This is a relatively new show. As you know, I don't like to set up at new shows because my sales usually are not very good. But I thought I would give this show a try because it is operated by Andrew Wipijewski who has been setting up at my Oak Creek show for a long time and he has been really hustling to promote his show. I really respect and appreciate his efforts. Finally, one his Andrew's dates fit into my schedule, so I booked two tables for the August 14th show.
Years ago, I actually looked into moving my show from the Four Points Sheraton in Milwaukee to the New Berlin Ale House. At the time, I thought the town of New Berlin was too far out of the way and I did not think my customers would travel there, so I eventually settled on moving my show to the Salvation Army in Oak Creek. Well, I learned on Sunday that customers are more than willing to travel to New Berlin. Excellent crowd!
It has been a few years since I was at the New Berlin Ale House and could not remember how to get there. I plugged the address into my GPS and it was an easy ride. The New Berlin area is nice, very lush, lots of trees, open spaces, nice neighborhoods. It took me about an hour to get there from Northern Illinois.
As I pulled up into the parking lot, I saw Dave Kania loading in, and followed Dave's path into the building. I saw Tom Jahn as soon as I walked into the room and he proceeded to crack jokes about my arrival. Thanks Tom! Andrew had placed name tags on each table. I looked for mine but was having trouble. A young guy, kid really, who sets up all over the place with his brother and dad, saw that I could not find my spot and pointed me to my tables.
I was next to a dealer I know from the Root River show. There was another dealer, who I did not recognize, set up on my other side. Across from that dealer was Tom L., one of my favorite dealers. Next to Tom L. was a dealer I recognized from the Schaumburg show, I believe his name is Tom as well. Across from me was Tommy Cascio and his brother. I love those guys! Next to the Cascio boys was another dealer I did not recognize (his name was probably Tom).
Like the Rockford show on Saturday, I brought out nine display cases to New Berlin. I was a little quicker getting those cases filled than yesterday. I added some new stuff including a pile of 1961 Topps baseball high numbers.
While setting up, I saw my old friend Mark talking to Tom L. Mark likes to get to shows very early, before most dealers are set up. I can't blame him for hanging around Tom L's table because Tom L. always has unique stuff. There really is no one quite like Tom L. He has an amazing ability to find obscure publications, autographs, photos, cards and assorted memorabilia at garage and estate sales. He just has a nose for this stuff and his table is always a must see.
The room soon filled up fast. A lot of folks were checking out my display cases. Some I knew, but most were new customers. I forgot to take notes so I am not exactly sure what I sold but there were many sales. I know Bruce bought my graded 1965 Steve Carlton rookie. Thanks Bruce! I think Bruce only needs a handful of cards to complete his '65 set.
I talked to this one couple who I have met before. Incredibly nice folks. They have created some unique collections and found some cards at my table. A lot of folks looked at my stuff early then came back later to make purchases.
I was surprised when a kid, about 10 or 11, said he was working on a 1956 Topps set. He looked at my stack of '56 Topps and said he would be back later. He told me he was in town from California visiting family. His dad came by later to thank me for allowing his son to go through my cards. The dad was interested in my 1968-69 Topps Bobby Orr. He tried to tell me the card was short but I looked it over later in the show and the card measures up.
A customer I know from the old Gonzaga show was chasing around his young grandson. The little guy finally stood still long enough for Grandpa to buy a few cards. Lots of kids at the show. Nice attendance overall.
A younger guy purchased an SGC graded T206 common. He seemed really happy with the purchase.
Sales were going great when my stomach started to rumble. I'm like freakin' Fred Flinstone and need a brontosaurus burger at all times. I noticed early on that there was a bar behind me and it looked like there was a bartender on staff. I went over there around 11 a.m. and ordered some coffee and a burger. The kind bartender gave me two cups of coffee. Later my burger arrived, and it was delicious! That burger was so good that I will come back to the New Berlin Ale House just for the burger.
While I did have lots of down time during the show, I did have many sales and was pleasantly surprised. Beforehand, I was a little worried there would not be any vintage customers but there were plenty! I even saw my buddy Jim, who never seems to come out anymore since he purchased a cabin up north. I also saw one of the other Jims, this Jim collects Braves and Pirates. He was disappointed I had recently sold my 1953 Topps Johnny Logan rookie. I gotta track another one down for Jim. Well, they come in threes -- I also saw Jim Ziegert.
On the buying front, nobody brought any cards to my table to sell. There were quite a few items on Tom L's table that I liked but they were priced too high. Tom L. gets good stuff! Tommy across the way also had some cool stuff like a 1953 Topps Satchel Paige.
I was really happy with my sales and enjoyed meeting many new customers. I checked my schedule to see if I can come back to this show but I have conflicts for all the remaining 2022 dates. My sales in New Berlin were much better than some of my other regular shows. Unfortunately, I have a rule that I won't cancel a show once I have reserved a table. You gotta have some sort of integrity in this or any business. So even though some shows are not as good as New Berlin, I won't cancel. However, I will probably not re-up at some of those shows next year if they are on the same day as New Berlin. I need to get this show into my regular rotation!
I was really impressed with the show. Andrew does a fantastic job. Kudos to Andrew. Job well done!
Up next, I am trucking down to Merrillville, Indiana, this coming Saturday, August 20, for Da Region Sports Card Expo. Then I am trucking over to Orland Park for the Civic Center show on Sunday, August 21.
Next Oak Creek show is September 3 -- 90 Dealers, 130 Tables! Should be awesome!
See you soon!