Tom Ward was set up today. I haven't seen Tom in a while. I had planned to stop by his table and make some purchases but I was steadily busy all day and couldn't really get away. Tom was in the side room which I lovingly refer to as "Freak Hall." When I was in high school, there were two hallways in the school where you could hang out when you had a free period or after lunch. One was called "Sporto Hall" and the other was "Freak Hall." Sporto Hall had all the jocks while Freak Hall had all the pot smokers. Now, I'm not saying everyone who sets up in the side hall at Orland is a pot smoker. It just seems like the merchandise in that room is a little more oddball and the promoter John sells those tables at a discount. So, it sort of reminds me of Freak Hall from high school.
There was another dealer who I wanted to check out today but didn't make it to his table either. I don't know his name but he had some old postcard-size photos at the last show that I thought were really cool. Maybe next time. Mark Smith, from the Detroit area, was set up today. It's always nice to see Mark.
Rick, one of my best customers, was notably absent today. He's usually the first guy at my table each morning. Hopefully, I will see Rick at the next show. Dan, who is also an excellent customer, was the first guy at my tables today. He picked up a 1957 Topps Chicago White Sox team card along with assorted other baseball and hockey cards. Larry is getting close to finishing off the 1955 Topps set. He picked up my 1955 Topps Ernie Banks. He didn't like my 1955 Topps Sandy Koufax rookie. The card was admittedly in rough shape. Though, Bill ended up buying it near the end of the show. Bill said he is going to try and get it signed. He showed me a signed 1933 Goudey Waite Hoyt that he picked up at the show. I just have one word for the autographed Hoyt -- COOL!!!!
Walt picked up some 1964s today. Steve picked up a 1941 Double Play Paul Waner. Steve's son, Steve Jr., picked up a 1963 Fleer Glen Hobbie. Paul picked up some 1972-73 Topps hockey and shared some great college stories. A regular customer picked some cards out of my quarter box. Another regular customer picked up some cards from the mid-1970s. He had a big old bandage on his right hand. I asked him if he got into a fight. He said he fell while hiking in the rain forest in Puerto Rico. Ahhh, Puerto Rico. I was on a cruise a number of years ago that stopped in Puerto Rico. We didn't get to go to the rain forest. I spent most of my time at a casino in San Juan. I'd like to go back to Puerto Rico sometime and check out the rain forest. I hear it is incredibly cool.
Back to baseball cards. Mike made his yearly appearance today. Mike used to be a regular until his son was born six years ago. His other son is now four years old. It's always great to see Mike. He is an autograph collector and buys cards to send out to players to get signed. He picked up some 1967 Topps baseball today to send out. Earl picked up some 1971 Topps Supers. A regular customer picked up some 1959 Topps baseball.
Another regular picked up some 1971 Topps baseball. Denny and his lovely wife were at the show today. I see these folks every few months. They were kind enough to buy some Girl Scout cookies. For cards, Denny picked up some 1952 Topps baseball. He's helping his brother build a set. At one point, he got on his phone and called his brother who was golfing in Waco, Texas. Joel then picked up some 1971 Topps White Sox. A new customer pulled some cards from my dollar box.
Just as I was thinking about how hungry I was, Chuck went out and bought me a couple of hot dogs. Thanks Chuck!!
On the buying front, a guy brought a box to my table that contained about 200 cards from 1970 and 1971 Topps baseball. I didn't see any stars in there or many high numbers. The condition was Good to Very Good. I asked him for a price. He said $500. I was thinking more like $50. I kindly thanked him for showing me his cards and sent him on his way. He went home with those cards. No dealer in the room would give him anywhere close to $500. There seems to be a rash of folks preying on the local card shows lately by bringing in boxes of cards that have very little value and they're expecting crazy money in return. Where are these people coming from? What's making them so delusional?
Here is a free tip for anyone planning to sell cards to dealers at card shows -- dealers will NOT pay you more than 25 percent of the high book price for your non-graded (raw) cards. In order to get that 25 percent, your cards have to be in amazing condition, otherwise you are looking at 5 to 15 percent of book. The reason for the low rate from dealers is that dealers generally sell vintage cards at 15 to 25 percent of high book at these small one-day shows (the price goes up at the bigger show where there is more overhead). So in order to make any money, the dealer has to get the cards for 25 percent or under... usually under.
As a dealer, if I was to ask the same prices as many of these yokels who show up at my table are asking, I'd never sell ANY cards. I don't put cards out to show them off, they're on my table to sell. So I gotta buy 'em cheap and sell 'em cheap. That's the way it works.
As is usually the case at the Orland show, there were plenty of cards to buy at reasonable prices. I picked up a binder of 1969-70 and 1970-71 Topps basketball cards. Another binder of 1975 Topps baseball minis. I also bought a few packs of 2013 Topps Heritage. I generally don't buy much in the way of modern cards but I do like the Topps Heritage. This year, Topps is making modern cards with the 1964 design -- they're cool!! I've picked up Heritage every year that Topps has produced them and I have to say that I think this year's are the best to date. The photos are bold, sharp, colorful and pop out of the card in the 1964 design. There are always all sorts of interesting variations and inserts as well. I need to get more of these!!!
Okay, so the show was March 9 and as I finish up this blog it is March 31. I'm way behind. This has been a crazy busy month and I hope to catch up soon. Next week -- April 7, 2013 -- I'm heading up to Milwaukee for the Serb Hall show. The folks at Serb haven't seen my newly reloaded 1952 Bowman baseball, 1973 Topps football, and 1977-78 Topps basketball. I finished a smattering of 1960 Leaf baseball today and started on 1974 Topps football. I hope to have the football done by the Serb Hall show. If things go quickly, I'll start working on 1953 Topps baseball.
I had a nice day kicking back today. March was tiring. I needed a day like today to recharge. I worked most every day in March, including weekends. I spent most of my free time hustling to price cards for the many shows I attended this month. I don't expect April to be as crazy. Though, I need to hustle and get my taxes done. Ugh!
Anyway, I hope to see a nice crowd Sunday at the Serb Hall show. More blogs coming soon!!!
Pictured below are some of my 2013 Topps Heritage pulled at the show.