As a person who has been involved with shows for nearly four decades now as a collector, a customer, a dealer and now a promoter the whole process interests me very much. However, I recently saw a thread on one of the hobby message boards which was a subject we have never discussed.
The thread involved a promoter receiving a complaint from one of his dealers. The gist of the complaint was: “You allow a guy to take multiple tables with nothing but quarter cards for sale and the people who spend all day at his tables are hurting both your show and myself as a dealer.”
Well, the first answer as a promoter is my primary job is to sell the tables in the show. If someone wants to take four or five tables at each show and sell nothing but quarter cards, they are perfectly welcome to do so. In fact, at our show at the Southfork, almost every dealer has some variation of the quarter box at their table.
Our dealer who set up for the first time at the show had enough room to put out his 10 cent boxes while other vendors have 25 cent or dollar boxes and one seller had cards in various grouping from $2 and up. Since each table had those cards I don’t think there is a real issue with that pricing.
As for the dealer’s complaint about how his business was taken away, I can’t say I understand it. One of the joys of coming to a show is uncovering some hidden gems or needed cards for less than buck or two. That’s a given. I will say if I have one dealer with all those boxes at a small show, I probably do need to be careful not to have a second dealer with nothing but those quarter type cards. In a reasonably small show like ours, that can cause a major overload. If you’re a buyer looking for star cards, boxes or memorabilia, the appeal of the show isn’t great if it’s just boxes of cheap cards. Aside from that, though, as we’ve discussed, smart dealers find ways to reach local collectors and let them know they’ll be set up. Don’t rely entirely on the promoter and don’t worry about what others are selling.
In addition, our non-profit show at Adat Chaverim would have less of an issue as we limit our dealer tables to a maximum of two per dealer. That way, no one type of merchandise can dominate the room. But again, the most important aspect is to sell the tables. My primary responsibility as a promoter is to promote the show, sell the tables and bring in collectors. If I succeed on all three, we’re good to go.
I also visited Nick’s Sports Cards last weekend as he and Debbie are gracious enough to allow us to put flyers for our non-profit show out in their store. In addition, to learning a ton about the hobby as always I saw some nice cards being bought and enjoyed observing the activity in the shop. One nice young lady purchased a Pete Rose rookie as a Valentine’s Day gift for her significant other. Nick made sure to double check the card measurement and even upgraded the holder to make the gift more appealing.
During the conversation he mentioned there are three cards he can never keep in stock: Rose RC, Joe Namath RC and Walter Payton RC. The young lady mentioned she had earlier bought the last Payton rookie Nick had. Hopefully her guy realizes what a catch she is for seeking out those great cards for him.
And on one final note: Our show with free Lindy McDaniel autographs was a hit last month and we are pleased to announce Michael Downs, star Dallas Cowboys defensive back of the 1980s, will be our guest on April 18th at Southfork Hotel. We’ll again have one free autograph with a paid admission. There will be a small charge for extra autographs. It’s always great to have an ‘added attraction’ and give folks another reason to come. There are former players out there in all sports who will sign autographs for a relatively nominal fee. I think it’s worth the effort if you have the opportunity at your local show.