No, it's not likely you'll find a date at the store, but we have begun selling singles of cards. We started last week with Yu-Gi-Oh (YGO). Matt is our YGO organizer and he's also working part time at the store as our card coordinator. Why the change? Since kicking out our YGO group a year ago for rampant mayhem and theft, we've regrown the group to where it is today. Last Friday we had a record 27 people show up for YGO. This Saturday we have a YGO Sneak Peak event, the equivalent of a Magic pre-release.
The next step is Magic singles, but we're waiting to "seed" our initial collection with Magic 2010 cards. They're currently in short supply, although we hope to remedy that soon. We've got a shipment arriving Wednesday and another coming late in the week (hopefully). Then we'll begin building our collection.
Matt is exclusively doing our buying of cards until we develop a simple system that all employees can use. Generally, we'll want current cards, no more than a couple sets old. Rares are bought at a third of the retail price and commons and uncommons are bought in bulk. The key to having a specialized buyer is he can determine what's desirable and undesirable, what's a rare, and what was mass reprinted in the latest theme deck. Hopefully he can minimize our errors while the system is put in place.
Singles are an experiment of sorts. What would it take to make them profitable? Many stores sell them, but is it truly profitable for them when they factor in employee time? A few would emphatically say yes, while others would disagree. I intend to find out. Like anything in small business, the first step is developing a solid system.