Today I went to the local card show. I go every time its in town, mainly because there are almost no local card shops around me in Durham. However I also go because I want to support the hobby community. Lately though I’ve had limited funds to go to these shows. So when I told my wife that it sucks that I have to pay $5 to even walk through the door, she asked why they even charge? She asked why is their an entrance fee if the promoter charges the dealers. I thought about it and decided to run some numbers:
- Promoter charges $75 per table and there are 175 tables (all were filled) = $13,125
- Rental for the building is $2000 per day (figure comes off of their website), 2 days = $4000
- Entry fee is $5 for adults (nearly 150 when I got there) and kids under 15 are free. = $750, $1000 by the end of the weekend.
Just from that I’m seeing that is still $10,125, now there are things I am not including like promoting the show, food at the snack bar (although they don’t lose money on that end). In short, I want to be a card promoter! He has to clear close to $10,000 a show. Now throw in the fact that were are 11 shows a year and it’s a pretty good home based job. The whole point of this crazy post is why the hell charge the patron five bucks to get in when you are already charging 75 bucks to the vendors. The vendors should also be pissed because it’s potential money being pulled out of their wallets.
On to the next gripe, dealers. Now this was a toy and sports card show, so I don’t know how the toy dealers were, but the card dealers, holy cow they don’t understand the idea of negotiating. Out of the 30+ dealers that were there for the sports card part of the show, TWO were willing to deal, and guess what? Those were the only two I got cards from. Almost every dealer insisted on using the book value for pricing. I freaking hate this, especially since no one there even knows that the values in the book mean. High value is retail, low value is wholesale price. At a show, throw out the high value and start negotiating with the low value. If you think I’m wrong go to eBay and check it out.
I would dig though the $3 autograph and jersey box, find 5 or 6 I want and ask for a dollar off per card. Nope! Each time I would put back the cards and and thank them while walking away. I’m sorry but you have to be willing to negotiate if someone buys a few cards from the shit box. Or how about the guy who has a 2007 Just minors box for $40, I offered $30, he didn’t counter. I’ve seen these go for $35 on eBay and I was willing to even to go $35, but no negotiations, come on. If you are ever going to be a dealer at a show follow these rules:
- Cards behind the glass are your most expensive and negotiations are minimal.
- Put prices on the cards – ALL OF THE CARDS! I can’t tell you how sick I get asking dealers, how much for . .
- If you have a one, two or five dollar bin, offer discounts for volume purchases.
- Just because a card is graded does not mean it’s worth twice as much. I can’t tell you how many cut autograph cards were graded and were marked up waaaay to much.
My final gripe goes out the JSA authentication, who was at the show. Just because I walk up to your booth and don’t have cards for you to grade, doesn’t mean you should shove me off with one answer words to questions. Of course he perked up when I told him my order might be over one hundred cards, but it was too late, they pissed me off, there is no way I will EVER get anything authenticated by them. Note to JSA Authentications, treat every person like they could be a big customer.
Other than that, I did get some great cards and I will post them up on Monday. Thanks in advance for reading my gripes had to get them off my chest.