Trading, trading, trading. Let's talk trading today. I hate to trade. I find that trades never work out equally and never work out in my favor. I much prefer receiving cash than cards. I have gotten in many arguments over my reluctance to trade. Based on my experience, it just never benefits me, so I generally tell the traders that I want cash, not trade.
The traders were out today. I brought out binders this time around. I recently finished up reloading 1976 Topps baseball. I had so many cards from 1976 that I broke it up into two binders. Unfortunately, the bulk of my other binders are in dire need of reloads. It just takes so long to reload that I have fallen way behind.
Which is one of the reasons I hate to trade because l don't feel like I properly recover the time spent sorting, pricing and reloading when I just get cards in trade. I feel much better about receiving cash.
There is one guy at the Rockford show who has been bugging me to trade for the past six months or so. I have no interest in trading with him. I have been able to hold him off. He really wants to trade me his excess 1968 Topps baseball. He tells me this every time he sees me and also lets me know through regular emails.
Well, today he was determined to trade with me. He brought me a binder of about 240 '68s. There is a handful of stars in the binder and the condition is all over the place. He initially wanted the trade value of his '68's to be a buck a card. I got him down to about 60 cents a card.
Since I was going to get some hall-of-famers at just 60 cents, I was initially okay with trading with him today.... today, only. Though it hurt watching him pull out a stack of 1966 Topps baseball. All I kept thinking about was how the binder was in need of a reload and this guy is making it worse by taking a stack out of there and I am not receiving one cent in return. Actually, he ended up taking too many cards and paid me some cash on top of the '68 binder in trade. I felt a little better once I received some cash. However, that '66 binder is now almost empty.
I just can't keep up. I really need to fill just about all of the binders. I am working on my 1980 Topps football binder right now. The '80 Topps football are not very valuable and I always question myself when I reload that binder. The reason I keep doing it is because the '80 Topps football is a great seller. I don't get much money in return but they always sell. So I am stuck right now spending my free time reloading that '80 Topps football binder. There are more than 500 cards in the set so it is taking me a while. I hope to have it done this week.
I did not have a very good day with the binders in Rockford after having a stellar show last month with the show cases. Again, I think the biggest problem is that the binders need to be reloaded.
Luckily, a few of my regulars in Rockford came through and purchased a good amount of cards, so the show was not a total disaster just not nearly as good as last month. I appreciate you guys! Thank you!
Lighter than usual crowd. I think mother nature hurt us by creating an absolutely beautiful day. I have also observed over the years that football season always has a negative effect on card shows. Sports card collectors are also sports nuts and generally fanatical about football, both college and pros. I am not a huge college football fan. I prefer pro football. Though, I follow a couple of college teams like the University of Arizona, my alma mater, and Northwestern, since I grew up near there and began attending NU games as a kid. Neither team is very good this year so I do not have much incentive to watch college football.
Another thing that may have affected our crowd was that there were two more shows within an hour drive scheduled at the same time. There are just too many shows right now. One of the competing shows on Saturday was a new show in Darien, Illinois. The promoter came out to my Oak Creek show last weekend and introduced himself. I thought he was a nice guy but advised him that I probably have conflicts with all of his shows and will most likely won't be able to set up. I am definitely setting up in Rockford over any new show because I have a tangible history of doing well at the Rock Church show.
As a dealer, my sales dictate where I will set up. The third show running up against Rockford on Saturday was in Kenosha. I think that show started earlier in the year and always goes up against Rockford. I am always going to choose Rockford over Kenosha and Darien because I am certain my sales will be better in Rockford.
Regardless, after a really nice show in August, sales were down at this past Rockford show. Many of my regulars did not attend. Where were you guys? I brought out binders this time around because a couple of these guys complained last month that I did not bring out the binders. So I brought out the binders for those guys and they did not bother to show up!
I did not make my first sale until 10 a.m. I was worried I was going to get shut out then I had a nice crowd at my table for a few hours. My day ended with Terry Hatch who wanted to trade. Ugh! I have known Terry for a good 20 years. He is set in his ways and I usually trade or buy cards from him that I don't want or need. I really need some help! Therapy is on the horizon.
My mental deficiencies aside, best part of the show is chatting with my fellow dealers. Normally, I am set up next to Tim, who is a great guy. Luckily, Gary was in Tim's spot this time around and is an equally great guy. My good friend Tom was on the other side and my buddy Phil and his wife were across. There were a couple of new vintage dealers set up which I think is great for the show. The Rockford show always has a really nice selection of vintage dealers. Vintage collectors should not miss this show!
I begrudgingly like the modern card dealers as well even though I have no interest in their cards. Many of these guys are just awesome. One awesome modern card dealer is young Rocky. Today, Rocky brought out his dad. It was really nice to meet pops Rocky. I now know where Rocky picks up his charm. Rocky told me he had one of his best days ever at this past Rockford show. Congrats Rocky! Way to go!
My young friend Adam was set up with his mother. Mom told me that Adam has school work and other commitments now that summer is over and she is limiting him to two Saturday card shows a month. It is up to Adam to pick which two. He tried to negotiate a third Saturday show after his Rockford sales were not very good. I felt sorry for the little guy. His mom told me that he is turning 13 soon, so if he can wait it out three more years when he gets his driver's license, he can then drive himself to shows. I remember when I first got my driver's license back in 1982, I spent a lot of time driving around the Chicago area to card shops, shows and flea markets -- it was a glorious time.
After the show, I hit a nearby Mobil station to fill up on gas which was about 5-cents a gallon cheaper than by my house. I also stopped at Burger King and wolfed down a Whopper before heading him. Once home, I napped then worked on that 1980 Topps football binder.
I am bummed that there is no Rock Church show next month. Instead, the Rock Church guys have teamed up with the Madison show promoter to create a two-day show at the Indoor Sports Center at Mercyhealth Sportsscore Two, 8800 E. Riverside Blvd, Loves Park, IL, on October 15 and 16. This new show is slated to have 250 tables.
I had previously thought there would be an October Rock Church show and kept that second Saturday open as it is the usual time slot for the Rock Church show. I had to scramble to find a replacement. I am going to give that Bridgeview show a try on October 8th. Anyone been there?
The new two-day show in Loves Park, just outside of Rockford, conflicts with Woodstock and Orland. Like I stated previously, I don't cancel a show once I have committed to setting up. Plus, the Orland show is really my home base and one of my best shows. I can't afford to miss Orland. I hope the new two-day show in Loves Park goes well and that I can set up at a future date.
In the meantime, I am setting up in Green Bay this coming Saturday, September 17. As you might recall, my car broke down on my way to the last Green Bay show. I have since purchased a new car and am confident and hopeful I will not have any issues on the drive to Green Bay Saturday morning.
I think I may bring display cases to Green Bay. I really need to get more of my binders reloaded before I bring them out again.
On Sunday, I will be in Orland where I have to bring the binders because I have an army of regular customers that come out for the binders. I have a lot of space at the Orland show and will probably bring out some showcases as well.
Next Oak Creek show is Saturday, October 1, where former Brewer and White Sox outfielder Bill Sharp will be signing autographs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Autos cost just $10 each.
Have a great week everybody. Hope to see you next weekend in either Green Bay or Orland!!!
Below are a couple of binder mania photos from the Rockford show.