Raleigh-Durham I found a card shop that I not only bought cards from, but I will return to the shop and buy more cards.  So, here's my run down on Big D's Card Shop:



The card shop owner Jimmy is an awesome person.  Knowledgeable and friendly about cards and sports.  He's also tech savvy and can be found on the internet using the information on the card posted above, or by visiting his Facebook page and his Twitter page.  He posts pictures of cards to his pages, so even if you are not in central North Carolina he's a great person to follow and talk cards with via social media.  You know that I am a baseball only collector, so I cannot give you a complete and detailed run down on all of the different sports, but he does have a nice variety of football, hockey, basketball, and college sports items with a good range of prices from high end stuff all the way down to dollar boxes and common boxes. 

The display cases are well organized and it's really easy to find cards in the shop.  The display cases are full with all kinds of cards, but the items for sale are stacked and organized so they can easily be looked at and seen by customers.  Jimmy is also great at pointing out cards of interest without being high pressure and is more than willing to pull cards out for closer inspection.  When I entered the store we talked for a few minutes and he did a great job of helping me try to pick out some nice Cardinals and Durham Bulls cards.  I had my choice of several nice cards of Bob Gibson, Matt Holliday, David Price, Matt Moore, and the list could go on.

I usually try to limit my first visit to a store and have a set number of dollars to spend entering, but Big D's Sports Cards made that rule a little bit challenging.  I had several nice single cards to choose from along with wax which was priced very competitively.  I would go so far to say that Big D's has the best wax prices of the card shops in Raleigh-Durham.  I haven't really dabbled in the Bowman Draft set yet, but I would have a hard time beating his prices on Blowout Cards or Atlanta Sport Cards. 

So, after much deliberation I settled on having myself a Durham Bulls kind of day during my first trip into Big D's.  Here are the cards that I walked out with at the end of the day:


 2013 Topps Chrome Jake Odorizzi


2012 Topps Triple Threads David Price Jersey


 2013 Topps Museum Collection Matt Moore Quad Jersey-Nice 3 color patch


2013 Topps Triple Threads Jake Odorizzi Jersey/Auto


2011 Bowman Sterling Wil Myers


2012 Bowman Chrome Wil Myers All-Star Futures Game


I have also picked up a pair of non-Durham Bulls too.  Love the Tulo. 


2013 Topps Triple Threads Troy Tulowitzki Quad Bat


1983 Topps Archives Miguel Cabrera 1983 All-Star


This was clearly the best card shop I have ever been to in North Carolina and it's not even close.  The variety and quality of single cards cannot be touched and the wax pricing is great.  Single card pricing was great too.  I was happy to find a store where I could find Cardinals cards and also find some really great additions to my Durham Bulls collection.  Finally, I would not be doing fair or quality work as a blogger if I did not mention the Braves cards.  Jimmy has an absolutely incredible selection of Braves cards.  There is a little taste on his Facebook page, but the store display is awesome.  If you are a Braves fan, Big D's is a must stop.  If you are not a Braves fan, shop at Big D's. 

2 comments:

  1. One of my LCS recently closed leaving me with just one to shop at. I can only imagine the difficulty of operating a shop. Everything between overhead costs, stocking your shelves, customer service, and competing against online dealers. It's nice that you found someone who is willing to face the challenge. Sounds like you lucked out. I'm nowhere near NC... but if I was, I'd definitely stop by and check out his store. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I too have been to Jimmy's several times. We actually meet up at one of the sports card and memorabilia shows at the fairgrounds and really hit it off. He told me he was going to open up a shop and I have been helping him out along the way in any way that I can. I realize how difficult it is to commit to opening/running a physical card shop, so kudos to Jimmy. He is open to suggestions for improvement as well, which is great, not to mention the reasonable pricing which was sorely lacking in the RDU area. Will continue to frequent Jimmy's shop now and into the future!

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