By Karine Hains aka Pheebs888

For us card collectors, attending a card show always makes for a fun day but I’ll tell you what makes it even more special; attending it to promote Sports Card Forum. Not only do you get to tell plenty of people about an awesome site but chances are you get to meet members in person as well, allowing you to put faces on the numerous user names you see on a daily basis. Last weekend, I was lucky enough to attend a card show in Montreal to spread the word about SCF.

 

Luc, another moderator on the site, came to me back in December asking if I would be willing to help out at the show in March if he decided to set up. It took me about 3.5 seconds to reply “of course!” and am I glad I did. The show took place at the Pierre Charbonneau Centre in Montreal, this was the spring edition but each year there is also a fall edition. I got to Montreal on Friday afternoon and we went over to the Centre to set up in the evening. We brought two monitors and two laptops to display the demo about SCF to the people at the show, a life size replica of a Habs player, fliers to distribute, printed copy of the SCF magazine and one display case in which we put all of our favorite cards just to show people what you can get by trading/buying on the site. This turned out to be a stroke of genius as our cards sure made people stop by! By 9.00 PM we were all set-up and ready for the two hectic days ahead.

 

On Saturday, the show started at 10.00 but we headed over at 8.00 to ensure that everything was ready and also to have a look at what the merchants had on display, it’s always good to get dibs on some sweet cards! By 9.15, we were completely ready and we had about 45 minutes to do some reckon on the different tables. 10.00 came around soon enough though and the gates were open letting in a steady flow of avid collectors. There were plenty of people around some were all about the cards while others were autograph chasers who had made the trip to get a signature from Johnny Bower, Marianne St-Gelais, Jacques Demers or Marian Stastny.

 

Our table caught the eye of plenty of curious, we received plenty of offers to buy some of our cards, Luc’s prized asset (a Ken Dryden cut auto 1/1) was generating plenty of talk and had he wanted to, he could have made an easy $4000 there. Personally, I liked the time where this one guy came to the table and asked him how much he waned for it, as per usual, he said: “It’s not for sale”, then the guy took a look at the display case and said: “Actually, how much for the whole display case?” He was shocked to find out that he could not get us to budge and looked at us like we were crazy…guess he has not seen true collectors often…

 

It was not all about turning down offers though, once people were at our table, we took the time to tell them all about the great features on SCF; the trade manager, the feedback system, the inventory manager, the magazine, the friendly community and anything else we could think of. I’m happy to report that they were very receptive and a lot of them left the table with either of our user name on their flier in case they had questions once on the site. Hopefully, we’ll see a nice influx of new members from Québec in the near future! While we (hopefully) recruited new members, we also got to meet existing ones. It’s always great to finally meet the people you talk to so much on a daily basis. Although some of them I had already met in the past. Not only did I get to put a face on a few user names but I also manage to make a few in-person deals, you have to love it when cards just come to you and you don’t even have to look for them! Bossy’scards, Phill44, c_bass22, The Messiah, Habsmtl09 and max91ess are just some of the members we had the pleasure to see stop by the booth.

 

While we did spend a good chunk of the day taking care of business, we just could not resist improving our PC. We took turns venturing away from the table, each with our sight set on particular targets; while Luc was focused on finding Dryden cards and items, I only had two names in mind; you guessed it Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur. Being in Habs territory, I was sure I would find plenty of Roy cards, however I had not realized that some would be overpriced…that was a bit of a disappointment but I’m not one to wallow! I bravely took on a Brodeur quest instead and I fared quite well! The first day saw me add 3 new Brodeur autos to my collection and a game-used while I only got a Roy auto from max91ess (that one was not overpriced!). I did toy with the idea of getting a Roy autographed puck but at $125, it was somewhat expensive…I told the guy I would think about it and later in the day he came by the booth and noticed my collection, he said:

 

-“A puck would sure look good with all that!”

“It sure would, but it’s a little bit out of my price range for now…” I replied

“Well, make me an offer and we’ll see” He said

“Alright, I will tomorrow…”

 

And back to his table he went…I was left pondering what would be a reasonable offer for the rest of the day and much of the night…I can be somewhat obsessive when I truly want something.

 

Back to the grind I went after that chat, selling the site as well as I could, I swear people’s eyes lit up when I showed them some of my cards and said this one is from Sweden (Topps Chrome rookie reprint auto bought from Razzamaztaz) and this one is from Germany (the Cup trio patch of Roy/Brodeur and Price obtained in a trade with Marko), my big selling line was: “SCF opens the world to you, no need to only trade in Montreal anymore”. While the morning was just crazy, the traffic slowed down in the afternoon from 2 PM, it kind of was a welcome break as I thought I was going to lose my voice by that point. It also allowed us to do some more shopping in the afternoon before heading back to Luc’s at 6.00. We were both fairly knackered so it really wasn’t a late night but that allowed us to be fighting fit for the next day!

 

On Sunday, there was only one signer but quite a big one; Jean Béliveau who is as popular as ever in Montreal. Before he started to sign though, I had some serious business to tend to and I went straight over to the guy who was selling the Roy puck. I went for quite a low offer and in the end, I got my puck for $80 which I thought was a great deal (with a certificate of authenticity and hologram of course) that was my big purchase of the day and I only added one Brodeur auto and plenty of inserts from various dealers just dealing game-used cards I had no use for. I also made an in-person deal with Habsmtl09 for a Brodeur/Luongo dual game-used.

 

The day was fairly busy people wise, but not as busy as Saturday, at the booth anyway. There were plenty of people queuing to get Jean Beliveau’s autograph though and I even saw a celebrity! OK, minor celebrity, a player from the Quebec team in the Quebec-Montreal reality hockey show. The dealers seemed pretty pleased with their weekend overall, they were a pretty nice bunch, even though one wore a Chara jersey and another one a Flyers one…but hey no one’s perfect. While I was at a table marvelling at some Brodeur autographs a dealer was chatting with a fan:

 

  • “Ouch…how about your Canadiens last night?” (They had lost 2-0 to the Caps, losing by shut-out for a third straight time)
  • “Yeah it was pretty brutal…”
  • “There’s got to be something wrong with the team at this stage…”
  • “Yeah…probably something going on in the dressing room…”

 

At that point, I just could not help myself and I had to say: “ Yup, it’s called Scott Gomez.” and that’s how I got myself a great prize on my last Brodeur autograph for the weekend.

 

Now that everything is said and done, I would say that this was a great success both for me personally and for SCF. What’s next for SCF? Well, it’s safe to say that some of the American staffers will no doubt set-up at the Nationals in Chicago this summer. I personally won’t be able to afford to go but if I have a say in the future projects, I’d love to see SCF at the Toronto Fall Expo…Stay tuned, I’ll keep you posted!