ST. ALBANS CITY – After dabbling in collectibles for years, Eric Ploof and Nick Plouffe have turned their hobby into a high street business.
The two opened The Goldfather, located at 12 S. Main St. in St. Albans, around the beginning of June, and they plan to use the storefront to buy and sell a wide range of collectibles and precious metals.
Currently, the store’s stock largely consists of collectible card games, but the two plan to buy gold and silver jewelry from those looking to sell.
“Come and talk about what something is worth and we might make an offer,” Ploof said.
Although Ploof has the most experience with precious metals, he said collecting cards became a real source of income when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Due to its effect, people were spending more time at home and picking up some of their old hobbies.
“It brought people back,” Plouffe said.
Pokémon cards, in particular, have received renewed attention. At the time, the two business owners began to participate more actively in the card market by buying and buying cards through online sites, and after doing well, Ploof and Plouffe decided to devote themselves full time to collectibles.
Usually they look for rarer cards, which can reach up to six figures depending on the card and its condition. Ploof explained that card collectors are generally aware of what is going for the higher prices, and in general, if something is older, rarer and in excellent condition, both can turn a profit.
In the sports card market, prices are also affected by who is depicted on the card, and top athletes can usually raise the selling price. A rookie card for Michael Jordan, for example, is worth pursuing, Ploof said.
When it comes to their day-to-day activities at The Goldfather, Ploof and Plouffe still expect to buy and sell items online, but the storefront gives them another opportunity to bring in unique collectibles. Customers, for example, could bring anything from the street, and Ploof said they would buy most items that have some value on the open market.
Although precious metals and trading cards play an important role in the business, they are also open to items such as antiques, vintage signs, bullion or beautiful shoes.
The items they don’t deal with, however, are diamonds. Plouffe explained that they can determine the value of a gold ring, but diamonds are trickier. Due to marketing in the jewelry industry, it can be difficult to set an acceptable price for a customer, especially if the diamonds have sentimental value.
For everything else, they said they would try to keep their asking prices close to what the online marketplaces are offering.
“We are a collectible store. We buy almost everything,” Ploof said.
The Goldfather will host a grand opening event on July 2, when visitors can register for a free raffle. Adults who participate can win a gold coin, and a second raffle for kids will give one lucky winner a set of Pokémon cards.