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Card Show Review: Colt's Neck Firehouse - October 23, 2016
Welcome to Colt's Neck, New Jersey
Colt’s Neck Firehouse Show – Good Show with One Bad Encounter
So I do this show at the Colt’s Neck Firehouse on Conover Road in New Jersey every month. It’s a really good show with a great mix of vendors. There are vendors covering vintage cards, modern cards, supplies and unopened boxes, vintage sports magazines, records and other collectibles and memorabilia.
A Little Background
We have a very consistent group of core dealers at every show and pretty consistent group of customers who come to every show. Once every few months, a lot of new customers show up so the show has gained a following of sorts. After a while, you tend to learn what the regulars want and try to cater to the crowd a bit. I had spent some time putting together large boxes of cards to offload as most of the stuff I wasn’t interested in and was just taking up room in my attic. I have several customers at this show who love buying cards in bulk like this so I figured this was an easy score.
The real reason I was getting this together is actually kind of silly. I have nearly completed my Keith Hernandez collection so I decided to start another player collection for one of my personal favorites, Mookie Wilson. Mookie played at a time when baseball cards were printed in the millions per card leading most of the era to be termed as “junk”. It’s not junk, but there is a lot of it available and I KNOW I have a lot of this in my attic. After pulling down a box with several thousand cards in it and only finding one Mookie card, I pulled down seven other boxes and started sorting. This allowed me to find several other Mookie cards and separate thousands of cards into boxes by sport.
I have tried multiple times to pare my card offerings down to just baseball cards. I love football and enjoy basketball and hockey but I’m not into collecting the cards from those sports. Nevertheless, I wind up with it as I pick up big baseball card lots, I wind up getting the other sports thrown in. Well this is what I filled these large boxes with. I taped up the boxes and brought them with me to the show. The baseball card box I had wasn’t anything special but the other sport boxes had some truly nice cards floating around in them.
Sanchez and Syndergaard
I’ve been trying to get together a fair amount of Gary Sanchez cards since he was the hottest player down the stretch (collecting-wise) and he’s a local favorite. I also picked up a lot of Noah Syndergaard cards as many Mets fans are centering their collections on him. I’ve also picked up many new cards for my vintage and modern boxes so I thought I was in pretty good shape. I even had the opportunity to pick up a collection of Mets and Yankees cards that I knew I could sell and trade with.
The Sanchez card is from the 2016 Topps Now Series that Topps prints on Demand. This card has a limited print run. The Syndergaard card is from 2016 Topps Throwback Thursday Series where Topps prints a pack of cards and offers them every Thursday and prints to order like the Topps Now. Both cards are limited and in demand.
So What Happened?
Well, nothing bad really. I had a really nice day selling wise and I was able to buy some vintage cards from another dealer. I knew this was a good buy but I couldn’t price any of it yet. The customer I thought would buy the whole box lot only bought the baseball cards. Another regular bought the rest of it and I used that money to make another vintage purchase – a binder full of 1969, 70 and 71 cards in incredible shape. The binder included many stars and leader cards and was a great buy.
So I was doing well on all fronts. I was selling stuff pretty well. Single card sales weren't too bad. I did sell several Mets and Yankees cards though I did not sell the Sanchez cards (the Syndergaard cards are gone). I was able to sell off some small lots of cards to other dealers and customers who I know like "Lot" type deals. I was trading well too. Another dealer wanted some Mets stuff and traded me a few Mets Autograph Cards (Duda and Familia). I traded some non-sport sets to the show's promoter, Bob for a few random baseball cards to ad to my inventory. I traded the binder I just bought to my friend Steve to continue working down vlue on a big trade we've been working on for awhile. All was going well. I was happy with everything so far.
After moving the stack of Boxes and trading and selling off the Mets and Yankees boxes, I was happy to realize my heavy lifting was essentially done for the day. I made money selling, I had fun buying and trading and I love hanging out talking sports with my vendor friends and customers. We were getting near the end of the show when ":tragedy" struck!!
How Not To Make A Deal
At around 1:30 a customer walks up and starts looking at the cards displayed on the table. Many dealers have already packed and left (common during Football season). I always stay until 2:00 - 2:30pm. He picks up some cards and actually spends $20 which is great. Then he shows me a 1974 Topps Nolan Ryan graded PSA 8. I'm not spending any more money so I offer to trade at even value. He also has a lithograph of Derek Jeter signed by the author that I don't want but I'll include it in the trade just to make it happen, besides, it's Jeter so it will sell to somebody.
The Ryan card, in that grade has a value of about $50 (he clearly doesn't think that's correct but we looked it up to be sure) and he wanted $30 on the lithograph. So I told him to take whatever he wants to equal the $80 in value. He starts going through cards but he's also inspecting every card. He puts three cards aside but it took him forever to do that. He then looks up and seems worried he's holding me up. It's 2:00pm and nearly everyone else has left but I'm not angry. I'm usually here anyway and if I can trade for the Ryan, one of the other dealers wants it so I have another sale ready.
Unfortunately, this guy continues to look through cards, starts rifled through fifty cent cards, couldn't remember if he paid me for the first set of cards (the $20 sale) and hasn't made any headway towards $80. Now I'm getting annoyed. It closes in on 2:30 when he looks up and asks how much the cards are he has put aside. I remind him (not gently I admit) that we are working on this trade. He then says he's tired and just wants to trade the Jeter lithograph.
The item I don't want.
I was so angry that I handed the cards back to him, took two of the three cards that he had chosen and told him $10. The other dealers, hearing all of this are probably as stunned as I am. This guy just wasted an hour. An hour, to NOT make a simple trade.
Ultimately, I believe he just wasn't comfortable with the value of his Nolan Ryan card. He must have thought it was valued much higher but it wasn't. I guess I should have sensed that immediately but I don't usually have problems with making trades. I think the other vendors also found it funny that I was cursing like Yosemite Sam after the guy left.
Oh well, it was a great show, with a weird ending. If you live nearby and enjoy sports card collecting, it's a great show to visit.