First things first, a health update: I still have a few things to work out but I am feeling sooo much better. I had a really rough go of it from October into January. I was starting to think I could not set up at shows any more. But after a hospital stay, quite a few visits to various doctors and loads of meds, I am happy to report that I am finally feeling like myself again. Whew! That was a rough road! I appreciate everybody’s concern!
Putting together the December and January Oak Creek shows was extremely difficult because I was too sick to get out of bed most days. I had a much easier time with the February show and plan to really shore things up for the March show.
The nice thing about not being stuck in bed is that I was able to put in the necessary time on the show. It is sooo time consuming to confirm with all the dealers, contact guys on the wait list and deal with all the texts, emails and Facebook messages from those wanting to get on the wait list and those with all sorts of questions. I also put in a ton of time trying to get the word out about the show.
New this month was six or seven calls during the show from customers wanting to confirm that the show is happening, some needing the address. It is so tough for me to answer my phone during the show! I am kind of busy once the show starts!! I am amazed that these folks did not pop on this website or my Facebook page instead of calling me during the show.
Anyway, by Thursday before the show, I pretty much had all the dealers confirmed and had mapped out all five rooms of the show. I just had to do a little tweaking Friday, type out all the dealer name tags for the tables, print up some signs, reserve a hotel room and load up my car.
Lisa and I were on the road to Oak Creek around 5:30 p.m. Friday. Our amazing helpers George and Kristy greeted us at the Salvation Army with a Malnati’s pizza. Thanks guys! It was so nice to chill out before the grind of setting up the five rooms for the show.
Scotty P., Cigar and Bronco arrived for early set up. Cigar even had a customer spend a few hours digging through his boxes. I encourage any and all dealers to set up Friday night because it is so difficult to load in Saturday morning now that we are competing for limited parking spots with the Weight Watchers group. Dealers can set up Friday night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. I don’t recommend leaving any cards in the building over night but you can bring in your display cases and tables.
We ended up being there from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday. It is so satisfying to leave the building Friday night knowing everything is ready to go for Saturday. I was pleased that there were no cancellations Friday night — a rarity. Earlier in the week I was able to add six or seven new dealers from the ever-growing wait list.
One dealer scheduled for the gym cancelled Friday morning because he had to take his daughter to the hospital. I was able to fit into the vacant spot a dealer that forgot to bring a table. I only had one no show… the guys that don’t show up, don’t bother to call or text. That dealer won’t be coming back.
It was largely smooth sailing Saturday morning. I gave myself a spot along a wall in Fellowship Hall, next to new dealer Richard Treptow, an extremely nice guy. Across from me, in Dell’s regular spot while Dell was at the Houston show, was Tyler Mazur, another great guy who runs a bobble head show in New Berlin, WI.
As I was setting up, I realized that I forgot to bring the keys to my display cases. Ugh! I have done this before and will probably do it again. I made do. Two of the cases were open. I placed cards of lesser value on top of the other six cases. Luckily, it worked out well and sales were excellent! Everyone had a good laugh as well.
Kevin purchased another 1954 Red Heart. He has about cleaned me out of Red Hearts over the past several months. Bruce found some 1963’s. I sold a couple of T206s. A new customer purchased my lone 1935 Goudey, which I had just priced up before the show. Robert purchased some 1958’s.
Eric purchased several 1950 Bowmans. I had stacked up all my cards from the 1950s in one of the open display cases and had customers going through the stacks and pulling cards all day long. The big winner was Jeff, who is the greatest card show customer in the history of card shows. Jeff pulled a large stack of Bowman football from 1950 to 1952. Thanks Jeff!
Then I went on a bit of a buying spree. I purchased 8 slabbed T206 commons. Then two young guys sold me a slabbed 1933 Goudey Ted Lyons. They were aware that Lyons is a Hall-of-Famer but priced some commons at almost the same price as the Lyons. So I just bought the Lyons and passed on the over-priced commons. I purchased a handful of cards from Jim. I also bought a few cards from Robert. Then I noticed some cool stuff on Tyler’s table like some Spic & Span Braves and a 1964 Braves program. Tyler gave me a nice price. Thanks Tyler!
I was pretty busy buying and selling and did not get to walk around much but I could tell we had a big crowd. I saw all sorts of wonderful people at the show like Jeff, Scott, Mark, Jim, Craig, Doreen, Eddie, Bob, Stan, Willie, Jack and a host of others. It was great to see “Show Time” back in action! He told me he was extremely ill last month and was in the hospital. Welcome back Show Time! It was fun to catch up with every one.
My main man Mark gave me regular attendance reports. By 11:30 a.m. we had 700 people through the door. Final tally was 1,002 — a new attendance record! THANK YOU! With all the people at the show, the place was charged up. So many happy faces. Most dealers were ecstatic with the crowd and their sales.
A perfect day was ruined when a new customer accused a dealer of theft. According to the customer, he handed the dealer a stack of cards to look through. When the dealer returned the cards, the customer claimed the dealer stole his Brock Purdy rookie. The customer was hot. My police officer and I talked with the dealer who claimed he did not take the card. We pretty much told the dealer that if we find out he did indeed steal the card he would be banned from the show. Not much else I can do.
Another dealer informed me that he had $2,000 in cash stolen off his table at the January show. He said he just got paid for a deal and was counting the cash when someone drew his attention to his right. He placed the cash down at the back of the table and thinks some kids, who were hovering on the left side of the table, swiped the cash when he looked away. Ugh! I just hate thieves. I wish there was more I could do to stop the thefts. I am going to have my son attend the March show and watch my tables so I can patrol the show along with my police officer. These thefts are just out of hand and we have to stop them! I am also going to start looking into security cameras. I am so sick of this!
Then Richard said he caught some kids trying to steal cards off his table which makes me wonder if all these thefts are perpetrated by kids. We really need to start catching these mother#@$&%#$. Man, it would have been just a perfect day if we didn’t have these thefts!
There always has to be something… Outside of the thefts, there was a really great vibe in the building. The huge crowd made the place electric. Several dealers told me they had record sales. Seems like the crowd and most dealers stayed longer than usual. There are always some dealers that start packing up at noon. I don’t think any dealers packed up until 2 p.m. There were still quite a few dealers set up at 3 p.m.
I was incredibly slow packing up and did not leave until 5 p.m. I like to chat and was commiserating well into the afternoon. I got a charge upon learning about the record attendance. That crowd made all the hard work worth it and renewed my passion for the hobby, even though my passion for the hobby never seems to wane. I can’t wait for the next Oak Creek show on March 2. All the thieves can stay home!
In the meantime, I have a full schedule of shows slated for the rest of the month. I just booked Fort Wayne for February 10 and Appleton for February 11. It should be a fun weekend! I much prefer setting up as a dealer than hosting a show, which can be stressful.
I think I did Fort Wayne once last year. The show has expanded greatly since I was a regular vendor 10 years ago. I am looking forward to it Saturday. As for Appleton, I used to set up there regularly at a mall show. I don’t think that show is around anymore. The show Sunday is at the Timber Rattlers Stadium in a room overlooking the field— it is a cool venue! I went to meet a guy there in the fall to purchase some cards. This will be my first time setting up. I have a lot of driving to do this weekend but it should be fun!
A big thank you for all the positive comments on the blog while at the Oak Creek show. I really appreciate everyone following my crazy vintage card journey. At age 57, I am just as much of a baseball card fiend as I was at age eight. Onward and upward fellow card addicts!!
A huge thank you to everyone who was a part of our record attendance on February 3! We need to get at least 1,003 at the March 2 Oak Creek show!!
Now for some photos from the record setting February 3 Oak Creek show:
Anyway, the owner of this vehicle took matters into his own hands and did not let a huge pile of snow stop him from parking. Thanks Bronco for the photo!