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Sunday, April 5, 2015

April 4, 2015 Card Show Recap

1949 Bowman Bobby Doerr that I picked up for $14.00
I set up at my first show in years at yesterday's Sports Cards and Memorabilia show in Raleigh, NC.  I hadn't set up at one in so long because I kept telling myself that I didn't have enough to sell that would sustain the costs of the tables and gas, etc to get to the show.  I finally took a look around, and with the encouragement of a few of the ladies I work with, I made the decision to try the one-day Easter show, since the table fees were pretty cheap.
1948 Bowman Enos Slaughter that I needed for my set.
I was off of work for Good Friday, so I planned to spend the day preparing for the show.  Much unlike how I was in college, I actually planned ahead and didn't save all of the work for the last minute, as I worked all week in organizing and sorting cards so I could spend Friday pricing stuff up.  I also spent Friday putting the final touches on my different boxes of stuff so I could get up and go early Saturday morning.
1948 Bowman Whitey Lockman for my set.
I originally had planned on getting a hotel room in Raleigh, Friday night so my wife, son and I could get up early and head over to the State Fairgrounds to set up, but I got a message early in the week that my brother, Philip, wanted to come with me to the show.  This actually helped me out tremendously, since he couldn't get here until late Friday evening, he saved me money on the hotel.  It also helped, since my wife was called in to sub for someone at work, so Philip immediately was thrust into an "Assistant" role.  His help proved invaluable yesterday.
1959 Topps Ken Boyer All Star card for my set.
I also made a deal with one of the guys I talk to from Instagram, Jacob, that would allow him to set up and sell a few of his cards at a corner of my tables.  Jacob and his family came into the show about two hours after it opened and hung out with us for a few hours.  He didn't have much luck in selling stuff, but he seemingly enjoyed himself and left the show with a few nice pickups.  I feel bad for his parents, though, as I think they weren't really sure what they were getting into but hanging out for hours at a card show.  I hope they weren't too bored.
1959 Topps Ken Boyer for my set
The overall attendance of the show was WAY down, according to the show's promoter.  During the slow times, Philip and I would converse about various baseball topics (and other stuff that I won't repeat) and I would also wander around the show, looking for deals.
1959 Topps Roy Face for my set
The biggest hit for my table was my stack of Orioles ALCS rally towels.  For $5 a piece, they almost single-handedly funded my tables.  I got a lot of compliments on them, and I think, had it been a 2-day show, I would have made a lot more money.
1959 Topps Al Kaline All Star card for my set
The folks who came by my tables were definitely entertained when they stopped to browse my boxes.  Philip did a great job of engaging each "customer" and chatted with quite a few of them, especially if they brought up football.  There were a few that stood there and talked to him for 10-15 minutes, and they each bought stuff in the end as well.  I think Philip enjoyed getting out of town and hanging out.  He does like to talk to folks, and when football (or sports in general, really) comes up, he lights up!
1959 Topps Dodgers Team Card for the set.
During some of the down time (of which there was plenty), I was able to find some cards for my various sets that I have been working on.  I found two of the last remaining cards for my 1948 Bowman set.  I was fully prepared to buy all of the cards I needed to complete it, but wasn't lucky enough to find a vendor who had all of them.
1969 Topps Rod Carew All Star for the set
I was able to pick up cards for quite a few sets, which was nice.  In all, I got 4 cards for the 1969 Topps set; 5 cards for the 1959 set and two cards for the 1948 Bowman set.  Not bad.
1969 Topps Carl Yastrzemski All Star card for my set.
The cards I got for my 1969 set may be some of the more significant of the cards I picked up.  I didn't really have the time to sit and search any of the bargain boxes, since I had to keep a constant watch on my tables.  I had help, with Philip there, but I didn't want to make it seem like I dumped on him while I took off to search for stuff.  He was really helpful when I got up to walk around, and even sold a few things, which really helped.
1969 Topps Johnny Bench All Star card for my set.
Each 1969 card that I picked up was of a Hall of Famer, so those kind of dented my budget quite a bit, but they were easy to spot on various tables, so I could snatch them up quickly and not have to sit and dig through boxes.
1969 Topps Lou Brock for the set
The 1959 Topps were bigger names and high number All Star cards that I needed, so getting those 5 out of the way was nice.  My nicest vintage find, however, is the 1949 Bowman Bobby Doerr that I have posted at the beginning of this post.
2013 Topps Emerald Parallel of Yoenis Cespedes for the set
I even found a 2013 Topps Emerald for that languishing set.  It was a bigger card in the set, the Cespedes, and I got it for $1.00.  I was a little disappointed that I didn't see more stuff that really jumped out at me, like in past shows.  I felt like some of the regular vendors that I buy from weren't there, even though the tables were sold out.
2011 Bowman Chrome Paul Goldschmidt that I picked up for trade
I passed out quite a few of my blog business cards to some folks that came by my tables.  Philip also was a great spokesman for the blog, as he would talk it up to the people who came by.  I was glad he did, because I usually am too modest and just hand out the business card, but he talked up the blog and even recommended it to a couple folks who said that their kids were just getting started in collecting.  I wonder if the business cards are successful in bringing traffic to the blog?  I hope a couple of the folks we talked to check it out and become regular followers.
I did find a few cool things at the show that didn't involve completing sets.  I got this nice Jimmie Foxx manufactured patch card for my Foxx PC.

Also, there was a guy there trying to sell a signed baseball by Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Connie Mack and others.  I overheard him telling someone that Ruth was on the ball, and since Chris was with me, I had him ask the guy if he could see the Ruth auto.  He obliged and let us take a look.  That was something really cool for Chris to see.
Toward the end of the show, a young man, probably 14 or 15, I'm guessing, came by and asked if I would be interested in buying from him.  He had a real nice binder of stuff, and he and I chatted a bit while I looked through it.  Well, I chatted.  I think the guy was nervous, shy, or both, because he didn't say much.  I imagine it was both, because I have seen how some of the vendors at certain shows treat kids who bring stuff in for sale or trade.  Some of them act like they can't be bothered and can be kind of rude to these kids who are proud of their collections.  I try my best to be friendly, engaging and respectful to everyone who comes by, regardless of age.  As it turned out, the young man had some really nice stuff, and was really reasonable with his prices.  I picked up the above David Ortiz patch card for my friend, Joey, since I knew he would love it.  I hope the young man left my tables happy, because he seemed really friendly, and I hope he had a good experience at the show.
I did manage to get some steals as well.  One vendor that I bought a couple 1969s from had this Chris Davis jumbo relic card for $3.00.  You know I had to pick it up for that price.  I think I have one already, but I wasn't going to turn this one down at that price.
Overall, I had a good experience at the show.  I was disappointed that attendance was down, but I sold just enough stuff to break even on my tables.  Since a bulk of what I sold was rally towels, I still have quite a bit of inventory available for the upcoming June show.  I am highly likely to set up at that show as well.  As long as I can keep and maintain a reasonable inventory, without it becoming cumbersome, I might continue to set up.

I hope Philip had a good time.  He seemed to.  It was nice hanging out with my big brother, and I think he enjoyed getting out of town.  I'm really hopeful that some of the folks we talked to will check out my blog, using the business cards that I handed out.

It was really cool meeting fellow instagrammer, Jacob.  I know he left happy, so that's all that matters.

Thanks for checking out this really long post.  I had a good time, and I know that the next show will be even more successful.
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