30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Card Show Pet Peeves

I love attending card shows.  If it were up to me, there would be a local card show in my area every weekend like back in the early 90's.  It's not just about spending money and adding cards to my collection... it's the camaraderie among collectors and the discussions we have about our hobby.

With that being said... nothing in life is perfect.  There are always going to be things that potentially annoy me whenever I attend a show.  Today, I'm going to share a few of these things with you.

However before I do... let's preface things by stating that I fully understand that we as collectors have the right to our own opinion... and what I'm about to write is my opinion... not God's written rule.  Since we live in a democracy... I encourage you to leave your opinions down in the comment section below.

So without further ado... let's get to my card show bickering...

Card Show Pet Peeve #1:  Unrealistic Prices

Yes, I understand that dealers have the right to price cards as high or low as they want.  They are in fact... their cards.  But I have the right to feel annoyed.

Purchase #5:  1983 Topps Billy Martin $40

One of my friends has recently entered the highend cardboard market and had a very impressive display case with things like Hank Aaron and Sandy Koufax autographs.  Due to a tight budget, I wasn't really interested in any of those.  But I was interested in this:

Unfortunately... my buddy's asking price was $200, which is completely and utterly ridiculous.  I offered him $40 which made him laugh.  I explained that I had picked up my other Billy Martin autograph, which is PSA/DNA slabbed for under $40 off of eBay and that he wouldn't have to pay any PayPal or eBay fees like the other guy.  He dropped it down to $100 and I told him I'd come back in a little while.

Fast forward four or five hours and four or five trips to his table... and he finally accepted my fair and reasonable offer.  I realize that the average person probably wouldn't pay $40 for this card... but growing up in the Bay Area, the Billy Ball Era was a major piece of my childhood.

Card Show Pet Peeve #2:  Unpriced Cards

One of my biggest pet peeves are dealers who don't label their cards or boxes with prices.  Sometimes I walk away.  Other times I'll find a card and immediately ask them, "how much?" to gauge whether or not it's worth my time to dig through their box.

Purchase #6:  Unpriced Cards $8

While glancing over this guy's table, I noticed this 2002 UD Vintage Aces Ferguson Jenkins sitting at the front of a shoebox.  I'm a huge fan of the 1971 Topps design and relic cards of old school players, so I asked him how much he was asking.  He responded "that's my dollar box"... which made it worth my while.  I'm guessing he'd get more customers to stop and look through his boxes if he just labeled the box "Dollar Box".

Anyways... I'm glad I stopped to ask, because I found a really cool card for my Japanese PC.  The card in the bottom right corner is a Goodwin Champions jersey card of hockey phenom Aito Iguchi, who just might be the next Wayne Gretzky.  Realistically... we'll probably never hear about this kid again... but it's still a cheap cool card for my collection.

Card Show Pet Peeve #4:  Intrusive Collectors

I know I mentioned camaraderie at the beginning of this post, but if I had to pick between standing next to an annoying collector who lacks common sense and fails to respect personal space or be alone... I'll choose the latter.

Purchase #7:  Josh Gibson Seat Relic $5

The guy with the unlabeled dollar bin also had an unlabeled $5 bin as well.  That's where I found this 2005 Bowman Heritage Pieces of Greatness seat relic of Josh Gibson.  I was pretty excited when I found it in the box, because Gibson is one of those legendary Negro League players who passed away decades before I was born.

The guy standing next to me got excited too.  When I set the card down off to the side and picked up the next stack of cards, he immediately asked if I was going to buy the card.  I said "yes" and continued to flip through the cards.

What came next made me feel like I was being set up by Ashton Kutcher and his Punk'd crew, because it seemed way too surreal.

The guy took out his phone, looked up the card on eBay, and showed me and the vendor a completed listing that went for over $25 last month.  Who the heck does that?  This might be the single most annoying moment on my personal card show timeline.  Thankfully the vendor responded "looks like you found yourself a deal" instead of upping his price... otherwise I might have had a few choice words for the guy standing next to me.

Card Show Pet Peeve #4:  Signed Mini-Helmets of NFL Hall of Famers for $20

Yeah right.  Who doesn't like JSA and Tristar certified autographed helmets for the price of the helmet itself?

Purchase #8:  Jackie Slater Helmet $20

Jackie Slater's twenty season career mostly took place during my childhood, which was a time in my life where I mostly cared about quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and the occasional linebacker or hard hitting safety.  Offensive linemen were barely on my radar along with punters and kickers.  But Slater wasn't just your average linemen, he was one of the greatest in his era and his signature is well worth the twenty dollars I dropped on this helmet.

Okay... that enough ranting and raving.

Do you have any card show pet peeves?  Any Ashon Kutcher Punk'd moments?

Feel free to entertain us down below in the comment section.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!


  1. Unclean collectors is my biggest pet peeve. It's close quarters at card shows, so please practice appropriate personal hygeine before attending. Thank you.

  2. I dont like guys that set up at shows but are never at there table

  3. Agree with the overpriced cards. I can never buy Ryan Howard cards at my local shows cause they are all way over ebay, not even in the ballpark.

  4. Dealers who notice you're wearing a hat or shirt with an MLB (or whatever) team logo on it and immediately begin their sales pitch about having cards of so and so without even asking what (or who) you're looking for. Don't assume, Mr. Card Dealer.

  5. I'll never understand the grumpy vendors. Sure, everyone's entitled to a bad day, but when you run into the same guy at shows and it always seems like he's doing you a favor by letting you buy his cards. I'm going to a show on Sunday and I know "that guy" will be there.

  6. Card show pet peeves:

    1. No prices; 2. No prices; 3. No prices; 4. No prices; 5. No prices; 6. No prices; 7. No prices; 8. All the dealers packing up early; 9. No prices; 10. No prices.

  7. Unpriced cards are really bad, but if they will tell you a price, that's still not too bad. The worst is when I ask you how much stuff is and you say "Just pull out what you want and then we'll talk about the price," I know I'm not getting much of a bargain.

    Disorganized displays, or ones where the cards are all mixed up and require me to do a lot of looking on my own better be cheap. I don't want to do the digging AND pay top-dollar.

  8. Fuji, I can't disagree with any of the your peeves listed. The no prices on items is a big one for me, especially if I can see a Beckett sitting in front of the seller, which almost always means that's where the prices are going to be coming from. I'm also in full agreement with Jim when it comes to the personal hygiene factor. Another thing that really bugs me, and I will apologize in advance for the crassness, is when people break wind next to me or when there walking behind me. This seems to happen at every single show I attend, and honestly I wouldn't mind, if there wasn't any smell associated with it. But when it produces the aroma equivalent to that of a dirty diaper cooking in the hot sun (which seems to always be the case)...that's when it irks me.

    On a more pleasant note, your Billy Martin autograph and Josh Gibson seat relic are both really fantastic cards.

  9. Wow, can't believe the other collector looked up the card in front of you on his phone. What a butthead.

  10. I agree with the Lost Collector. What a jerk. You should've had words with him anyways.
    I've never went to a card show, but I think the outrageous prices and attendees that chat too much or got too close would be on my list.

  11. Pet Peeve #4a - Kids (or other collectors that should know better) who start looking through the same box you're in (usually the ones you haven't got to yet) without asking.

    Pricing is a necessity - I'll pick a few plain cards and ask "what do I have so far?" to gauge pricing. Then I'll either stop or be able to keep pulling.

    Peeve #5 is dealers who jump on you and ask "What are you looking for?", and then point out their boxes of rookies, shiny, or other things I'm never interested in. I can't answer that question very well, since I'd be looking for set singles, player colletions, team collection singles, or inserts, so it depends on what they have and how their priced. Too much information to exchange to an aggressive salesman. God bless 'em for wanting to make sales, but let me browse for a minute, please!

    Peeve #6 - Dealers who charge $1 or more for otherwise 5¢ commons of the local area teams. Hometown inflation sucks.

  12. I would say the guys who have unrealistic pricing or horrible negotiating skills.

    Btw, those cards are pretty sweet you had picked up!

  13. Mine would have to be those that price their cards too high. At the Chantilly show I would see a good handful of dealers with the same inventory because it was priced too high and they would bring the same stuff over and over with the same price. On the other hand, it's their stuff, but I don't want to constantly walk into a "museum" and just look at cards.

  14. Card Show Pet Peeves.

    Preface-living in an area, in the same area as Mr. Fuji, where there are 4-6 card shows a year-I couldn't make the last two-so I have to wait till end of next month to hit another one.

    #1-I would add unrealistic prices for cards with flaws-condition does matter to me, so your vintage common boxes that are 3 for $9-would be great if the cards were.

    #2-A few Serramonte shows ago I asked about the price of a relic card I wanted and the dealer looked up in Beckett. Now he had great dime boxes so no complaints there, but looking us Beckett prices? Come on Man

    #4-OMG I hope I don't fall in the category-well I am a big guy-so it is not hard to intrude-but for me it is the guy who doesn't position himself in front of dime boxes in a way that others can look, I try to, and I move around hitting boxes I need to and not reaching over several boxes.

    #4-Bobble heads, and more Bobble heads.

    #5 People that wear team gear from a team they aren't a fan of.I spot a guy with a Cardinals' jersey and or hat-the conversation goes like this, me "Go Cards", other guy "What?", me "Not a Cardinals' fan?", guy "no I just like the jersey",

    Any who looks like you did very well Mr. Fuji, who doesn't like Fergie relics

  15. Love these types of posts from you Fuji! I hate going through $1 boxes filled with 1990 Score Bo Jackson and 1995 Topps Frank Thomas cards. I don't think some dealers have ever updated their prices.

  16. gcrl - 100% agree. nice call.

    anonymous - sounds like you're friends with my good buddy mike.

    brad's blog - i understand the concept of "hometown" premiums, but there's a point where it becomes silly

    cardboard jones - luckily i haven't run into too many of those dealers. my friend who sold me the billy martin is like a used car salesmen though... but i just can't help laughing at his sales pitches. great stuff.

    ko rob - i can't stand those vendors. usually they're also the guy who watches you like a hawk to make sure you're not stealing from them.

    night owl - just wondering... how do you really feel about no prices?

    josh d. - i hate it when they tell you to pull out all of the card you want and we'll work out a price. i usually counter with... how much do you want for this one card, to make sure we're in the same ballpark

    jon - oh man... i'm so glad nobody farted around me while digging through those nickel boxes. i've got a sensitive nose and might have picked my stuff up and left

    the lost collector - no joke. it felt like i was being set up by a friend or something

    gca - i can't stand that (#4a) either. I actually wrote about this pet peeve before:


    the big kahuna - thanks!

    r laughton - yeah, i sometimes wonder about that myself. dealer tables in my area are at least $100, so i'll never understand those guys. but they do have the right to price their own stuff.

    b man - oh man, can't believe I left off the dreaded Beckett dealer.

    as for you intruding, i've stood shoulder to shoulder with you at card show and never once thought you intruded. the guys i hate are the ones who start cutting you off and digging into your rows. i'm like c'mon bro... wait your turn.

    daniel wilson - oh but that 1990 score b&w bo is iconic ;)