Did you know there’s a singles club at the National Sports Collectors Convention?
No, not that kind of singles club. This one can’t fulfill your request to find the soulmate of your dreams.
Unless you’re dreaming of cardboard, that is.
Three collectors from North Dakota spent the weeks leading up to the NSCC tantalizing other attendees on social media and forums with dreams of thousands of new and vintage cards–all priced at a buck (singles, get it?).
“We planned on setting up Tuesday night but we got into town with only about a half hour left in the set-up so we decided to wait until (Wednesday) morning and sort of build the suspense,” said Bray Fox, a teacher from Bismarck who operated the booth along with friends Chris Geiss and and Cody Schmidt. “When we got here we had all of the boxes closed up and there were about ten or fifteen guys lined up waiting to get in here. Finally we decided we’re just going to let ‘er rip and pull the boxes out. A couple of guys volunteered to help pull the lids off and we were just shoulder-to-shoulder inside this little booth for a while. It was pretty crazy for about two or three hours.”
With only a limited number of shows within a few hours’ drive each year, the trio decided to go all out and launch their venture at the National. By Wednesday afternoon’s official opening, they’d already sold thousands of cards, all at $1 each. Considering the cost of a booth, hotel, food, gas and meals, you have to sell a lot at that price to start turning a profit but the Singles Club guys said they were confident their promotional efforts would pay off.
“We had 20,000 autos and relics, a handful of inserts, a good chunk of vintage. It’s been good all morning but there’s still plenty of stuff left,” Fox told Sports Collectors Daily on Wednesday as the show was opening to the general public. The booth’s popularity in the opening hours made their work worthwhile.
“I’m a teacher. Cody works with finances for the State of North Dakota and Chris runs a grocery store. We all have day jobs and it’s just been a hobby but these guys have done just an excellent job collecting everything and putting it all together.”
Modern collectors grabbed dollar autographs to add to their personal team collections and while you won’t find vintage Mantle or Mays cards, there were plenty of 1960s and 70s commons,popular players, leader cards, checklists and even some Hall of Famers.
“The autos and relics have been great but the vintage has been even better. I watched one guy sit here for 45 or 50 minutes just pulling different piles out,” Fox said. “Football has been a big chunk of what we have for autos and relics. Another guy came a long and cleaned up a lot of our Broncos.”
They were hoping to buy more cards at the show to replenish their inventory and hope that, too, could be turned into…eligible singles.
“We’d love to clean out before the weekend is done.”
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