Morning came like a thud. The Gonzaga show starts at 8 a.m. during football season which means I gotta get up at 5 a.m. Though, I can't really complain because the earlier start brings in more customers. It gives guys plenty of time to hang out at the show then get to the bar or home to watch the day's football games. It was weird loading up by moonlight in the morning. There was also a spectacular fog going through Lake County, Illinois, as I drove north to Wisconsin. I made it to Gonzaga around 7:15 a.m. By 8 a.m. I had a crowd at my table, even though I wasn't close to finishing my set up. By the time I finished set up, the crowd was gone but left behind large amounts of empty spaces in my 1966 and 1967 Topps binders. The usual suspects bought tons of cards. Thanks guys!
I had a new customer say he came out to the show after finding my blog, which I thought was pretty cool. There were also lots of kids at the show today which was awesome. I sold quite a few vintage cards to kids from age 8 to 12. I love seeing kids at the show. Overall, my sales were pretty good as is the norm at this show.
I had a spectacular day on the buying front. I picked up a mid-grade group of 1957-58 Topps basketball. I LOOOVE the '57-58 basketball which is extremely tough to get. I probably paid more than I would have liked but like I said, these cards are just so tough to come by. About 10 or 15 are graded ranging from PSA 5 to 8. There are another 10 or so that are raw but really nice. No big stars. I'm real happy with this purchase. I have never had this many '57-58s before. I also picked up a huge group of 1976 Topps football and a small group of 1955 Bowman baseball commons.
I also turned down some cards. There is a guy who is at each one of these shows and always offers to sell me stuff but he always asks for about triple than the amount I'm willing to pay. I usually don't even look at his stuff because he is so high but he had some cool pre-war stuff that was nice to look at. Of course his price was off in the stratosphere and I didn't buy anything.
Overall, another terrific Gonzaga show. We had a large crowd. A big thank you to everyone at the Wisconsin Sports Collectors Association -- this group is made up of nothing but superstars.
As Mark Smith and I head into promoting our second Milwaukee show on Saturday, October 18, 2014, we aspire to create the same great vibe as the WSCA but with our own unique twist. I was really pleased with our first show last month and am looking forward to our second one this coming Saturday. I really like the Clarion hotel, which hosts the Smith & Gordon show.
As a new show promoter, I'm taking essentially the same approach I take as a dealer. I try to be a dealer, I myself would like to buy from. I take a ton of time to price each and every card because it always bugs me when I'm looking to buy cards and nothing is priced. I try to be reasonable in my pricing. Nobody wants to get scalped when they buy a card. So as a promoter, I'm not charging the dealers a whole lot of money for the tables. Mark and I are paying for the bulk of the room fee out of our own pockets. I want all the dealers to make money and not start the day deep in the whole with table fee. Like I said before, Mark and I had excellent sales at our first show and we want all the dealers to have great sales as well. So in addition to low table fees, we're shelling out some dough to purchase a newspaper ad in the Milwaukee Journal that ran Wednesday, October 15, 2014, in the Sports Section. The ad immediately brought in a call from a dealer who wants to set up. We had a nice turn out the first show and I'm hopeful our promoting efforts will bring even more bodies into the show.
I'm planning on reloading my 1968 Topps baseball binder for Saturday. That binder has been hit hard so it is quite a project. I'm going to hustle and get it done. I probably won't have as many tables for myself this go around because we have six additional dealers for Saturday's show. I'm going to try and get my dime box and 50-cent box out. I'll probably keep the hockey and basketball binders behind the table to give some room to some other stuff. Please note that we are in the "Mitchell Room" for this show.
In regards to our future show in the south suburbs of Chicago, we've gotten some really good feedback and will start checking into pricing and hopefully have a venue secured shortly. Stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, I hope to see everyone Saturday at the Clarion by Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee!!