Normally, we place about 19 tables in the Rembrandt Room. Mark was able to get 24 tables in there. I liked the way he set it up. I think we can actually get four or five more tables in there now by creating a small rectangle in the middle of the room. I am going to try and keep the show in the Rembrandt Room instead of the pricey Mitchell Room, unless I am absolutely overrun by dealers. I really need to keep costs down because Mark is going to reduce the number of shows he attends. It was a tremendous benefit to have Mark's expertise and financial backing these past nine months. He will be sorely missed at any show he does not attend. Thanks Mark for all your help!!
One of the many great things Mark does to help the show is to send out an email blast before each and every show. Quite a few customers attend the show because of Mark's emails. To keep the email reminders going, I am going to start collecting emails. If you would like to get on my email list, send me your email address by clicking HERE.
Without Mark in the room at the crack of dawn for now on, I am going to have to somehow get there extra early. The show starts at 9 a.m. but some dealers like to be there by 6 a.m. I will try my best to get there between 6 and 6:30 a.m. from now on -- which is going to be tough because I am not a morning person. Ugh!
This is not Mark's farewell show. He will be back. He just will not be at every show. It is tough for Mark to commit to a show in Milwaukee when he lives near Detroit. I will let everyone know when Mark is planning to attend the show again. In his absence, someone is going to have to step up and take Mark's place in razzing me all day and bringing out a tremendous inventory of vintage football cards!
Back at the May 9th show, I had four tables. I was able to put out seven display cases and all of my binders. Set up went smoothly. Jerome has consistently been my first customer of the day and he kept up his good record by arriving around 8 a.m. He spent most of the morning going through my newly reloaded 1976 Topps baseball binder. Jeff picked up his usual large pile of cards including a bunch from my newly reloaded 1956 Topps football binder.
A grandfather, son and grandson team purchased a 1958 Topps Eddie Mathews and a 1970 Topps Willie Mays. Thanks guys! Robin purchased my 1979 Topps complete set. Thanks Robin! Mark purchased a whole bunch of stuff including the remainder of my 1970 Kellogg's baseball cards. Rob purchased a bunch of stuff from the 1970s. It was nice to see Larry and his wife, who drove up from Illinois. Larry purchased some 1933 Goudeys. Several other guys drove up from Illinois. Milwaukee is such an easy drive from the Chicago area and there is so much to do in and around town that many folks are coming up from Illinois and making a day of it. We're starting to get a nice group to go to the Nite Owl burger joint after the show. Everyone and anyone is welcome to join us after each show for some of the best burgers around.
Back at the show, I got caught up in many conversations and did not get a chance to jot down each sale. I know I sold more cards but I cannot remember what I sold.
I noticed it was a late arriving crowd. We seemed to have the most customers in the room around 11 a.m. or so. I had customers at my table all day, even past the closing time of 3 p.m. I think we had about the same amount of customers as last month. I plugged the show heavily on Craigslist, Facebook, on this website, and Beckett. I also passed out quite a few flyers. I plan on doing more of the same for the June 20th show.
On the buying front, I had a tremendous day. I purchased a pile of Sports Illustrateds from the 1990s. All had Michael Jordan on the cover. I also picked up some 1974-75 Topps basketball cards. I was pretty happy with those purchases and thought I was done for the day but another dealer dropped off a nice stack of 1964 and 1958 Topps baseball. Then a customer came in with a box of 500 cards from 1955 through 1964. He gave me a really nice price. Thank you!! So, instead of coming home with money in my pocket, I came home with a whole ton of new cards. I am going to have some fun pricing these and getting them out at future shows.
I did not leave the hotel until after 4 p.m. When I got to the Nite Owl, Nelson, Seth, Willie and Mark had already finished their burgers. Thankfully, the Nite Owl did not run out -- which they often do. Shortly after I ordered my burger they ran out! It was nice to talk cards and the trial and tribulations of selling baseball cards with the other guys. I made it home around 6 p.m. and started to prep for the flea market.
The weatherman said rain early, then it would stop until night on Sunday, May 10, 2015. So, I got a whole bunch of stuff ready, loaded the car, woke up at 4 a.m. -- yes, you read right, I woke up at 4 a.m.!! I was surprised how many folks were on the road before sun-up. I have being setting up at the Wilmot Flea Market in Wilmot, Wisconsin for the past two years. I have never found the best route to get there until this past Sunday. I had my easiest drive yet.
When I got to the flea market around 5:45 a.m. there were not a whole lot of dealers. I got my best spot ever. I'm usually set up in one of the back rows but this time I was in the second row. I think the overcast sky and the steady drizzle and mist kept most dealers away. I set up my tables and only put out a few things like some children's toys and some CDs. I just put out things that could not get harmed by water. I kept my cards in the car hoping the rain would stop. Unfortunately, the rain did not stop. Stupid weathermen!!
I was impressed with the number of customers that came out in the rain. The only dealers that made any money, though, were the ones selling plants. The rest of us just sat in our cars. I could never really put much out. I sold a couple of dolls. I started to pack up around 10 a.m. When I was just about done I saw Kevin, a pre-War collector who has been a regular customer in Milwaukee for a long time. Kevin said he saw on this website that I was going to be set up at the flea market and came out to see me. Unfortunately, I did not bring out any pre-War cards. I mostly brought cards from the 1970s and 1980s. I'm planning to set up again at the Wilmot flea market in two weeks and I'll be sure to bring some pre-War items. It was just a miserable day out there in the cold and rain this past Sunday. I really appreciated that Kevin made the effort to see me. Thanks Kevin!
Next up is the Fishers show just north of Indianapolis. I was thinking of camping near Indy to save on hotel costs but the weather forecast is calling for rain so I reserved a hotel room. There are a lot of nice campgrounds near indy. Hopefully, the weather will agree and I can camp prior to one of the Indy shows this summer. I will also be back in Milwaukee on Sunday for the Gonzaga show. I just finished reloading 1955 Bowman baseball nad 1957 Topps football. I am currently working on some 1956 Topps baseball. I might have some time to reload 1958 Topps football. I also plan on pricing more cards for my display cases. I should have lots of newly priced cards for Indy and Milwaukee this coming weekend. In the meantime, I have been posting all sorts of great stuff to my eBay store -- check them out HERE.
Pictured below are photos from the Smith & Gordon Show. A big thank you to everyone who came out to the show! You guys are the best!! See you this weekend!!!