FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) – Alan and Matt Loshe are sports fanatics, and much more so when it includes collectible sports cards.
They based their LLC, Father & Son Sports Card Connection, in 2016, however the thought first got here to Matt a long time in the past.
“The idea came about back in 1991 and that’s whenever I remember… I was 11 years old I was helping dad put together a 1991 Donruss set of baseball cards,” he recalled, “I still remember this, vividly – but looking at him and saying, ‘man wouldn’t it be awesome if we owned a sports card business together.’”
Then 11-year-old Matt would later develop up, go to school, and begin a household.
His love for accumulating cards would by no means disappear, however typically occasions life made it inconceivable to maintain up.
His father, Alan, comes from a giant household who lived on a farm.
Though they weren’t massive into sports, he used it as an outlet for his power, and his ardour of accumulating cards quickly adopted.
But that too was sidelined by different tasks.
At 16, Alan began working at a meat market – a place he would maintain for round 40 years, supporting his household at the beginning.
But when he retired and Matt had extra free time, the 2 began the place they left off in 1991, formally launching their enterprise.
The previous few years have been fairly a studying expertise for the duo.
“So many times I just think I love doing what I’m doing now,” Alan mentioned, “I love sports, I love sports cards too, and to do it with my son?”
“He had a dream in ’91, not me! It wouldn’t happen without him,” he continued.
Matt, a trainer at SACS, typically recruits his 4 daughters to assist with duties that contain going by way of tons of or hundreds of cards.
Their household has had no selection, however to embrace the daddy and son’s obsession.
“There’s a reality that if we’re going to be spending this amount of time investing in this,” Matt defined, “our wives are going to expect that we make a profit in this – and that’s how business works.”
When Matt dreamed of beginning his enterprise, he imagined it could be a “brick and mortar” storefront.
But eBay and social media have modified how collectibles are bought.
And errors had been made alongside the way in which.
“We’d sell a card for $1 or $1.50 and then shipping and then you make a profit of 47 cents and its like wait a second?” Matt mentioned, “It’s like we spent too much time to make it worth it.”
“Recently, within the last couple years, the sports card market has just taken off,” he advised us.
And costs mirror that.
Though some cards solely promote for a number of cents, or bought collectively in bulk for a better greenback quantity, the rarest can fetch hundreds.
On the Loshe’s eBay account, they’ve two Tom Brady cards, one listed for $2,499.99 and one other for $6,999.99.
Real world occasions just like the Super Bowl can influence card value.
When Kobe Bryant died in 2020, all their memorabilia tied to the NBA star bought in a single day.
They estimate 60% of their gross sales are on-line, the opposite 40% with return clients, relationships they’ve constructed regionally.
They additionally purchase on-line.
And there’s checks and balances to verify what they purchase, is legit.
“There’s a couple of different companies that grade cards, and basically the idea behind grading a card is that they will guarantee its authenticity,” Matt mentioned.
Over the years, they’ve amassed a formidable, estimated, 250,000 cards, break up up between Matt, Alan’s, and one other relative’s home.
The “connection” of their enterprise’ title, can be vital to them.
Matt and Alan are sometimes requested into clients’ houses, evaluating outdated collections and bonding with folks over the love of sports.
“We like to make sure that our customers understand that they can trust us,” Matt mentioned, “that means if somebody does bring us a collection to look at we’re going to give them the fair market value.”
While its unsure right now, if Father & Son Sports Card Connection will open a bodily location, for now the Loshe’s will proceed to do what they love a lot.
“I grew up and dad was my hero, you know? He was the one I would throw the ball with, play basketball with, and as I got older talk about the Bible together with and pray together with,” Matt advised us, ”to have the chance to run this enterprise with him has positively been a blessing.”
“It makes me feel great. I’m glad that he sees it that way. As parents we know how many mistakes we make along the line,” Alan responded with, “I love it. I love working with him and I don’t take it for granted at all because I understand how special this is.”
They’ll even be at a sales space on the month-to-month card present on the Allen County Fairgrounds April 17.