Wednesday, February 17, 2021

I Found the Vendor!

And had absolutely no idea what to do about it.

Last Wednesday I went to my local Target. I had no illusions of finding the 2021 Topps that was supposed to be released that day. For some reason, my Target never had stuff on time. I usually check every day or two, and suddenly almost a week later the shelf will be full of the new release. (Unless, I suppose, what I see is a second stocking after the first sells out in minutes? Do they do second stockings?) I had actually managed to buy a few blasters on their website earlier in the day, so I was all set in any case. But, I needed to be in Target that day anyway. Naturally, I walked by the card aisle just to see. Last time I was there, the shelf was full of Panini Contenders football and Heritage High Number Hobby boxes. I had passed on both. I'm not a football collector, and even with the auto/relic the Heritage had been more than I was willing to spend. But, I had been regretting not getting the Contenders since the price point was low enough to try just for fun. So, I figured if they had any left I'd try a box. 

No luck. Empty shelves.

I did the rest of my shopping and was walking by the cards again on my way out. There was an employee there with a cart full of what I assumed were returns. I figured I'd peek to see if she had anything that had been hidden around the store. As I approached, she looked up and said "I only have two sports, football and baseball".  I was confused. Huh? She motioned behind her, and on the conveyor belt, waiting to be stocked were several rows of the Topps Series One and Panini Playbook Football.

She was the vendor!

I didn't know what the Playbook was, so I asked for one to check the price point. At $30, it seemed a bit I passed. I already had the Topps ordered, so I passed on those too. I left the store without any cards.

As I was driving away I was chuckling to myself that I finally stumble upon the vendor, and I had already ordered the cards I wanted. That's when it hit me. Was I a complete moron? Sure, I had ordered the cards. But, Target has an annoying habit of canceling online orders. I could have had them in my hands. And what's the worst that could happen? I bet I could use an extra box anyway. So I turned around and went back to the store.

The vendor was still there, and as I approached I could hear her talking to a guy next to her. I heard him say he worked at the Wal-Mart down the street and would check Target all the time on his breaks to see if their stuff was in yet. When I got there, I saw the shelf was full of Series One, the Playbook, and a full shelf of Contenders football. She hadn't shown me those before. (Apparently they do, in fact, restock) I decided to use my 3 purchase limit on one of each brand. I went to grab one of the Playbooks, and she stopped me. She said she needed to take a picture if I could wait a second. So, apparently the other guy was actually "in line" waiting for her to finish up. So, we both waited a minute while she took her pictures of the display. I let him check out the cards...he was first, after all...and then grabbed my three boxes. 

Of course, after all that, the boxes weren't amazing. I'll write about the Series One later. The best card from the two football boxes was a Contenders Justin Herbert ROY insert. Not exactly the biggest hit out there. Especially since both football boxes contained an auto/relic.

But, I had my first experience "waiting in line" for a vendor. Maybe next time I'll do it better the first time.

And maybe the cards will be better.

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