I’ve been trying hard not to buy a lot of cards. Mostly now I might buy a pack or two, just to get a sense of the designs the companies have been using. Sometimes, I might see something on eBay that catches my eye, but for the most part, I’ve cut back quite a bit. That doesn’t mean that I can control myself at card shows. Even hearing that there was a card show (from a local Raleigh dealer) meant that I was going to have to go.
It was April 3rd, a special one day only card show on the NC state Fairgrounds. I had actually forgotten about it, but Tony from cardsbythebox had sent out an email reminder to NC resident through Sports Card Forums. So I set out on Saturday over to Raleigh with a small cache of cash $25 and wanting to meet other fellow collectors.
Of course, knowing that every dollar would count, I downloaded the dollar off coupon. I live about a half hour from the fairgrounds, so I put on the local sports talk radio station and cruised to the show. About half way there I heard that the station was giving away tickets to that night’s hockey game between the Hurricanes and the Devils. Being a NJ Devil fan, and a fan of free tickets, I made a detour and picked up two free tickets to the game. Feeling great after that I called Mrs. Chemgod and told her that we were going to see Brodeur tonight, and she was equally as excited.
Got to the show, and man there were tons of cars in the lot. Too bad it wasn’t for the baseball card show, because that was dead. Paid my four bucks to get in ($21 left), went in and spoke to Tony for a few minutes, felt bad that I didn’t have the cash to buy anything from him, but with 21 bucks I just wanted to pick up some singles. Now I got there around two and the show ended at five. I figured, one day show, go late a score some deals.
Hit the first table and the guy had a 3 for $5 box. If I played by the rules, I could get 12 cards and have a dollar left over. I’m cheap though and thought I could push it, so I tried for a 4 for $5. Picked out what I thought were some cool game used and autos and asked for the deal. No dice, not even willing to budge. So I put all the cards back in the box and told him to have a nice day. I needed value for my dollars.
I hit a few more tables and more no negotiating policies. What’s up with that? It’s a card show it’s all about negotiating. I was really kind of bummed as I turned down the last aisle. Then I saw stacks upon stacks of cards and asked for the cheap stack, he gave me the five dollar a card pile. I found three, Charlie Whitehurst rookie autograph, Sheldon Williams Bowman Chrome rookie auto, and James Hardy patch auto. I asked, if he could do 3 for 9. He said, for those, sure. So now I’m down to $12 and I want some cool patch cards. Two dealers down, I see a table with tons of patch cards on it. I ask how much, he says cheap (music to my ears). Most of the stuff is basketball, and I’m not really into basketball, but I do like some of the Atlanta Hawks players (Josh Childress and Josh Smith). I found one of each with nice patches and the Childress was autographed to boot! Found one more card in a Michael Crabtree triple relic, patch, ball, patch card. He wanted 15 for the 3. I opened my wallet and said I had 12. He said deal.
Here is a picture of the six cards I picked up:
So not too bad, about $3.50 a card. It was fun to go to a show with limited funds, it really made me try and stretch them as far as I could without being too much as a douche. Although these are far from Hall of Famers, I have seen everyone of them in action and I am a fan of all of them. We went to the hockey game that night and cheered on the Devils (in a sea of Huricanes fans) to victory. Brodeur was just awesome and the Parise and Kolvulchuk combos was just too much (3-0 Devils). Marty registers another shutout and the Hurricanes were mathematically eliminated.
So, how did I do?