So you want to start your own card show? Let me tell ya, it is a TON of work. Folks regularly ask me to start another show at this venue or that venue or in this town or that town. My answer is always "no". Promoting my show at the Sal is more than enough for me.
I do something for the show most every day whether it be fielding calls and emails from dealers and customers or placing the show on all sorts of event calendars to obtaining packs of cards to give away to purchasing tables to donate to the Salvation Army. There is something that needs to be done constantly.
Work was non-stop in the weeks leading up to the October 5th show. I had a higher number than usual dealer cancelations. I also had a high number of dealers calling for tables. I had all sorts of customers calling to confirm the show. As I stated before, I NEVER cancel the show. I think some folks have me mixed up with other promoters who regularly cancel their shows. It stinks that those promoters give us all a bad name. Again, I will NEVER cancel my show. The next show on November 2nd is happening come hell or high water!
I went the extra mile promoting the October 5th show and spent more money than usual on advertising. It is nice to see my efforts pay off come show time when, once again, we had an excellent crowd for the October show. From about 9 a.m. to noon there was a steady flow of customers. My iPhone isn't working properly, so I couldn't take any photos. I meant to bring along my iPad to use as a camera but forgot it when I left home at the crack of dawn.
It was pitch black out when I got on the road around 6 a.m. There were a lot of trucks which sucks on those thin construction lanes on I94. The Ryan Road Exit is especially scary because there is no turn lane during construction, the exit just pops up and you can miss it unless you slow way down. I made sure there were no trucks on my tail when I slowed down for the exit.
My main man Mark was already at the Sal and the doors were open when I got there around 6:45 a.m. Roger was there already and loading in. Like clockwork, Larry wasn't far behind.
I tried to chart out the dealers the day prior but the tables were set up a bit differently from last month and the early gang had their own ideas as to where they should set up. So, I hustled to reconfigure my dealer layout and then placed name plates on the tables. By 8 a.m. I had completed the new layout, many dealers had arrived and I began my own set up. It is really tough to layout the tables then deal with my own set up. You still want to run your own show?
Then there are the "no-shows", dealers who reserve space but do not show up. I had more no-shows than usual. I may have to start collecting table fee up front to limit the no-shows. At least one dealer thought the show was on Sunday, not Saturday. My show is ALWAYS on Saturday! I don't know what the other excuses were. Those guys missed out because we had a big crowd.
My wax pack giveaway has been a big hit since I began the promotion a few years ago back at the Four Points Sheraton. I try to provide a variety of packs, all sports, from junk years to the newest issues in 2019. I find that I am always purchasing wax for the giveaways. I bought a bunch of wax at the September Sal show then picked up some more in between shows from folks who contacted me with some for sale and from Steve Zinn who sets up at Orland.
As I mentioned last month, a little girl pulled a Mike Trout auto from a pack of 2019 Topps Big League. At the October 5th show, a little boy pulled a Cody Bellinger autographed rookie out of a 2017 Topps Heritage pack. I saw on eBay that the card is selling for $300 to $400. The boy's father was ecstatic and wanted to purchase a case. I directed him to dealer Roger Baehr, the dealer whom I purchased my box from.
I purchased more wax from Roger and dealer Tom Daniels for the November show. I am sure I will purchase even more wax before the November show. Follow my Facebook page for updates. There are always some guys that want to buy the wax from me. I don't sell this stuff, I buy it just to give it away. Make sure you attend the November 2nd show for your free packs! I hope we keep the great pulls coming!!
Dealer count was down from the 31 we had in September to 26 for the October show. Nevertheless, there was great stuff in the room. I picked up a 1934-36 Diamond Star Kiki Cuyler from Jerry and a 1966 Topps Willie Mays from Gary. It was great to have BILL STOCKS back at the show after a long layoff. I bought some stuff from Bill, as well.
An older gentleman was a bit distraught when no dealers were interested in purchasing his binder of 1990 Score football. I explained to him, as I do at every show, that those cards were printed in the billions and everyone has them, so nobody wants to buy them. They are worthless. As usual, he did not believe me and pointed out the Tom Landry card in the set. I explained that if he had a 1952 Bowman Large Tom Landry, then he would have a valuable Tom Landry card. The 1990 Score Tom Landry was overproduced thus it has NO value. I advised that he give the cards away because he will have a hard time selling them.
He explained that he purchased them in 1990 and held onto them believing that they would increase in value. I explained that he was not alone, tens of thousands of folks just like him, bought the cards and locked them away only to find out that they are worth less in 2019 than they were in 1990. It is a sad state of affairs but I meet people like this gentleman most every week and am always the bearer of bad news. I, too, have large quantities of 1990 Score football in my possession. Anybody want them?
I'm sure Nick C's dad Scott had some 1990 Score football back in the day. He told me he used to have a sports card comic book shop in Chicago in the early 1990s. As he described it to me, I vaguely remembered it.
On the selling front, Jerome found the Darrel Porter he needed to complete his 1975 set. John purchased a large stack of football and hockey cards. A regular found all sorts of cards for his sets. Larry purchased my 1962 Topps Don Drysdale All Star. Many other guys purchased cards as well. I didn't sell nearly as many cards out of my display cases this show as I did in September. I might just bring all binders for the November show.
On the food front, I ate a sloppy Joe and a brat from the concession stand. We had the Sal's Ladies' Auxiliary running the concession stand at the October show. Thank you ladies! Please, please, visit our concession stand. All the workers are volunteers and all of the proceeds to straight to the Salvation Army.
Along those lines, the Sal is looking for a business to sponsor their scoreboard. Contact me if you are interested. I also volunteered to help raise funds to purchase jerseys for the Sal's youth soccer league. I am going to place a collection box at the November show. Please show your support for the Sal! I can't say enough about these folks. My show has really taken off since we moved to the Sal. They are such a great partner!! I am going to try and support them in the same manner they support us!!
Back to the October show... the day went by quick. There was a rain storm coming, so a lot of guys were out the door by 1 p.m. I think I was on the road home by 2:30 p.m. I took the back roads, opting to avoid that construction hell on I94.
Next show is November 2. The final show of the year is December 7 and we have booked Packer Hall-of-Famer Dave Robinson to sign autographs. I don't have details yet but will pass them on as soon as I get them!
A huge thank you to everyone who attended the show! I may put a lot of work into this show but it is oh, so, worth it when we get such a large crowd of friendly faces. Hope to see you all at the November 2nd show!
In the meantime, I will not be at the October Gonzaga show but will attend the November one. The next show where I am setting up is the Orland show on October 27, 2019.
Happy collecting everybody!