Yesterday, I sold hockey cards at a sports card show. Or, more accurately, tried to sell hockey cards at a sports card show.
As good as this show has been in the past (at least, from a buyer’s perspective), a few things kept this show from being profitable for me.
Did I break even? Sort of. The table cost me $40. I sold $40 worth of stuff.
The show went from 9 AM to 2 PM. Here’s a quick rundown…
8:10 AM – Arrive at the show.
8:45 AM – All set up. If you build it, they will come…
9:10 AM – OK, maybe not. Perhaps this was too ambitious of an endeavour.
9:15 AM – Made my first sale. $20. A few other small sales follow.
10:00 AM – Still haven’t broken even.
10:30 AM – Haven’t sold a thing in 40 minutes.
11:10 AM – The room has gotten loud. More people. Maybe things will pick up.
11:50 AM – Finally broke even. Just over 2 hours left in the show.
12:05 PM – A hush falls across the room. One dealer has packed up and left.
12:30 PM – The Bears are playing? Really? I wish I thought of that before deciding to sell at this show.
12:50 PM – The only people looking at my table are other dealers. At this point, about half of the 50 or so vendors have either left or are packing up.
1:15 PM – I decide to call it quits, and pack up my table.
1:30 PM – Sal-vis has left the building.
So, what went wrong?
First, few people came. I’ve seen this show get crowded, but unfortunately not this time.
Second, the economy is still bad. Back in the day, most collectors would spend $5 on a card they wanted. Now, they either try to buy it for $3 or don’t buy it at all.
Third, the $%&* Bears were playing! Whatever small buzz the show had was pretty much killed once the Bears game started.
What really riles me, though, is that many of the people I saw were wearing Blackhawks apparel, and yet they didn’t want any of my sweet ‘Hawks stuff.
Anyway, here’s a few pictures of my set up:
Blackhawks cards from 1970 to 2010. .There’s also some old team calenders and a few other odds n’ ends.
Complete sets. Sure, a lot of it is “junk wax” era, but some of it was newer. I even had a few insert sets from the 1970s, and a complete 1982-83 O-Pee-Chee set for sale.
Non-Blackhawks hockey cards, including 2010-11 Victory Rookies, some 2009-10 Young Guns, and other decent cards from the late 1960s through the 1980s.
I had the most hockey cards and memorabilia at the show, my prices were great (seriously), but few people equals few sales.
The promoter–who is a very nice man–asked me if I wanted to do this show next month. I politely told him no, but said that I might be up for trying this again in a couple of months.
And the crazy thing is, I just might try again.
Or maybe that’s a stupid thing…
I have more thoughts on this, but those will be saved for a future blog post.