Rough night. I woke up at 3 a.m. and could not fall back asleep. I am not sure how I made it through the day. I almost nodded off a few times during the show.
I was on the road to Madison around 6 a.m. I normally take I90 but I am so sick of that drive that I took I94 north then cut over west toward Madison just past Milwaukee. There was a lot of traffic at this early hour. I did not make very good time. I got there around 8:15 a.m. I stopped in Kenosha for gas, as gas prices near my house in Illinois are astronomical.
I brought out the binders this month, so set up was real easy. I was open for business around 9 a.m. but did not have any customers. I observed that the room was filled with dealers but not many customers. I started to worry.
At 9:30 a.m. my first sale came in -- two bucks. At least I would not be shut out. By 10 a.m., the room started to fill up. I saw that much of the crowd assembled around the Pokémon dealers. Where were the sports card collectors this morning? Many guys requested binders last month, so I brought out the binders. I also got a request for my dime box, so I brought that out as well.
With nothing doing at my tables, I went downstairs to the faux Starbucks but it was vacant. I grabbed a diet Mountain Dew from the cooler and went over to the hotel front desk to pay.
Back up to my tables. Nada. Nothing. Zip. I chatted with big Mark. He is a graded card guru. He is constantly purchasing collections and sending cards in for grading. He probably has more slabbed cards than anyone else I regularly see at my gaggle of card shows. What I find interesting about Mark's set up is that it is about half modern and half vintage. He always shows me some of his newest modern pick-ups. Honestly, I don't know anything about modern cards. I have no idea whether the cards he is showing me are good or bad. I am going to assume they are good.
To my credit, at least I have heard of the modern players that are slabbed in Mark's display cases. I had time to kill so I watched some of the Pokémon action at the nearby Pokémon dealer tables and literally did not have a clue. What makes a Pokémon card valuable or even desirable? Josh, my favorite Pokémon dealer, came by and told me about a big sale he had on this rainy September morning in Madison. I am aghast. I do not get it.
The businessman in me is thinking I need to get into Pokémon but the collector in me says no way. I buy and sell vintage sports cards because I just love them. I can't pursue anything that I am not interested in, like Pokémon, even though there is definitely money in Pokémon.
Sales started to trickle in after 10 a.m. The father and son, who I have known long before I started setting up at the Sheraton show, each purchased some cards. One guy stopped at my table three or four times before he finally sat down and went through my 1960 Topps binder. A customer that purchased a pile of stuff in the spring, came by and purchased some cards.
A few other guys purchased some football cards. I sold a few basketball cards. Then I had a customer spend a good hour or so at my tables pulling piles of stuff. He saved my day. Real nice sale.
A young guy went through the dime box and purchased all my New York-related cards. He purchased Jets, Giants, Knicks and Mets. He did not take any Yankees. Promoter Beau purchased some 1949 Bowman Cubs. Thanks Beau! I also have to mention that Beau does an excellent job with this show. It is a well-run show and Beau does a tremendous job getting the word out. It is just tough to compete against college football, especially in Wisconsin where fans are rabid about their Badgers. Things will pick up.
Overall, sales were way down from last month. More disappointing than my low sales was the lack of quality sausages at the faux Starbucks. Usually, they have excellent breakfast sausages and bacon. Not today. The sausages looked like the frozen kind. Ugh! Though, I was glad they finally opened up so I could get some coffee.
September has been a weird month. The first weekend was good, second weekend bad, third weekend good, fourth and last weekend bad. Again, the slow shows were competing against football. Sports card collectors love their football.
The one old lady I met several months ago was back. She commented on my Gordie Howe stating she saw him play years ago against the Blackhawks at Chicago Stadium.
I am just going to check this one off as a loss and I am sure the October Madison show will be much better. I have never had two poor Madison shows in a row. So I am confident that I will bounce back next month. Next Madison show is set for October 22. I will probably bring out display cases for that one. Come on out!! Let's talk Pokémon!
This was another double-bill weekend. I had my Pop-Up Shop on Sunday. Pop-up Shop blog coming soon.
In the meantime, I have a monster show planned for this Saturday, October 1, at the Salvation Army Community Center, 8853 S. Howell, Oak Creek, WI. There are 92 dealers and 140 tables planned for the show. This will be my largest show to date! Also, former White Sox and Brewers outfielder Bill Sharp will be signing autographs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Autos cost $10.
Then on Sunday, October 2, I will be set up at the Woodfield Hyatt in Schaumburg, IL. I'm bringing binders to Oak Creek and display cases to Schaumburg.
Have a great week everybody and see you this weekend!!