I had three tables this time and was set up next to a nail salon on my left and dealer Bill Nest on my right. There were a good number of dealers at this show with a nice mix of modern and vintage sports cards, autographs and memorabilia.
My first customer of the day was Mark who was also my first customer when I first attended this show back in April. This time around Mark purchased some 1965 Topps football tallboys. My next customer purchased a 1977 Topps Bruce Sutter rookie and said he was down to just one more card to complete the set. Todd, who I met last time, found a couple of cards for his 1976 Topps set. My next customer was wearing a Brewers hat and purchased some 1951 Bowmans, some 1975 Fleer Football, and some old Sport magazines.
I recently purchased a large collection that included about 500 sports magazines from the 1940s through the 1960s. I made a binder of baseball magazines for this show. There is a ton of stuff in this collection and I will be breaking out some really cool items out all summer long.
The Appleton show was a lot slower this time around which is the norm for all shows in the month of June because of high school and college graduations. Bill left the show early for a graduation party. With nothing doing at my tables around 11 a.m., I went and purchased a to-go box from the Chinese buffet. The food was pretty good.
I met a collector from Niles, Illinois, who was looking for hockey cards. I have three binders of hockey but did not bring them with me because I did not think anyone in Appleton would be interested in hockey cards. Next time I’ll make sure I bring some hockey cards.
I did not buy any cards. Nothing came by my tables. One of the dealers asked me if I was interested in buying some cards but my sales were low and I wanted to go home with a little cash in my pocket.
Unlike last time, when I had customers at my table until 3 p.m., this time around I was packed up and on the road by 2 p.m. It was an easy drive home. I always enjoy the Wisconsin countryside.
I slept in on Sunday, June 14, 2015, and was up at 6 a.m. instead of 4 a.m. I made it to Gonzaga Hall in Milwaukee around 8 a.m. It was humid and hot in the room all day. Someone needs to get Jeff Peterson a fan.
There was a nice crowd at Gonzaga. Packer legend Jerry Kramer was signing autographs and he always brings in a good crowd. My first sale went to a guy collecting 1972 Topps baseball. An older collector purchased some 1964 Philadelphia football cards. A customer wearing a Milwaukee Braves hat purchased some 1969 Topps football. Jeff picked up some 1951 Bowman football.
A customer purchased one of my newly acquired old Sport magazines. The old magazines were a big hit. I made a second binder when I returned from Appleton and they looked really cool on my table. I also filled up two display cases with publications including a 1963 World Series program, a 1953 Milwaukee Braves program, a 1961 Milwaukee Braves yearbook, a 1947 New York Yankees scorecard, a 1956 Chicago White Sox scorecard, and three 1951 Sport Magazines with Joe Dimaggio, Jackie Robinson and Mickey Mantle on the covers. Those display cases looked cool!
Jim, one of my long-time regulars, purchased some 1954 and 1958 Topps baseball. A customer wearing an Arizona State Shirt purchased some 1955 Bowman baseball. I don’t get into the Bears-Packers rivalry that most folks at this show happily participate in. However, I do get into the rivalry between my alma mater the University of Arizona Wildcats and the hated Arizona State Sun Devils. I almost doubled the price of those Bowman cards when I saw that ASU shirt. There is a dealer at this show that played football for ASU. He is a nice guy and never gives me a hard time for attending U of A. I, on the other hand, talk some trash during basketball season. I keep my mouth shut during football season because U of A usually stinks.
My next customer had a generic NCAA shirt with no college logos, just the NCAA logo. He went publication crazy. He purchased a bunch including a really cool 1951 Sport Magazine with Stan Musial on the cover, a 1967 Sport Magazine with Mickey Mantle on the cover and the super awesome 1951 Sport with a young Mickey on the cover. He also purchased some 1969-70 Topps basketball cards. Larry purchased a Sport Magazine from the 1950s with Bob Feller on the cover.
Next up was a collector putting together 1958 and 1963 Topps baseball sets. He found a few at my tables. An autograph hound purchased some 1974 Topps football cards. Jack, another autograph hound, purchased some 1963 Topps baseball cards to get signed. A customer wearing a Camaro T-shirt purchased a 1962 Topps football checklist. An older collector purchased my 1953 Milwaukee Braves program. My next customer purchased some 1972 Topps baseball cards. My last customer of the day purchased some 1966 Topps baseball cards and two publications.
My sales were a little lower than last month but I definitely purchased a lot more cards than usual. I noticed that there was a larger number of folks than usual coming around selling cards. I turned down a bunch of stuff because the sellers were way too high on their prices. One guy had two binders of Milwaukee Braves cards. At least half of the cards, if not more, were reprints. He also had some cool stuff in there like world series programs and ticket stubs. He wanted $1,600 for everything. I was more like $500. I don't think I could have sold the binders for more than $700. Then at the end of the show, I guy came in with a large box of raw cards that contained graded prices. He was pricing PSA 2s at PSA 5 prices. Needless to say, I took a pass on that collection.
It can be very frustrating buying cards from people who walk into the show with a box or binder. There is all sorts of pricing available online but these folks never consider the actual price that cards sell for. They just look at what a card is listed for on eBay or what it is priced at on the PSA website. The problem is that there are no parameters for pricing a card. Sellers on eBay can price a dollar card at $25 and they often do. To learn what a card actually sells for, you must check the completed auctions for the final sale price -- NOT the listing price.
As a result, most sellers off the street check these listing prices which are often four times what the cards actually sell for. Seems like I turn down cards most every show because the seller is in the stratosphere with his pricing. These guys are never going to be able to sell their cards. I would love to see them get a table and try and sell those cards to the general public at a show with such ridiculous pricing. I saw the guy with the Braves binders and that last seller go home with their cards. If they come back to the show, hopefully they will be more realistic with their pricing.
Overpriced cards aside, it was another enjoyable Gonzaga show this past Sunday. Up next is MY SHOW!!!! Come on out this Saturday, June 20, 2015, at the Clarion, 5311 S. Howell, in Milwaukee. I know a TON of people read this blog. I could really use your support at my show!!!
I just finished reloading my 1959 Topps baseball binder, my 1959 Topps football binder and 1964 Topps Giants baseball. I also plan on creating a binder or two of publications. I am going to make a football publication binder. If there is time, I will make a basketball publication binder. I have lots of new stuff for my display cases as well! Some come one, come all to the Fat Daddy Extravaganza at the Clarion on Saturday!!