On the buying front, I am happy to report Willie had a tremendous day purchasing autographs and all sorts of other stuff. I, on the other hand, purchased nothing, nada, zip. I wanted to buy a few cards from the dealer on the other side of me but something about his cards just did not seem right. He clearly had one trimmed card in his case which was not labeled as such which sets off a red flag for me. To his credit, he did tell customers it was trimmed when they looked at it. A couple other dealers had some real nice vintage cards but I wasn't sure if they were looking to deal. It actually felt good going home with a little cash in my pocket. We're back at the Holiday Inn in Elgin on Valentine's Day so be sure to bring your honey! Trust me when I say there is nothing a wife or girlfriend would rather do than attend a baseball card show in Elgin, Illinois, often said to be the Paris of the Fox Valley. So be sure to begin your romantic day at the Elgin card show on February 14th!!
One guy came in trying to unload one million cards from the 1980s/1990s. One dealer offered $1 per box. Another dealer told him to donate the cards to a children's hospital. He declined the offer and advice. Later, I overheard him on his cell phone telling the person on the other end that maybe he needs to take a table at one of these card shows. YES! Take a table and learn first hand that your cards have no value. I can only hope that he had space in his home for the junk and did not waste thousands of dollars renting storage units to hold all those worthless cards for two decades.
I had my obligatory junk offers at Saturday's Elgin show. A dealer offered to sell me some junk wax, i.e., sealed packs of cards from the 1980s and 1990s. I politely declined. A lady came to my table and showed me pictures on her iPad of all sorts of cards from the 1990s that she was attempting to sell. She did not seem to believe me when I told her that her cards had very little value. I always get that same look from these folks when I inform them that their cards have negative value -- they look at me like I just spoke to them in Swahili. I can't help thinking that if this lady was savvy enough to take photos with her iPad, why couldn't she perform a simple internet search to learn something about the cards? Like I said, there is no shortage of informative material online explaining that these cards are absolutely and utterly worthless. My advice to the hoarders is to take whatever you can get for these things. If a dealer offers you $1 for a 1,000 1990 Topps cards -- TAKE IT! Please don't post your 1989 Topps sets on Craigslist for $100 dollars per set. You might be able to get $5 a set if you set up at a flea market.
Oddly, I have seen an increase of junk on dealers' tables at each and every show. Some dealers report that they are doing quite well with junk. These dealers will buy it as long as the sellers are wiling to take next to nothing for the cards. They will buy a set for $1 and sell it for $5. Not big profits but a sale is a sale. I seem to be able to sell it when I set up at a flea market. I don't make much money on it. Making $25 off five or six sets of junk is pretty good in my book. I may look to stock up on junk when summer nears and I set up again at the Wilmot, Wisconsin, flea market. If I bring it to a card show, it just sits on my table collecting dust. I just never get customers at a card show, or a flea market for that matter, requesting some 1990 Score baseball. In general, I avoid junk like the plague. I would rather spend my money on a true vintage card, 1960s or older, that actually maintains a value.
Thankfully, there is an additional stream of people attending this show with truly valuable cards and autographs to sell. I observed an older lady on Saturday wearing bright red rain boots walk up to three or four dealers attempting to sell four or five 1951 Bowman baseball cards including a Nellie Fox rookie that she eventually sold to a dealer. In high grade, the Fox rookie can bring in $300 or more. I also saw a guy bring a large box of autos to Willie. It just seems that most everyone who attends this show has something to sell, whether it be junk or decent material which is somewhat of an oddity because I attend many shows where nobody walks into the room with items to sell. This show, for some reason, seems to just bring out folks with stuff to sell. Maybe it is that ad in the Herald that brings them out. Either way, I think it is a good thing. Dealers always need new inventory and we welcome customers bringing in items to sell -- I would just prefer a lot less junk walking in the door and more of the good stuff.
Overall, I was pretty happy with the Elgin show. Later that I night, I finished up my 1973 Topps football binder and posted a bunch of cards to eBay. I think I drank too much of the free coffee at the Elgin hotel because I could not fall asleep that night. I overslept Sunday morning and arrived at the Bloomingdale show a little late. Thankfully, it was much warmer on Sunday and load in was much more pleasant.
I was surprised my newly reloaded 1973 Topps Football binder did not get much action in Bloomingdale. That thing was a beast to reload with more than 500 cards in that set. Though, I did sell a nice amount of baseball cards. There is a nice couple that I met once before at the Bloomingdale show and they pulled a ton of cards from 1969 and 1961. They also picked up a bunch of my star cards from those years. Another customer that we seem to call Mr. White Sox because he is always decked out head to tow with White Sox garb, purchased just about all the Bulls I had in my 1969-70 Topps binder. Another customer purchased some 1963 baseball. Derek pulled a bunch of cards from my 1972 and 1973 baseball binders. Thanks Derek!
Randy and I made a nice trade. He gave me a nice collection of 1973 Topps baseball including a bunch of star cards in exchange for some 1962 Topps baseball commons and stars. Thanks Randy! I also purchased a bunch of cards from another customer including a 1966 Topps Pete Rose and a 1968 Topps Roberto Clemente. Overall, a pretty good day in Bloomingdale.
Next week I am venturing out to Fort Wayne, Indiana, for a show on Saturday, January 17, 2015. This will be my first show in Fort Wayne and I am looking forward to it. The only drawback is that the promoter only had one table available when I called. So I think I just may bring out my display cases. It is always tough for me to pare down five tables of stuff into just one table.
On Sunday, January 18, 2015, I am setting up at the Gonzaga Show in Milwaukee. I plan to have my 1951 Topps Redbacks reloaded for this one in addition to a bunch of new cards for my display cases. Former Milwaukee Brave Tom DeMerit will be signing autographs from 10 to 11 a.m. I know the Packers and Seahawks are playing for the NFC Championship at 2 p.m. I will try to get to the show extra early so folks have time to view my cards and plenty of time to get somewhere to view the game.
I had a really nice weekend in Elgin and Bloomingdale and am looking for more fun with my roadtrips to Fort Wayne and Milwaukee next week. Have a great week everybody!! Thanks again for your support!!!!