Archive for March, 2009

Disappointment at the Mall!

A very disapointing day at the Antique Mall yesterday, no real finds showed up like at the times before. Believe it was due to the last minute change of the date of the event and the weather changes during the day. (Sorry, you often find an excuse where ever you can).

Did get some old photos to look at, turns out they were all reprints of the originals. Too bad, they could have been something. One of them was of Lou Gehrig at Yankee Stadium during his farewell. Framed in a old frame, it could have fooled anyone. Only closer inspection using a magnifying glass can one see the printing dots on the photo. Oh well.

Tony Mendiola
Mendys

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Don’t Forget – Baseball Memorabilia Appraisals this Saturday! (03/28)

Mendy’s will be at the Westminster Antique Mall (Westminster, MD) this Saturday, March 28, from 1pm to 4pm, providing free appraisals of your baseball memorabilia. Drop by to have your items appraised, do some shopping, and talk a little baseball! See you at the Mall! For those of you who cannot be there, I plan on taking some photos of the action for this blog.

Tony Mendiola
Mendys

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Autographs – A look behind the curtain

A story from this weekend’s show. Lots of autographs with lots of signers. It is no widely known, but most autograph shows double as an opportunity dealers to arrange for private signings, that is, when items are signed for mail orders. The guest spends time in front of the curtain, meeting the public, signing autographs, posing for pictures, kissing babies, that kind of stuff. Behind the curtain, rows of material (baseballs, bats, jerseys, helmets, etc) are laid out ahead of time for the signer to sign, in an assembly line fashion, with lots of helpers to take the signed items away so they can be packaged up and shipped right away from the show. In no time at all, hundreds of autographs can be collected in this way, if it works according to plan.

This weekend, minor pandemonium. Some of the stars wouldn’t sign beyond the minimum number that they were contracted to sign, some left without signing the mail order items, and some wouldn’t sign certain items at all. By the end of the show, there were a lot of unhappy dealers behind the curtain, with lots of mail order items that were unsigned. It looked alot like for floor of the stock market, yelling, hand waving, pointing, paper being torn up,… Boy, I would hate to be their customer service rep this week as stuff is returned unsigned.

Tony Mendiola
Mendys

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Two Shows down, two shows to go

Well, the Show in Chantilly is behind us now, what a interesting weekend! I was a Baseball guy at a football autograph show, and the receipts for the weekend prove that you should never take a knife to a gun fight. But we had a good time, got to see a number of good friends, customers, and dealers.

Now it is time to reset, prep the show inventory for the Baltimore Orioles Fanfest on April 4th, and get ready for a very intense one-day event. Looking forward to the Bird’s fans, just like everyone else this time of year, crazy for their team, who will go “all the way” this year. Oh yeah, also have the baseball antique roadshow this Saturday at the Westminster Antique Mall too.

More show news in upcoming blogs,

Tony Mendiola
Mendys Baseball Memorabilia

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The Show Continues, but Website Shipping captures our attention.

If you have been following this blog, you know that we have a web store, www.mendys.com. While we have been blogging lately about shows, we having not been discussing the day to day running of our very busy site. We care about all of our customers, but we are speaking now to those of you who order from us…. we highly recommend US Postal Service Priority Mail over any over service that we offer. They have a very good system that is time tested and we have never had an order lost or misplaced. We can find out immediately when the package is and get rapid notification when the order is delivered. No other service is as effective or efficient in their work and that they work the weekends and you wonder why no one else works this way.

Today, we had to solve a problem with a customer’s order that was shipped by another service that will not reach its destination in time for the customer’s trip to Spring Training. That order, which needs to travel coast to coast, is still sitting about 40 miles from where we initially shipped it; it will be Monday before it moves again. So it will spend 4 days not moving, while the customer will be justifiably upset about this delay. Mendy’s will offer to fully refund the customer, but one cannot help but wonder why others do not model themselves after USPS.

Tony Mendiola
Mendys

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First Day Concerns at the Show

Friday at the CSA show in Virginia. This is really a football autograph show, I have baseball items mostly. (What is that line about never bring a knife to a gun fight?) Anyway, counting on my usual customers to save me, the folks that do not collect autographs. Friday, a free admission day, became a “buying day” for us, collecting new items for the next show (Oriole Fanfest). We will see what today brings. Just a short blog for now.

Tony Mendiola
Mendys

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If this is Thursday, time to start a new show.

Off to Chantilly Virginia today, to start to setup for the three day show which starts tomorrow (Friday). Getting into the exhibition hall on Thursday gives dealers a chance for a leisurely set up, rather than a rushed, same-day-as-the-show setup. Looking forward to this show as it is close by, but since it is mostly a football autograph show, my expectations are limited as I have mostly baseball items. But one can never tell about shows like this. Dealers are terrible predictors of the business.

(Update – 2pm) Back in line again, waiting for the promoter. I know what promoters have to deal with in putting a moderate size show together but many other dealers do not and generally make a show manager/promoter’s life a living hell. Today, the crowd is very patient as the promoter’s staff is running late and setup is being delayed. But they are begining to fidget.

Tony Mendiola
Mendys

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The Daze after the show.

The time after a show is often difficult as you deal with fatigue (try standing on a concrete floor for 6 to 8 hours for three days), fatique (loading up the show trailer right after standing on the concrete floor all weekend) and fatique (driving home right after loading the trailer, after standing on the floor). I find that I need more time to recover, a sign that I am becoming a more “experienced” dealer.

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Long Day Sunday, Show was overall a success!

The last day of a show is a day of enduring. First the show lasts about 7 to 8 hours of show time, then there is about 4 hours of packing, 1 hour of loading and about 2.5 hours of driving home. By the time I got home, no time for much of anything, need to get to bed and get to sleep prior to going to “real work”.

Today Monday, time to count the receipts, and place an order for this weekend’s show. Ran out of the 2008 World Series Baseballs, a big seller in Philly (go figure)… so quick ordered some more. Also ordered more baseballs for this weekend’s show in Chantilly, VA. Even though it is mostly a Football autograph show, there are a few minor baseball guests and folks are always looking for a dozen MLB baseballs to take to FLA before spring training stops. Most of what was ordered today will be sold to customers from the show in Philly. Post show sales are often more than pre-show sales.

Tony Mendiola
Mendys

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Great Show Day, WHEW!!!

Dealers always have two impressions of a show at any given time, what their cash box tells them and what their mind (and body) are telling them… and most often these impressions are opposed to each other. A dealer could be thinking that a lousy show is in progress, but once the till is counted at the end of the end of the day, they may suddenly find that it was really a great day. The opposite can (and does) happen just as easily.

Today was one of those rare days that you are so busy that you think you are doing well, but you are afraid to check the cash box at the end of the day, because you don’t want the disappointment. But I just checked anyway…. It was a great day.

The worried expectations about the return of this show to the Philadelphia area and the effect on the economy on the business may have been for naught, at least for one day. From the huge lines of customers just waiting to get into the show, lasting until mid-day, to the very busy and packed aisles, to the dealers running around looking for change from other dealers, to the fact that some dealers ran out of bags for their customers’ purchases, the positive signs of this show’s success were everywhere. If tomorrow is as busy as today, there will be plenty of happy, cheerful dealers whistling merry tunes as they pack up.

Tony Mendiola
Mendys

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