Prior to the show, I knew that we would be up against a host of other events, so I put the pedal to the metal and increased my promotional and advertising efforts as soon as the September show ended.
The increased efforts did not seem to bring in more customers, though I saw a lot of new ones, they definitely increased dealer interest. I had a bunch of new dealers for this show. I love when dealers, new and old, help promote the show on their own social media — it is super helpful. We all did a tremendous job getting the word out. Thank you everybody!
I am not totally sure on the attendance numbers because we had a different Salvation Army volunteer working the door. I am not sure where our usual volunteer was on Saturday — please come back! The new volunteer did not keep an accurate attendance record. My security saw her fail to jot down people entering the show on numerous occasions. She recorded just 350 people. I think we had more like 450 to 500. The building was really crowded early on with a line out the door. The crowd seemed to dissipate around noon but a trickle of folks kept coming in until 3:30 p.m., when most dealers had already packed up and gone home.
One of the dealers that stuck around reported that he had an additional $2,000.00 in sales after 3 p.m. He said those that arrive late still want to buy some cards so he finds that he benefits greatly by staying open until 4 p.m. I agree.
Another dealer that stuck around late suggested I end the show at 3 p.m. I don’t know. When the morning started we had a good 170 tables filled with cards. I should have had more tables but there were a few no shows as usual. A couple guys called in and said they were not feeling well. With so many tables, I want customers to have the time to visit the whole show. I think for now I will keep it open until 4 p.m.
Again, I worked most of the day Friday before the show then drove up with Lisa late Friday afternoon. We went to work right away rearranging tables and chairs and placing out dealer name tags. Not before long, our friends George and Kristy showed up to help out. THANK YOU!
We finished up in record time thanks to George and Kristy. I think we have developed a routine for setting up on Friday night then heading over to the Water Street Brewery for a late dinner and some fresh brewed beer. Love that place!
Lisa and I stayed at the Super 8 across from Mitchell Airport. I observed that hotel prices have come down drastically since the summer. We were able to get our room at Super 8 through Priceline for just $55. Trouble is that every hotel in the Milwaukee area charges an extra $20 for taxes and service fees. So we ended up paying $75, still not bad.
The room at the Super 8 was much nicer than the one at the Econolodge, where we stayed last month. The bed at the Super 8 was so much nicer than Econolodge. Only problem with Super 8 was the noise from other guests staying at the hotel. Seemed like doors were slamming all night long. We are definitely not staying at the Econolodge again because of the beds and we may write off the Super 8 because of the noise.
Our biggest problem, however, was my failure to properly set the alarm. I accidentally set it for 5:30 p.m. instead of 5:30 a.m. Lisa awoke at 6:35 a.m. and got me up. That sucked! We had to hustle to shower and get over to the Sal.
We made it to the Sal around 7:20 a.m. Luckily, everything was set and ready to go and we did not really have to be there while the dealers loaded in. I think we really needed that extra hour of sleep, so it worked out just fine.
I had one of my regular dealers in the gym cancel late so we took his spot. We haven’t set up in the gym in a while. I love setting up in different locations throughout the building each month. With five different rooms it feels like five unique shows occurring at once. I am going to try and get us into Fellowship Hall next month.
I brought out all of the baseball binders and half of the football along with a smattering of basketball and hockey. New for this week was 1962 Post Cereal baseball. I am still working on the 1965 Topps baseball and should have it ready to go for Orland on October 15.
As the regular dealers have told me, it takes a while for the gym to fill up with customers. By 9:30 or 10 a.m., it seemed like we had a good crowd in there. A new customer started things off with a nice purchase of 1951 Bowman baseball. My football collector from Janesville drove in and pulled some cards. Thank you!
Big Barry started working on the 1964 Topps baseball set and pulled a nice pile. Thanks Barry! Grant also pulled some 1964 Topps. Thanks Grant! My main man Jeff found my newly reloaded 1959 Fleer and 1960 Leaf. Thanks Jeff! Dean was back after missing last month and pulled a nice stack of 1962 Topps baseball.
My regular guy working on the Post cereal sets was pleased with the newly reloaded 1962’s. Big Mike pulled some cards. He was at the table at the same time as Barry, making me realize they are the two tallest guys I know. Barry even belongs to a “Tall” social club which I find interesting.
I have one collector that regularly drives up from Chicago and he found a variety of stuff. Kevin found the 1959 Fleers and pulled some cards. Thanks guys! Dave was there with his nephews Cyrus and Grayson. I also saw Johnny Adams who regularly flies in from Minnesota to buy at the show. He bragged that he spent $8,000.00 with vendors at the show. Thanks Johnny! I also saw George from my hometown of Northbrook, Illinois. I graduated high school with George’s sister. I saw Nick from Stak ‘n Sell make his rounds early in the morning.
I saw Derrick Luke walking around with his baby boy. Mohawk Chris was there. Kevin Clubb was there. Kevin’s father recently died. I had met his father a year or so ago at P.J.’s show, he was a very nice guy and I enjoyed talking to him. My condolences to Kevin and his family. Thanks for coming everyone!
I had a bunch of young guys purchase cards today. They were so happy to buy vintage cards and thanked me profusely. Thank you guys! Joe drove up from Chicago and found some cards for his sets from the 1970’s. Larry, who sold me the near complete ‘75 sets in Orland last month, also drove up from Chicago. Seemed like quite a few folks drove up from Chicago and ignored the three-day autograph show that was there this weekend. I think that says something about the Oak Creek show.
As I mentioned before, I had a bunch of new dealers today. Some were old faces like the return of the famous Jeremy. Also, vintage dealer Scott Cleveland was back in his usual spot by the front door. Another returning dealer was Bart Taylor who reminded me that the last time he set up was at our last show right before the Pandemic shut everything down. Wisconsin’s own version of Bob Ross, Kevin Wolfe, returned and was selling some new paintings featuring Brewers and Packers logos. We lose Kevin in the summer as he works his landscaping business.
Another new dealer that I was happy to see at the show was Anthony Georgetta, whose pops Lou was a popular dealer in Chicago and Milwaukee for decades. Sweet Lou recently died and we all miss him terribly. So thankful Anthony is around. Thanks for setting up Anthony!
Along with many returning dealers, the great Sloppy Joe chef Ken returned along with the crew for the concession stand. I caught my pal Stan chowing down. Lisa and I each had one — an excellent batch!
Most dealers reported good sales while a few made a “meh” face when I asked about their sales. My sales were down from last month which was my best month of the year. Sales were still okay. Only problem was that I went out and spent every penny I made. Quite a few guys came to my table selling cards and I just could not help myself.
I picked up a stack of 1977 Topps baseball stars. I purchased some 1960’s era insert cards. One of my newer and younger dealers brought me a stack of cards he said were his grandpa’s. He had them priced very high. I was able to negotiate the price down. The coolest thing in there was a 1969 Topps autographed Ray Nitschke which is going into my personal collection. There was also a Bill Walton rookie in there.
Mark brought me several stacks of Post and Jello baseball. He was kind of high. I ended up taking the Post but had to pass on the Jello. Mark spends his winters in Florida, so it will be a while before I see him again.
I ended up buying a 1975 Topps Robin Yount from dealer Tom Dosetell to complete one of the near Topps sets I purchased at Orland last month. Surprise, quite a few Yount rookies in the room. I probably should have purchased a second Yount rookie for my second set from Orland. Larry Larsen has a couple of them and I’ll be sure to buy one from him next month. I know I bought a bunch of other stuff as well but my memory is failing me.
There were quite a few people walking the room selling vintage cards. I saw my pal Gary George pick up a 1966 Philadelphia Gale Sayers rookie and a 1965 Philadelphia Jim Brown. Dennis the Menace purchased a 1975 Topps Minis baseball complete set and a 1972 Topps baseball complete set. Cool stuff!
I enjoyed being set up next to old friend Mike Johnson. It is always great to catch up with Mike. He has many great stories to share. He keeps showing me a photo of his new car. I am waiting for a ride!
I started to pack up around 3:30 p.m. I wanted to stick around longer but Lisa was itching to get home. After I packed up, I had a chance to chat with dealer John Seacrist — I learned we have similar histories.
So years ago, before I went to law school, I had my own newspaper in Chicago. It was called “Barfly” and was a bi-weekly guide to Chicago bars distributed free to about 250 different bars and restaurants in Chicago.
Turns out John is currently a newspaper owner. He owns an ad paper in Rockford. He had the greatest story about working at a different ad paper for 10 years then having the new owner fire him. John then went and started his own paper which kicked his old one’s ass. Turns out the old one was a chain and the owners of the chain appointed John as interim president and he was able to fire that a-hole who had earlier fired him. What a great story!
So John’s current paper has been so successful that he was able to purchase a building to house the paper and is currently building a card shop in there with both sports and Pokémon. Congrats John!
I also chatted with dealer Tom Mularz late in the show who had a nice addition to my blog from last week describing how to spot fake vintage cards. Tom advised that the paper stock between the post war cards and the fakes is different. The real cards are on a softer, almost flexible cardboard, while the fakes are on a a rigid stock with no flexibility. Thanks Tom!
Lisa and I were on our way home around 4:30 p.m. We were tired. Once home, I ate dinner then passed out. Another Oak Creek show in the books!
So I reserved the Salvation Army for 12 monthly shows in 2024. Once again we will be on the first Saturday of every month in 2024. At the show Saturday, some knucklehead was walking around telling people there is no show in November and December because of the holidays. NONSENSE! This show occurs on the first Saturday of the month on every single month, regardless of any holidays! Next show is November 4 and the December show is slated for December 2. Hope to see you there!
In the meantime, my next show as a dealer is coming up on Sunday at the Orland Park Civic Center in Orland Park, Illinois. I plan on bringing all of my binders. I might bring a couple of display cases as well. See you in Orland on Sunday!!
Below are some photos that Lisa and I took on Saturday. Enjoy!