I always try to change my set up for each show in an effort to keep my tables fresh. In my experience, customers want to see new items on my tables at each show so that is what I try to do.
Last month in Rockford I brought out all of my binders. At the May 14th show, I brought out all of my baseball binders and four display cases that I filled with 1970's baseball and football from 1948 to 1963.
I knew from the get-go that this was going to be a nice day as I was set up by friends Dave McDonald, Skip Carroll. Tom Mularz. and Scott and Jim Ziegert. Dave brought me a chicken sandwich which was much appreciated since I was starving. I did not wake up early enough to stop for breakfast.
All those guys had some great cards on their tables. Tom showed me a bunch of Warren Spahn cards including a 1948 Leaf. Dave showed me two Al Kaline rookies he recently picked up. Scott had complete sets of 1969-70 and 1970-71 Topps basketball. Cool stuff!
Slow arriving crowd. I was a little worried early on as it took a while to get my first sale. Once the ice was broken, sales were steady all day. I love it when customers show up at my tables with a plan to spend a certain dollar amount with me. One of my regular customers at Rockford and Woodstock showed up with a $100 dollar bill that he planned to spend at my table. He pulled a bunch of 1960 Topps baseball until we came to that $100. Thank you!
Another customer that I see all over the place purchased a nice pile of 1955 Bowman baseball. He told me he grew up in Berwyn, Illinois. I spent a lot of time in Berwyn when I was in high school because my best bud joined a band and they rehearsed in the guitar player's garage in Berwyn. I usually went to the practices, hung out and looked cool.
Another Rockford regular purchased a nice pile of 1973 Topps. A father and daughter team purchased my 1963 Topps Mike Ditka. The guy who works for Gizmo purchased a bunch of my 1964 Philadelphia football. What a nice guy! I always enjoy chatting cards. Kevin and the big guy purchased a bunch of cards. Thanks guys! Terry purchased some 1972 Topps high numbers. After a slow start, sales started to pile up and I hit my average for the Rockford show.
I saw that Dave was having a slow morning as well, but things equaled out when he sold his Bob Gibson rookie.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that Dave and I partner for a lot of shows. At Rockford, I was telling him about my plans for the May 28 Madison show and the May 29 Janesville show. Beau, who is the Madison promoter, recently posted about a Bratwurst Festival coinciding with his May 28th show and located across the street. Well, I had been debating whether to spend the night in either Madison or Janesville that weekend. The Bratfest was a deal breaker for me, Madison for the night. I think the Bratfest was a dealbreaker for Dave as well.
Luckily, Beau was set up in Rockford and I pointed him out to Dave who was able to secure a table for May 28th Madison show which is held at the Sheraton, a very nice hotel. We decided to get a room at the Sheraton so we could just walk over to the Bratfest after the show. I think there is a casino nearby as well. Dave wants to hit the casino. Okay, twist my arm. Should be a fun night!
Back to the Rockford show. I was disappointed that there was no food truck like last month. Mike told me that he had one lined up but they cancelled right before the show. Bummer! He said he is going to try again for next month. I love the food trucks!
On the buying front, I had a few things offered but the prices were a tad high. I need to be able to make a profit off my purchases. So whenever someone offers me some cards, my first thought is how much can I make at that purchase price? More often then not, the price is too high. ln addition to some cards, I was offered some publications but they were from the 1990's. I buy publications but they generally have to be from the 1960's and older.
All in all a very fun day in Rockford. Seemed to be more dealers that I knew than at any previous Rockford show. It is always great to be set up in a room where I consider most of the dealers friends.
A lot of the modern card dealers ask for my help in determining whether vintage cards they acquire are legit. Nelson brought over a binder of Johnston Cookies cards. I love the Johnston Cookies which were issued in the mid-1950's in Wisconsin depicting the Milwaukee Braves. The cards looked legit to me and included a Hank Aaron rookie. I sent Nelson over to Scott and Jim to confirm my findings. I am pretty sure that Jim bought some of those cards when they came out in the 1950's. Jim and Scott thought the cards were real. Now if Nelson would just bring them back to me with a ridiculously low price, I would be very happy to purchase them!
Purchases aside, I have some scheduling issues coming up. John and Mike, who run the Rock Church show, scheduled a two-day show for July 16 and 17 at the Indoor Sports Center, 8800 E. Riverside Blvd, Loves Park, IL. There will be no show at the Rock Church in July.
Unfortunately, I had assumed there would be a Rock Church show on July 9 so I kept that date open. The church has another event on July 9th, so the guys are unable to have the show and scheduled the two-day show in Loves Park instead. Problem for me is I already scheduled shows for that weekend and will be unable to attend the Loves Park shows. I am bummed out because I hate to miss a month in Rockford which has been a steady show for me. Oh well, I will be set up at the Rock Church in June and August.
In the meantime, I have an interesting weekend of shows coming up with Green Bay on Saturday and Root River in Franklin, WI, on Sunday. I haven't decided yet how I am going to work Green Bay. I should probably head up Friday night and get a hotel but I am not sure how my week of work is going to go. I have to be in court all freakin' day on Friday and will probably be too tired to drive up to Green Bay after work.
It has been quite a while since I was last set up in Green Bay, so I am looking forward to it. This is a new show so I do not know what to expect. Hopefully there are some vintage collectors!
Next Oak Creek show is on June 4. I have added five new dealers and plan to add a few more.
In addition to Rockford on Saturday, I was set up in Orland Park on Sunday. Orland blog coming soon.....