I had the good fortune of being able to attend a couple of card shows this weekend, two very different card shows.
The first was the Ohio Sports Collectors Convention in Strongsville, OH., billed as the largest "hotel" show in Ohio. The 3-day event included autograph guests, with the most notable being, Cleveland Browns running back, Trent Richardson, and a full array of dealers all the way from Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Iowa. The show also attracted major auction houses and authenticators, JSA, Legendary and Fusco auctions to name a few.
If modern wax, in packs or boxes, was your thing, this was NOT the show for you. This show is more old school and was dominated with vintage dealers and as such attracted hundreds of collectors, want lists and pen in hand, paging through binders and 5,000 count boxes in a quest for the all allusive set completion. That was exactly my goal for attending as well. Needing just (11) cards to complete my 1970 Topps Baseball set, I knew I would be able to accomplish that mission and I am happy to report that I did. All the cards I needed were high-numbers and as to be expected, I had to pay a bit to get the job done spending about $50 to get the needed cards in EX/NM condition. Here is a picture of Iowa dealer, Tom Payne and myself with the final (2) cards.
I made a serious rookie mistake and could have kicked myself as I broke my own card show rules with time, or lack of it, being my excuse. Usually I make a full circle of the venue noting who has what I need and taking a quick look at prices to see who is selling at the most reasonable (read cheapest) price. In this case I stopped at the first table with binders and overpaid by about $15 for the first three cards I needed as I could have gotten them from Tom Payne for about 1/3rd of what I paid. Note to self and all other collectors; dealers at the front of the venue, those right in front of you when you walk-in, often times pay a premium to be placed in this prime real estate. As a result, those dealers often have higher prices on their cards knowing that the impulse principle kicks in and I got suckered into it myself. Oh well lesson learned, but a reminder of just how costly a mistake that can be if searching for higher ticket cards and items.
The second show was a small Mall show in the town I live. It comes once a month and I don't always go but I am glad I did. One of the dealers in attendance (who also happens to run one of the worst card shops I have ever been to, but that's a story for another day) busted out a 5,000 count box, jam packed with mid and late '90's wax at 50% off the stickered price. I did a live break on Twitter if you want full details but wanted to give you some of the highlights here.
I am a big fan of products from this era, particularly '96-'99, primarily because it immediately proceeds the time I re-entered The Hobby. Opening packs from that period of time provides me a glimpse of what I was missing as the "junk-wax" era was finally laid to rest and the emergence of the "hit" era was beginning.
Here is a rundown of the brands I purchased. 1994 Minor League (Top Prospects), 1995 Sports Flix, 1996 Bowman, 1996 Metal Universe, 1998 Skybox Dugout Access, 1998 Fleer Sports Illustrated Then & Now, 1998 Topps Gallery, 1999 Fleer Brilliants, and 1999 Skybox Thunder. Here are some of the better cards, hits and cards I liked the most.
All in all a very productive weekend of card show shopping.