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  #1  
Old 05-01-2021, 09:06 PM
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Default What to expect at “The National”

I threw out something about going to Chicago to my wife a few months ago. I was half joking. Well, she went and is in the process of booking a trip to Chicago for “The National”. I have a few questions: what am I to expect? Deals to be made? Prices raised? Will I find another Zeenut Joe Jenkins? Will I stumble upon some T206 Cobbs? A reasonable W514 Joe Jackson? Will I meet fellow net54 guys?

Last edited by Kevin; 05-03-2021 at 05:15 PM. Reason: Joe JENKINS!
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2021, 10:31 PM
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I would expect your National trip to occur in October.
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2021, 12:21 AM
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Bring a lot of cash,,
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  #4  
Old 05-02-2021, 07:42 AM
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Bring lots of cash and good footwear and nice socks as youll be walking all day. Dont forget your old stained favorite hat as well, its a code or something.

Youll see more stuff than you ever have and talk to more people about cards than an internet site could ever provide.

Snacks in the show are great, Chicago is expensive but a great town if you get into the city.

I bet it'll be the last time you take the wife though...just sayin.
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Old 05-02-2021, 08:11 AM
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JACKED UP MUSEUM PRICES.

Maybe a $500 per card end of week price grading at psa

Last edited by Johnny630; 05-02-2021 at 08:13 AM.
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  #6  
Old 05-02-2021, 08:12 AM
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Hotel and airline refunds.
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Old 05-02-2021, 08:27 AM
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More Pokemon cards than you ever imagined......
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  #8  
Old 05-02-2021, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
I threw out something about going to Chicago to my wife a few months ago. I was half joking. Well, she went and is in the process of booking a trip to Chicago for “The National”. I have a few questions: what am I to expect? Deals to be made? Prices raised? Will I find another Zeenut Joe Jackson ? Will I stumble upon some T206 Cobbs? A reasonable W514 Joe Jackson? Will I meet fellow net54 guys?
I’ve been to every national in Chicago. Great deals can be found on Sundays.
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Old 05-02-2021, 10:31 AM
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I haven't kept up with the news but is the national expected to take place this year?
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  #10  
Old 05-02-2021, 10:40 AM
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Default There's a National every month in Texas u should vaca there??

Its awesome...Chicago's a joke will not happen u can barely go to a baseball game outside in Chicago.
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  #11  
Old 05-02-2021, 10:48 AM
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Count on October if you're lucky, and don't expect many deals.
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  #12  
Old 05-02-2021, 12:47 PM
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Expect nothing to be priced reasonably and to rage buy a card for more than you'd like to pay before you leave.
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  #13  
Old 05-02-2021, 02:00 PM
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Expect crickets. My guess is that the National will be cancelled.
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  #14  
Old 05-02-2021, 02:43 PM
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Unless you are expecting madness, dont think any predictions made for a National in this market will be correct.

The market is insane. We’ve never seen anything like it. A National will be unlike anything any of us have seen.
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  #15  
Old 05-02-2021, 03:22 PM
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Couldn't even approach the door and get in to a small local show out here last week due to room capacity/social distancing requirements. Hundreds and hundreds of people stuck in line and going nowhere for the entire day. I can't even imagine what kind of Rip Van Winkle nightmare The National would be.
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  #16  
Old 05-02-2021, 03:53 PM
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Unfortunately when you ask a serious question like that you will get all kinds of answers. The facts remain that the National is essentially a huge card show where you can find all kinds of card and memorabilia. Will you find everything possible -- NO, but you will find a fantastic selection of sports and non -sports paper and non-paper items.

If you are looking for rare items, then do NOT listen to those that say wait until Sunday for the best bargain. The rarest of the rare will probably be sold on Day 1 or 2. Serious collectors come out on day 1 or 2 or even the set up day if someone close gets them in the door.

If you are looking for common or easy to find collectibles, then it's not necessary to get there early, and some dealers will have bargains on Saturday and Sunday.

After reading the Covid level requirements for conventions, it is quite likely that the National will be delayed until October unless there are some major results in May in Illinois.

I have not set up at a show since August 2019 and look forward to the next National, but if only 1,000 individuals can enter the convention at any one time, and over 500 are dealers set up at the show, it's counter-productive to have the National until Phase 5 is met (when there are no such attendance requirements).

I am planning on getting ready for the National this week so I can be ready with a display that I am happy with.

BTW, I want to correct a misconception that many are making: This is NOT a time that we have never seen in the hobby. I have done card shows for 45 years and the hobby has seen many such explosions of collecting. In particular, the late 1970s and the mid-1980s, they used to throw money at us to get first dibs on an item.

But the hobby has never seen the kind of money that is currently being spent on rookies and limited edition collectibles.

The 2021 National should be interesting.
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  #17  
Old 05-03-2021, 04:49 PM
Tony Gordon Tony Gordon is offline
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As I type this from my office, located about 10 miles west of the location of the National, I am feeling pretty good that the National is going to happen. Illinois has come a long way over the past year or so when a picture of a masked Mayor of Chicago was a meme to stay home. Restaurants and bars are back open. The mayor just started to allow fans at Bulls and Blackhawks games. I'm making plans with friends to go see some White Sox games. We finally have a good supply of vaccine in the area and more and more locations are distributing the vaccine. I go for my second shot on May 15. I am also setting up at a show south of Rosemont on May 23. I think we'll reach Phase 5 before July. If not, we'll certainly reach Phase 5 before October.

I've been to just about every National that has ever been in Chicago and to me, each National has been worth the price of admission. I love seeing the huge amount of cards, memorabilia, along with the current and retired pro athletes. I also enjoy getting to talk to like-minded folks from all over the country.

Though, I think you will have a tough time finding a deal with demand at an all-time high. I've been attending shows since the 1970's and setting up since the 1980's and have never seen this type of money being spent at card shows before. I am making more money selling cards at my monthly show in Milwaukee than I ever have in the past. I don't need to discount anything. I should probably raise my prices.

The National is traditionally my best show as a dealer. With the current card market, this year's National is going to be nuts. Regardless, the National is just special. You will see and experience things that cannot be experienced anywhere else. For example, 10 to 12 years ago, I was standing in front of huge display case at one of the auction houses admiring some trophies and awards belonging to one of my childhood heroes -- Dr. J. I felt someone approach on my left, looked up, and was staring at Dr. J himself -- that was a bit of heaven for me. While money is great, I'm sports fan first and to see, touch, and talk to my sports heroes is better than anything that money can buy. I love the National and can't wait. Should be fun!
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  #18  
Old 05-03-2021, 05:37 PM
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The best part of the National is the Net54 dinner. It's the place I can see Leon & tell him what I really think of him
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  #19  
Old 05-04-2021, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Gordon View Post
As I type this from my office, located about 10 miles west of the location of the National, I am feeling pretty good that the National is going to happen. Illinois has come a long way over the past year or so when a picture of a masked Mayor of Chicago was a meme to stay home. Restaurants and bars are back open. The mayor just started to allow fans at Bulls and Blackhawks games. I'm making plans with friends to go see some White Sox games. We finally have a good supply of vaccine in the area and more and more locations are distributing the vaccine. I go for my second shot on May 15. I am also setting up at a show south of Rosemont on May 23. I think we'll reach Phase 5 before July. If not, we'll certainly reach Phase 5 before October.

I've been to just about every National that has ever been in Chicago and to me, each National has been worth the price of admission. I love seeing the huge amount of cards, memorabilia, along with the current and retired pro athletes. I also enjoy getting to talk to like-minded folks from all over the country.

Though, I think you will have a tough time finding a deal with demand at an all-time high. I've been attending shows since the 1970's and setting up since the 1980's and have never seen this type of money being spent at card shows before. I am making more money selling cards at my monthly show in Milwaukee than I ever have in the past. I don't need to discount anything. I should probably raise my prices.

The National is traditionally my best show as a dealer. With the current card market, this year's National is going to be nuts. Regardless, the National is just special. You will see and experience things that cannot be experienced anywhere else. For example, 10 to 12 years ago, I was standing in front of huge display case at one of the auction houses admiring some trophies and awards belonging to one of my childhood heroes -- Dr. J. I felt someone approach on my left, looked up, and was staring at Dr. J himself -- that was a bit of heaven for me. While money is great, I'm sports fan first and to see, touch, and talk to my sports heroes is better than anything that money can buy. I love the National and can't wait. Should be fun!
Great post!
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  #20  
Old 05-04-2021, 09:37 AM
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Expect crickets. My guess is that the National will be cancelled.
I can see it being moved to October, but another cancellation would surprise me. Illinois is opening up.

That is always subject to change, but it is trending well here.
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  #21  
Old 05-04-2021, 02:25 PM
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I can see it being moved to October, but another cancellation would surprise me. Illinois is opening up.

That is always subject to change, but it is trending well here.
I saw they gave the OK for the Chicago Auto Show July 15-19 in downtown Chicago. That is a good sign for the National to go off as planned.
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  #22  
Old 05-04-2021, 02:37 PM
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Here's the release referred to. No guarantees but a great sign!

https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/dept...kpLxrwJ1occtQk
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Old 05-04-2021, 03:16 PM
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If people can sit three deep, elbow to elbow, aboard a commercial aircraft for a 5hr direct cross county flight fully masked why can’t the National happen at Full Capacity.

Last edited by Johnny630; 05-04-2021 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 05-04-2021, 03:36 PM
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If people can sit three deep, elbow to elbow, aboard a commercial aircraft for a 5hr direct cross county flight fully masked why can’t the National happen at Full Capacity.
...with recirculated air in the plane, no less.

I've stopped counting the number of discrepancies and contradictions enacted within my home state. And despite this, the current infection rate here is higher than most of the free states which have far fewer restrictions.
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Old 05-04-2021, 03:38 PM
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If people can sit three deep, elbow to elbow, aboard a commercial aircraft for a 5hr direct cross county flight fully masked why can’t the National happen at Full Capacity.
Illinois is way backward as far as events is concerned. Texas has been holding booming card shows for over a year with people shoulder to shoulder and everyone having a great time and wearing masks. Mall shows have been good, although they are not as heavily attended as the hotel shows. No restrictions on attendance that I am aware of. There is no reason for them to limit capacity other than those of the Fire Marshal in Chicago. It should go on with no restrictions unless they just want to control the masses, which is very possible.
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  #26  
Old 05-04-2021, 03:44 PM
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Rich -- Obviously, this is fantastic news, but for the National to actually come off, we would need the state to be in the phase 5 stage. The "bridge to phase 5" stage would not be practical due to the limits on attendance. Can the National Committee move forward with the show not knowing if phase 5 will be reached in July? Hopefully the June 1 indicators will point to a July phase 5 unlimited opening.

Rich, I am convinced that the National Committee has all of our interests and safety in mind. If we can reach phase 5 in July, let's have the best National ever held and break all attendance records.

BTW I am already preparing for this year's event and would be SO DISAPPOINTED if it has to be rescheduled.

Steve
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Old 05-04-2021, 03:52 PM
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Stephens Center is opening up in July -- Woot!

https://www.dailyherald.com/news/202...s0r0BgPGW8OGbc
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  #28  
Old 05-04-2021, 03:57 PM
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Tony, Such great news. I am really feeling optimistic that we will have a National in July this year. Steve
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  #29  
Old 05-06-2021, 07:08 AM
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Its awesome...Chicago's a joke will not happen u can barely go to a baseball game outside in Chicago.
Nope. Chicago will be fully and safely reopened by July 4. I've been to four Cubs games this season and everything has been smooth as silk. The tickets are reasonable and, as in the past, cheap in the colder days early in the season. The cap is 10,340. I had the pleasure of eating inside a restaurant ahead of yesterday's game and the capacity in eateries will continue to be expanded. We're going to get our tourism economy back up to snuff this summer-despite naysayers-and prove large outdoor events can be conducted safely.
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Old 05-06-2021, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny630 View Post
If people can sit three deep, elbow to elbow, aboard a commercial aircraft for a 5hr direct cross county flight fully masked why can’t the National happen at Full Capacity.
At this point, that's actually the goal. Pritzker, Lightfoot, etc. are all explicitly stating "full" reopening by July 4.

Strict mask regulations and cabin air filters reduce the risk of outbreaks on flights to almost zero. So my question to DSCC is what exactly is in place air-filtration wise. Didn't the legionnaires disease disaster back in 1976 force convention halls to upgrade HVAC systems? Everyone from the Village will make small talk, but I get ghosted when I ask about firm dates and maintenance work.
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Old 05-06-2021, 07:40 AM
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It's hugely expensive to upgrade HVAC. My place of work is about 30,000 square feet and it cost almost $45,000 to upgrade our system over last summer.
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Old 05-06-2021, 07:58 AM
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It's hugely expensive to upgrade HVAC. My place of work is about 30,000 square feet and it cost almost $45,000 to upgrade our system over last summer.
Indeed. I've found confirmation of a new filtration system at the Theatre and DSCC here, very good news. https://rosemont.com/rosemont-reinvi...vid-19-tunnel/
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:26 AM
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Nope. Chicago will be fully and safely reopened by July 4. I've been to four Cubs games this season and everything has been smooth as silk. The tickets are reasonable and, as in the past, cheap in the colder days early in the season. The cap is 10,340. I had the pleasure of eating inside a restaurant ahead of yesterday's game and the capacity in eateries will continue to be expanded. We're going to get our tourism economy back up to snuff this summer-despite naysayers-and prove large outdoor events can be conducted safely.
Positivity. So refreshing these days. Love it.
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:59 AM
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Bring a lot of cash,,
Too true, but guard it carefully. Professional pickpockets, grifters and con artists will be in abundance.
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:17 AM
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Too true, but guard it carefully. Professional pickpockets, grifters and con artists will be in abundance.
It's always smart to be on guard, however this building is a hard target for the lowlifes because of a couple things.

1) the pinch point at the ticket entrance is the way out and think about how long the distance is from there to River Road-where a bunch more traffic auxiliary Rosemont (aka "The Grampas") are waiting. Escape on the second floor-even tougher. Forget about the fire doors.

2)I've been assured by a 30+ year village exec. that "every inch" of the floor is covered by cameras. At my current job I share space with the security camera terminal and let me tell you, they can see the time on cell phone lock screens, np.

3) Plainclothes presence here is heavy, they love their job (it's a good job) and they communicate well. That image of safety and security is a primary PR detail the village prides itself on.
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:33 PM
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Unfortunately theft is rampant at the National in Rosemont. My booth was hit in 2010. All of the security cameras were off. I later learned that the guy who hit me was a Rosemont cop. He didn’t leave through the front door. He had access to the whole building and snuck out through a side exit. Be careful and vigilant at the show.
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Old 05-09-2021, 11:23 AM
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Unfortunately theft is rampant at the National in Rosemont. My booth was hit in 2010. All of the security cameras were off. I later learned that the guy who hit me was a Rosemont cop. He didn’t leave through the front door. He had access to the whole building and snuck out through a side exit. Be careful and vigilant at the show.
Wow. Sorry to hear that. It's bad enough when someone steals from you but in this hobby, the cards being what they are, makes it ten times worse.
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Old 05-09-2021, 11:44 AM
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Professional pickpockets can often be identified by the chimney soot blowing in the wind behind them.
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Old 05-09-2021, 11:53 AM
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Professional pickpockets can often be identified by the chimney soot blowing in the wind behind them.
Everybody in Rosemont, keep an eye out for these guys...

Fagin is looking a lot like Moser. Could they be one and the same?
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Old 05-09-2021, 01:38 PM
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If someone calls you "Mack" or asks you the hour, you've been targeted.

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Old 05-09-2021, 02:27 PM
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If they're using rhyming slang in a Cockney accent, hightail it out of there quickly!!
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Old 05-09-2021, 02:30 PM
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Because of all of the theft at the National, I now keep all of my showcases locked and only pile items behind the table not in reach of customers. I also don't hand anyone piles of cards anymore: I give them 10 cards at a time so I can keep track of everything. Why? Its easy to palm cards if you give them stacks of cards like I used to do and not think anything of it.

Forgive me for taking such precautions (and these are just a few) but I have lost some valuable items over the years.

One of my favorites is when they try to split you in two or three places at once but I only help two customers at a time: one for me and one for my wife. Everyone else has to wait. While I may lose customers that way, I don't lose collectibles.

Any other tricks that we all should watch out for?

Steve

Last edited by Steve_NY; 05-09-2021 at 02:31 PM.
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  #43  
Old 05-09-2021, 08:38 PM
CurtisFlood CurtisFlood is offline
Bob McLean
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Yes, I have done that for all Chicago Shows. It seems to be the epicenter for theft. I haven't had a problem, but have always kept showcases locked and deal with one person at a time, as these guys work in pairs or threes.

Know who you are dealing with and you should be ok.
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:45 AM
tulsaboy tulsaboy is offline
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Since the original poster asked what to expect, I thought I would offer a couple of my experiences:

It's a whole lot of walking and standing, with very few places to sit. Wear comfortable clothes, and very comfortable shoes!

Take a backpack. I took mine and had it prepped in a couple of ways. Mine had several pockets. So one of the outer pockets only had snacks. Another had a couple of bottles of water, because I'm cheap and I get thirsty. The main deep pocket had a couple of empty 660 or 800 count boxes. I like unopened stuff, and so those were a great size to stick racks into or cellos. My backpack was big enough that if I bought a box of cards, I could slide the box into there no problem. I also had a smaller inner pocket where I kept my largest stash of cash, that way it wasn't out in my pocket and if I dropped some or if someone got into my pocket, I wasn't losing more than 60 bucks or so that was always in my pocket for an easy, low-priced, and quick sale.

Be willing to take a break. You will get tired. And if you are there for the whole week, you will get overwhelmed by it. Take a day off. Go to a Cubs game. Go have some Chicago pizza. Sit and catch your breath. It will make going back in lots more fun. And if you stay at a nearby hotel, you can take some of your treasures back to your room, unpack your bag, and then go back fresh.

Cash is king. Some guys will take PayPal or Venmo etc., but everybody likes cash. Nobody likes checks. The bigger guys are set up for debit/credit cards, but cash is always fastest and easiest.

When you get there, have some goals in mind- what you are looking for, what you would like to get, what you are willing to pay. Then make a tour of the entire floor. Get a handle on which booths have the stuff you are after. Some booths have nothing but uber-modern stuff. Some have nothing but pre-war graded cards. A few are mostly memorabilia, with jerseys and hats and signed balls and bobble heads etc. Some are primarily unopened. With an hour or so investment, you can pretty quickly survey the floor to see what booths you need to focus on.

If you see a deal early, buy it. Don't hesitate. If you were looking for an item at $100, and you see it for $75, pull the trigger. If you pass it up and move on, and change your mind later, someone else will have already swooped in and bought it. I made this mistake a couple of times. Saw something that I knew was a good deal, hesitated, thought about it, and went back to see it sold. Don't get goofy about this principle, but pay attention to it. There will be deals to find. And when you get lucky enough to find one, grab it.

The longer the show goes on, the more willing some dealers will be to make deals. If they have had a bad show, or if they haven't sold as much as they were hoping, by Saturday afternoon a number of them will start being more willing to negotiate. Sunday provides a great opportunity to find deals, as some of the dealers will want to make a number of quick, last minute sales to make their bottom line work out better. Again, here, cash is king. Standing there with $200 in your hand, willing to buy that item that didn't sell all week for $300, you can sometimes push the dealer over the edge. You're there, he's there, the item is there, and there's no shipping, no ebay fees, no PayPal fees, and for some of the dealers, no taxes being reported. So if you can afford to linger on Sunday, make another sweep around the floor back to see if some of the things you want are still sitting there. This won't work on some of the dealers, who seem to enjoy coming to the National, setting up, listing insanely high prices, and sitting back to watch everyone admire their collection without selling much. Those guys will never budge, and you shouldn't waste your time with them.

Here's the absolute, most important advice of all..... HAVE FUN!!! This is supposed to be a fun hobby. It's not supposed to be painful. You will see more cool stuff in one place than you have ever seen in your entire collecting career. You will see stuff you will never see again, you will have the chance to meet some neat people who are just as nutty as you are about cards, and you will probably be able to track down some gems that you have always wanted. Don't let the crowd or your tired feet or some grumpy dealers detract from the fact that you are an adult in the middle of a huge convention center where everyone there is obsessing over little cardboard pictures of baseball players. Embrace the absurdity and have a blast.

I went to my first National 2 years ago, and it was a hoot. I hope you have fun too.

kevin
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  #45  
Old 05-10-2021, 10:47 AM
Yoda Yoda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CurtisFlood View Post
Yes, I have done that for all Chicago Shows. It seems to be the epicenter for theft. I haven't had a problem, but have always kept showcases locked and deal with one person at a time, as these guys work in pairs or threes.

Know who you are dealing with and you should be ok.
I had just such a scenario play out and lost a beautiful '33 Goudey Gehrig in the process. I filed a*police report and then an insurance claim, which took forever to settle. Since I had proof of what I paid, the issue became what the replacement cost should be. Eventually, the insurer agree to pay on the basis of the SMR. Now I schedule all big ticket items individually. Fortunately, there have been no further incidents.
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  #46  
Old 05-10-2021, 02:32 PM
Ben Yourg Ben Yourg is offline
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When you're hungry,find a place that sells "Vienna All Beef Hot Dogs"
These are a "Chicago" Specialty! They're on a poppy seed bun,with
mustard,dark green reish,onion,tomato and a dill pickle slice.
Don't ask for ketchup.You might be asked to leave. Ketchup is a "No,No"
Also,try an "Italian Beef" sandwich,Great!

Last edited by Ben Yourg; 05-10-2021 at 02:32 PM.
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  #47  
Old 05-10-2021, 04:53 PM
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BeanTown BeanTown is offline
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I say they have the National in Texas and try something different for a change and then we combine it with a Net54 Chili cook off. Cleveland, Chicago, and Atlantic City once in awhile gets old and boring.
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Love Ty Cobb rare items and baseball currency from the 19th Century.
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  #48  
Old 05-12-2021, 06:34 PM
Steve_NY Steve_NY is offline
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Some interesting thoughts: One triggers a clear memory. I had picked up some very tough and rare Old Judges and had them out when the show opened to the public. A buyer who I knew for many years came by with his friends and they looked at them and just did not pull the trigger or ask me to hold them for them. They all came back literally 15 minutes later and they were all gone. They just looked at me and thought I was kidding them -- but I wasn't. So if it is important that you get something and you find it at only one or two booths, don't make that same mistake.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:07 PM
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icollectDCsports icollectDCsports is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Yourg View Post
Also,try an "Italian Beef" sandwich,Great!
Double dipped. And don't eat it anywhere near your cards.
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  #50  
Old 05-13-2021, 07:54 AM
vintagewhitesox vintagewhitesox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icollectDCsports View Post
Double dipped. And don't eat it anywhere near your cards.

with hot giardenera. only way to go.
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