Friday, May 14, 2010

what to do at a card show...

Calgary is getting a card show this weekend. Supposedly a big one. Autograph guests and everything.
Details LINK here.

I've never seen a show like this in Calgary before. I don't know what to do. Should I bring my wantlists for '71 OPC baseball? Or will it be 80 tables of this year's hockey???
Can I expect reasonable pricing from a show this size? Or will every dealer go scrambling to a beckett everytime I ask "How much?"

I have a feeling that I'm going to spend a lot of time today getting my wantlists ready, only to be disappointed on Sunday. (that's when I'm going)

I have an original jersey of the Tampa Bay Lightning from when they joined the NHL. I'd love to get Phil Esposito to sign it, but paying $79 to stand in line for three hours ain't my thing.

Hmmm... I can already feel my expectations dropping..... Oh well. It should still be fun to see stuff, even if I can't afford book price.

Anybody need anything?


reoddai said...

Enjoy your card show. In answer to your questions, it depends.

If you collect base and lower ends, then be prepared to wade through quarter and dollar boxes. In which case, want lists are essential. Some dealers will have their stuff organized. Many more wont.

If its like the Toronto Expo, then some will have baseball and vintage will be more likely than current.

Don't expect reasonable pricing. You always hear a bunch of people talk about the "deals" they get, or how they managed to flip something, but by and large everything will be priced way above eBay and, of those who deal singles, 50% will scramble to the Beckett, just to tell you that they're selling for the HI price.

Still, its worth it. Think of it like a mall devoted to cards. You set a budget, bring your cash & a shopping list of what you want to find. Don't spend forever on the list, but don't go there with nothing either. Buy the cards you like at the price you want. Don't fret over paying too much and don't go crazy over a good deal.

If nothing else, browse. Card shows like this are full of odd-ball stuff and sometimes the experience of just going through and seeing everything is worth more than finding every card on your wantlist. You never know what you might get.

Good luck & have fun!

night owl said...

Looks cool and all, but I don't get the random cheerleader. Is she signing?

I'm not a stand-in-liner. I'd do at least 2 tours of the whole set-up and then start checking out tables. I gravitate toward places that have 50-cent boxes. But I like to ask dealers how much they'll take for certain fancy cards, too. Sometimes I'm surprised -- in a good way.

Bring a list and don't worry about price too much. If you meet your budget then it's all cool.

Enjoy. You will like it. No matter how many Beckett's you see.

Oh, and if you're going to splurge, find a Koufax for me.

Matthew Glidden said...

Good luck! If you've got a 1971 OPC list, too, at least we're not fighting for high numbers at the same show. :-)

AdamE said...

1. Take your want lists.

2. Find someone that has a table with no prices.

3. Find one card you want.

4. Ask price.

5a. If the guy quotes Beckett tell him you are at the wrong table. in that case return to #2.

5b. If he shoots you a fair price off the top of his head or even if he checks beckett and then lowballs them stick around. Usually the more cards you buy the better price you get.

6. Have fun.

AdamE said...

Oh yeah and usually odball 60-70s are cheap at card shows. Things like Deckle and Post tend to sell suprisingly cheap.

dayf said...

Bring every single list possible. Even if you think there's no way a card from that list will be there.
You'll be more disappointed if you find a bunch of cards you want with your want list at home than if you bring all your want lists and don't find anything.

Joe S. said...

Junk wax, baby! It takes everything I have in me not to spend hundreds on oddball issues each time I go to my shop. At a show, I think I'd treat myself.