Note to self -- bring a jacket when setting up at the Bloomingdale show because it is freezing cold in that place. Luckily I had a flannel in my car.
We had a nice number of dealers on this day. There were a couple of guys from Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Their wives wanted to shop in Schaumburg and they thought they'd set up at the show while the ladies shopped. It looked like they had a nice amount of customers at their tables. They had a nice mix of modern and vintage for sale. I, of course, tried to recruit them for my Milwaukee show. Speaking of my show, it is coming up on Saturday, September 13. I think I am going to bring out my array of discount boxes to that show along with some autographs and publications that I don't normally bring out.
Back at Bloomingdale, I had a nice show. I sold Reggie White and Steve Young rookies to a new customer. I sold a second Steve Young rookie and a Joe Montana rookie to a regular customer. I sold my 1961 Topps Frank Robinson to Randy. Bill and I did a nice cash and trade deal. Willie picked up a bunch of 1969 Topps football. Ron completed his 1969 football set with purchases of a Bart Starr and Willie Wood. I wish I have kept some sort of log as to how many times guys completed their sets at my tables. Completing sets is just about my favorite thing to do. I feel like I have done my job if a customer can complete their set at my table.
My quarter discount box was a hit today. I sold quite a few cards out of there. I offer five cards for one dollar. I really should call it the Tommy Ward box. I had a guy pull out 50 cards and request a greater discount. Other dealers heard this guy ask me for a discount on my discount cards. They were up in arms. Admittedly, I was taken aback at first when the guy asked for a discount on my discount cards. I gave him a few bucks off. I don't normally discount the discount cards because, well, they are already discounted.
With the subject of discounting discount cards in the air, the Woj and I started reminiscing about one of the all-time worst customers. We're talking 10-plus years ago when Fred had a Friday night show in Elk Grove Village. There was this one guy who drove all the dealers crazy. He would spend an hour at my table. He would totally engage me. Take all of my time. I could not help any other customers because he would ask questions about most every card while he looked through most every binder. After what would seem like a lifetime, he would pull out one, single common, no name, off-grade, wax-stained, foul smelling 25-cent card, with just a hint of tape residue on one corner. Just one card! Not two, but one!!
So I would think, fine, waste my time for a quarter, okay, I'm a sucker. But it wouldn't end there. He wanted that single 25-cent card for 15 cents and would get offended if I would not discount my 25-cent card by 10 cents. He was completely serious. He would tell me all sorts of weird stuff as to why I should give him a 10-cent discount on a single 25-cent card. He always said he needed it to show his students because he was some kind of school teacher. I think for a year or so, he came to each show and pulled this same routine -- question each card, spend an hour at my table, pull one 25-cent card, and want it for 15 cents, then tell me he was a teacher and needed it to show his students. I would cringe when I would see him walk into the room.
Woj told me that the psychotic school teacher once grabbed a set of cards from his table, asked Woj to break the set for one card of which he was willing to pay 5 cents -- yes, he was serious. Woj told him in no uncertain terms to stick his 5 cents where the sun don't shine. Thankfully, this nutjob stopped coming out to the show. I think someone offended him in some way and he stopped coming out. Yes, he got offended when dealers responded to his requests with hostility.
Today, other than the guy who wanted a discount on my discount cards, I have no complaints about the customers. There were good customers in the room today. My coolest sale of the day was to the daughter of Joe Marconi, who played for the Bears in the 1960s. She purchased his 1963 Topps card.
On the buying front, I picked up all sorts of good stuff that will be priced and displayed shortly at a card show near you, including some 1955, 1963 and 1965 Topps baseball. I also picked up some Exhibit celebrity cards. I think I might throw the Exhibits on eBay.
Next week, I'm back in Orland. I plan on reloading 1963 Topps baseball. I also may change up my display. I may bring out more discount boxes (so everyone can ask me for a discount on my discount cards). Sales have been flat in Orland all summer and I need to change things up. I am going to think about this one and see what I can do to put a charge in my sales. I am also open to suggestions.... anyone, Bueller?
One quick note, I have had 800 hits to the website today. I think a few folks are waiting for the blog. I continue to get compliments on my website and my blog at each and every show. I really appreciate the kind words.