Dealers from coast-to-coast are packing up their inventories and preparing for the 31st National Sports Collectors Convention, held for the first time ever in Baltimore.
With hundreds of booths, competition for collectors' business is fierce.
The card companies all produce wrapper redemption programs that encourage pack-buying. Wrappers are exchanged for National-exclusive card sets featuring some of the stars who may be aligned with that particular company.
While the variety of merchandise on the National floor usually means there is enough cash to go around for the dealers, a large portion of the show's tables are devoted to vintage baseball cards. Taking a few steps ahead of time to do a little marketing is one technique long-time dealers use to make sure their booth isn't forgotten.
"We have found that the National is always the biggest show of the year by far," said Scott Greenwald of New Jersey-based Just Collect Inc. "They bring in a great crowd and we look forward to it every year. That said, part of the value we offer our consignors is going the extra mile to bring in buyers, whether on eBay or offline. "
Taking a hint from major offline-retailers, Just Collect is again offering a coupon to collectors attending the National, but increasing the amount of discounts available based on the amount of each purchase. The deal offers $50 off 500 purchase, $40 off a $400 purchase, and so on down to $10 off a $100 purchase.
"The most unique part is that we encourage them to come our booth, shop and negotiate their best deal first, then produce the coupon to save additionally," Greenwald said.
The National is such an important show, coming up with marketing ideas ahead of time has become an important part of preparing for the show's five-day run.
"We have tried several promotions aimed at driving additional consignments and purchases at our booth, and last year we tested the coupon idea," Greenwald said. " It worked extremely well and drove several thousand dollars of additional sales for our consignors and Just Collect. This year, we increased the bonus savings to up to $50 per shopper, and we can't wait to see the effect."
Here's the coupon. Just print and take to the Just Collect booth (#412) at the National.