Klein’s Korner: An Truly Wonderful Holiday Present – First of all; thank you to everyone who has supported us and continue to support us in what is now Dena’s recovery from receiving her new kidney. All signs appear to be positive and we look forward to her return to the DFW area in the near future. We have been heartened by how much prayer and support we have been blessed with. One amazing note, as some of you are aware, the wait list for organ donation can be very long but all three people (of which Dena was one) who were involved in the Renewal program when they came to DFW have all been donated kidneys within eight months of the program. Truly an wonderful holiday present.
As many of our readers know, I do reference Mike Fruitman and his fine store as an example of how to make every day special for his customers. Recently he had a post on Facebook about receiving some negative feedback because of what he needed to charge for an appearance by two members of the Colorado Avalanche in his store. Note as of this writing the Avalanche are the second seeded team in both the Western Conference and the Central Division so the team is very competitive. So I decided to go back to my journalistic roots (yes I actually have some) and contacted Mike to ask how the event went. Fortunately everyone was satisfied from the people who arranged for the player’s signing to the amount of people who came to the store to the player’s interactions with the fans. And that’s always great to hear that people were happy with the friendliness of the autograph signers. The players were Ian Cole and JT Compher.
But to me the whole conversation brought up a bigger issue which is: what to charge for a player’s signing at a store or a show? I will admit I’m writing this from a slightly slanted bias as for whatever reason the DFW area does not host autograph appearances successfully at the same price level as most of the rest of the country. A friend of mine, who used to manage a local sports memorabilia show told me he could put the same players in the New York area and the DFW area at the same prices with the same costs and he’d make good money in New York and lose his shirt in the DFW area.
And that’s the biggest issue to all of this which is: What may work in Colorado might not work in DFW and vice versa. I would suspect that everyone both promoters and customers have price points they are comfortable with to charge for guests. I know when we had guests, I never wanted to charge more than $10 or so for an autograph because that starts precluding people from getting items signed. Of course, that limits the guests we could have but that was a trade-off I was personally comfortable with. Other promoters might charge more because they’d rather sell a few less autographs but may even generate more income by a higher per item sale. Then we have this recent Max Muncy post about a stack of mail awaiting for him after a short vacation, this can be a real issue for all players active and retired to deal with.
Now Max did run into some pushback because his post appeared to be inelegant but he even mentions to respect his family’s home Later he had to explain further and say, no I do appreciate all the letters but please send them to Dodgers stadium going forward. That is not an unreasonable request for any player. But one way to get a player such as Muncy to come to your store or show is to promise a controlled atmosphere and yes the charges may keep some people away but the player can then enjoy his time signing a bit more.
I’d love to hear your comments on player’s signings as this is designed to begin a conversation, not be the be-all and end-all of this discussion.
For more from Rich Klein, follow him on Twitter @sabrgeek.