by Rich Klein
Some of you may notice that in articles about box breaks I frequently mention Triple Cards and Collectibles in Plano, Texas. While there are other very fine stores in the DFW area (Nick’s Sportscards at Coit and Campbell in Richardson especially comes to mind), Triple Cards is all of five minutes from my house and thus is an easy stopping point to talk about hobby issues.
One of the nice things the owner (Al G.) has done is to host small card shows in his store. He gets some of his regulars and a couple of others to set up tables and plays host. It’s a unique concept. Not many shop owners would invite potential competition inside, but Al figures the exposure and loyalty he generates, not to mention the potential extra business, is worth it. The mini-show was back in his store on Saturday, March 12.
Since this is within a store, there is no admission cost of any sort.
Set up was nice and easy. In fact, Al allowed us to come by and set our tables up Friday night. He gets the word out via his electronic news letter, and show listings were made on Beckett.com. On top of that, I made sure to post on several different message boards to help promote the show. Al tries to cover all the bases. He even made sure that all the dealers received a Subway sandwich and chips for lunch.
I’ve been behind a table at virtually every National Sports Collectors Convention but, believe it or not, this was my first local show since I moved to Dallas in 1990. Some observations: Due to the nature of the electronic mailings, the average age of the attendees seemed to be younger than what I usually notice at a show. There were many more people with hair not turned to gray than I usually see at a show. Also, the crowd was well versed in the hobby for the most part so that was a real positive as well.
Customer traffic broke into three distinct time frames. From 10 a.m. to noon, the show was pretty jammed, and I frankly was figuring this would be an exceptional day based on the average dollar figures from the first two hours. My good friend Leon Luckey stopped in to drop off flyers about his Grand Slam Bids venture (Grandslambids.com) and to get some first hand knowledge about what even a small section of the hobby was like. Leon also bandied about the idea of finding a small location for a vintage card show at some point in the future in the DFW area.
Noon to 1 was decent but then from 1-3 I do not think one person walked in the front door. And then during the hours from 3 to 6 it was very busy again. I would have thought that after one o’clock the day was done, but instead there was a strong finishing kick, which is something again one does not usually see in “hotel” or “convention center” shows. I was satisfied with the amount of business we did. I could have executed my set up a little better, but the end result was just fine.
In addition to Leon, among the people who stopped by were Dr. Layton Revel, who is doing yeoman’s work on creating a superior Negro League Museum and Joe Bob Isbell, who played in the NFL during the 1960’s.
Personally, I love chatting with Joe Bob about cards, as he knows all about the old and the new cards and has a great memory about some of the players he faced during the 60’s. Names that we discussed as hard for him to keep up against included Eugene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb, Roger Brown and Rosey Grier, And we also talked about today’s card world as he loves busting wax and actually broke two boxes of Topps Opening Day earlier this week.
As for me, other than that quiet period, it was fun getting out and actually chatting with collectors about their issues. Back in my “dealing” days in North Jersey during the 1980’s, the talking to the collectors really helped keep my abreast of what was going on in the hobby and I strongly recommend taking the advantage to either occasionally set up or visit a card show, There is nothing more helpful in the hobby than face to face knowledge.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]