While I have been reporting on my issues with the hotel, I have failed to discuss the great shows that have occurred there despite management's efforts to the contrary. Below is a recap of the April 7th Four Points Sheraton show.
Four Points Sheraton, Milwaukee, April 7, 2018
Just days before the show, I realized I over-booked the room and tried to bump up to a larger room. The hotel manager told me all the larger rooms were already booked. I then asked to add a second room which worked. So I had 26 tables in the Rembrandt Room and 8 tables in the next door Monet Room. Fifteen dealers total, which is a lot for me. My normal dealer count is eight to 10.
I have observed over time that when there is increased dealer interest in a particular show there is always increased customer interest. I had tremendous customer attendance at this show all day long. I placed myself in the smaller Monet Room and I could hear the larger crowd in the Rembrandt Room. Another indicator for the large crowd are my giveaways. I normally give away three boxes of cards (at two packs for each customer). At this show, I gave away seven boxes of cards!
I almost blew the giveaway because I forgot to load the boxes of cards into my car. I was beside myself in the morning when I realized I forgot the boxes of cards. My wife's car is not running so she couldn't bring them to me. I then thought of Big Tim who lives nearby and normally attends the show. I gave him a call and he just happened to be near my house on his way to the show. He was kind enough to stop at my house and pick up the boxes of cards. Thank you Tim!!!! Crisis averted. Note to self, buy a lot more boxes of cards for future shows!
The show opens at 9 a.m. but customers started to trickle in at 8 a.m. I had trouble setting up because I had to settle in all the dealers and then had early customers. I did not finish setting up until 9:45 a.m. The worst part was that I missed the hotel breakfast buffet. They had shut it down before 10 a.m. I thought it was open until 10:30 a.m.
I was busy most of the day. While the Monet Room did not have the same buzz as the Rembrandt Room, I still had a steady flow of customers all day long. A regular customer brought in an unopened 1966 Topps Rack Pack to show me, pictured below. It was so cool! I have never seen one before.
My sales on this day were excellent. I was steadily busy most of the day. The only drawback was I did not have the time I wanted to check out all the new dealers in the Rembrandt Room. It was not until noon that I was able to spend a little time in the other room. I was blown away by new dealer Harry Lambrecht's tables. He had some amazing vintage cards! He gave me a nice deal on a stack of 1976-77 Topps Basketball Cards. I also picked up a 1953 Topps Yogi Berra from Jerry. From new dealer Jeff Talamantez, I picked up a 1959 Topps Mickey Mantle.
Several customers tried to sell me cards but their prices were too high. One guy was a little ridiculous, asking $350 for a raw Pete Maravich Rookie. I mean the card was nice but if you are going to ask for a graded price, you have to get the card graded. There is no guarantee the card would be an 8 or a 9. In addition, I am a dealer, I only buy cards that I can make some money on. I can't make any money at $350 for the Maravich. Why not get it graded and sell it online?
Another customer was just a little too high on some vintage football cards. He offered them to me at the same price I would sell them for. Again, as a dealer, I only pull the trigger if there is potential profit down the road. He had both the Beckett and SMR guides printed, circled and highlighted -- which is great for a collector, but a dealer, I can't pay these prices and expect a profit. I recommend that everyone get their feet wet selling cards either on eBay or at a show. This sort of practical experience will create a better picture on pricing for selling cards to dealers.
It is starting to seem like no one is a straight collector anymore. Most everybody both buys and sells cards. Please consider getting a table at my show. For just $25 for an eight-foot table, you will have a lot of space to display your wares and very little overhead. Anyone can be a sports card dealer and it is a lot of fun setting up.
I had fun at the April 7th Four Points Sheraton show. It was fun having so many dealers set up at my show and it was doubly fun having such a large crowd. A huge thank you to everyone who attended the show!
A reminder is that the Four Points Show is on for the rest of the year, on the first Saturday of every month. The next show is June 2nd and will be held in the hotel's restaurant. I'm on the hunt for a new location for 2019. Any and all suggestions are welcome. Obviously, I am looking for a room where the rent won't break the bank.