You would think that after years of setting up at card shows, I would have settled into a routine by now. No such luck. I have found that there is nothing routine about setting up at a card show. Each show is unique.
Take, for example, the August Orland show where I had a harrowing drive to the show in the morning. I arrived at the Civic Center in the midst of a torrential downpour. I decided to forego bringing in any display cases because I have nothing to protect them with from the rain. By binders are in plastic bins and safe from rain. So I just brought in some binders and had a monster show, even though I was soaked to the gills the entire day.
Before the September show, I had planned to just bring display cases and no binders. Well, the weather app on my phone was showing rain all weekend. Still feeling traumatized by the crazy storms from last month, I decided to bring just binders again and was smart enough to bring my raincoat this time.
I really wanted to bring out the display cases. I have a growing inventory of star cards and a nice selection of pre-War cards. As I was telling this to Will, he basically told me not to worry about it because with my binders, I'm a set-builders dream. Thanks Will, you gave me a new appreciation for the binders. I had been pondering on ways to get out of the binder business lately because it is a pain in the rear end. I did not realize that there are a lot of guys that actually appreciate my efforts with those binders. I just have to figure out how to reload them faster, which is a problem I have been battling for the last 20 years! Oh well, c'est la vie.
Once again, I had a really nice show. I am starting to think that I should not bother with my showcases for the Orland show ever again. As for the binders, I was thankful that my main wipe-out artist did not attend the show. Quite a few guys found quite a few cards.
A regular customer kicked things off with a nice group of 1973 Topps baseball. Another regular bought some early Bowman baseball. Bill began work on a 1969 Topps set by pulling a nice pile from my binder. A nice lady, clad in White Sox gear, found some 1977 Topps baseball. She said she is getting close to completing the set.
It was nice to see Joel after a two-month absence. Joel found some 1975s for his Cubs and Sox sets. Rick purchased some 1961 Golden Press and a bunch of Post cereal cards from the early 1960's. Are there any Post cereal or Jello experts out there? I was contacted by a collector from California who informed me that 1962 Jello cards were only issued in Illinois and Wisconsin. I have some knowledge about 1961 Jellos thanks to my old friend Chuck Thomas but the '62's escape me. I am not sure what they look like. If anybody has any '62 Jellos for sale, please let me know and I'll pass on the info to the California collector.
Back to my sales, Paul P. purchased some 1968 and 1969 Topps baseball while Paul F. purchased a small group of which I can't seem to remember. Will and Joe brought me some much needed coffee. Will also purchased a nice stack of 1967 Topps baseball and 1974-75 Topps hockey.
I may have obtained a great new customer. A young guy, maybe high school age, and his mother purchased a large pile of 1969-70 Topps basketball last month. This month, they purchased my 1970 Topps football set. Another new customer purchased piles of 1955 and 1956 Topps baseball. Between these new customers, my day was made.
A big thank you to Brian for sending over a collector of 1953 Topps baseball, who purchased a real nice grouping. A Baltimore Orioles fan purchased my Boog Powell and Jackie Brandt autographs along with a 1976 Orioles media guide. In 1980, True Value Hardware put out a little booklet with biographies of sports stars. I grabbed a pile from my local True Value back then. Every once in a while, I put some out and had one out at the Orland show which sold.
My old buddy Larry from Plainfield brought me a pile of cards. There was some old hockey in there which I absolutely love. I've said it many times before and I'll say it again, hockey cards from pre-1968 are very difficult to find. I buy any hockey that shows up from pre-1968. I actually had a customer at this show stop by who was building the 1964-65 Topps set, of which I have none -- they are so difficult to find! Larry found some 1961 Topps football cards and we made a cash and trade deal.
It was a good thing that my sales were excellent at this show because I quickly turned around and spent the money. I bought a large grouping of 1965 Topps baseball high numbers. I bought two binders of cards featuring 1961, 1962 and 1963 Topps baseball cards. Then a guy showed up with a stack of old football cards. The key cards in the stack were a 1964 Philadelphia Jim Brown and a 1968 Topps Joe Namath. Unfortunately, after I purchased the cards, I observed a crease on the Brown which I didn't see when I was first looking over the cards. With that crease, I probably overpaid for the cards. Oh, well, it happens. Overall, I was pretty happy with my purchases.
I know quite a few people read this blog because nobody brought me any cards from the 1970's. Thank you! Bring me that old stuff!!!
Then there was a little excitement at the show, which is usually mellow. I observed a dealer from Michigan across the room shouting at what appeared to be a customer. They were going at it for a while. I thought it might come to blows but eventually the customer left. I don't have all the details and everything I know is second hand but this is what folks are saying: apparently the Michigan dealer bought two binders of cards from a guy with some mental disabilities. The customer who was shouting at the dealer may have been the disabled guy's dad. He reportedly accused the dealer of taking advantage of the disabled guy and underpaying him for the cards. I was told the dealer refused to return the binders so the dad or relative took the binders off of the dealer's table and fled.
I saw Rich, the show's promoter over there apparently trying to make peace before the dad fled with the binders. The police were called and they interviewed the dealer. In the 20 years of doing this show, I have never seen the police enter the room. The event made for an interesting day.
So, I am not totally sure if the dealer actually took advantage of the disabled guy. I am going to wait to pass judgment until I obtain more facts. Though, I am left wondering why didn't he just ask the dad for his money back and return the binders?
I offer refunds and take back my cards when customers want to make a return. Though, I think some folks take advantage of my return policy, I won't name names. But, if I was in the position of that dealer, I certainly would not engage in a shouting match and would have returned the binders upon receipt of my money. So, I have a lot of questions. Did the dealer offer to return the binders in exchange for the purchase price? Did he refuse to return the binders? I am not really sure what happened. It looked kind of ugly. The dad was a big guy and had a foot on the dealer. We were talking at my table as to who would win if it came to blows. We were all in agreement that the dad would have crushed the dealer.
I suspect I will learn more about this affair as time goes on. Though, it made for a little excitement on the day.
I have the next weekend off, no shows. I will return with my show at the Salvation Army Community Center, 8853 S. Howell, in Oak Creek, WI, on Saturday, October 5, 2019. I have commitments from 26 dealers and expect more to sign up in the next few weeks. This should be another great show. I purchased some wax at the Orland show to giveaway at my show. I hope to see you there!!