I have no specific numbers to back it up, but after walking around the show floor for another six hours today, I would say that unless you were selling vintage cards (anything pre-1977), unique older sports memorabilia, hot autograph cards or modern wax boxes at wholesale prices, you are probably not making a lot of money at this show.
I saw a lot of open spaces surrounding dealers who had autographs for sale. I saw a lot of dealers who looked like they had the same material for twenty years not doing much business.
I did not see long lines for autographs.
I saw Barry Sanders.
I saw a dealer named Barry Sanders.
I saw Jim Brown sign autographs and not mind people taking his picture.
I saw Ernie Banks treat every guest like they were his long lost cousin.
I saw one old-time dealer whose name would be recognizable to most veteran hobbyists looking like he’d rather be home in an easy chair.
I saw one dealer literally sitting in an easy chair.
I saw a lot of dealer to dealer activity (sounds kinda dirty doesn’t it?). One dealer told me that half of his business comes from other dealers rather than the public.
I saw that many dealers still don’t have a clue how to deal with the public or how to welcome visitors to their table. Come on, people. Smile or at least nod. Say hello. It won’t hurt, I promise. I saw dealers who did engage their customers doing much, much better than those who didn’t seem interested.
I saw..and held..a very cool old baseball card that made its debut at the National. You’ll read about it here soon.
I saw quite a few dealers packing up to make Saturday night flights home. I wonder if opening the doors at 9 AM and closing at 2 PM Sunday would make a difference?
I saw a lot of people who are friends of this site and hopefully they now know I appreciate it.