Hello From Trainee Dealer

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twingo100
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Hello From Trainee Dealer

Post by twingo100 »

Just wanted to say hello to all and ask a couple of questions if that's ok.

I have started selling postcards 18 months purely by accident after buying a joblot at my local auction, since then I have gradually become fascinated with the postcard world as is.
I currently sell all my cards via Ebay and normally have around a 1000 listings running at anyone point.

I am now thinking about doing my first postcard fair and wondered if anybody could offer any advice. Do they tend to be well attended or are a they a dying format.

Many thanks
Richard

eastlondonpostcard
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Re: Hello From Trainee Dealer

Post by eastlondonpostcard »

Hello Richard and welcome,

Well, postcard fairs can be great fun - even as a dealer! Very much where you sell and what sort of stock you have. I don't think Postcard Fairs are dying out just yet - there are still many collectors who do not go on-line and also prefer to handle the item(s) before making a purchase. It's also nice to meet collectors face to face and learn about their Postcard interests and hopefully you will have something that they want...

Best luck - you will get the bug!
~ send it on a Postcard please ~

tonymckendrick
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Re: Hello From Trainee Dealer

Post by tonymckendrick »

Hi Richard,
The fairs circuit could certainly do with some fresh faces as some of them are struggling for dealers and customers, but others, such as Reading and Shepton Mallet are very well attended so it's a mixed picture. The best thing you can do is to find a local fair with at least 20 dealers (Picture Postcard Monthly has fairs lists) and you will be guaranteed trade interest. Providing you have some fresh to the market stock - preferably with some local topographical - or your cards are priced to sell then you will have a good first fair. It's the second one that's difficult!

twingo100
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Re: Hello From Trainee Dealer

Post by twingo100 »

hi to you both and thanks for the advice, I have found a fair at Haywards Heath this Saturday and intend to go along and have a look. Spoke to a very nice lady the runs the fair and will go and say hello on Saturday

I must admit I find the postcard trade a bit of a strange business, I have an IT / banking / analytical background so tend to look at everything with this in mind.

I have noted that at any one point the are 2 million postcard related listings on Ebay and judging buy the high number of sales there is obviously a demand for postcards. Yet when I am surfing round the internet / talking to people everyone seems surprised at the number I sell and the numbers of Ebay dealers with very high feedback.

Its almost as it's a hidden industry but with lots of people who collect.

Regards

Richard

tonymckendrick
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Re: Hello From Trainee Dealer

Post by tonymckendrick »

Hi Richard,
Hope you found Haywards Heath interesting. You'll find that the postcard trade is very much split down the middle regarding the internet and fairs. Half of the dealers at fairs are complete technophobes, some have tried ebay and given up, some don't have a computer at all. Others use the fairs to buy stock to sell on ebay and keep a balance. You can make a lot more money on the internet, but it is work and it can be relentless. If you mange to buy a collection and you take it to a busy fair you can have an instant return in cash and it is far better to sell low value items in bulk at fairs with much less work involved. Having said that, there are customers at Haywards Heath with plenty of money who are desperate to find cards of their locality for example. One dealer there never usually takes less than a thousand pounds because he knows what his regular customers want and manages to source it. You have to bear in mind that a lot (most) of the customers there are 60+ and they may not have computers either.
Regards,
Tony

twingo100
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Re: Hello From Trainee Dealer

Post by twingo100 »

Hi Tony

Many thanks for the advice and I am seeing the same pattern myself, there are definitely two camps of dealers with few crossing the internet and fairs.

I was amazed how busy how busy Haywards Heath and also at the complete lack of technology used by any of the dealers for recording sales etc. I was also able to buy some cards which have never been listed on the internet, nor did I even knew existed one card in particular the dealer had 2 copies of.

I popped down to Croydon postcard fair this week and met Peter Duncan who couldn't have been more helpful with his friendly advice and I intend to take a table next month at Croydon. Although I only have a 2k cards I need to make a start at the fairs.

Point taken about the age I'm 44 so quite young compared to most, however I also know of working age people buying postcards who would never dream of attending a fair.

The next step for me is buying better quality cards and better prices, any suggests as to sources are more than welcome

Regards

Richard

Please Note: I am dyslexic, so sometimes what I write will not make sense :)

tonymckendrick
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Re: Hello From Trainee Dealer

Post by tonymckendrick »

Hi Richard,
Croydon's a good place to start. I used to do it every month before I gave up fairs - although I am starting to do them again. It's not a busy fair, but everybody who comes is there to spend money and will want to look at what you've brought. It provides what the internet doesn't - socialising, banter, the chance to meet your customers and it's also a different market with a different price structure. Most of the dealers there do their buying on the hoof or occasionally privately, or by customers bringing cards in to sell. Public auctions are the obvious place to buy in bulk, but you can't cherrypick and they can be fiercely competitive. I don't know where you're based, but I'm stalling out at the Tolworth recreation centre postcard fair on bank holiday Monday 25th August. It should have 40+ postcard dealers and is worth a visit.
Regards,
Tony

twingo100
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Re: Hello From Trainee Dealer

Post by twingo100 »

Tony

Once again thanks for the advice, I have bitten the bullet and just paid for a table at Tolworth, its only 30 mins from me. I only have about 2k cards but I am going to try and display them the best I can.

I will come and say hello on the day. If you carry any chance carry any stock of Lincolnshire I am on the lookout for cards that relate to North or South Hykeham just in case you have any.

Regards

Richard

tonymckendrick
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Re: Hello From Trainee Dealer

Post by tonymckendrick »

Hi Richard,
I haven't any Hykeham cards I'm afraid. Tolworth is a good fair for anything on paper - in case you have stuff unsuitable for the internet - large photographs, ephemera, autographs etc. We get in as dealers by about 7.30 a.m. (maybe a bit earlier), but they let in the early entrants at 8 o' clock. I haven't had any problems there but keep an eye on your stock in the initial rush, as there has been a bit of pilfering in the past.
Regards,
Tony

twingo100
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Re: Hello From Trainee Dealer

Post by twingo100 »

Tony

Thanks for the advice I will come and say hello on the day. Hopefully buy some cards from you

Regards
Richard

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