A couple of items came up between reading message boards and the show I did last weekend that I thought were worth noting and eliciting your reactions as readers of the column.
Since I like the interpersonal aspects of the hobby and try to be fair to all concerned I price all my cards (or about 98 percent of them). There are a few cards which Beckett does not price, usually because of scarcity and on those I put ‘make offer’ and a code on the back which equals about what the eBay BIN average is for similar cards. The reason I price cards is because I like everyone starting at the same point.
A collector thought pricing cards would be a tedious and time-consuming thing to do but I explained that with the on-line Beckett guide it was really a breeze. I tested myself this morning, and while most of the cards I was pricing were easy to identify, I did 34 cards in less than 10 minutes.
Most of the dealers had their cards priced at last weekend’s show. And yes, if you have cards in a box and say all cards in this row are $1 or 50 cents each etc,. that counts as being priced. To me, not having cards priced at all takes away from sales. Who wants to ask “how much is this one” over and over? Do dealers at your local show do a good job of pricing?
Someone else asked on a message board about dealers taking credit cards at these shows. I do not have credit card capability but do have Paypal and anyone who wants to pay that way is always welcome. With fewer people carrying checkbooks, an alternative method beyond cash is important. How do you like to pay?
Then there was the person who asked about a bad card shop experience. This poster said the owner refused to even even look at cards they had brought in to sell. The shop owner was upset because he felt the cards had been purchased at a nearby retail outlet. The line is “you bought those cards at Walmart, now take those cards back there to sell.” I understand the store owner’s frustration but frankly to me that was always a bit of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
I remember when I co-owned a store for a short time before moving to Beckett and one day a person came in with some old football programs. I think I gave him $150 and when I sat down to really look through the lot, there was a 1958 NFL Championship game program in there. I ended up selling that to Tom Reid after giving him some grief but if had an attitude with customers who came in looking to sell, I never would have had the chance to buy some great stuff like that.
If you think you can make money on what a collector brings in, you should always look for the profit opportunity. If someone found a popular 1/1 autograph in a retail Allen and Ginter box and then brought that card into my store, wouldn’t you want to buy it if you thought you could turn a profit?
What are some of your biggest issues with dealers at shows or stores? How about shop owners? What’s your take? I’d love to hear your comments on this. My email is at the bottom of this column.