August Card Show Pickups

It’s not very often that we get card shows in my area, let alone two within a week of one another- but that is exactly what happened the first two weekends of August.

The first show was my re-entry into the card show circuit (as a seller, anyway). It had been probably 16 or 17 years since I had set up at a show, so I was pretty excited leading up to that day. In fact, I had spent a lot of my evenings in June and July purchasing, organizing and pricing cardboard. So how did it go? To put it bluntly, sh****.

In hind sight, I should have looked a little closer at the calendar. The first show took place as one popular rodeo had just ended and another was about to begin. There was also the county fair that just finished and the state fair on the horizon. Let’s see… school about to begin…last minute vacations….you get the picture.

Foot traffic was horrible (and that’s an understatement!)- worst I had ever seen at a show-and the only thing that allowed me to recoup my table fee ($35) was giving someone a great deal on 3 autos (for a total of $25). I had forgot that Boise is a football market, and for someone who had very little football cards… yikes.

But some good came from all that free time I had: I was able to talk shop with a couple of guys I’ve bought from over the years and was also able to trade with them this particular day.

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One of the men had bought a 2016 Topps 2 Hobby Box while there and pulled this Matt Kemp Scouting Report card. Nothing special- but he was needing some singles for the set he was putting together and I was able to fill them for him. This will go with the master set I’m building.

Scan 209

The Griffey card… I had one at one time but sold it at a show back in 1993. I was preparing to purchase my first house and as a young, single man who didn’t make a whole lot of money I was needing to liquidate some of my cards in order to come up with cash for a down payment. Junior’s iconic Rookie Card was part of a rookie lot that I sold to one buyer. Back then it was in the, what- $150 range? I got this for a little cash and some trade bait.


The next weekend (which happened to be National Baseball Card Day) I attended another show. This was a more unique setting, though. There’s a card shop which is actually a co-op and they hosted a show inside their building. One dealer (one of the shop owners) had an 80% table and I was able to pickup the following cards for some of my sets.

Scan 206

The Brett second-year card is badly miscut but it works well as a filler for my set. And the price was certainly right.


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As always, thanks for reading!


One thought on “August Card Show Pickups

  1. My experience was that if you’re not a steady seller, it’s a struggle at shows. I’ve set up somewhere between 5 and 10 times and only once did I make my table fee.

    The time that I did, I put a lot of thought into how I was going to set the table up. I couldn’t compete with the weekend warriors and bought and sold all the time and had a much more impressive inventory than myself. What I did was put out $1 cards all across the table with minimal boxes of cards at other prices. Just an “All Cards on Table $1” sign and it attracted people.

    It’s pretty tough to do though when you are a collector first, and also if you don’t have what’s “popular” in the particular area. I have set up three or four times in Dallas and at the time and had mostly hockey. It didn’t work out well for me.

    Good luck in the future if you keep setting up!


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