It sure is fun to watch a show blow up. The Madison show has blown up! Massive crowd on Saturday!! I was so busy! I needed some help to deal with all of the customers. I definitely was not prepared for such a huge crowd.
I woke up at 5 a.m., hit the snooze once, made it out of the house by 6:11 a.m. It was pitch black out. Pretty easy drive. I made it to Madison in just under two hours. Easy load in.
I decided to go with a display case lay out again. I kind of wanted to do binders but with Orland the next day, and I really needed to do display cases for that one, I did not want to unload the car and reload after Madison, so I went with display cases for both shows. I had 10 cases out for the Madison show.
It took me longer than expected to fill them up. I still had three or four more to load up with cards when customers started to ask to see cards in the cases I had loaded already. It was 9:07 a.m. at this point. I thought I still had time! I started to tell people to come back later because I needed to finish setting up.
I was hustling to get it done which was tough because the dealer behind me placed an extra table behind one of his tables, throw in that he is a very large man, and there was no room for us both to fit behind our cases at the same time. I got to know him a little bit too personally due to lack of space.
Pictured below, was the situation behind my tables. Not much room.
Big asses aside, by 10 a.m., the place was a mad house and I was insanely busy. I hate pulling cards out of my cases and handing them to multiple people but I must have handed out cards to five or six different guys at once and did my best to keep track of them. I'm pretty sure nobody walked off with anything.
It was a bit chaotic and I am not sure what I sold. I know I sold both of my 1963 Topps Bob Uekers. I sold one T205. I sold a 1950 Bowman Andy Pafko. I sold some 1952 Topps high numbers.
I sold a 1961 Topps Bart Starr along with many, many other football cards but can't quite remember exactly what I sold. I also sold a bunch of basketball cards. All in all there were quite a lot of sales. I just about tripled my sales from my first show at the Sheraton back in October.
There was a lot of shock and awe after this one. I never expected such a crowd nor to have so many sales. Needless to say, I was pretty freakin' happy.
On the buying front, I picked up a few cards. There was a guy who came around twice to sell me cards. The first time I purchased a bunch of 1970's basketball, including a 1974-75 Dr. J. The second time I purchased a 1959 Fleer Ted Williams SGC 7.5.
A few other guys showed me some cards for sale. There was a father and son duo that had two Pete Rose rookies. The cards were in really nice shape and looked real to me but I was not a 100 percent sure. They wanted a lot of money for them and I just couldn't pull the trigger without being 100 percent certain the cards were real. The Rose rookie may be the most counterfeited vintage baseball card out there. I sent them over to Gary, who was set up next to me. Gary wouldn't even look at the cards. He told me he won't buy Jordan and Rose rookies unless they are slabbed because of the counterfeit issue.
Man, was it nice to be set up next to Gary George, one of my favorite dealers out there. I think Gary had a great day as well.
Back to buying cards, there was one weird guy, I'd say in his mid to late 20's, who told me he was selling his dad's collection. He said his dad was in the car along with dozens of boxes of cards. He had one box that he brought in. He let me flip through it. It was mostly 1990's junk with a handful of vintage cards. He also had a Harlem Globetrotters program from the 1950's. I told him I would buy the handful of vintage cards in the box, which included a 1959 Topps Willie Mays, along with the Globetrotters program. He said he wanted to sell everything together and would not let me cherry pick anything out of the box.
The guy was at the show all day harassing all of the dealers. He eventually let some dealers cherry pick some cards, but not me. I overheard him tell another dealer he wanted $400 for the box. I don't know the value of the modern cards in the box but to me, as a vintage dealer, modern cards have no value at all. I did not want them even if he gave them to me for free.
I tried to show him that I have nothing but vintage cards in my display cases and do not want the majority of the cards in the box. He did not get it. He was still there when I was packing up at the end of the show trying to sell the remainder of the box. When I was loading my stuff into my car, I heard him arguing with his dad in the parking lot.
I had to chuckle as I drove away. About a mile or so down the road, I stopped at a Speedway to get some gas. At $3.15 a gallon, gas was far cheaper in Madison than by my house in Illinois where it is $3.54 a gallon.
As I was filling up, a lady who looked absolutely deranged popped up from behind the pump. She was chubby with crazy frizzy hair, wearing a sun dress, and a pair of sandles with no socks. It was like 20 degrees out. It was cold.
She seemed to have trouble talking. She had this look on her face like she was scared to death. She gets out, "excuse me sir." I stopped her right there and said I had nothing for her. I watched her walk up to everyone at the station who was pumping gas. She was shivering.
Then I watched her get into a Prius and put on a coat and she drove off with a short man wearing a baseball cap who was driving the car. So I'm guessing this is their scam -- she tries to get sympathy by being underdressed and shivering in the cold. But they were driving a Prius! Those cars aren't cheap. Maybe I need to try this scam, looks like there is more money to be made scamming people at gas stations than working a legitimate job or selling sports cards.
As I drove away, I started to think that maybe the baseball cap dude kidnapped her and makes her beg for money. She seemed really out of it and really scared. It was a weird deal.
Besides those weirdos at the Speedway, it was a tremendous day in Madison. We're definitely still in boom times for card shows. It is a great time for the hobby. I'm looking forward to the next Madison show on February 26.
I have a couple of open February dates that I'd like to fill up with shows but can't seem to find any. Looks like I am going to have one or two Sundays open just about every month with the discontinuance of the Buenavista show. There are all sorts of new shows popping up but they all seem to be Saturday shows -- which is so weird because there used to be no Saturday shows at all in Wisconsin, unlike now where just about all of them are held on Saturdays. Did I do this? Are they all following my lead in Oak Creek? I only created that show on a Saturday because there were none... now just about all the Wisconsin shows are held on Saturday.
Looks like I am going to have to do a second show and hold it on a Sunday because there is now a lack of Sunday shows in Wisconsin. While in Illinois, unlike Wisconsin, there are hardly any shows at all. I might do a Sunday show in Illinois. What do you guys think?
So the Madison show was the front end of a double bill weekend. I did the Orland Park show on Sunday. Orland show report coming soon!
In the meantime, my Oak Creek show is this Saturday, February 5. Dealer tables are sold out, as my phone buzzes while I type this up with folks asking for tables. It should be a great show. I think I have 104 or 105 tables total.
Then on Sunday, February 6, I'm setting up at the Schaumburg show. I'm doing binders at both shows.
Have a great week everybody, hope to see you this weekend! Let's keep it going!
Pictured below are a few more photos from the Madison show.