Big crowd, tons of dealers, a few thefts and a few stories pretty much describes the first Oak Creek show of 2023.
We had 771 people through the door. Our largest crowd since we started keeping tabs last year. We initially had 180 tables but as show day approached two dealers cancelled because their wives were sick. Two other dealers cancelled because they were sick. Still, two more dealers cancelled because they had car trouble. Then two more dealers just did not show up, no call, text, nothing. I was able to fill a few of the tables but we did have several open spots. There were probably 175 tables total at the end of the day.
Man, it sure was nice to be back after two weeks without attending a show. I know Bob had a show in Lake Station, Indiana, on New Year's Eve which I contemplated, but in the end, decided to sleep in.
I was so enthusiastic for this show that I went to the Sal early Friday and ended up staying for five and half hours, setting this thing up. It has become a herculean task to do. One of the new things I did this time around was draw out a map after I figured out where I was placing all of the dealers. This map made life much easier on Saturday.
I ended up with around 120 dealers. Collecting table fee from all 120 dealers was a real chore. A few pre-paid which is so incredibly helpful. If any dealers are reading this blog, and want to help me out and pre-pay for the February 4 show, send PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org -- I would greatly appreciate it!
This blog seemed to get a lot of play at the show. Lots of great comments as usual. Dealer Kyle Brown told me that someone recently told him about this blog and when he found it, he spent the next hour and half reading it. Thanks Kyle!
Another dealer, Kevin Farrell, told me that he asked a few of his customers if they read the blog and their was response was like, "A blog? How '90's!" I'm old school. Still blogging!
And speaking of the dealers, I had a minor issue with a couple of them. Apparently one dealer was wearing some serious stink and the dealers next to him complained and asked to move. Since I had a couple of no shows, I was able to accommodate them to an area sans stink. I implore all dealers to bathe prior to the show and do what you can to limit the unpleasant aroma! It is one thing to chase another dealer away but we don't want to chase our customers away!!
Then there is that dealer from last month -- the guy who used to set up with Roger. Last month he was telling anyone within earshot that I cheated him out of a table, claiming Roger prepaid, when he did not. So this month, I did not see him, thankfully, but another dealer asked for a second table to give it to that guy. No way! I don't need that guy at the show. I am also not a big fan of dealers purchasing a second table to give to someone else. This usually ends up with me having an empty table when I could have sold it to someone legit.
Annoying guy aside, it was a pretty great day. I was on my feet and tired but enjoyed chatting with dealers and customers. Did anyone get a coupon for a free hot dog from the Mears Auction booth? I thought that was a pretty cool promotion!
As I was walking around the building, I heard someone ask their buddy: "Where is the live auction?" The buddy responded that there is no auction at the Oak Creek show, which is true. In hindsight, I should have directed him over to the Mears booth. Troy from Mears holds a monthly online auction which is far superior to anything I could do live at the show. Be sure to check out Mears at www.mearsonlineauctions.com.
Now for the bad news -- near the end of the show, someone told me that dealer Terrance Wimberly had a $4K card stolen. I did not believe that the card was stolen because Terrance never came over to tell me about the theft. I did not learn that it truly occurred until later that night when I saw Terrance's Facebook post about the theft.
I need dealers to inform me right away. I pay an undercover police officer to work the show. I would have liked to put our officer on the trail of the thief, not only to prevent additional thefts but to take this guy out in cuffs. Terrance described the thief as a white male between 17 and 23. Another dealer, Megan Cota, said the same thief hit her table. Again, I did not learn about Megan's theft until later that night.
Attention dealers! Thieves are at the show!! If something is stolen from your table, please let me or our police officer know right away!!
Attention dealers!! Thieves are at the show!! YOU MUST KEEP ALL VALUABLE CARDS LOCKED IN YOUR DISPLAY CASE!!!
Again, I request everyone who attends the show to keep their eyes open and let me know if you see anyone commit a theft.
Terrance had an autographed Michael Jordan card stolen. Below is a picture of the stolen card. If you have any information regarding this theft, please contact me at email@example.com.
I cannot tell you how much I hate thieves. Unfortunately, they are a fact of life at card shows. All shows. I, myself, have been hit many times. It just plain sucks. We did catch a thief once at the Oak Creek show. Hopefully, we catch the Jordan thief soon!!
Yet, so many positive things happened at this past show that I don't want to dwell on the thefts. They are what they are and those that commit thefts are about as worthless as they come.
Despite these thefts, I saw hundreds of happy faces on Saturday. Folks seemed to line up to tell me how much fun they were having at the show. I was impressed by the number of people that told me they drove three, four hours or more to get to the show. Several dealers were a buzz about a guy who drove down, about five hours, from Minnesota. He stopped at all the vintage tables and pulled out some of his amazing cards to show off like a 1914 Cracker Jack Christy Mathewson and several Ty Cobb T206s. He also dropped some significant coin at the show. I was too busy walking the show, so I did not get to meet him. I hope he comes back!!
Dealer Jim C. had the story of the day. Jim told me that a customer sat at his table for quite a while pulling cards from various boxes. At one point, a kid, about 11 years old, walked up and asked Jim about a 1973 Topps Robert Clemente that Jim had in his display case. The kid asked that Jim hold the card while he goes and finds his dad.
When the kid left, the customer sitting at Jim's boxes, handed Jim the $40 for the Clemente. The kid came back, and Jim handed him the card, letting him know that an amazingly nice guy purchased it for him. The kid was ecstatic! So were his parents. So were me and Jim!!
It is easy to get down about one a-hole thief but in reality, we have hundreds of amazing people who attend this show. I can't tell you how many people came by to offer their condolences for my brother. There is a reason, I set up at shows every weekend. There are so many amazing people in this hobby. I see them in Oak Creek. I see them at every show I attend.
We have 11 more shows to go in Oak Creek for 2023. Look forward to seeing you at the February 4 show!!!
A huge thank you to all the dealers and all the customers who attended the January 7th show. You guys rule! I also have to thank my main man at the Salvation Army Mark Lewis, a true gem. I also must thank all of the Salvation Army volunteers who work the concession stand, the front door, and who set up and take down the tables, and who clean the place up after us messy card guys leave. You guys are awesome!
Below are some photos from the January 7th show....