Monday, March 5, 2012

I should not have gone

Around Northeast Ohio we have a group of collectors/sellers who partake in card shows at least 3 times a week. Locations are dotted around the East and West sides. I've been to two of them and each time nothing changes. In all fairness, I shouldn't expect much change when shows are within 2 weeks of each other.

I do think the shows will eventually become stagnant and people will stop buying tables due to lack of sales. these shows should be done monthly. Not every tuesday, thursday, and Saturday. I couldn't imagine buying a few tables, driving to a show, unpacking then repacking my cards....all for a potential profit of maybe $100. I asked one of the dealers how sales were today. He looked at me and said in a semi-depressed voice "been better". this sentiment will (to me at least) be the demise of these shows. I bought this card from the guy:




I am fortunate enough to have a problem of too many card shows. It's a nice problem to have.

the last show I went to was at the end of February. I debated not even going because I knew the stuff was not going to change. I went anyways.

I don't know what it is about card shows, but I don't like small ones where everything feels cramped. I walk up to a table, check out what's in the case(s) and more often than not walk away. this process lasts no longer than maybe 3-5 minutes. Rinse and repeat probably 15-20 times at each show. During these encounters, the card owner/salesperson is generally sitting there and watching me like a hawk. I hate these "exchanges" the most because a) it's uncomfortable b) it makes me not want to buy anything or c) these types of dudes are usually complete assholes.

If the card sales person doesn't say anything to me I often wonder what they are thinking while I'm glancing at their cards. What goes on in these people's minds? Instead of engaging in conversation or at least inquire as to what I am looking for (if anything) or ask what I collect, you just sit there. It is odd. Granted, I'm sure these people are just burnt out from people looking at their stuff without purchasing.

Like I said earlier, I got to the show relatively late. Actually, no, I got there at 2. Show ended at 4. the total amount of "customers" at the show was probably 20. there were more tables than people. I feel bad for these dudes. they market via facebook and craigslist. I have never seen signs on any of the big message boards. But at least the promoter tries. But only 20 people? Yikes.

What was worse was that some dudes were even packing up or already gone. I understand not wanting to endure another two more hours of wasted time, but at least stay. You never know if you have something someone wants (hint: nobody is ever going to buy those desert storm trading cards, just pitch those). I guess you could always spend free time at the show by posting cards on Ebay.

Anyways, I was there for one reason. I wanted to buy a Pokemon card. I had seen one in this guy's huge box a few weeks prior, and I assumed it'd still be there at this show. I was right. He was closing so I asked if he would sell the entire box (about 90 cards). He said $130. I did not have that kind of money to spend. I also would not have spent $130 on Pokemon cards either. I spent $5 on 5 cards. He also had a pretty nice Delonte West (my all time favorite Cav) patch/auto card. I spent $5 on that.



Friday, February 24, 2012

NBA Luxury Box

Sports Cards collecting is a very confusing hobby. In no other niche are there too many choices. While most of our options are glossed over or nit picked to death prior to their release, people still buy the product. Is it stupid to criticize anything for having too many options? Of course it is.

But let me try and explain myself in the best way possible. Sports cards are like beer. You have your cheap options, PBR (holy grail), Gennessee Cream Ale, Keystone, Ice House, and so on. Followed by that are your mid range run of the mill options, Budweisers, Coors, Millers, followed up by your high end craft brews. Sports cards are very similar in offering cheap options (Opening Day), mid range (flagship brands), and high end stuff (Exquisite).

If I were to give a college aged kid who has drank Ice House for the last 2 years $30 and tell them to buy some nice beer, they'd have no idea where to start. I'd venture to guess they'd come out with 2 cases of Budweiser***. I highly doubt they'd pick any craft beer simply because they do not know their preferred taste and have no idea what each beer is like.

the same is with card collecting. You give someone who just jumped back into the hobby $30 and put them into a shop, they will most likely walk out with flagship packs, simply because they do not know what is good.

Case in point, myself. When (fully) getting back into the hobby in 2005/06 I wanted basketball cards. the Cavs were in the playoffs and I was in full basketball mode similar to how I had been when I was younger in the mid 90's.

I walked into hobby shops and just stared at the boxes. Shop owners would try and sell me on products I had no idea about. try this, try that. this pack can get you this swatch serialed to 10...the pack is only $50!! Look buddy, I might not know much about the direction the hobby took in the last 8 years, but I'm not buying a pack for $50.

Eventually, I settled on something called Luxury Box. One pack was I think $20. My first venture into higher end cards. What I didn't realize is that the owner did not give me a pack, he gave me the box topper. I'm going to assume he knew what he was doing and hustled me pretty hard. At least that's what my buddy said when I told him what I bought.

Regardless, the lesson everyone (and myself) can learn from this is when you are getting back into the hobby, do some research. We have so much information available for us that there really shouldn't be much of an issue when it comes to buying or trading for cards.

If you want my input on trying different types of beer though, just buy PBR or cool colored labels. Never have I been steered wrong with that principle.




If you were even curious as to what I pulled in my pack, the D Wade above is it. He's serialed to 279. Depressing pull.


***I would hope that the person would also buy at least 1 FourLoko.

Friday, February 17, 2012

First Ever Box Break

Check it out! Hot cards! Sick Mojo Pulls! 1/1's!!! All your favorite players being pulled left and right!!!!

But for real, I did not take this seriously at all. Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Series 1

Yep. I gave in, like everyone else in the blogosphere/world.

I have no problems with it at all. I've purchased plenty of the flagship set over the years and the one design I hated was the black outline with the stupid dots/squares. Was that 2006? Or 2007? I don't know, it sucked.

2012 is nice. I don't mind it. Granted the one thing I really have no idea about are who half of the players are. truth be told, I don't follow baseball like I used to. I follow the Indians and Pirates, but not much else. As sad as this is to type (and also sound like a complete idiot), if I don't hear a players name off ESPN, I don't know them.

And the reason you are reading this...what I bought.



Blaster and 3 Rack Packs.





I like the gold cards. Reminds me of cheap Pokemon foils. No disrespect to topps. I like cheap looking foil cards.




I really like the tabata card. And I know who Arencibia is. Blue Jays semi-new logo is becoming one of my favorite logos in sports. At least Jays fans can take solace in the fact that they will end up behind Boston and New York, but their logo is the best.

Wish I pulled the Kipnis Golden Future though.



Both these dudes killed the Indians all the time. Would not be surprised if both photos were taken after hitting homers off Injuns pitchers.



Yeah, okay.



I don't rate Castro very high, and have no idea what Aparicio's numbers were. I know he had a MLB Showdown Cooperstown Collection card, but that was because he was a cheap contract to purchase for the card. I'm going to assume he wasn't very good. I'm lazy and don't feel like looking up stats. Chicago card, meh.





INCREDIBLE. AMAZING. NEED ALL ASAP.

If there is one gimmick I will never grow tired of, it is retro cards. Add into the fact they are mini, and I'm sold. topps, take a bow son. And it's the 1987 set, dayummmmmm whoever thought of that should get a raise. I'm collecting all of these. I want nothing more of Series 1.

Side note: Please do another retro set in the 1991 Donruss. Can they even do that? Do they own the rights to Donruss? Honestly, I don't care, it needs to happen.



Obligatory manu-patch post. Wished it was Clemente, but Bench is cool.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Future Charge



Antoine Walker is one of the main reasons I fell in love with the NBA. Odd enough as it sounds. I don't know what every made me latch on to him. Of course I was a huge fan of Jordan, but what white 7-10 year old suburban kid wasn't?

Antoine played on some hilariously awful Celtics teams back in the 90's. And for whatever reason I always picked them in video games against my cousin....and dominated. You have no idea how great the pick and roll between Dee Brown and Walker was.

Add into the mix a player with the name Dana Barros, and I'm hooked. I never became a full fledged Celtics fan. Could never turn my back on the Cadavers. But I will always have a soft spot for that era of C's ballers.

I liked their green Jerseys. And I really loved dinosaurs at the time. My mind also believed every dinosaur was green. Celts also had Dino Radja, a shorter form of the word dinosaur (and a Croat!!). And Dino Radja was the man.


But honestly, who doesn't love dinosaurs.....



.....maybe people without souls (*looking at Carl Everett*)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What Makes A Good Card Shop?

When you think of a card shop, what is the first idea that comes to mind? What do you expect to see when you walk in? Ideally, if you ran a card shop, how do you expect the experience to go?

I know we all have our favorite and least favorite locations, but what makes them that way?

I'd love any and all feedback.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Frustracija

It's very much my luck to get nostalgic for memories from your youth. Hell, I would even guess that nearly all of us who collect sports cards and collectibles do it for nostalgia. Yes, many do it for profit, but they are few and very disillusioned. FYI, there are easier and better ways to make money.

My nostalgia has hit hard lately in the form of 1990's NBA cards. Unfortunately, everyone else has decided to rekindle their love of 90's NBA cards, namely the inserts. I've been wanting to buy a box of Fleer Metal around the time of 1996 through 1998. It won't happen unless I give a kidney up (note: I would).

Having said all that, I decided I would head to my local card shops. By local, I mean ones located within 50 miles of me. Essentially, this boils down to a bazaar, six three card shops. One sold all his cards and now does memorabilia. Unfortunately, this shop was my favorite, which was a shame because the guy is awesome and had the 86 Fleer NBA set for $599.00. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. the other two were near Canton, and are completely gone. No idea what happened to them, but the last time I visited it was 2008 and I bought a box of Moments and Milestones rather then spend $60 on a box of Fleer Metal from 96-97. Again, shoulda, woulda, coulda.

the bazaar is hit or miss. A few guys set up shop there and always take my name and number saying they will call and sell me their miscellaneous junk common/non rare inserts for dirt cheap. I've never received one phone call. If you are a bazaar worker in Cleveland, leave a comment and you will get my number. Use it please.

Other than that, I'm nearly out of options. It shouldn't be this hard, right?