While my sales are consistently strong at this show, it is such a huge headache to operate. I really enjoy the shows where I set up as a dealer and don't have any of the headaches associated with running a show.
The month leading up to the July 3 show was one long headache which began at the June Sal show when some of my regular dealers were pissed off I scheduled the show for July 3. Many of my regular dealers cancelled for the July 3 show.
Let me explain my reasoning for scheduling the show on July 3. The show is scheduled for the first Saturday of every month. The first Saturday in July fell on July 3 this year. In order to be consistent, I scheduled the show for July 3. I was a little hesitant but recall setting up at shows over many a Fourth-of-July weekend in the past and always had decent attendance.
Even with all of the complaints and cancellations, I was confident I could fill the Sal with dealers and customers on July 3, which I did. However, I did not foresee the degree of difficulty I would have securing new dealers because I have this lengthy waiting list for dealers and expected folks to jump at the chance to set up. I started to contact folks on the waiting list in early June. Like May, when I opened the fourth room and started contacting dealers on the waiting list, many did not respond. I don't understand why anyone would submit their name for my waiting list and not give me a response after I contact them? So if I contacted you and you did not bother to respond, I have removed your name from the waiting list. I also removed the people I contacted for both the May and July shows who were unable to set up at either show. I am not going to spend the time getting in touch with these people only to have them tell me they can't make it. Going up and down the waiting list is incredibly time consuming. I contacted a good 50 people for this show.
Talk about headaches, I don't know how many guys I contacted on the waiting list who initially told me they could do the July 3 show only to cancel later on. Then there were the guys I contacted who refused to set up unless they could be placed in the gym. Sorry guys but the fairest way to do this is to place the folks that have been with me the longest in the gym. When someone drops out, I place the next in line in the gym. The guys who won't set up unless they are placed in the gym have been removed from the waiting list as well. Dealers with attitude stay away please.
The dealers in the back hallway were not happy at this past show. Even though attendance was very good on July 3, it seems like many folks skipped the dealers in the hallway. My guy at the Sal, Mark, who is an unbelievable superstar, came up with a plan starting at the September 4th show where the only entry and exit to the show will be the front doors by the hallway. There will no longer be any entry or exit in the gym. We're hoping this will ensure that customers visit all four rooms in the show, especially the dealers set up in the hallway.
My ultimate goal with this show is to make it headache free. I am trying to alleviate complaints from dealers. The usual complaints are about location and sales. I think the new entryway should help the dealers outside of the gym. As for sales, that is on you, the dealer. If you are not happy with your sales, don't look at me. My job is to get customers through the door -- which I have done. It is your job to make the sale. I can't do that for you.
Most dealers reported very good sales at the July 3 show. We had a big crowd early on that thinned out as the day went on. My sales were excellent.
Getting back to the headaches, a bunch of dealers cancelled on me during the week leading up to the show. I plucked guys off the waiting list and was able to get space for first-time callers/texters. Then on the day of the show, a good seven or eight dealers did not bother to show up, including a few that talked to me the day before the show! Why book the space if you are not going to show up? No-shows are the worst. The easiest way to get on my shitlist is to book space and not show up.
I have one terrible repeat offender who I keep giving chances but will not do so again. As I have said before, I lose money when a dealer does not show up. Guys on the waiting list lose out when a dealer does not show up. I could have filled the space with someone who would do most anything to get into the show as a dealer. Guys on the waiting list regularly offer to pay me more money to get in. There are also guys who offer more money to be placed in the gym. If you haven't realized by now, I am not motivated by money. You can't buy me. What you can do is try and be an asset to the show. Those are the dealers I want, those that are hassle-free.
So on the morning before the show, one of my regular dealers texted and said he had strep throat and could not set up. Fine. Not much I can do. A new dealer emailed shortly thereafter asking for a table. I offered the spot to him and informed him he would be set up in the back hallway. He asked to be in the gym and said he has high-end items, like I would be impressed or something with his inventory. I have seen it all in my 46 years in the hobby, you are not going to impress me.
On the day before the show, I was trying to get through a crazy busy day at work and deal with tons of calls, texts, messages and the like regarding the show. The worst time to contact me is the day before the show. Please contact me much sooner if you want a response. My goal on the day before is to make sure all of the dealer space is spoken for, not much else.
I am now up to more than 60 dealers, I cannot hold everybody's hand. You folks are adults and need to figure it out. Many dealers could not find their tables. This should not be a problem because there is a name on each table or in the Game Room there is a name on a chair. I try to put the regular dealers in the same spot so not everybody is looking for their tables at 8 a.m. Prior to the show, I inform many of the dealers as to where their tables will be located. You would not believe how many guys seek me out in the morning for assistance to find their table even when I told them the room they will be located in well before the show. I do not mind helping my elderly or handicap dealers find their spot. These young guys, however, need to read the name plates, Please!
Then I seem to always make a mistake and forget to print out a name plate for one dealer at most every show. The July 3 show was Dalton Lubeck's turn. Sorry Dalton! I don't have an excuse, that is on me. I really need to be better.
While all these things add up to give me a headache because I am just one person being pulled in a 100 different ways, the worst are the numbnuts and douchebags. I don't have the time to vet the new dealers, so I have no idea if any of the new guys are numbnuts or douchebags. I had a ton of new dealers at the July show and was hoping I would not have any numbnuts or douchebags. Turns out all of the new guys were awesome except for one new guy -- a complete numbnut and his buddy was a complete douchebag.
This is the guy who contacted me the day before the show and I gave him the strep throat guy's space and told him he would be located in the hallway. Well, while I was setting up in the Game Room, my guy at the Sal told me someone moved a table from the hallway to the gym and blocked the passage to the back three rooms with the table.
I went into the gym and told numbnut to move the table back into the hallway. He initially refused. I told him again that he needed to move the table back into the hallway then I went back into the Game Room to finish setting up. Numbnut followed me into the Game Room and tried to negotiate a spot in the gym. I don't know how many times I told him that he needed to move the table back to the hallway. He refused. I lost my cool and called him a couple choice names and kicked him out of the show. Sorry everybody, I need to keep my cool and should not have lost it.
Then numbnut loaded his stuff out then tried to give me a hundred dollar bill. You recall when I said I am not motivated by money. The last thing I wanted was anything from this guy. I told him to leave the show and never come back. Apparently, he and his buddy changed their shirts and came back in and hid from me. The buddy, a complete douchebag, was hiding in the kitchen behind the concession stand.
I am debating on contacting the Oak Creek Police Department to have them arrested for trespassing if they show up at the September show. This little episode made me realize that I need a security guard more than ever. So if anyone has experience as a security guard please contact me and we can work out a fee and have you work security at future shows. It is a shame that I now need security at the show but between numbnuts, douchebags and thieves, I have to have some security.
Wow! What a headache! Once the rest of the dealers were settled and numbnut and douchebag left, the rest of the day went smoothly. Some of the new dealers made up for these two bad apples. I really enjoyed talking with the new folks and appreciate their enthusiasm. A couple of the new guys said they had a great day selling Pokemon cards.
Numbnut and douchebag are not welcome back to the show. Also, all the dealers that reserved tables and failed to show up are not welcome back to the show. I am so thankful I am taking August off and not having a show. I really need the break. I know it will hurt my consistency but after this past show, and with the National, I just can't physically do it in August. I am too old and infirm.
The next show at the Sal will be on September 4. With my regulars returning and all the new guys, tables are sold out. Thankfully, I am confident the September show will not include any numbnuts and douchebags.
In the meantime, I can't make the July 11th show at Buenavista. My next show where I am setting up is Orland on July 18. I will also be at the National from July 28 through August 1.
On a positive note, my pal Chuck found five twenty-dollar bills in the parking lot and came back in to let me know. Later that night, I received a frantic text from a guy who said he lost five twenties outside the show. He said his wife was tearing him a new one. Man, was he relieved when I told him Chuck found the money and will return it to him. Way to go Chuck! Like I said, most everyone who comes to the show and sets up at the show is awesome, like Chuck!
One of the dealers left behind the keys to his or her display case. I have them. Please let me know who you are so I can return them to you.
A big thank you to all the dealers at the July show. I appreciate you! I also appreciate everyone who attended the July 3 show. I thought attendance was excellent. Thank you! I hope to see you all soon!
Below are a few more photos from the July 3 show where, despite the numbnut, was a really good show.