I honestly thought promoting a show would be much easier than it actually is. Case in point, my June 3rd show at the Clarion. All the dealers that set up in May reserved for June. I also had a few new dealers call. I did not have room for the new dealers. About two days before the show I decided to eat the cost for a bigger room and checked in with the kind folks that run the Clarion to see if the larger Mitchell Room was available.
At first the Clarion told me no, so I turned away the new dealers. I had a long day of work Friday and did not read my emails till about 9 p.m. and saw that the Clarion was giving me the Mitchell Room for Saturday's show. I felt it was too late to call the new dealers. One of the regular dealers had emailed that he could not make the show. So, here I am about 10 or 11 hours away from the show and I am in the bigger room without enough dealers.
On the morning of the show, Don from Freeport who had reserved three tables, did not bother to show, did not call, did not email, did not text. So I had three empty tables. Man, few things piss me off more as a promoter than no-show dealers. I could have sold those tables if Don would have had the decency to give me a call to let me know he wasn't coming. So, now I'm figuring my wallet is going to take a large amount of hurt paying for the larger room, down two dealers and turning other dealers away, thinking I was filled up.
Thankfully, the Clarion did not bump up my fee for the larger room. I love the Clarion! Jeff, Betsy and all the rest absolutely rule!! But that June show was a fine illustration of the difficulties of being a show promoter. The bottom line for dealers is that if you book the show, you gotta show up.
So, it has been awhile since we were in the Mitchell Room. Honestly, the show works out best when we are there and have all that extra room. Unfortunately, I just can't do the Mitchell Room without a commitment from a larger number of dealers. Hopefully, we'll be back there soon.
I had some work in the early morning setting up the room for the show. As much as I love the Clarion, they did not give me enough tables. So I went over to the Rembrandt Room, where the show is normally held and dragged some tables and chairs into the Mitchell Room -- much to the chagrin of the Honor Flight people. Apparently, they were in need of more tables for their event and weren't happy that I swiped some tables from the Rembrandt Room.
Eventually the Honor Flight group found more tables and placed them in the hallway making it difficult for my customers to walk past their event and into my event down the hall in the Mitchell Room.
Nevertheless, we had a really nice show. I placed a small table near the front door and put out a Box-O-Joe and two boxes of Dunkin Donuts. Attendance was nice and people seemed to like the free coffee and donuts. I plan on putting out three boxes of donuts for the July show because they went so fast. I also gave out a pack of 2017 Topps baseball cards to everyone who attended the June show. When I ran out of packs, I was able to purchase a 2016-17 box of Donruss basketball cards from Greg and gave those out. I still have some of the basketball. I also purchased another box of baseball and plan on picking up one more box before Saturday (July 1). At the July 1st show I am giving out two packs of cards to everyone who attends the show. I know there is a lot going on this weekend, so I hope to encourage folks to visit the show and enjoy free coffee, donuts and two packs of cards.
I know I had a pretty good show selling cards in June but my memory has gone south and I am not sure what I sold. I do remember that George purchased a large amount of 1964 Topps Coins. Thanks George! There was a group from Detroit and they purchased some of my Detroit Tigers media guides from the 1970s. We had a nice amount of families at the show. On the buying front, a mother and her son inquired about selling an inherited collection of 1980s cards. I advised that they give them away. Mike and I communicated before the show and we came to an agreement on the sale of his collection, which mostly consisted of 1970s cards. Mike showed up with the cards and we finalized the deal. Thanks Mike! I purchased some 1962 Topps baseball from Terry.
At the end of the show, a guy came in with a 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth, a 1934 Goudey Lou Gehrig and some other high-end pre-War cards. Let's call him Mr. Tudball. He told me that his grandfather purchased the cards in the 1930s and he inherited them in the 1970s when gramps died. I could tell the cards were fake at first glance. In fact, they were reprints from the 1980s, so Mr. Tudball's story about getting the cards from his grandfather in the 1970s was a lie. Mr. Tudball was defensive when I told him the cards were fake. I then explained to him that I have a passion for vintage sports cards and have been buying and selling them for decades. So when I tell someone like him that his cards are fake, I am basing my evaluation on years of knowledge about said cards.
First of all, Mr. Tudball's alleged Goudey's were printed on thin glossy paper. The real Goudeys are printed on thick, layered paper with no gloss. Secondly, Mr. Tudball's Goudeys were perfectly centered with a symmetrical extremely white border with no leakage into the border from the name plate or any of the main picture, unlike real Goudeys that are usually not perfectly centered and never symmetrical, often having an off-white border with the name plate and part of the picture leaking into said border. Mr. Tudball backed off after my explanation. I have to say that I am seeing more and more reprints being passed off as the real deal in the last year or so. I have resigned to be more vigilant when purchasing vintage cards to make sure I am not buying reprints/fakes and I encourage all to follow suit.
Next show at the Clarion, 5311 S. Howell, in Milwaukee, is coming up this Saturday, July 1, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please come out for donuts, coffee, free packs, and a fine selection of sports cards and memorabilia. As always, stop by my table and let's talk reprints, the trials and tribulations of running a show or anything else. See you Saturday!!