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  #1  
Old 03-12-2017, 07:37 PM
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mintacular mintacular is offline
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Default Having it Both Ways (Dealer Gripe)

Had an interesting encounter with a dealer recently at a local card show. Let me say first and foremost, I am not "anti-dealer" as there are a lot of GREAT guys out there that are trying to supplement their income and have many barriers to jump over in order to make a few extra bucks....

That said, dishonest or unnecessarily aggressive sales tactics don't justify bad behavior. The dealer I met at a small local show was determined to ask me what I collected and what I was expecting in terms of price. After picking out a few short print cards, he decided that they were "short prints" and the book price didn't apply (some truth to that). He was determined to price the cards HIGHER than book price... I balked, doesn't book price reflect the short print aspect of that card? Or are they unaware? LOL

Yet, when I wanted to buy run of the mill '72 ex cards he was steadfast on wanting 50% of book, in this case, book is the bible. When I told him, well according to book EX cards in this era would be 20-40% in EX, he acted like I was a lying Lucifer. I told him I would sell him EX '72 Highs at $5 a piece all day long he seemed to be shocked.

At one point, he pointed to a long row of random commons 60s listed at $1.00/ea and said if I bought 20+ he would sell them at .50/pc. Problem was most of the cards were lower grade and .10-.25 ea. ones. I told him this and he said he hadn't looked at them closely., etc. In short, he later came back when I was at another table and conceded he was full of s**t on the dollar cards and that I was right....

My point of this thread is that if you are going to live by the sword (book price) than you need to die by it too... If you don't, you look like a douche, at least to me anyway
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Last edited by mintacular; 03-12-2017 at 07:40 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2017, 09:39 AM
savedfrommyspokes savedfrommyspokes is offline
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The few occasions I have to attend a show (as there are none in my area), I walk briskly from a table w/o specific pricing just for the reason you cited...no clear pricing means I am going to have to deal with someone who has a reliance on a "price guide", not the actual market.

Sounds like this guy overpaid for his material and was willing to pass the extra cost onto some unsuspecting customer.
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Old 03-13-2017, 12:56 PM
Buckswin07 Buckswin07 is offline
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Here is where I think the dealer and most dealers are coming from;

And please note, I'm not siding with the dealer on this one. I'm siding with just about anyone who sells a card.

We all want to make a buck or two selling right? No one buys a house and hopes to sell it 5, 10, 20 years later for less than they paid for it. When the dealer is willing to talk book value on some cards and strays away from the book on others, I think he is simply basing his price on what he paid for the said card(s). Dealers are there to make money. Remember, most dealers do not acquire their inventory out of a shoe box in a closet. Like you, they buy, perhaps in larger quantities. In tern, a dealer wants to sell you a card for more than he paid for it. Simple as that. When negotiating, if you refer to book price, a dealer may not care about that simply because he knows what he has invested into the card and knows what he must get out of it to turn a profit, pay for his booth space that weekend etc etc.

When negotiating with a dealer, I found that showing empathy can soften them up. Stating things like, "hey I know you need to make a buck on this card, but comparable sales show blah blah" Or "I know your not set up at this show as a volunteer so how close to book price can we get so that you can keep the electricity on at home" By showing empathy but then negotiating, If found my experiences with 95% of dealers to be very reasonable. There are always a few bad apples that have zero people skills, but those are pretty easy to pick up on early in the conversation....That's when I pretend my phone is ringing and need to step away to take a call.
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Old 03-13-2017, 02:09 PM
polakoff polakoff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckswin07 View Post
Here is where I think the dealer and most dealers are coming from;

And please note, I'm not siding with the dealer on this one. I'm siding with just about anyone who sells a card.

We all want to make a buck or two selling right? No one buys a house and hopes to sell it 5, 10, 20 years later for less than they paid for it. When the dealer is willing to talk book value on some cards and strays away from the book on others, I think he is simply basing his price on what he paid for the said card(s). Dealers are there to make money. Remember, most dealers do not acquire their inventory out of a shoe box in a closet. Like you, they buy, perhaps in larger quantities. In tern, a dealer wants to sell you a card for more than he paid for it. Simple as that. When negotiating, if you refer to book price, a dealer may not care about that simply because he knows what he has invested into the card and knows what he must get out of it to turn a profit, pay for his booth space that weekend etc etc.

When negotiating with a dealer, I found that showing empathy can soften them up. Stating things like, "hey I know you need to make a buck on this card, but comparable sales show blah blah" Or "I know your not set up at this show as a volunteer so how close to book price can we get so that you can keep the electricity on at home" By showing empathy but then negotiating, If found my experiences with 95% of dealers to be very reasonable. There are always a few bad apples that have zero people skills, but those are pretty easy to pick up on early in the conversation....That's when I pretend my phone is ringing and need to step away to take a call.
As both a collector and a dealer I'd like to quote this for importance. I too walk away from tables without some kind of pricing on there (or with stickers where the dealer says "that's the book price, I'll work with you"), so I price my stuff. Every item on my table has a price and in general that's the price I'm looking for. Do I have wiggle room? A little, but not much. But I am much more likely to have wiggle room with these people:
A) the people who buy in somewhat larger quantities and politely ask "what can you do for me?" (rather than "hey I'll give you $X for this")
B) the people who spend a really long time at my table and are polite to other customers (getting out of their way, sharing a box, etc)
C) the people who talk to/are friendly with me

Since I appreciate those tactics I try to be the same way with other dealers when I go to a show as a buyer. But, every now and then (actually...relatively frequently of late) you meet the guys who aren't personable. I don't care to dignify them with my money.

In general though (back to OP's point) I actually just avoid any table where I see a dealer with a price guide or who has signs that say things like "50% of book", etc. The only times I'll go through those boxes is if they aren't in a meticulous order and something like an error/variation might have slipped through. Book is bad at shows. The second a dealer says the word book, I walk.
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2017, 02:24 PM
1952boyntoncollector 1952boyntoncollector is online now
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I think basically most sellers use these various weapons in various order but ends the same way:

1. This is what SMR is
2. This is the book price
3. Yes i am charging more than than either #1 or #2 but my card is much better example. ie. better centering
4. Yes, my card has bad centering but look at the POP?
5. Look at VCP
6. Yes, I am asking for more than VCP but the card is trending up
7. Yes the card is not trending up in the last few sales, but there is a current auction in which the card is already bid to X.
8. Yes the card is not trending up and there is no current auction but this card is undervalued.

Now the end all be all :

9. I am must trying to get what I paid for the card. (so market value means nothing)

With the grand ending.

10. If cant sell ill keep it, 'dont have to sell it'
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Old 03-13-2017, 03:20 PM
packs packs is offline
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I don't think a lot of the guys at card shows even want to sell their cards. If they did, there's no logic behind the pricing. I don't believe in paying more for something because I bought it in person. We live in the age of the internet. I can buy anything any time I want. You should give me a decent price to buy your item here today while you're renting a table which costs you money whether you sell a card or not. Maybe that's a controversial opinion, but I think buying in person should get you a discount, particularly if you're paying cash.

Last edited by packs; 03-13-2017 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 03-13-2017, 04:54 PM
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JeremyW JeremyW is offline
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I think that dealers are competing with us collectors on Ebay & major auction houses. They keep driving up the prices because they can't get the finds that they did in the good old days.
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Old 03-13-2017, 06:16 PM
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bnorth bnorth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1952boyntoncollector View Post
9. I am must trying to get what I paid for the card. (so market value means nothing)

With the grand ending.

10. If cant sell ill keep it, 'dont have to sell it'
Both of these describe me. I am now a collector that occasionally sells extras or stuff I no longer want.

So I will sell it but if I don't get my price I will happily keep it.

One thing that really amazes me about people is they expect a real card dealer to be able to compete with the prices of someone on eBay. The real dealer has to pay all sorts of fees and taxes. The average guy on eBay has no overhead and does not pay taxes(the thing that pays for all the stuff we take for granted).
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Old 03-13-2017, 06:25 PM
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Exhibitman Exhibitman is offline
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Well having been on both sides of the table for 30+ years (damn I am getting old), there are a lot of cross-cutting issues at work at the same time for dealers.

I usually bring some 'eye candy' to shows, cards I really do not want to sell unless I get a really great offer. Call it the live equivalent of a crazy BIN on eBay. So they definitely fall under the my way or the highway banner. I've gotten those offers from time to time.

Many of the weekend warriors who take a space at a local show don't do this for a living. They do it to get the chance at wholesale buys, to make some cash for further collecting, to gradually downsize, or because the wife demands it. In other words, moving inventory is not the only priority. One of our members here (I won't say who since his wife may be reading) once had an entire showcase at one National full of cards that were priced so high that they were basically not for sale because he had promised his wife he would take them to the show and offer them for sale. As far as I know he's still married and got away with it!

eBay has both killed shows and made selling at them less desperate. While it is always nice to make lots of sales, I don't "have to" move merch at a show because I can list it in my eBay store and retail it there.

The issue of when to take a loss is a difficult one. I certainly have cards I am upside down on. I sell them from time to time when it makes sense. One observation on this: I am much more likely to sustain a loss on a sale if I have had a really strong sale day already. If I am asked to discount and lose money at the start of the day, I am less likely to do so, but with a wad of cash in hand, I might say WTF. eBay affects that too: I don't "have to" take a loss at a show because I can probably find a buyer online if I am going to lose money.
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Last edited by Exhibitman; 03-13-2017 at 06:26 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-13-2017, 07:21 PM
polakoff polakoff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exhibitman View Post
The issue of when to take a loss is a difficult one. I certainly have cards I am upside down on. I sell them from time to time when it makes sense. One observation on this: I am much more likely to sustain a loss on a sale if I have had a really strong sale day already. If I am asked to discount and lose money at the start of the day, I am less likely to do so, but with a wad of cash in hand, I might say WTF. eBay affects that too: I don't "have to" take a loss at a show because I can probably find a buyer online if I am going to lose money.
This is funny because I'm the opposite. If I know I'm upside down on a card and I get an offer I think is fair and is somewhat close to the card, I'd rather start my day knowing it's off my plate and knowing that I can pay for my tables/transportation/hotel/food with the sale. If I've made a good deal of money at the show, I'd rather hang onto the card and hope I can get a stronger offer since I already made my money.
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