However, last Sunday's show in Orland Park (January 27), gave me a much-needed energy boost. It seemed like most everyone who came to my table had read my last blog, even though I hadn't posted one in months. I saw so many friendly faces and had such a great time. That show really gave me a recharge and I really appreciate it.
Below is a blog I wrote months ago but failed to post due to said lack of energy. The blog is from my November show at the Four Points Sheraton in Milwaukee.
Four Points Sheraton, Milwaukee, November 3, 2018
Over the weekend of the October show, the hotel manager, who does not actually work at the hotel but in an office in Schaumburg, Illinois, finally charged my debit card for the September show, after I made repeated requests to do so over the course of the month. Then the next day, she charged my debit card twice for the October show!
I immediately requested a refund for the over charge. She said no. We argued for a couple of weeks and finally agreed to use the second charge for the November show. She also agreed to give me the second room at half price.
Luckily, our own Mike Mahan, who deals in both vintage and modern cards, recently became employed by the hotel as its on-site sales manager. The off-site manager did not stick to our agreement and sold the second room to another event. Without Mike working at the hotel, I might have been in trouble but Mike took care of me and was able to put me in both the larger Mitchell and Concord rooms, at a price that did not break the bank, as I had a run of dealers call and ask for tables. Thanks Mike!
Turns out that this was my largest show to date with 21 dealers and 50 tables. There was also a tremendous turn out of customers. I went through a ton a wax for my giveaways, purchasing several boxes from wax dealers Roger Baehr and Brian Christopherson during the show. This may have been the most wax I’ve gone through.
I just can’t say how cool it was to see so many dealers and so many tables at my show. I received a ton of compliments during the show from both customers and dealers alike, which I really appreciate. My philosophy as a show promoter is pretty simple – make a show that I, personally, would want to attend as a customer. I think I’ve done that by providing a friendly atmosphere, free admission, a great variety of dealers, and a free gift of wax packs, good wax packs, not just junk, for everyone who attends. There were two tables with kids selling Pokemon and other non-sports cards which is so incredibly awesome. This is a hobby for young and old and it is so rewarding when both turn out and have a great time.
Another great thing I observed at this show was the large amount of people hanging out all day at the show, socializing and having a good time. I think the social aspect is the most important part of my show. I want people to hang out, talk cards, sports, whatever, and have a good time. I’ve always felt that as a sports card dealer, I am sort of like a bartender at the neighborhood tavern where regulars come in, get to know everybody, and chat like family. I really enjoy talking with everybody who stops into the show. I learn something new about cards or the history of sports at every single show. What it comes down to, is that anyone can go online and buy a card, but it is so impersonal. At my show, you get to see the card in all of its paper glory before making the purchase and you get to talk with the seller and meet a ton of collectors. I consider everyone there my family and good friends. Many of the guys, both dealers and customers, I’ve known for years. It is such a tremendous atmosphere and I look forward to it every single month. When this month’s show was dying down and dealers were packing up, man, I didn’t want it to end! I could have stayed all night and talked cards, bought cards, sold cards.
Speaking of purchasing cards, I certainly bought some cards and other stuff at this show. Prior to the show, a couple of guys emailed, texted, and said they had cards to show me for potential purchase, so I came prepared with a pocketful of cash.
Larry hit me up very early during set up with a box of publications from the 1920s through the 1950s. I bought ‘em. It is tough to find a dealer more reasonably priced than Larry Larsen. Thanks Larry!
Then a new customer came in with his childhood collection. He had a binder filled with 1961 Topps including some stars like Koufax, Gibson, Aaron, Billy Williams rookie, and some high numbers. There was a smattering of other years including a 1959 Aaron and a 1966 Rose. He also had a Milwaukee Braves pennant from the 1950’s and a 1970 Brewers pennant. I made an offer and told him to shop the group around. He came back to me and I bought the cards and the pennants.
I picked up some 1954 Bowman football from Jerry. I purchased a couple of cards from Eric. I bought a Tony Perez rookie from new dealer Dave. I bought some good stuff from dealer Scotty P. I also bought about 40 publications from the 1940’s from Tom and Josh.
The funny part was I didn’t buy anything from the guys who I had spoken to prior to the show. We just couldn’t work out deals. Which is fine. It doesn’t always work for everybody. I’ve bought from them in the past and I am sure I’ll buy from them in the future.
On the selling front, I had a tremendous day. Unfortunately, I realized half-way during the show that I forgot to write down my sales. So I am not exactly sure of what I sold. All I know is that money kept going out of my pocket for purchases but was shortly replenished by sales. I went home with money in my pocket, which as a dealer who likes to buy, is not easy to do!
Let’s see what I can remember… Jerome as usual hit my newest reloaded binder, 1962 Topps baseball. Thanks Jerome! A regular customer purchased my 1959 Topps Mickey Mantle along with a handful of 1958 Topps which he said completes his set. Woot! I love being able to help someone complete their set. He also told me something very interesting. We got to talking about 1961 Topps and he told me that when he was a kid in 1961, the later series, the one with the high numbers, was never distributed in Milwaukee. As a result, he had to wait until he was an adult to complete his childhood set at card shows. I always assumed that the last series was distributed nationally but kids had lost interest by the time they came out in the fall.
Back to sales, Paul purchased some old hockey cards. John, who said he lives on Howell, the same street where both the Sheraton and the Salvation Army Community Center are located, purchased some 1970’s football. A regular customer purchased a T206. One of my regular autograph hounds, purchased some cards to send out in the mail for autographs. He told me there are still a handful of guys living from the 1949 Bowman set. He was happy to see that I had a nice selection of 1949 Bowmans.
Jim K. purchased some 1955 Topps baseball. I had quite a few new customers and if I may brag a little, my show seems to draw in folks who are interested in rejoining the hobby after years of being out. I had a bunch of new guys buy cards.
What a great show! I am overwhelmed with gratitude for everyone who participated, both dealers and customers. Man, you guys really rocked it this month!!
I am ecstatic that the show will be continuing in 2019 at my new location, the Salvation Army Community Center. Those folks are excited to have us come there. Their youth group is going to run a concession stand at each show as a fundraiser for the sports teams.
First show at the Sal, 8853 S. Howell, Oak Creek, WI, is this Saturday, February 2, 2019. We will smash my dealer record from the November Four Points Show with 27 dealers scheduled for Saturday! I'm supposed to go up tomorrow to set up the room, weather permitting. We may be in two rooms with around 60 tables. See you Saturday!