|2022 National Sports Collectors Convention|
Friday, July 29, 2022
Posted by jaygross
Yesterday I made the 2.5 hour car ride to and from Atlantic City, NJ for my 5th trip to the National Sports Collectors Convention. Previous years I have attended:
This show was originally scheduled in Atlantic City for August 2020, but it was cancelled due to the COVID epidemic. While I have went to a few smaller card shows in NJ and bought lots of items online since 2016, it is pretty different than the "National".
I get there early and they have everyone with General Admission tickets wait about 20 minutes to enter:
I noticed a few things as I began walking around:
- It wasn't all guys in their 40's, 50's and 60's - there were families (wives and kids). I saw many more teenagers at this show than in previous years.
- It was really busy for a Thursday - there was a huge swarm of folks ready to enter at 10am (and it stayed busy all day).
- The corporate sponsorship is a main thing - from the banners all over the convention center to the wrist bands.
- It also seems like there are a lot more companies offering grading services and online marketplaces.
- From what I saw, dealers were selling roughly 60% newer cards, 40% vintage. I would think it was the opposite ratio at my last National.
- Prices on items seemed really HIGH consistently. And every dealer had display cases loaded with high end slabbed cards.
- There were fewer dealers selling autographed cards than what I remember and the selection was considerably less than what I saw in Baltimore in 2010-2012. I guess we've collectively picked over the best inventories since then.
- There was NO INTERNET OR PHONE RECEPTION for just about anyone. Not being able to look up my wantlists or playing signing habits on SCN was definitely a challenge. Dealers had problems charging folks credit cards.
Some stuff I saw walking around:
I walked by a booth and there was a gathering of folks. So I looked over and see Run TMC (Chris Mullin, Tim Hardaway, and Mitch Richmond) signing for folks who bought something called Flex:
I am not really into new cards, but it was interesting to see a whole display case of signed Derek Jeter rookie cards (at $3K a piece):
For us crazy signed set collectors, I am sure many of us wonder what completed sets are worth. This guy had some for sale:
I bought stuff, but not as much as previous years:
I wound up buying mostly cards to send off for TTM requests or things I liked. All of it was pretty low end:
Post show thoughts:
- It was really nice to get to meet a few SCN members. Without question this was the highlight of the show for me.
- It is awesome there is so much interest in sports collectibles and people were definitely buying things. I wouldn't have thought this would be a reality in 2019.
- The show seemed bigger, more commercial, and with fewer deals than at previous National shows I have been to. I came with the intention to pick up a bunch of items, but I would up spending more on admission + parking + tolls than on purchases.
- I rarely buy from dealers that do not put prices on their cards and I noticed this from other buyers too.
- I was exhausted and burnt out by the end of the 7 hour marathon. It was just so crowded and some folks needed some/better deodorant.
- I realize now that I like going to these mega-shows with other collectors I know rather than walking around solo. I tried to convince a few folks to go with me, but they couldn't take off of work.
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