NonSports Forum

Net54baseball.com
Welcome to Net54baseball.com. These forums are devoted to both Pre- and Post- war baseball cards and vintage memorabilia, as well as other sports. There is a separate section for Buying, Selling and Trading - the B/S/T area!! If you give an opinion of a person or company your full name needs to be in your post. Contact the moderator at leon@net54baseball.com should you have any questions or concerns. Enjoy!
Net54baseball.com
Net54baseball.com

Go Back   Net54baseball.com Forums > Net54baseball Postwar Sportscard Forums > Watercooler Talk- ALL sports talk

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-20-2017, 04:13 PM
SAllen2556's Avatar
SAllen2556 SAllen2556 is offline
Scott
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Detroit
Posts: 272
Default A conversation with a couple veteran dealers at a card show

Went to my local card show yesterday and this time ended up in a 1/2 hour conversation with a couple of 30 year veteran dealers of mainly post-war cards. The dealer I was mostly speaking with has never sold directly on eBay. Never. And, of course, he hates graded cards, although he agreed that’s it’s a necessary evil. Here were his major points (I thought he was nuts!):

1. He does not consider eBay as any sort of indication of the current market. He had a ’49 Leaf Wagner ungraded (I’d guess a 4 at most) for $240 firm. I showed him eBay sold listings of comparable cards for, at most, $180. Showed him 3 or 4 on eBay for sale right now graded and probably better than his (his was centered but soiled) for less than $200. Didn’t care.

2. Claimed that there is a “show” price vs. an eBay price and as he travels around, he’ll eventually get his price.

3. Claimed that he sells raw cards at shows easier than he can sell graded cards because people think they’re smarter than he is.

4. Claimed that raw cards at card shows attract set collectors more than graded cards do, which was another reason he avoided them.

5. He also understood completely why I wouldn’t pay $60 more for a card I could buy on eBay right now - but didn’t care.

I walked away fascinated by the conversation, but I just can’t make sense of it. This was a smart, articulate guy. And the other dealer agreed with everything he said.

My only thought was, isn’t this why card shops and card shows have largely died out? He’s basically a middle-man, and eBay has, for all practical purposes, eliminated the need for a middle-man. Seems like this guy is trying to survive on a 1985 business model of what a sports card dealer is. Or am I missing something? How, exactly, do dealers make money today?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-20-2017, 04:56 PM
familytoad's Avatar
familytoad familytoad is offline
Br1@n L1ndh0lm3
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ridgefield, WA
Posts: 1,158
Default Nutz

I think the only point I agree with is #4

I think set collectors prefer raw unless competing for the ultra high grade stuff, and I'll bet those guy want to find nice raw cards at raw card costs, grade them themselves and hope to score big if they grade 8+

The other points are not logical, but pretty stubborn.

Now, depending on where that dealer acquired his inventory, he may *have* to charge higher to make any profit. Then his market would be anyone who (like him) doesn't use eBay to buy cards.
__________________
Thanks!

Brian L
Familytoad
Ridgefield, WA

See my SGC HOF Collection here:
http://www.sgccard.com/customsetcomposition.aspx?id=463
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-20-2017, 05:03 PM
vintagetoppsguy's Avatar
vintagetoppsguy vintagetoppsguy is offline
D@v!d J@m3s
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Richmond, TX
Posts: 4,139
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAllen2556 View Post
Went to my local card show yesterday and this time ended up in a 1/2 hour conversation with a couple of 30 year veteran dealers of mainly post-war cards. The dealer I was mostly speaking with has never sold directly on eBay. Never. And, of course, he hates graded cards, although he agreed that’s it’s a necessary evil. Here were his major points (I thought he was nuts!):

1. He does not consider eBay as any sort of indication of the current market. He had a ’49 Leaf Wagner ungraded (I’d guess a 4 at most) for $240 firm. I showed him eBay sold listings of comparable cards for, at most, $180. Showed him 3 or 4 on eBay for sale right now graded and probably better than his (his was centered but soiled) for less than $200. Didn’t care.

2. Claimed that there is a “show” price vs. an eBay price and as he travels around, he’ll eventually get his price.

3. Claimed that he sells raw cards at shows easier than he can sell graded cards because people think they’re smarter than he is.

4. Claimed that raw cards at card shows attract set collectors more than graded cards do, which was another reason he avoided them.

5. He also understood completely why I wouldn’t pay $60 more for a card I could buy on eBay right now - but didn’t care.

I walked away fascinated by the conversation, but I just can’t make sense of it. This was a smart, articulate guy. And the other dealer agreed with everything he said.

My only thought was, isn’t this why card shops and card shows have largely died out? He’s basically a middle-man, and eBay has, for all practical purposes, eliminated the need for a middle-man. Seems like this guy is trying to survive on a 1985 business model of what a sports card dealer is. Or am I missing something? How, exactly, do dealers make money today?
I agree with everything you said and for the reasons you listed, but you have to ask you self what has made him successful for the last 30 years? He is right about one thing, he will eventually get his asking price. It may surprise you that a 30 year dealer has never sold on eBay, but just the opposite is true too. There are 30 year collectors that have never bought on eBay. Those are probably the kind of customers that keep him in business and the reason he'll eventually get his asking price.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-20-2017, 08:41 PM
clydepepper's Avatar
clydepepper clydepepper is offline
Raymond Culpepper
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Columbus, GA
Posts: 3,198
Default

It wasn't stated that he was a successful dealer for the last 30 years, just was a dealer for the last 30.

Now, you may say that he must be successful if he has lasted 30 years. Probably true, but don't discount the possibility that someone exists who deals for other reasons than making money.

He may have enjoyed your conversation more than you did.

Who's to say that on a particular day that he does not sell even one card, such an interaction may be his highlight and he's satisfied. Takes all kinds.

.
__________________
.
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on others lives" - Jackie Robinson

MY BIG CONCERNS ABOUT AMERICA:

Internally- We spend too much time assuring our rights without learning the responsibilities that should accompany them.
Externally - No matter how much we claim to take the higher moral ground, we have neither respected nor attempted to understand other cultures.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-20-2017, 09:41 PM
BearBailey BearBailey is offline
Brandon Bailey
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 204
Default

I think this is a perfect example of a generational gap, and for some people he is correct, but for just as many if not more people they would only buy off eBay and would never go to a show. There are also people like my self who go to the national or the philly show or chantilly 1-3 times total per year and buy the rest off of eBay or from scd or from dealers they have bought from for years. The only local Card show is at our mall every year, I go every year and haven't bought a single item from it in more than 5 years. In this great hobby it takes all kinds, we all take different paths but doesn't necessarily mean 1 is right and 1 is wrong, sometimes it's best to agree to disagree and move on.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-21-2017, 08:09 AM
Leon's Avatar
Leon Leon is offline
Leon
peasant/forum owner
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: near Dallas
Posts: 22,342
Default

No doubt ebay has taken away from shows and LCS's in general. I still set up at local shows and compete with Iphones on ebay as a normal situation. I usually do pretty good because I get my pricing from completed ebay sales. I know what I have and what can be had for more or less. Information is key.

And I agree about his success too. I am guessing the guy is successful in his own mind and that is all that matters to him. Good for him....we'll keep moving on now...
__________________
Leon Luckey
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-21-2017, 11:49 AM
Snapolit1's Avatar
Snapolit1 Snapolit1 is offline
Ste.ve Na.polit.ano
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,551
Default

I think most of what he is saying makes a ton of sense. For him. I am sure he can put out a nice card at a show marked $80 and eventually sell it, even though on ebay it's clear the going cost is way less. Someone will fall in love with the card and buy it on impulse. Hell I've bought smaller priced items because they jumped out to me off a table at a show only to get home and realized I overpaid. If the price is below $100 I won't lose any sleep over it, and am happy to in a way underwrite small dealers. And I have no doubt people see ungraded cards at shows all time and think they can submit for a better grade that what dealer thinks it is. Hell, I've done that too.
These guys are trafficking in cards that aren't rare. Their buyers are not the people perusing PWCC or the major AHs for high end stuff. People make a living selling socks and underwear at flea markets. They are hitting a different audience than Amazon.

Last edited by Snapolit1; 02-21-2017 at 11:51 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-21-2017, 12:00 PM
steve B steve B is offline
Steve Birmingham
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: eastern Mass.
Posts: 4,078
Default

Having hung out at a lot of shops for different hobbies I've learned a little about what things look like from a dealers view.
So here's my take on things as a somewhat older collector. (Figure 40 years come September....I'll have to celebrate somehow!)

The time when they started was right during the big boom of the late 80's. Anyone starting then who survived has some idea what they're doing. I'd estimate that somewhere over 95% probably closer to 99% of stores and maybe 70-80% of dealers have folded up since then, Most of them in the mid -late 90's.

Inventory control in a hobby related business is really the key. Both control of how much is bought and what is bought, and in what's sold how quickly.

Some stuff is easily bought for very little, and should be moved along quickly.
Other things are harder to come by at a really good price, and those should be sold a bit more slowly.
A show dealer also has to have the right sort of stuff on display to attract buyers. Specializing is very helpful. I tried a couple times as a very generalized dealer and didn't do enough to keep trying. With no clear display of what I was about people were confused, and even if they stopped I didn't have a whole lot of whatever their particular interest was.
A shop has more overhead and has to be a bit more careful. The one local one that's still around doesn't do much really old stuff, and is really diverse, comics, pennants, whatever sells. They also move inventory very quickly once they see the demand shrink. One day I stopped in right after Curtis Martin went to the Jets. They were removing all of his cards from the showcase, plus packing up all the ones not in the case. Pre-Ebay they'd sold the whole inventory to a NY area dealer. Good move, they immediately moved what would soon be unsaleable inventory, and the NY guy got an instant inventory of what just became popular locally. (They're quite active on ebay now)

Small Ebay dealers can work more like that, buying stuff for nearly retail and moving it within a week or so with nearly no overhead. And since what they sell is searchable, there's no need to keep attractive inventory on hand to draw customers, just a constant stream of new stuff.


From the flip side, a good dealer either in a shop or at a show will usually have some knowledge about what they're selling. And a mindset that can take the answer to "Hi what do you collect" and pick out stuff from their inventory that might fit and that might not be on display or might be missed in a larger inventory.
They can -and should - also suggest other sort of related things to collect.
The really really good dealers can help guide a collectors collecting and collection to be a much better collection. Often by pointing out a special item that might not even be theirs.
They can also convey a lot more information about cards and sets that a buyer might not know.

When I was starting I wanted a T206, but was a bit too cheap to spring the 1.50 for a typical common. One day I went to the shop and they said "hey Steve we set a card aside for you" A T206! And horribly beat. but only .20!
A bit later they gave me a really beat P2 for free. After I moved away I came back to visit and shop while visiting friends. And was surprised they still had a box in the back room with my name on it. (Where a bit of interesting but largely unsaleable to anyone but me stuff ended up)


Sadly, not all dealers are like that. It's one reason so many washed out in the post 94 time period. Many of them were underfunded, and chasing product to have all the new stuff even if they lost money overall. And many of them didn't even know what something was if it wasn't in Beckett.

Steve B
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-21-2017, 01:52 PM
1952boyntoncollector 1952boyntoncollector is offline
ja.ke liebe.rman
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: http://www.psacard.com/PSASetRegistry/alltimeset.aspx?s=175000&ac=1
Posts: 3,490
Default

Its a hobby to him, not a business. Some people will pay for something right there on the spot as an impulse for a higher price then wait for the mail and risk not liking the card and having to return it.

Ive seen sellers in this hobby get a first offer and argue with the potential buyer that the offer price was waaay to low and then when they decide to sell the card and cant find anyone to offer as much as the first offer guy just sell the card for less to the second guy because of pride.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-21-2017, 04:29 PM
Snapolit1's Avatar
Snapolit1 Snapolit1 is offline
Ste.ve Na.polit.ano
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,551
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1952boyntoncollector View Post
Its a hobby to him, not a business. Some people will pay for something right there on the spot as an impulse for a higher price then wait for the mail and risk not liking the card and having to return it.

Ive seen sellers in this hobby get a first offer and argue with the potential buyer that the offer price was waaay to low and then when they decide to sell the card and cant find anyone to offer as much as the first offer guy just sell the card for less to the second guy because of pride.
Yep. Card right now on eBay was $1800 BIN or make an offer. I offered $1500 and dude came back with $1750. I rejected it is seconds as a stupid move and was done with him. It's now discounted to $1350 and I refused to buy it.

Last edited by Snapolit1; 02-21-2017 at 04:30 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any Dealers/Members Attending Windy City Show This Weekend? mechanicalman Net54baseball Vintage (Pre-WWII) Baseball Cards & New Member Introductions 0 11-15-2016 02:51 PM
Jim Thorpe Card Show DEALERS WANTED! Early bird autograph/admission Discounts! Aquarian Sports Cards Net54baseball Vintage (Pre-WWII) Baseball Cards & New Member Introductions 3 08-01-2016 01:40 PM
Jim Thorpe Sports Card Show Nov 12th DEALERS WANTED Aquarian Sports Cards Net54baseball Vintage (Pre-WWII) Baseball Cards & New Member Introductions 18 07-14-2016 01:51 PM
Pet Peeve: Dealers who pull out Beckett at a card show? Opinions wanted! bobbyw8469 Net54baseball Vintage (Pre-WWII) Baseball Cards & New Member Introductions 47 01-12-2015 12:42 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:32 AM.


ebay GSB