Rich’s Ramblings: Back to the Card Show

by Rich Klein

About two weeks after the Mother’s Day debacle run by GTSM I attended another baseball card show in the DFW area. To be honest, this one I knew in advance would strive to be mediocre at best and awful at the worst.

A little background is needed here. Last summer, before I began these Ramblings about topics other than trips down memory lane, this promoter’s show was closed by the hotel literally five to ten minutes after I arrived.

Yes, the last time I attended a show run by JMV Enterprises, the show was closed before noon after the promoters credit card was declined by hotel management.  Here’s what I posted about this event on the Net 54 message board.

When I saw the promoter’s promotional email arrive in my mail box last week, I realized the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend would be a good time to see if things had improved.

Well,  this show was a little better than the previous show. At least for the half hour while I was there, it remained open!  In addition, other aspects the promoter did correct were to have have decent signage in front of the hotel and contacting people on his mailing list to let them know about it.   The promoter does take advantage of many free ways to get the word out such as Craig’s List. In addition, sites as did list the show.

Now for what the promoter did not do correctly. The show has $2 admission which is certainly his right. However, when I hand a $5 bill over, I expect $3 in singles back. Instead I was shocked to hear these words: “Do you mind if I give you silver for the third dollar?” Say what?  Please tell me why you don’t have at last 20-30 singles to start the day.

The second thing the promoter did wrong was this:  When I walked in,  he said “Due to low dealer turnout, we will not be able to honor the $50 door prize, instead it will be a $25 door prize.”   I counted 5-6 dealers using about 10-12 tables. The empty tables far outnumbered the occupied tables. Still, if you announce a $50 door prize, you should honor your commitment.

In addition, the promoter offered an “early bird” admission of $5 from 10-11 a.m.  Why bother?  All you are doing with that is reducing the time the vendors have to sell and anyone who sees the floor will tell you with one look there’s no need to get in early.  Why bother with the high early bird admission?   Why not make it a $2 charge for the first hour and $1 for the rest of the day?  It would be a better fit for the amount of dealers you have.

Here are some tips presented free of charge that may assist the promoter in getting more tables sold and also more people to attend. The first would be to reduce the table fees to $25 per table. If six tables were sold at $50 each versus 12 at $25 each, the dollars brought in would  be the same but there would be more money in the room among the dealers. And since many shows, even this level, are dealer to dealer, that means everyone from the collectors to the dealers would come out ahead. And with more dealers, more people might even attend once word spreads that the show is worth attending. And at that price level of $25 per table, I might even set up a booth.  At that price the comic relief would be much easier to take.

Well JMV, I can’t wait till the next time you arrive in the DFW area and I do hope you listen or are forwarded these suggestions. No one wants good shows 10 minutes from his house more than I do. As I have said before, there is a decent enough small local show in Allen, TX the third Saturday of each month but there is always room for more shows and stores.   What did I buy?  There wasn’t a lot to choose from but I spent all of $2 on some Topps gold minor stars so I could at least come away with a few cards for my efforts.

Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]