This is one of the nicest Holiday Inns I have ever been to. I was impressed with the hotel (FREE COFFEE!!) and the room. Though, I am not so high on the dealer tables up against the outer walls. I like to be behind my table, not on the side. One dealer sat in the middle of the aisle for most of the show blocking the flow of traffic. Thankfully, I was in the middle of the room and able to sit behind my table. I may not be so lucky in the future and could be stuck up against the wall.
It was slow goin' early on and I was worried I would not make table fee. Then I sold an O.J. Simpson rookie cards and some additional sales started to come in. I also sold some 1974s and a bunch of stuff out of the dime box. My best customers of the day were a father-daughter team building vintage Dodgers team sets. The famous Angel made an appearance at this show and I'm not talking the celestial type of angel. Many moons ago, a customer named Angel plagued us at the old Elk Grove Village shows. He would spend an hour at my table, pull one 25-cent card and ask if I would take a dime for the card. When I refused, he got pissed off. Other dealers had similar experiences. It has been so many years since I last saw him that I did not recognize the Angel at first. He looked so much older. In my memory, he is a young teacher -- he used to say he needed the cards cheap so he could bring them to school to show his students. At one point, he pissed off just about all the dealers and stopped showing up. I did not recognize this gray-haired man until he spoke. It was the same voice. Though, unbelievably, he pulled out a bunch of cards from my dime box and did not ask for a discount. He was pleasant. I'll take it! Maybe he has mellowed with age.
There were a few familiar dealers such as the promoter Corky, along with Ted, Willie and Don. There were seven other dealers who I had never seen before. Kudos to Corky for helping one of the elderly dealers load his stuff in and out of the room. Two dealers were no shows. It has been a long time since I felt like one of the youngest dealers in the room. It seemed like four or five dealers were in their 70s. One guy, quite possibly in his 80s. One of these older dealers was rather snarky to me. He had this high-pitched whiny voice, almost sounded like a teenager but he looked about 75. Here is our conversation:
Snarky Guy says to me in a Barney Fife sort of way: Is this your dime box?
Snarky Guy: Are there any stars in there?
Me: Yes, there are some off-grade stars in there.
Snarky Guy: What do you want for the whole box?
Me: I need $100
Snarky Guy: These cards are in bad condition. I'm glad you did not say the number I was thinking of.
Me thinking: There are 3,000 or so cards in there, $100 is a really good deal.
Snarky Guy walked over to my binders and started flipping through them.
Snarky Guy: I used to sell out of binders. They're too heavy but you are young. The best way to move these around is in crates.
Me: No, bins are better. Crates do not protect the binders from the weather.
Snarky Guy: The weather doesn't bother me, I just pull my car into the garage.
Me thinking: I can't pull my car into the hotel. I have to transport them in rain and snow quite often and they are best protected in a sealed plastic bin, numbnut.
Snarky guy started flipping through my basketball binders.
Snarky guy: I can never sell basketball.
Me: It sells well for me.
Snarky guy sneered and walked away then complained to the dealer blocking the aisle that I was asking to much for my dime cards.
Snarky guy, aside, I liked this show. I thought we had a good crowd. I thought there was a decent inventory of cards in the room. I think I can make some money here. I'd like to keep setting up at this show but Corky is not sure he can get me in regularly. The next Elgin show is December 13. Hopefully, Corky will get me a table or two.
I was in a pretty good mood after the show. I made table fee and had some extra cash to boot so I decided to call up Fred and reserve space at his Sunday, November 30, 2014, show in Bloomingdale. On Sunday morning, I made it to the Indian Lakes Resort at 7:45 a.m. Ted remarked that I was very early. Though that one guy who always shows up early and doesn't buy anything was there at 8 a.m. The show does not open until 9 a.m.
I only had two tables at the Elgin show and put out just five of my normal eight display cases and most of by baseball binders. I also put out two of my basketball binders. I did not bring any of my football binders or hockey. At the Bloomingdale show, unlike Elgin, I had the full array of inventory on display. I have quite a lot of stuff when I am given the space. As a result, I made much more money than I did in Elgin. A long time customer picked up a 1933 Goudey Pepper Martin and a Travis Jackson. Another long time customer pulled out a nice chunk of cards from my dime box. Dave bought a bunch of 1955 Bowman baseball. A new customer, who drove in from Dekalb, picked up a bunch of 1961s. Randy purchased a bunch of 1961s. Another customer purchased a pile of stuff out of the dime box along with some 1973-74 hockey. Thanks for the purchases guys! Then I traded some Exhibits to Larry in exchange for some 1961 Golden Press.
A new customer came in with a pile of power vintage including a 1952 Topps Willie Mays and a T206 Mordecai Brown. It seemed like he just wanted to show them off. I asked him if he wanted to sell them and he kind of avoided the question.
It was a pretty good day in Bloomingdale and a pretty good weekend. Willie had a great day in Bloomingdale and treated to me to lunch at Portillo's after the show. Thanks Willie!
Next week I am trucking up to Holland, Michigan, for a show on Saturday, December 6, 2014. I have been emailing one of the promoters who said he has been doing the show for 15 years. He was only able to get me one table. I think I just may bring my display cases. This should be interesting. I I am also setting up at the Best Western Plus in Schaumburg on Sunday, December 7, 2014. I am still working on those 1971 Topps baseball and hope to have those out by Sunday along with a new group for my display cases. That's all for now. See you next weekend!!