By David Yarger
Co-Host The Chase
Happy Friday everyone, another episode of The Chase is in the books as we head towards the weekend.
Today, the crew welcomed Billy Hinton of Baseball Card Exchange onto the broadcast. Hinton gave us an inside look at BBCE’s newest storefront that opened in September. The store, located in Schererville, IN, provides an interactive setting for collectors and hobbyists to come, hang out, socialize and network, all while ripping packs.
Hinton started with BBCE in 2016, but was just part time, as his full-time job was as a dean of students. After coming out of education, Hinton latched on with BBCE full-time. He added that he was able to take some lessons he learned from education into his position in the hobby.
“Education you learn to deal with so many different people. My last four years I was actually a dean of students at a junior high. So, my last few years were spent dealing with different situations that came up. … So, you learn how to deal with people, you learn how to interact with them, the organization and all the stuff that comes with that. So, I think that’s definitely helped me with getting the retail store up and running,” Hinton said.
As far as the storefront, Hinton said things have been going better than they even expected. He added that people have become repeat customers and the volume of guests has increased every day.
“We wanted to try and find a way to appeal to the collector of almost every facet,” he said. “One of the things I really pitched to Steve … was I want the store to almost have a National feel to it. You go to the National, our booth is one of the booths where you say, ‘Did you see the stuff that Baseball Card Exchange has out?’ ”
Hinton added that his favorite part of the new storefront has been witnessing the experiences that customers have had, such as kids who come in just to check out the dollar box.
As the store moves forward into 2023, Hinton said one of the main goals is to continue making the store more interactive. He mentioned the shop has done certain trade nights for kids and adults, which he looked to continue, amongst other things.
And as the hobby continues to change on a daily basis, Hinton said he hopes Fanatics continues to make local card shops a priority in the hobby like they already have.
“I think so many memories are made in the hobby shop, and I think that if you see hobby shops start to die off or close up, you’ll begin to lose a lot of collectors, because that experience of getting your hands on cards and getting to pick your own box (is great),” he said. “It’s not as much fun to go online and say, ‘I’m going to buy a box,’ then next week when I’m home, I’ll get it delivered. It’s that spur of the moment, you see it, you want to get your hands on it, you make those memories.”
To see the full interview with Hinton, check out the YouTube replay.
Also, for more on BBCE, check out their website, as well as their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Also on The Chase
To wrap up the week, the crew decided to rip some Topps Chrome Formula One. Now remember, there is no guaranteed auto, but don’t worry, your boy pulled one – a gold out of 75, at that. On top of that, we pulled a Carlos Sainz out of 50 and multiple Max Verstappen numbered cards. There was also a red/green short print of Lewis Hamilton thrown in the mix as well. To win these cards, comment on the YouTube video your favorite car sponsor/sticker of all time that you’ve seen on any race car. A winner will be announced on Monday’s episode of The Chase.
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