Show #99 Card Show Tips + New Football

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We are on the eve of the National Sports Card Convention in Baltimore – and since I’m not going (but my brother is) … I thought I’d give out some general tips on both buying and selling at sports card shows.

But first we talk about some of the new sets that Panini has recently released in football. First is 2012 Donruss Elite Football. I actually was hoping they would copy the design they did in 2011-12 Donruss Elite Hockey, but the set actually looks a lot like 2011 Donruss Elite Football. Anyway – the most interesting cards in this set, I think, are the ‘inscriptions’ autograph cards … more specifically – the ones on the clear card stock. I think it’s pretty cool Panini is mixing it up with ink/card-stock variations.

Speaking of variations … 2012 Score football has some photo variations – and some are pretty tough to distinguish without the photos. This set only cost $1 per pack, and with the mixture of 100 rookie cards ++ the chance at getting an autograph, the boxes are not a bad value. I still haven’t found any at my local Target – but I’m sure they will have some packs here soon. If not, you can order this product on eBay/online easier than most Panini products because the price isn’t mandated like other sets.

Finally, I’ve been to the TriStar San Francisco card show the last few years, so I’ve had some experience buying cards at these types of events. Here are some things you might want to think about bringing:

  • A Backpack
    My girlfriend had to hold my cards last time, I’ll be sure to bring something to hold all my loot in.
  • Cash
    More than likely there will be an ATM – however you won’t want to risk it.
  • Fully Charged Phone
    You might need to check prices on eBay or even check Sports Card Radio out for some info.
  • Parking
    Park close to an exit if you need to bring things to your car and re-enter.
  • Water/Snacks
    In your backpack, carry some water and snacks if you plan on staying a long time.
  • Cologne
    I’ve left tables because people smelt bad next to me – please shower and be clean.

I also think having a plan is a decent idea too. I typically like to hunt for Bengals players because in California they are far less popular than in front of collectors on eBay.

As for sellers/dealers trying to make a few dollars at a card show – here are some of my tips that might help:

  • Specialize
    It’s so hard to have a little bit of everything on a table so small – I think it’s better to setup a table that features the same type of items.
  • Localize
    If you are in Baltimore – bust out the Orioles and Ravens cards … price them to move because they are not going to sell fast in other markets.
  • Create A Buzz
    Play some music, hold hourly contests, give stuff away – just get people gathered around your table because that draws other potential customers to your table.
  • Price Everything
    No collector really wants to go through 5,000 cards to find out you want book value for them. Make sure you clearly put prices on boxes so people know what you’re asking.
  • Turn The Table
    I always thought it was silly to only allow people to go by one side of the table … if you can get product/customers on both sides of the table … it’s a win-win.

Be sure to check back later in the week for coverage from the National Sports Card Convention!


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