Two days after the show and I am still wiped out. I slept all day Sunday. Man, another great show!! Huge turn out! Wow!
Once again, I could not answer all the phone calls and respond to all the emails and texts. Sorry! I just don't have the time to respond to everybody. It is best to get in touch with me well before the week of the show.
Dealer tables are sold out indefinitely. My wait list now has 50 people. I wish folks would stop contacting me for tables. I don't know how long the wait will be.
Speaking of dealers and my wait list, a few issues have come up. At least four dealers chose to set up at another show held in Indiana and arranged for others to hold their space. Only one of the four bothered to let me know what he was doing. I do not know if I like this. I don't care if you choose to set up at another show but by arranging for someone else to set up at your tables, you are circumventing my waitlist which now has 50 people! Is it fair to those 50 people that you do not show up and they do not get to set up? I have to mull this over but I am really thinking of installing a rule that if you reserve a table, you have to be there.... or at the very least, let me know!
I was pleased that all the dealers complied with the Sal's rule to keep the space between dealer tables clear. As I reported last month, I had to ask many dealers to remove card tables from the space between dealer tables. The Sal requires that space to be left clear.
Mark from the Sal installed cones and tape to keep the crowd from walking between dealer tables which really seemed to help. In February, we were unable to control the flow of the crowd and it was a bit chaotic. Seemed to work much better this month.
We also added another row of dealer tables in the gym which seemed to also work out well. I hope to keep that extra row in for now on. I am also happy to report that the concession stand had a much larger food supply this month and did not run out. Superstar Doreen saved me from passing out by grabbing me a Sloppy Joe sandwich. Thank you Doreen! I was also able to circle back late in the show and grab a brat.
I am also happy to report that the food drive was a success and our crowd filled up five barrels with food donations. Thank you everyone!!
Last month, I had thought we were in trouble with the Sal because of the size of the crowd. I misspoke and was informed that all is well. I am so appreciative of the Salvation Army after years of trouble with the Marriot Corp. at our old location. The Salvation Army's assistance is one of the many reasons this show has exploded.
Once again, I drove up on Friday afternoon to set up the show. I had my brother Jon to help this month. It was so nice having him drive and assist me throughout. We worked most of the day at our regular jobs than hit the road around 3 p.m. We made it to the hotel around 4 p.m. A lot of folks in the Milwaukee area have offered me a place to stay instead of the hotel. I appreciate this kindness so much but prefer the hotel because it is like a mini-vacation for me and I don't mind spending the money to have a luxurious room for a night. It is so nice to be five minutes away from the show and roll out of bed and be at the show. Though, I could do without Jon's snoring.
Also, a bunch of folks offered to help set up the show. I might take you up on that offer!!
So we were at the Sal for a few hours Friday night. Mark and several of his young volunteers set up the rooms while I rearranged them to conform with my dealer list and placed name plates on each table and signs on the walls. We had a few problems with the tables. Last month, we had 74 tables. This month there were only 70 tables available. I had sold 74 tables prior to the show. One of the tables broke. Jon and I found three more tables being used in the sanctuary. I hope no one minded that we took them and set them up in the hallway. We had tried to buy tables at Target but they were out and it was too late to hit up another store.
I ended up with enough tables for all the dealers but me. I placed four smaller tables at the end of the hallway for my use which worked out just fine. It was nerve-wrecking for a while, I did not want to have dealers show up in the morning with no tables!
Seems like a number of dealers have forgotten that we are limiting dealer tables to two per dealer during the pandemic. Dealers keep asking me if they can reserve more tables. Sorry guys, two is the limit.
A few dealers were wondering where I was at 7 a.m. The show officially opens up for set up at 8 a.m. I was just waking up at 7 a.m. Dealers, please arrive at the building at 8 a.m. Customers please arrive at 9 a.m.
As far as the ongoing issue of folks not wearing masks, I only saw two numbskulls with their masks around their necks and not covering their mouth and nose. What is the big deal? Please cover your mouth and nose with your mask.
Another ongoing issue is theft. I had two more reports of thefts at this show. Man, that drives me nuts. I really want to catch the thieves. I ask everyone, dealers and customers, to keep an eye out for thieves. Let's catch these A-Holes! I had a discussion with one of the dealers who had items stolen. He does not want to prosecute them but if they are young, he wants to contact their parents. I, on the other hand, want to prosecute them. There has to be consequences for your actions. I don't believe they will see the error of their ways until they are taken away in handcuffs and brought before a judge. I hate thieves!
Here is my one rant of the day: seems like new shows are popping up everywhere which I think is great and I think there is a need. I am exploring locations for a second show. I have one issue with some of the new promoters -- they seem to expect me to promote their show. First of all, I am just way too busy. Also, I have worked my tail off and spent thousands of dollars to get my show to where it is now. There are no shortcuts. Don't expect me to promote YOUR show, that is YOUR job, not mine. If you want to leave flyers at my show, great, but you should take some of my flyers and place them out at your show -- it is the right thing to do. If you want to talk to all my dealers, great. Just don't expect me to make an effort to promote your show, I have limited time and that time is spent on promoting MY show, not yours. My Facebook page is for MY show, not yours. Create your own Facebook page. I have spent thousands of dollars advertising on Facebook, don't post about your show on my Facebook ad! Some numbnut actually posted about his show on my ad last month! Purchase your own Facebook ad! My website is for my show. Create your own website. My show does not benefit from these new shows. I am not setting up at these new shows. I do not have the time. Create your own thing, stop trying to feed off my hard work. Put in the work yourself! Rant over.
So Jon had an interesting experience at this show. He is a devout Cubs fan and has been buying up Cubs rookie cards as far as I can remember. I am pretty sure he still has hundreds of Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith rookie cards rotting away in his storage unit. I have been trying to steer him away from focusing on Cubs rookies but have not had much success. Anyway, he purchased a dozen or so Nico Hoerner rookies at the show. Ugh! I don't think they will be worth the paper they are printed on in another month. The weird thing about it, is that someone approached him as he was walking around and said to him, "I hear you are looking for Nico Hoerner rookies." How did the guy know? It reminded me of when I was younger and hung out on Maxwell Street in Chicago and there was always a guy straight out of the movies who would hit me up and show me a dozen or so watches on his wrists and gold chains hanging inside his coat.
Jon ended up buying a slabbed Hoerner from the guy but it just left me wondering. Is there some sort of underground network going around the room, headsets maybe, where guys are undercover and targeting unsuspecting customers once the word is out on their buying habits? Weird!
Weird undercover spies and sketchy show promoters aside, I had an excellent day buying cards. Brett sold me three nice stacks of vintage cards from the 1950s through 1970s. Brent, who I have not seen in years, says he is back in the game and sold me a bunch of football cards from the 1950s and 1960s. Terry sold me a pile of 1953 Topps baseball and some 1971 high numbers. I bought a really nice Chicago Blackhawks postcard set from Lloyd. Thanks guys!!
On the selling front, it is hard to give a report from this show since I can't really be at my tables. Jon and young Jason manned the tables for me and did an excellent job. I am not sure if sales were down from last month or I just spent more money on cards this month. I brought out my football star cards for my display cases. Next month I am bringing out baseball binders. Sales were still pretty good but not quite like the February show. Most dealers reported good sales. One buyer claimed he spent $65K in the room, can anyone confirm?
The day moved quickly and seemed to go much smoother than last month. Before I knew it, the show was over. At about 3:30 p.m. when I was almost done packing up, a guy walked in wondering where everyone was. The show ends at 3 p.m. He thought it ended at 5 p.m.
I know I complain but I really love the show. To me, it is like having my childhood birthday party every month as a fat 54 year-old man. It is just great. I really did not want it to end. However, as we all know, all good things must come to an end. Jon and I were on the road home around 4 p.m.
Coming up next is my Pop-Up Shop at my office on Sunday, March 14, at 201 E. Dundee Road, Suite 2, Palatine, IL. I have priced a bunch of new items for my 17 display cases. I also loaded up 1970-71 Topps hockey. I am working on 1969 baseball and hope to have the binder ready to go by Sunday. Is there anything else I should bring out? Let me know!
A big thank you to all the dealers at the show Saturday. All the tables were filled. I did not have one no-show which is rare! Another big thank you to all the customers. I was awestruck with the massive crowd by 9:30 a.m. Next show at the Salvation Army, 8853 S. Howell, Oak Creek, WI, is on Saturday, April 3. Dealer tables are sold out!!!