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View Poll Results: Does allowing card trading at card shows (or retail stores) promote or hinder sales?
It would have a positive impact as it might increase sales. 82 67.21%
It would have a negative impact as it would reduce sales. 15 12.30%
There would be no net effect to sellers (positive or negative). 25 20.49%
Voters: 122. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 04-01-2013, 01:28 PM
tschock tschock is offline
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Default Does allowing card trading at card shows (or retail stores) promote or hinder sales?

While it might appear counter-intuitive at first glance, I believe promoting card TRADING at card shows (and to a lesser extent, B&M stores) by providing a trading area is actually a healthy proposition for the card dealers and store owners, providing it doesn't mean the real estate required for trading would otherwise reduce the real estate available for sellers.

I've literally done 1000s of trades online (though almost all NON pre-war cards) and my personal experience in going to shows is that I don't end up spending any LESS money, but rather spend my money on different items. In fact I might argue that allowing this type of activity could even end up generating MORE revenue for dealers in increased sales of items that I (and others) may not have otherwise purchased.

For example, I would never have even considered starting (let alone finishing) a 1955 Bowman set if not for the ability to obtain a starter in a trade with another on-line trader. Being able to make that trade directly promoted my purchase of the '55 Mantle from a dealer at a subsequent show. Something I would not have done without the starter trade. Would I have spent my money anyway on something else? Perhaps, but trading created new "holes" that "needed to be filled" and expanded the dealers' opportunity to make a sale.

Even though my experience isn't pre-war specific, would the ability to engage in on-site trading apply to pre-war collectors at all? Or would this experience be confined to set collectors of later issues? I'm sure with those that have a narrow list of specific wants, this ability would have no impact to either the buyer or seller. But I'm curious to get others' feedback on this.
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2013, 01:41 PM
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I think it would hurt some sales if someone has a trade instead of buying from a dealer, however dealer sales could increase based on 2 premises...more interest/higher attendance and the use of dealer merchandise in a trade, ie you have what I want so let's find something dealer A has that can get this deal done.
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  #3  
Old 04-01-2013, 06:11 PM
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I floated this idea about 20 years ago when I worked part time at a local card shop. We did it like this...

Once a month we would have a trading day. We would bring out two large round tables in the front of the store and extra chairs. Admission was a $1, free if you were 16 and under (and the admission covered a slice of pizza from the place next door). Traders would come and trade cards. The store would also trade.

It created several great things for the store...good will being number one. We often traded and rotated some inventory and nearly every trading day was double our average sales day. Getting people into the store was concern number one for those days....they often spent money on things like supplies, wax, and grab bags which would trade at the tables. We did this for nearly a year and a half...the store lost the lease and did not want to pay nearly double to stay.

I miss trading. Loved going to the old Beverly Garland shows in Toluca Lake and sitting at the trading tables or the early Air-Tel shows where people could walk across the hall and have a room to trade.

Joshua
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  #4  
Old 04-01-2013, 06:31 PM
abothebear abothebear is offline
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The store by me has a bid board where patrons can consign their items with the store getting a commission. It means that most of their older cards sit unsold at their becket price tag. But most of their business is fresh packs and suplies anyway and this weekly project brings in people on a very regular basis - to see what is on the bid board, and to see what they may have won, to drop off stuff to auction, and pick up the little bit of money they may have got.

I am convinced it is what keeps the store in business. And it is the main reason I got back into collecting - I checked out the store just to see what was up with the hobby these days and saw I could bid and win the cards I always wanted as a kid for a few bucks (I won a handful of '68 Topps HOFers for nothing and was hooked back into the game). And it provided a way for me to get cards for my son very cheap. I could get a box of newer cards sans patch cards for $10 and put together grab bags of 100 cards for less than a buck (with patch cards I pick up off the board of players I choose), whereas a pack of 7 cards with costs $3. And any cards I don't want clogging up my kid's room I put in another box and auction it off and get some of my money back.

I'm pretty sure they have done a trading night before, but I have not been to it. I think trading would have a similar benefit to the stores and to shows.
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  #5  
Old 04-01-2013, 07:21 PM
travrosty travrosty is offline
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it's harder to trade now with card grading mucking it all up. in the old days you could trade a 1954 topps of joe blow for a 1955 topps john q public straight up if they were worth approximately the same in excellent/near mint condition and both parties would be happy.


now if one is an 8 and the other an 8.5 even though they look the same condition wise, the guy with the higher card will demand more in trade for his card even though the guy with the 8 card thinks an even up trade is fair because they both look the same, so they won't come to an agreement because just the half grade difference means hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars!
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  #6  
Old 04-01-2013, 07:35 PM
hangman62 hangman62 is offline
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Default trade at shows

I recall back in 80s...a few shows would set aside a large table or area for trading....havent seen that in a long long time now.

Id love the idea..as Ive always been a big card swapping guy..but somehow I dont think it would sit well with dealers who often pay big money for tables at these shows.. only to see collectors happily having fun swapping cards and not spending money at their tables
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  #7  
Old 04-01-2013, 07:39 PM
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I'm hardly a businessman. but I think more people through the door = more sales.
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  #8  
Old 04-01-2013, 08:53 PM
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It's where our hobby's roots are, and any positive that can bring in more people (buyers) is a good thing.
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Last edited by jimm; 04-01-2013 at 08:54 PM.
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  #9  
Old 04-01-2013, 08:57 PM
cobblove cobblove is offline
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I think you can only ask the guy paying the rent.
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  #10  
Old 04-02-2013, 07:56 AM
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I love the idea and I will discuss it for our culver city show on may 18.
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  #11  
Old 04-02-2013, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobblove View Post
I think you can only ask the guy paying the rent.
If I were having a show I would definitely do something like a "trade" section and let folks have at it. Any time we can facilitate collectors having fun is good for the hobby in the long run. Even if I were just setting up at a show I would feel the same way. For the dealers saying it takes money from them, a quick look at their tables will probably find a lot of museum pieces (ie...not selling). Just one person's opinion.
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  #12  
Old 04-02-2013, 09:22 AM
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There should have one table at the Net54 dinner just for trading.
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  #13  
Old 04-02-2013, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewish-collector View Post
There should have one table at the Net54 dinner just for trading.

Done. If guys/girls want to bring some cards I will make sure there is a trading table set aside just for that.
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  #14  
Old 04-02-2013, 09:56 AM
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it'd definitely be fun to do some trading while drinking during the social hour(S)!
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  #15  
Old 04-02-2013, 01:01 PM
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Some pack rips could be fun to watch at the dinner
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  #16  
Old 04-02-2013, 01:24 PM
Matthew H Matthew H is offline
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Trading at a card show sounds like fun, of course.

It would be harmless fun until traders started selling each other cards, which IMO would be inevitable. Card show attendees selling each other cards puts dealers who traveled/set-up at an unfair disadvantage, and could possibly ruin a show.
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  #17  
Old 04-02-2013, 02:24 PM
tschock tschock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exhibitman View Post
I love the idea and I will discuss it for our culver city show on may 18.
Adam,

I proposed this idea to the current promoter of the local North Carolina shows last year and he is open to the idea. He only bought/took over the franchise from the previous, long-time promoter last year and didn't want to "rock the boat" until he was a bit more established as the current promoter.
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  #18  
Old 04-03-2013, 01:28 AM
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Default If it was honest

And kept to trading but we all know it would evolve into selling to each other. Plus dealers do pay a fee to set up and part of the set up fee is for the ability to acquire material and I think this may hinder there ability to acquire new inventory, which in many cases is the number one reason dealers do shows.
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  #19  
Old 04-03-2013, 01:47 AM
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Wow, this thread is interesting. Having never been to a real card show,I had just assumed that trading went along with the territory. I figured people may go to the shows with items they intended to try to trade for other cards they needed/wanted, especially if they were low on funds.

I can see how sellers who pay to set up tables would get a little upset seeing someone standing outside the main door hitting people up before they entered-that would seem a bit out of line. But, I figured once you were in and had trade bait that it would just be a normal part of the hobby.

Has anyone ever set up a table specifically (at a large show, like the National) just for trading? I know it seems like that person would lose money on the table, unless he/she was able to make some remarkable trades.

Sincerely, Clayton
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  #20  
Old 04-03-2013, 05:33 PM
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I am breaking this down into two answers...one for retail locations and one for shows.

I ran a card store for a couple years and always allowed (even encouraged) my customers to trade cards for cards. As long as there was no cash changing hands, I was fine with this. The net result of this - and other similar policies designed to create a hobby-friendly environment - was a customer base that grew quickly over a relatively short period of time. Others may disagree, and that's fine. However, it was my personal experience that allowing customer trading positively impacted the bottom line.

Long story short, it brought people into the store...and once they got there, they had a great all-around experience. Take care of the customers and the sales will follow.

As for shows, that's a bit trickier to answer. I have done countless card shows, and always traded with customers. Personally, I found it to be a great way to grow my inventory. It also kept my selection of cards fresh. I also attracted quite a few customers who were thrilled at the trade-in value I gave for the cards I traded for...2/3 of the (condition adjusted) book price. So, if you wanted, say, a $40 card from my showcase (yes, I displayed them with the prices showing) and I wanted a card from you that was worth $60...I would take the trade...every time.

Some dealers have given 1/2 the value of a card when taking a trade-in, and I personally think that's fine, too. After all, there is overhead involved on their end, and they are setting up to make money. If most dealers approached trading this way, I might answer differently. My personal experience has been quite different, though.

It seems to me (from my limited perspective) that, on the whole, dealers are somewhat reluctant to trade. I have asked quite a few that have flat out said, "no." They don't even bother to look at what I have brought with me. The general gist of their logic is that they will buy something if they want it...and then I can spend that money on what they're selling. OK, I get it; however, when the cash offers come forth, they are usually at such a low percentage of the card's value, I figure it would be much better for ms to sell it elsewhere.

I also find dealers who offer to trade...but only offer 5-15% of a card's value when trading for it. This is after cherry picking the 2 or 3 best cards from the box. Again, I stand to do much better selling them elsewhere.

So,I personally think trading amongst collectors at shows is fine, if the dealers are not providing this service (at a level which does not resemble larceny) to the customers. I still think no cash should be changing hands...and do admit it would be tough to police. Still, I believe it would boost attendance and positively impact the bottom line for the dealers. Perhaps a dedicated trading section of the show...definitely not amidst the dealer tables.

As an aside...halfway through writing this, I realized how much I miss setting up at card shows. Perhaps I might start doing that again. And I would definitely be trading.

Sorry for the long post. Guess the topic meant more to me than I thought when starting to write it.

Happy collecting, everyone.

Best Regards,

Eric
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  #21  
Old 04-03-2013, 06:48 PM
Rich Klein Rich Klein is offline
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Default A few random thoughts

One -- my local card store *Triple Cards in Plano* has a Wednesday trade night. Usually his regulars just trade amongst themselves and they usually end up buying extra boxes or supplies or whatever. For the owner, that type of trade night works but unfortunately he has never figured out a way to increase that for more collectors.

The local show I set up at is really too small for a trade area. Some of the bigger shows back in the day used to set up trade areas and the sounds of silence from those areas tended to be deafening. Usually the real action involved buying and selling and involved the dealers.

I never really liked to trade as a dealer, I preferred back in the day to buy cards and then if you wanted to buy something from me you had money to do so and if not, you had money to buy from other dealers. Just easier that way for me.

Rich
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  #22  
Old 04-04-2013, 05:49 AM
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IMO trading, by definition would of course reduce sales.

BUT jike josh said, having a "trading day" maybe once a week or once a month, would likely increace the traffic into the store, which inturn could get you more regular loyal clients comming back over and over, and therefore more sales.

So, i could help if its done on a limmited basis.
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  #23  
Old 04-18-2014, 07:51 PM
brightair brightair is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon View Post
Done. If guys/girls want to bring some cards I will make sure there is a trading table set aside just for that.
Leon, you're on! I'll bring some tradables to Cleveland and I know a couple dozen others who will too, OBCers and various guys from VCT and OCT etc...

Just let us know where and when!

Richard D
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  #24  
Old 04-18-2014, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightair View Post
Leon, you're on! I'll bring some tradables to Cleveland and I know a couple dozen others who will too, OBCers and various guys from VCT and OCT etc...

Just let us know where and when!

Richard D
Hi Richard
That was last year we were speaking of. I am skipping a Net54baseball dinner this year. I just don't feel like doing it....but most likely will have one again in Chicago next year. If we do then a trading table would be fine and I can get it done....thanks a lot!!
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:46 PM
Sean1125 Sean1125 is offline
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Back in the 80's...

Oh wait, sorry guys, I wasn't born in the 80's

I believe trading (both promoting it between customers, and customer to shop) creates goodwill far and beyond anything that the loss you take.

I think of it like giving away $5 to make $50 in a year or two's time.

Last edited by Sean1125; 04-18-2014 at 11:46 PM.
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