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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Trip to the Card Show - - A Mall Show

Ah, the Mall Show.  Is there any event like it in the card collecting industry?  Sure the convention shows, the National, all the Tri-Star events, and even the little "weekend warrior" events at the local VFW may yield a more productive batch of cards for your collection but the vibe just isn't the same.  You tend to see some interesting things at a mall show, if not for just the people alone. 

For those of you that have never been to, or have seen a mall show, you are missing out.  Mall shows tend to be populated by many of your local dealers (by local, I mean within the same general regional area, if there is such a thing) as well as guys that have traveled some distance just to get there.  Why is this an attractive event to travel to?  It used to be for foot traffic.  Traditionally, malls would receive more visitors in the course of a day/weekend than any other event location.  More traffic, means more browsers.  More browsers means more opportunities for a sale.  It's basic math.  Many dealers could make their table cost back in the course of the first day and pocket the rest of the weekend.

However, the malls suffered when the economy took a dump.  Why go to the mall and pay inflated prices for merchandise that you can get at the local big box department store like a Target or Walmart?  People are pinching pennies, so to speak, and they need to save money where they can.  The mall just didn't seem to be in the budget anymore for most households (it really never was in mine anyway).

So my trip was for one purpose and that was to find something for my PC.   In the process, I met a dealer from Southern Illinois that just so happened to bring a ton of vintage hockey and football with him (obviously trying to capitalize on the Blackhawks bandwagon).  It seemed like everyone else had the same idea as well and the tables were littered with memorabilia and apparel, much more than cards.  Autograph hounds and Jersey Collectors would have had a field day, if not for the prices.  I stick to cards, though.  Here is some of what I picked up...

Some Steelers for my PC that I didn't have...

A few "newer" cards in the mix but a ton of vintage cards.  I picked up about 100 cards total, all from the same dealer and nothing newer than 1984.  He had pretty fair prices and the cards were in great condition for their age.  My only regret is I didn't have a chance to go back on Sunday to go through the other hockey boxes.  Lots of 60s and 70s stuff for $1-2 a piece.


  1. Hey, this blog just got easier to read. The text is black on a white background, and slightly bigger. I now enjoy this blog more :)

    Mall shows are cool. I think you don't have them much anymore because shopping malls these days are outdoor malls, or strip malls.

    In fact, the mall I used to frequent in my childhood--The Brickyard--was torn down and re-built as a giant strip mall.

    Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, they used to have a card show every summer at the Brickyard. I used to make it a point to go not one, but both days (I lived 2 blocks away, and worked at the mall, too.) The show was great--it got a lot of local dealers, a lot of non-dealers selling stuff too, and you could usually find great prices on stuff. I miss that show :(

  2. Yeah, I have been messing with the format for a while now. I am still not 100% happy with it but any feedback is good feedback. Thanks, Sal.


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