The number of mall shows and larger, convention shows have literally been cut in half in the Bay Area. But that's only part of the issue. The number of card vendors is dwindling too.
This past weekend I went to the Serramonte Mall Sports Cards, Toys, and Collectibles Show and was shocked at the number of vendors set up. This show is usually packed with tons of cool items and even when I don't intend on purchasing stuff, it's fun just to walk around and see unique, out of the ordinary collectibles. If I were to guess, I'd say that there were 10 to 20% less vendors set up than back in January.
My buddy thinks it has to do with the construction going on. Hopefully he's right, because if this pattern continues then I'm not sure if it's worth me making the hour drive each way.
Okay... enough of me being a Negative Nancy. Let's talk about cards and collectibles. My buddy gave me half of his table space, so I set up at my very first card show.
It was like killing two birds with one stone. I was able to clean out my garage of stuff I have accumulated over the years at the flea market, while putting a few dollars in my pocket. At the end of the day, I made just enough money to pay for my food and cover the cost of my show purchases. Oh... and my leftovers? I traded it.
Since I had no intentions of coming back on Sunday, my buddy traded me a signed Tom Glavine baseball and an Anderson Silva signed glove for all of my remaining inventory.
He definitely got the better end of the deal in terms of value, but that's okay. He needed to restock his inventory and the bottom line is I didn't have to pack up my items and store them in my garage.
As for my purchases, I didn't find a lot of stuff to buy. I was hoping to pick up a few cheap 80's oddball boxes, maybe some discounted sets from the 80's and 90's, and possibly dig through a few dime boxes.
Unfortunately I didn't find any of those items, but I managed to find some quarter bins that were loaded with 90's inserts and parallels.
Purchase #1: Ninety-Two Sports Cards $23
Here's a closer look at some of my favorites...
Tony Gwynn Inserts and Parallels
Greg Maddux Inserts and Parallels
Frank Thomas Inserts and Parallels
Baseball Inserts and Parallels
Football Inserts and Parallels
There were a bunch of hidden gems in the stack, including a few that sell in the twenty dollar range on eBay. I'll probably just hold onto them though... since life is way too busy to list things right now.
My only other purchase came from another buddy who set up at the show...
Purchase #2: Handful of Autographs $25
Ron Ferdinand Signed Sketch
I didn't really intend on spending anymore money, but I noticed this cool Dennis the Menace sketch sitting on my friend's table. It's drawn on one of those first day of issue caches. Ferdinand was one of the two guys who took over the comic strip in the mid 90's when the creator, Hank Ketcham retired.
My friend also had this sketch sitting in a frame...
I was definitely interested in both, so I told him to set them aside. He proceeded to show me a bunch of TTM's that he has received over the past few months. Most of them were TV stars I hadn't heard of, but I was intrigued by this...
Jeb Bush Signed Cache
It's another one of those first day covers signed by Barbara's son. The problem with TTM's is that you never know who really signed it. However he offered to throw it in if I picked up the two Ferdinands, so I took him up on the deal.
We settled on $25, which I considered to be fair since I'm taking a chance on the Bush. Next year, I'll take it and have PSA take a look at it. Hopefully it will pass.
Being a dealer at a show kinda sucks if you're by yourself, because you don't want to leave your stuff unattended while buying food or using the restroom. In this case, my buddy was craving Starbucks. He offered to buy, if I went and picked them up. When I got back, he threw in this cool figure signed by David Foox.
At the end of the day, I walked away feeling pretty good. The dwindling number of dealers and card shows as a whole kind of bummed me out, but the fact that I was able to dump all of the stuff I brought definitely made up for it.
And as soon as my buddy delivers my ball and glove... I'll be even happier.
What about you guys? Compared to a few years ago...
Are the number of card shows in your are on the rise, decline, or have they stayed the same over the past few years?
Happy Tuesday and sayonara!