Great, great day in Orland Park. One of my best of the year!
My alarm went off at 6 a.m. I had a lot of trouble waking up. Once up, I could not find my box of Exhibits. Someone had requested the Exhibits last month. I was running late and did not have time to dig around the house. So I loaded the car with three display cases and most of my bins of binders. I left the basketball at home.
It was a pretty easy drive from the north suburbs to the south suburbs. I was on the road by 7:30 a.m. I normally like to leave by 7 a.m. I was a little worried about arriving late. Sometimes the room is crowded early on making load in a bit tricky. I arrived at the Civic Center around 8:15 a.m.
Thankfully, load in was easy. Shortly after I set everything up, customers began to leaf through my binders. My 1967 Topps baseball binder received quite a work out. I am not sure when I will load that one up again. Will purchased a big stack and brought me some coffee. Thanks Will!
Of course, the guy looking for Exhibits showed up. I'll try and get my act together for the January show and bring out Exhibits. Rick purchased a bunch of star cards and talked about some ailments. Since I talk about my health issues in this blog, a lot of guys discuss their ailments with me. Everybody needs to get their stuff checked out by a medical professional! I would not be here today if I did not see a doctor when I first started feeling ill from diabetes. Go see a doctor!
Back to happy stuff at the show. Rich, who promotes the show, hired an actor to play Santa Claus which I thought was pretty cool. Rich is a great guy and a tremendous promoter. We had a great crowd. I was concerned initially because I thought folks would be out Christmas shopping and skip the show. Apparently, everyone had finished their gift shopping because the show was packed!
I know I say this often but I am so thankful that Rich has a food vendor at the show. I never have time to eat before the show and I start to feel funky when I go without food. Man, that chilidog for breakfast was oh, so good!
Setting up next to me at this show was Andrew Weaver, who I mentioned in my last Salvation Army show blog. I enjoyed chatting with Andrew during the show. I hope everyone got to see his Ruth and Cobb autos.
A lot of guys noticed I was not at the December 8th Orland show. I just can't do two shows in a weekend any more. I do not have the stamina and try to do just one show in a weekend so I can rest one day before the workweek begins. The days where I do three shows each week are long gone!
I may skip some Orland and Gonzaga shows in 2020 on occasion to give my self a break. I need some days where I can watch closely what I eat, make sure I take my meds and keep track of my blood glucose levels. I noticed that Rich has two shows in March. I'll will skip the first one and set up at the second one.
I forgot to bring some paper so I could keep track of my sales. I had some really tremendous sales at this show. Chuck bought my Pete Maravich rookie. Thanks Chuck! I am so bad at remembering names, I had many guys purchase stacks of stuff out of the binders. Surprisingly, I did not sell any cards out of the hockey binders. I might leave those at home next month.
I cannot remember the last time I was so busy that I could not leave my tables. As much as I enjoyed the sales, I really wanted to walk around the room and see what was out there but never got the opportunity. I was very busy from start to finish. I was really happy with my sales.
On the buying front, a few guys brought some cards to my table for purchase. I picked up a nice stack of cards including a 1958 Topps Willie Mays, a 1963 Topps Hank Aaron, a 1970 Topps Willie Mays and a 1962 Topps Bart Starr.
Then there was the guy walking around with a suitcase and asked me for a price on my 1962 Topps baseball binder and my oldest hockey binder. I started to add up then 1962 binder then quit, thinking there was no way this guy was going to shell out the money for the whole binder. I threw out some numbers at him and he just smiled and walked on. Most guys who ask for a price on the whole binder don't pull the trigger. It is a real waste of my time to add up all the cards.
Lately, I have been thinking that I should not sell complete binders because of the work entailed in creating a new binder. It is always nice to get a chunk of change when a legitimate customer purchases a whole binder but it may not be worth it in the end when I factor in the work that goes into creating and updating the binders.
I am not a bulk dealer. Some guys are set up that way, not me. My bread and butter customers are the guys building vintage sets. My fantasy show is one where the only guys who show up at my tables are set builders. The guys (and gals) who buy my stuff for resale are a drag. I could do without the resellers.
After the show, Will, Joe, Paul and I went over to the sub shop to cap a great day. Paul and Will are pictured above and below. One of the main reasons I set up at the Orland show is to hang out with Paul and Will. You would be hard pressed to find two better guys!
So that was my last show of the year and certainly one of my best Orland shows of 2019. When I look back on 2019, I had a pretty great year buying and selling cards. My show at the Salvation Army has exploded. The Orland shows were fairly consistent. Gonzaga was up and down sales-wise but I really enjoy myself at that show. The National was awesome. I enjoyed the Strongsville, Ohio, show, even though my sales are slow there. I am a glutton for punishment and have signed up for the Strongsville show in April of 2020. It was fun to be back in Cincinnati this past Thanksgiving. I had been considering the March Sun-Times show but observed that it is the same weekend as Gonzaga. I would rather set up at Gonzaga than the Sun-Times. I may consider the November Sun-Times show.
My inventory grew immensely in 2019. I need to reel my addiction because I am running out of room to store all these cards!! I hope to hit a flea market this summer with my 1980's and 1990's stuff. I really need to get rid of it and free up some space! I started to put a box of junk together, as Larry Larsen suggested, but ended up filling a 5,000-count box and slapping a $30 price tag on there. Larry's method of putting out a box and letting customers fill up a lunch bag for $10 is an intriguing idea but in the end I would rather just move boxes of this stuff.
I am looking forward to another great year in 2020. I hope to add one more out of town date, maybe Pittsburgh. My first show of 2020 will be Gonzaga Hall on January 12. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, whichever holiday you celebrate, and I hope everyone has a happy new year! Thank you so much for regularly reading this blog and hanging out with me at the card shows. See you soon!