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  #1  
Old 03-21-2020, 06:38 PM
polakoff polakoff is offline
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Default Virtual card show?

I am in the early stages of development of this concept with a few other folks -- it is not my intent to make a dime on this endeavor (will likely lose some money and lots of time) but before I get too far down the road I figured I would pitch it here to see if it is actually something that would be of interest to people.

The idea is a virtual card show that would work like this:


-Initially, 40 to 50 "vendors." The intent would be to grow this pool for subsequent "shows" but the initial one would be kept smaller. Prospective vendors would fill out an application and be vetted by me and my team. What kind of vetting, you may ask? Nothing too complicated -- the application would essentially ask for what sorts of inventory you have available, your experience selling (forums? ebay? shows?), and your technological capacity. The idea here is that a) vendors would be seen as trustworthy folks as they are being vetted, and b) we would have vendors selling a wide range of items and not just a bunch of people selling the same things. "Tables" would likely be free for vendors. There is a small possibility something nominal like $5 or $10 may be the cost, but it is my intent to make it happen completely free so vendors keep everything they make.

-Buyers would visit our webpage where they would find a list of vendors. The list could also be sorted/filtered by any number of "tags" dealers may apply to themselves. For example, I could filter by vendors who say they sell vintage and commons and off-grade.

-When a buyer selects a vendor, he is taken to the vendor's "room" where the vendor is set up behind a webcam. Buyers will enter the room on mute automatically and the vendor can unmute them at will. There is also a chat function, so if a vendor is talking to another customer, you could type out a request. Of course, nothing beats digging through boxes (for me) or looking at eye candy in a display case. But the idea here is there is a personal interaction with buyer to dealer, and buyer can ask dealer for particular cards. Of course the dealer may not always be able to find everything in his inventory at that exact moment, but the dealer could get the customer's information to get back in touch later. In a way it's like a matchmaking service between card collector and card dealer.

-There would also be a function by which a customer could schedule a one-on-one appointment with a dealer for a time outside the show. Vendors would maintain their schedule availability.

-There would also be a "lobby" room where we would run contests and giveaways, and allow for general live chatting about cards.


I would hope this "show" would run at least once a month for 4-5 hours, and of course, scheduled appointments could be made as well with dealers. If successful it could bump to greater frequency. I would also hope this outlasts the coronavirus as plenty of locales in this country don't have a card show to speak of.

This is the only place on the internet I'm sharing this idea as I sort of implicitly trust this community and don't think the idea will be stolen here (and if it is, someone else will get to put in the hard work and cost of trying to make it work, so that's fine!). But I am interested in any and all feedback, especially the type that tells me if you'd have interest in this sort of setup as a buyer or a vendor, or if you think there would be general interest in the idea. I promise I won't get my feelings hurt.
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:17 PM
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Some interesting ideas. I don’t like the video part. Why not just a virtual display room with a chat text function where parties interact and can real time chat? Personally I don’t need to see the dealer.

Last edited by Snapolit1; 03-21-2020 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:37 PM
polakoff polakoff is offline
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The thought of video was two-fold: one, to allow dealers to show cards to buyers if desired, but two, most importantly, to try to replicate the conversations and conviviality of a card show. I had considered a live chat only but it seemed to be like that would be easier for people to troll, and also it seemed like maybe that wouldn't be different enough from message boards
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:45 PM
Bram99 Bram99 is offline
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Default or how about

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapolit1 View Post
Some interesting ideas. I donít like the video part. Why not just a virtual display room with a chat text function where parties interact and can real time chat? Personally I donít need to see the dealer.
Just a skype-like meeting that can have a camera or not.
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:32 PM
hcv123 hcv123 is offline
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Default Interesting thought

For starters I would be up for trying it on both the dealer and buyer side. Been selling on Ebay since 1998 and in the hobby even longer.

The thing that stood out as most interesting in your description was the "face time" opportunity and no selling fees (that's a pretty big one). Other than that not sure how it would be much different than Ebay? It would be cool if you could think of a way to "browse" dealer "tables" virtually.
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:51 PM
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Sounds interesting. I like the idea of video.
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Old 03-21-2020, 09:02 PM
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This is a great idea. I look forward to more details. Us keeping our great hobby alive in any way is awesome
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:22 AM
Buckeyez Buckeyez is offline
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Default Great Idea...

Really like the concept; would require digitization of inventory which could be time consuming, particularly for raw's and commons. I also like the idea of video capability if desired as well. I'm a vintage collector too, so a big plus would be categorization (if possible) of the sellers offerings. If all they are selling is new stuff and refactors, I can probably pass on the wing of the virtual Mall. The key here is the value created for both the buyer and the seller in terms of fees avoidance, and the ability to host a truly national event without the expense of set up...

I think this may actually be more innovative than what meets the eye. The hobby evolved to card shows, than to e-commerce, and this would seem to be another evolution that blends the two and unlocks some economic value back to the hobby.

JS
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:59 AM
smellthegum smellthegum is offline
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A brewery collectibles club I belong to has been doing these for years (also using PHPBB3). They're a lot of fun. There is one going on now in fact that started yesterday that is titled 'The Self-Quarantine Online Show.' We usually do just 1-day shows though where the 'live' portion of the show (hosted chat, PMs, giveaways, contests) is about 3-4 hours but the dealer rooms stay up pretty much until the next online show. We use photos, not video to depict items for sale. A host or moderator runs things and promotes chat in the chatroom and does giveaways and contests. We post rules, a hospitality room, and show what prizes will be awarded. It's pretty intense being an involved host during that 3-4 hrs. Here's the 'lobby' with the above mentioned rooms, rules etc.: http://www.therustybunch.com/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=429
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Last edited by smellthegum; 03-22-2020 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:02 PM
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Really like the thoughts and admire the passion. Set up a GoFund page and see if you can raise some start-up costs? Most of us would pitch in a few bucks for something that improves our hobby.
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:25 PM
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Default Re: Virtual card show?

Interesting concept. How would this work for those of us who already have a website?
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:33 PM
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Interesting concept. How would this work for those of us who already have a website?
That is my thought. I have had one to display my cards for the last 15 yrs.

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Old 03-25-2020, 08:09 PM
polakoff polakoff is offline
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At first thought I figured a dealer page, which would have the link to the dealer's "room", would also be able to link to the dealer's website/facebook/ebay/instagram.
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:48 AM
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Is the thought that this would be limited strictly and exclusively to cards, or would memorabilia
-- balls, bats, autographs, photos, uniforms, &c', &c' -- be part of the "show" as well?
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:59 AM
bbcard1 bbcard1 is offline
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In the virtual card show could you possibly incorporate the idea of the dealers looking at their phones while I want to look at their cards?
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  #16  
Old 03-26-2020, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbcard1 View Post
In the virtual card show could you possibly incorporate the idea of the dealers looking at their phones while I want to look at their cards?
And make sure none of the cards are clearly marked with a price. Make it as realistic as possible.
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Old 03-26-2020, 01:49 PM
philliesfan philliesfan is offline
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I like the idea for both as a seller and a buyer.
I would surely use it as both.
Good luck.
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  #18  
Old 03-26-2020, 02:31 PM
polakoff polakoff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butch7999 View Post
Is the thought that this would be limited strictly and exclusively to cards, or would memorabilia
-- balls, bats, autographs, photos, uniforms, &c', &c' -- be part of the "show" as well?
I would aim to have memorabilia dealers as well -- at least a few.

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Originally Posted by bbcard1 View Post
In the virtual card show could you possibly incorporate the idea of the dealers looking at their phones while I want to look at their cards?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapolit1 View Post
And make sure none of the cards are clearly marked with a price. Make it as realistic as possible.
Great idea! Maybe we can also encourage the vendors to eat in front of you and not acknowledge your presence when you enter the room

In all seriousness, the idea is that dealers who were not interactive and got complaints would not be asked back to future shows.
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Old 03-26-2020, 03:54 PM
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Jokes aside, itís a very interesting idea.
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Old 03-26-2020, 04:52 PM
bbcard1 bbcard1 is offline
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Quote:
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Jokes aside, itís a very interesting idea.
I completely agree. It's a great idea.
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