I use the online show calendars in Beckett and SCD to figure out my show schedule. So if a show is not listed in Beckett or SCD, chances are I'm not setting up. As I've learned, renting space to hold a show is an expensive endeavor, so I fail to understand why any promoter would not place a free listing in Beckett or SCD to lure in some dealers to help pay for the room. Roger is usually pretty good about placing a listing in Beckett, so I was surprised he did not have one for the show last weekend.
Once I got in touch with Roger and procured my tables, I grew concerned that there would not be any customers. If I did not know about the show as a dealer, how can I expect customers to know about the show? So I started plugging the show online. I started by listing it on my homepage here, then listed the show on Facebook and Craigslist. My efforts paid off because people told me at the show that they only came out after seeing my online posts. Though, one customer, who came from my Craigslist post, emailed me after the show to complain about a dealer told him to f@#$ off. Thankfully, the offending dealer was not one of the card show dealers, rather, one of the flea market vendors from the other side of the room. The Highland show is held on one end of a large indoor flea market. As much as I love a flea market, these vendors can be far more difficult to deal with than card show dealers. This particular vendor had a large box of 1988 Topps football on his table and he priced each individual card at $1. The Craigslist customer asked the vendor why he was selling cards that are worth less than a penny each for one dollar each. The flea market dealer promptly told him to f@#$ off. I explained to the Craigslist customer that I was not the promoter of the show, merely a vendor, and that I agreed that the behavior of the vendor in question was deplorable. He was cool with my response and hopefully he comes back sometime.
All in all, attendance was good, as you can see from the photo above, but there were quite a few open flea market spaces which, again, I blame on lack of promotion. Roger just promotes the card show. There is another group that handles the flea market. Like Roger, the flea market group needs to get the word out.
Anyway, once at the show, I had nothing to complain about. I had a great time and renewed lots of old acquaintances. It was nice to see Jim Colias, who I don't get to see much anymore thanks to the promoter of the Orland show who chased me out of there. Did I say there are promoters who aren't very nice? Dave F. was my first customer as usual when I set up in northwest Indiana. Dave found a bunch of clean 1975 Topps baseball and 1972-73 Topps basketball. Thanks for the purchase Dave!
It just about made my day when Paul showed up. I got to know Jim, Dave and Paul when I was a regular dealer at the Orland show. Now that I no longer do that show, I hardly get to see these guys. I also saw Harry and Derek, who I know from the Orland show as well. It would be tough to find a better group of guys. It was awesome to see everyone and I appreciate the purchases. Thanks guys!!
There are also groups of guys at the Highland show that I do no see anywhere else. I had several nice sales from some of these Highland regulars. I ended up having an okay day on sales.
On the buying front, I went home with about 100 1949 Bowman baseball (some are pictured below), a nice group of 1953 Johnston Cookies, several 1961 Golden Press, a few 1933 Goudeys, and one 1934 Diamond Star. I was quite pleased with my purchases. There was quite a lot to buy at this show. If I had more money, I would have bought a bunch more stuff. I'm leaning toward throwing the whole group of 1949 Bowmans on eBay as a lot. I may put the Johnston Cookies on eBay as a lot, as well. The Goudeys will be for sale on my table at a card show soon.
After the show, I went with Willie, Mark, and Mark's friend Bob over to Top Notch Restaurant, located a few blocks from the Lincoln Center. I ordered a turkey club sandwich that was enjoyable. Willie had a huge plate of stuffed pork while Mark and Bob had some monster steaks. I'm definitely coming back to Top Notch Restaurant which certainly lives up to its name. Another great recommendation from Mark Smith.
Now, the next Highland show is set for May 14, 2016, and I have a minor dilemma. The Fan Fanatical people that now run the Sun-Times show, have added a two-day show for May 14-15. I have already booked Gonzaga for May 15 and I would like to do Highland on the 14th. I also would not mind doing this May Sun-Times show. So I have been weighing my options and am leaning toward Highland-Gonzaga that weekend because the Sun-Times show is just too expensive. They are basically charging the same table price for their two-day show as they charge for their three-day show. It is hard enough to cover costs at the regular Sun-Times show, I am not confident that I would make table fee at this May show. So, it looks like I'm skipping the May Sun-Times show.
We were talking about this at dinner after the Highland show. I was wondering why Fan Fanatics do not move the show to a cheaper venue. Mark was saying that they apparently considered it but folks that live in Chicago and do not own cars, complained that there is no "L" service to a place like Schaumburg and they could not attend. From a dealer standpoint, I would fully support a move to a less expensive venue. I'm sure folks could find a way to get there. Everything is just too expensive in Rosemont from the table fee, concession stand, to parking.
Well, this was a double-bill weekend. Mark, Willie and I brought our wares to the Indian Lakes Resort show in Bloomingdale, Illinois, on Sunday, February 28, 2016. It was nice to see Scott from Dekalb, who is an irregular dealer at this show and is picture below. Scott is a modern card dealer but he always brings me some vintage cards. Thanks Scott!
Up next is my show at the Clarion Hotel, 5311 S. Howell, in Milwaukee, on Saturday, March 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All the dealers from last month are returning for the March show. I just got a call from Jerry K., who is planning on setting up as well. I usually get another dealer or two during the week. So we should have a full house of dealers.
I'm still working on my new binder of 1975 Topps minis. I hope to have those done along with some 1965 Philadelphia football. I also need to price more stars for my display cases. I am going to be very busy this week preparing for the Clarion show. Then on Sunday, March 6, I'm heading to Madison for Darin Blang's show. The Madison show is always good.
Well, I certainly spent more money than I made this past weekend... which is awfully fun to do. Unfortunately, I can't do that every weekend. I need to sell some stuff now. I need your help! Come on out to my show on Saturday!!!!