And I had, frankly, never looked at it like that. There ended up being a pretty interesting discussion in the comments of my last post about dealers at card shows. I'm passionate about collecting, and the overall health of this hobby. Heck, you have to love collecting to take the time and energy to write a blog dedicated to it. But some part of Collecting Mark is still that teenage kid that assumes, or maybe these days hopes, that the people who take part in the commerce of the hobby have some greater knowledge about both the cards themselves and the buying and selling of them than I, Willie Lowman, Collector.
I guess experience should have taught my better by now. I've dealt with plenty of dealers who, simply put, had no idea what they were doing. Sometimes it's pricing, sometimes it's knowing what the card or how rare, and sometimes it's just basic people skills. After all, all it takes is a couple boxes of cardboard and a few bucks in your pocket to set up at a card show. It seems pretty foolish to assume that some of these guys have some greater Warren Buffett-esque understanding of the more intricate underworkings of the hobby finances.
But for as dissatisfied as I was with my card show trip Saturday, Sunday more than made up for it.
discovered last week. I'd be lying if I didn't say I had been looking forward to it since last week. There were still so many boxes to dig through!
I have dealers I have been buying off of at shows regularly for more than a decade who act like they have never seen me before, let alone forget my name. I found a couple new boxes, and dug in. The conversation alone was enough to keep me coming back. But the cardboard didn't hurt either.
But then I looked at the box again. My eyes had tricked me: these weren't $.25 cards. They were $.05 cards!
The mall show was half a dozen dealers, and half of those were north of 70. The dealers outnumbered the customers, and in fact a couple had abandoned their tables and were working out deals with each other. I was far and away the youngest person there.
The price? $8.
Well, sign me up. This is only my 4th Marte certified auto, so it's a welcome addition. I think it's also my first relic of his as well.
There wasn't much else that caught my eye, but I figured while I was on a roll I would ask the prices on a couple of the hockey cards. I'm not a big Penguins fan, but I do enjoy diversifying my autograph collection from time to time.
Fleury has been a bit of a divisive figure in Pittsburgh sports since he reached the NHL. I like watching the guy play, but I can understand how his occasional inconsistency can drive fans crazy. But I have wanted an autograph for a while. His prices have dropped a little bit, but I was happy to pay $10 for this card, which seems to be about as low as his autos sell for.
I came away with one heck of a haul, and I think Ken was happy to see that many cards go out the door since most of his customers seem to be the wax only types. There was one other card that had me nearly salivating when I heard how much he wanted for it. But I was out of cash, and it was already getting to be lunch time. So the card is on hold for me, which will probably have to wait until the weekend after Easter. But I think it's safe to say it will be one of the biggest non-Pirate cards in my collection.