Dealer Profile

Tropical Postcard Club Dealer Report - TPCC

Pompano Beach, Florida

The Tropical Post Card Club of Pompano Beach, Florida, draws a wonderful array of postcard dealers to the Winter show and sale each year. Thirty-five dealers brought over 2,500,000 postcards to the show. In words, that's two and a half million postcards all in one place. To make that number mean something, that is a line of postcards if laid end-to-end that would stretch from Pompano Beach to New York City and back.

Dealers came from as far away as Canada and France. Twelve states plus Florida were represented. They are Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. The average distance traveled to the show, based on a dealer profile survey was 500 miles, not counting the dealers from Canada or France.

Dealers are certainly a mixed group in all respects. They are collectors, themselves, generally. A few are not. Of the dealers who collect, they have an average of 20,000 postcards in their personal collection. The largest dealer personal collection amounted to about 100,000 postcards. They have collected postcards for an average of 30 years. One dealer has collected for over 60 years.

The average length of time they have sold postcards is 24 years. Many have sold postcards for over 30 years. One as long as 37 years and another as short as 4 hours. The 4 hour person was at her first show taking over the business for her mother.

Most dealers are retired from other occupations. The average age of the dealers reflects this.

On average they set up to sell at 12 shows each year. Some dealers sell only at the two shows held in Pompano Beach. But many dealers sell at over 20 shows per year. That's about one show every other week. Many shows are two day events. One dealer sets up at 39 shows per year. Wow! That's a lot of carrying and organizing.

And do they ever love postcards. Their inventory which they did not bring to the show amounts to over 16,050,000 postcards. One dealer has over 10 million postcards back home.

Half of the dealers responded to the survey by reporting that they do not sell postcards on the internet. But for the other half, the internet has expanded the postcard business pleasantly for them. Over fifteen dealers sell on eBay.

And a couple dealers have a postcard website of their own where they sell postcards.

Just as an aside, of interest to stamp collectors, fewer than a third of the dealers pay attention to the stamp side of a postcard.

The favorite topic of each dealer demonstrates the diversity of this group. Here's a list of the topics they mentioned for this survey as their favorites: hand colored, art, alligator border, Langsdorf, boxing, hold-to-light, linen advertising, pioneer, views, real photo, mental hospitals, small towns, patriotic, comic, signed artist, and Dwig.

They have all had success at selling a single postcard for a large amount of money. The best single postcard they have sold includes these topics: art nouveau, paper doll cut-outs, hands-across-the-sea ship silk, three reported Santa hold-to-lights, alligator border, Houdini, Titanic, signed artist, hold-to-lights, Halloween, suffrage, sports, alligator diner, baseball stadium, college girl, and blacks.

Dealer comments about the Winter Show, the first day of the sale, include the following: fair so far, good over the years, 1st show of the year in Florida is better, good, love this show, good room, good show, sandwiches great, didn't sell enough so far, nice friendly show, need more people, slow, always a great enjoyable show, nice set-up, easy to get to, good lighting, fun, quieter than usual, need more publicity, free listing in antique journals, great, love show, Tom Moore does a great job.

Members of the TPCC certainly appreciate the effort of all dealers to purchase stock, travel to the show, set up their booth, educate collectors, and move on to the next show. Like many collecting hobbies, postcard collecting brings excitement to all participants. So a big thank you to all the dealers who make the TPCC show such a wonderful event.

Here is the survey profile questions used to generate this report:

How many miles did you travel to set up at this Winter Show ? __________

How long have you been selling postcards? __________ Collecting postcards? __________

How many cards did you bring to the show? __________

How many cards do you have for sale that you did not bring to the show? __________

If you are a postcard collector, how many cards are in your collection? __________

How many shows do you set-up at to sell postcards each year? __________

Do you have a store front where you sell postcards? __________ If so, where? __________

Do you sell on the internet? __________ If so, where? _________ eBay? ________ If so, user name? __________

How has eBay changed the way you sell postcards, if at all? ________

Do you have a website for postcards? ________ If so, URL? __________

What's the topic or theme for most expensive card you have ever sold? __________

What are your personal favorite type postcards? __________

Do you pay attention to the stamp side of postcards? __________

Comments about this show? __________

Compiled by David U. Larson