Even though I've never done a show outside of the Midwest, I still look at the schedule of shows throughout the whole country, plotting for an eventual adventure to some far off card show. I've noticed that Ohio seems to have the most shows in the country, followed closely by Illinois. Other states with a great many regular shows include New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. I'm always surprised that California and Texas don't have more shows based on the large populations of those states.
When I'm planning my show schedule, I generally look for shows close to home and the show where I know I'll make the most money. Sometimes I'll consider other factors such as how many tables are in the room, how many vintage dealers will be setting up or local events that would take customers away. The weekend of November 16-18 took some serious analysis on my part before I decided where I would set up. The Sun-Times show was slated for Rosemont, IL, that weekend -- a mere 20-minute drive from my house. There was also the Gonzaga show on November 18, which is currently my most consistent show as far as sales go. I've been setting up at the Sun-Times show for years but my sales have been down dramatically the last three years I attended. So I've been skipping the Sun-Times show for the last few years in favor of other shows and have been happy with the results. Last March, I skipped the Sun-Times in favor of Dayton and Canton, Ohio, and had great success. Last November, I skipped the Sun-Times in favor of Gonzaga and had a terrific show.
My initial thought was to skip the Sun-Times and set up at Gonzaga again. However, the Packers had a noon game scheduled and I thought the game would effect the show. After weighing all the pros and cons, I finally decided on Gonzaga. My decision was based largely on the time involved. For the Sun-Times, I would have to skip work on Friday and I'd be stuck in Rosemont for three days. For Gonzaga, it's just one day, I don't have to miss work and I have my Saturday free to spend with my family.
As luck or fate would have it, I had a terrific show and I was home by 2:30 p.m. after Gonzaga on Sunday. My success is even more astounding after I learned that yesterday (November 17) was the first day of deer hunting season in Wisconsin, so we lost some regular customers there. I'm a city kid, so hunting is foreign to me. Though, I know hunting and fishing are a big deal in Wisconsin. I even had friends on Facebook posting their kills.
Just a terrific turn out for Gonzaga today considering all the distractions. Around noon, the place cleared out. I was out the door by 1:30 p.m. with money in my pocket and a smile on my face. I'm not sure if I'll ever set up at the Sun-Times show again.
A regular got things going for me by purchasing some 1964 Topps baseball commons. Another regular customer picked up some 1973-74 Topps basketball. A new customer purchased my 1966 Topps Pete Rose. A regular picked up some 1963s and 1964s. Jim purchased some 1954 Topps commons. Jeff picked up a large pile of cards including 1968 Topps football, 1953, '54, and 1956 baseball.
A father and son team picked up some 1962 Topps baseball, along with Lou Alcindor cards from 1970-71 and 1971-72. A regular picked up some 1975 minis. Another regular purchased some 1970 Topps. A new customer purchased a bunch of 1933 Goudeys along with 1953, '54 and '55 Bowman football. A regular picked up some 1970s football. Bob picked up some 1969 Topps baseball. A new customer purchased a 1969 Topps Willie Davis. PJ finished my day by picking up a small binder of 1990s all-time greats.
On the buying front, I didn't pick up anything. I was too busy to walk around to see what the other dealers had out today. Only one guy brought cards to my table. He had a binder of old Braves and Brewers cards and his price was crazy high. He had a 1971 Topps Hank Aaron in there that was creased up and priced at $20. I'd price the same card at $5. Unfortunately, I watched another dealer buy the binder. Some dealers at Gonzaga focus on Braves and Brewers and probably overpay sometimes to keep up their inventory. This was just a bad deal.
The live auction was really busy today. I was too focused on the action at my table to observe much of what was happening at the auction. However, I did hear an announcement that at the December 16 show they will be auctioning a Babe Ruth autograph. That should be interesting. I also just learned that Johnny Logan will be signing autographs at the December 16 show.
I'm still behind on my blogs. I hope to get the November 24 Orland blog posted soon. Next week, I'm back at Orland on December 9. I just finished reloading some 1974-75 Topps basketball and am working on 1972 baseball. I'll also have a nice new grouping of star cards for my display cases. Stop in and pick up the perfect Christmas gift for the vintage sports card collector in your family. Have a great week everybody!!