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How to Become a Distributor of Non-Sport Trading Cards

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Non-sport trading cards are meant to be collected, but instead of featuring athletes, they feature entertainment such as movie trivia and photos. Card games such as Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering are also non-sport trading cards. Retailers of such collectibles typically buy their merchandise from a distributor. If you are knowledgeable about non-sport trading cards and looking to become an entrepreneur, becoming a distributor may be the ideal venture.

Find a niche of non-sport trading cards to sell, such as movie, comics or games cards. Specializing will help you focus on a specific target market instead of trying to carry a huge variety of cards.

Obtain the permits needed in your state to start a retail business -- your local small business development center will be able to let you know what is required. This may include a fictitious name certificate, resale permit, employer identification number or sales tax and use permit.

Secure a venue to sell your inventory -- online or in a physical store. Distributing the cards online will cost less money and allow you to reach a wider audience. You can expand to a physical location once your business becomes established.

Lease a warehouse to store your inventory of trading cards. Alternatively, you can use a commercial storage space or spare closet that is free of sunlight, odors and dust.

Purchase an inventory of non-sport trading cards from suppliers such as Endless World or Mad Al Distributors. You will be required to buy large amounts of cards at once in order to get a distributor discount, which typically ranges from 60 to 80 percent off retail price. Do not pay wholesale or retail price, otherwise your markup for retailers will be too high.

Develop policies for your non-sport trading card business -- most distributors are wholesale-only to other businesses. You can also make policies regarding minimum order amounts, merchandise returns and shipping options.

Promote your non-sport trading card business. Place ads in popular niche magazines such as “Non-Sport Update," start a promotional blog or sponsor industry Internet forums frequented by retailers of non-sport trading cards.


Melinda Gaines has been a freelance writer since 2006, with work appearing online for YellowPages and other websites. Her areas of expertise include business, beauty, fashion and sports. Gaines attended the University of Houston where she earned a Bachelor of Science in sport administration.