For the first time in several months, I was able to set up at the Dallas Card Show. I’ve been chronicling this small event for a couple of years now, as the promoters try to establish a successful local show. The show’s location was moved to the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites in Dallas this summer after the people who ran the Craig Ranch meeting facility decided to use the space for resident programs only. I understand, but it would have been nice to at least let us finish the 2013 calendar year before we had to move. Having said that, I have been informed that we may still be able to use that location for 1-2 shows per year.
On Saturday October 12, we headed to our new location and I frankly was concerned because there is significant construction in the area and the Oklahoma-Texas Red River Rivalry football game was going on that afternoon. Having grown up in the New York Metropolitan area the only game even close in importance to that when I was growing up was Harvard/Yale in the days when Ivy League football actually mattered. Although the DFW area is the fifth largest media market in the country, one is always concerned when there is an important sporting event that day. I will say one perk of the Craig Ranch location I knew I would miss was the TV that was always tuned to sports during the show.
One other aspect which worried me was I had sold a ton of my modern autograph and cheap jersey cards and thus almost all my higher dollar sales would have to be in vintage cards which is sometimes an iffy proposition, depending on the crowd.
Moving to a hotel did have its advantages including those big bellman carts to carry in your boxes. It had been at least 20 years since I used one and those. It made for an easy carry in and carry out. I was done with bringing in my cards in only two trips which certainly made life better and so did the fresh coffee and muffins that were provided.
One thing we had to deal with right off the bat is that the hotel had set up for 12 tables where the contract said 20 so there had to be a lot of adjustments on the fly.
However, imagine my surprise when at 9:15 I looked outside the room and there were at least ten people waiting to enter. Yes, there was pent-up demand for a card show– even a small one. When collectors started coming in, most of them spent money. There was a pretty steady flow the whole day. When I had easily covered my table rates by 10:15 I knew I was in for a good day. I sold a bunch of 1941 Play Balls. 1953 Bowman Black and Whites and even wholesaled a large grouping of off-quality pre-1953 Bowman cards.
In addition to that I also traded some of my vintage cards for many autograph cards and thus are starting the rebuild my inventory on certified signed cards.
One other aspect I found interesting was discovering that there is some love for the new Topps Chipz product. I sold every one I had in those but no one purchased any of the Qubi or the Big-League Minis. I think the price point makes a big difference as most of the Chipz book in the $1-5 range while the others book at the $3-12 range.
Other items I traded for included an American Caramel Fred Tenney card, some 1961-62 Fleer Basketball cards and some Topps Commemorative Patch cards.
I also came home with two less boxes and at $1500 in my value of cards in trades (or purchases). As I was leaving I did ask the promoter about future shows and he did mention that he is targeting a date in early December and I hope he can build this back up to go monthly just as we were in Craig Ranch.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]