With all of the trading I have been doing of late, I'm finding that my trade box is getting a little lighter. While I do feel like I've got a good chunk of cards to haul around with me to trade nights and such, I also feel like the quality of cards has slid a bit.
So today's trip to the local card show had a little bit of a mission behind it. Replenish the trade box. And what good timing.....last show of the season (for this location). So a few sales were on the table. In fact, the topic came up a couple times.....I'll get into that in a bit.
But first, some of my pickups.
One of the great concepts that has been developed over the past few years has been that of the Social Signatures variety. I love the look of my Linden SS from Panini Classics last year. Great design. The one small miss is of course the lack of the social signature.
In fact, that's been the big drawback with all of Panini's attempts at this set. You get a handful of players jumping on board with the idea only to have it ruined by some who decide to only slap their auto on the card.
This year Panini decided to give it the ol' college try again. They announced that a (minimum) 70-card offering would be inserted into multiple products put out by Panini this season. For the record, I like the cross-product set builds. The Private Signings idea was hugely successful in my opinion.
Panini decided to do a show of the roster of signers. I've got to say....I was impressed. That was until I saw a tiny group of non-compliers. So I'd like to say "Thanks!" to Anze Kopitar, Carey Price, Jaromir Jagr, John Tavares. Thanks for ruining it. I count only 6 cards out of the 70 - SIX....with guys who didn't read the instructions.
And with Panini not doing hockey after this year, it might be a while before we see this concept fully realize its potential.
With the release of 13/14 Titanium, the quest started for these cards. Here's what I picked up today.
Nice hard-signed signature with the twitter handle just below. Slow down though Andrew.....I can barely make out your penmanship.
Jake and Andrew must have gone to the same writing class. Gardiner just a little bit better.
George's fists may have hindered his signing ability. Sloppy.
Another guy who might have been rushing his order. After all, there's extra letters and numbers that need to be added.
Wrong. Way to blow it Anze!
Part of the reason why I picked up these five cards is that they were in the cheap boxes. These days (if I'm not finding Lindens or Masks at the shows) I'm scrounging the loonie and toonie boxes for deals. My wallet only allows for so much.
And at $7 for the five cards......I'll do that. The Kopitar might recoup that alone (or at very least make for good tradebait).
Now a quick aside.
At today's show I overheard (and was partially involved) in some talk about people gravitating towards the cheap boxes. People questioning why they even set up at the show - or for that matter, why they rip wax to begin with. If all people want are cheap cards why bother.
I interjected with my two cents.
I'm not a huge box (or case) buster so I'm not investing into the hobby that way. But I think the root of hockey card collecting is very simple...
If you are doing something that you don't like - DON'T DO IT.
Nobody is forcing anyone to open boxes. Nobody is forcing anyone to put certain cards on their table. People will gravitate to what interests them.
Would I like to open more? Yup. But my focus is set on Linden cards. Often I have to choose between opening stuff or buying singles. I choose singles (most of the time).
Would it be great to get top dollar on cards at your show? Yup. And I'd love to buy more singles. But if they aren't named Linden then I've got to be a lot more selective. That's part of the reason why the discount boxes appeal to me.
And who's not a sucker for a good deal? Really. If you don't like people scrounging in your cheap boxes....don't put them out on your table.
I heard the comment that the $10 bin turned into the $5 bin, the $5 into $2 and the $2 into $1.....and watch the people flock. Duh? People pin in on a sale. And if you've got your cards priced to go....they'll go.
Unfortunately, a lot of people won't pull the trigger on a good deal unless it's a stupidly good deal (myself included). Would I have bought these five Social Signature cards if they were double the price? Probably not. I might have picked up one...or two. I bought these cards for the purpose of putting them into my trade box. So there has to be a bit of room there to move on my end.
Ultimately, the mindset of setting up at a show needs to be "Here I am, here's what I have, here's what it's priced for. I'm ok with all of it and if I don't sell a single thing....I need to either accept that - or change what I'm doing".
I don't dictate what you price your cards for.....but I do decide if I'm buying from you or not. And when my wallet is on a leash, there's got to be something that catches my eye for me to chase it.
Sorry for the mini rant (I don't feel like I ranted, but it felt long). I just don't like people setting up at a show and then complaining the whole show about why things suck.
This is a hobby......have fun.