Early show departure has become a hot topic in the pages of Numismatic News in the last several weeks.
Dealers have claimed the right to depart when they want to go.
Collectors have insisted dealers stay at their tables until the last minute of the last hour of the last day of the show has elapsed.
As someone who attends shows regularly, I see how this plays out in reality.
Shows near the end are virtually empty. Dealers are sitting there and looking at the four walls, that is they are unless somebody just happens to amble along.
The whole exonomic dynamic of a show is front-end loaded. There is a mad scramble at the beginning as every dealer tries to figure would what new things every other dealer has brought.
By the end of that first day, the broad outlines of that show’s success or failure can easily be evident. That’s why shows can sell Early Bird badges for such high prices.
On the other hand, who doesn’t feel bad for someone who might have driven a long way only to arrive late on a final day?
What’s the solution?
Perhaps it boils down simply to better disclosure.
On a show poster or website put the information as to whether dealers can leave early or must stay.
Sure, most people probably can figure it out without being told, but as a courtesy, the information could be posted.
It would save some bad blood.
I have had dealers tell me that some of their best deals have occurred late on a final show day.
However, when I am at a show late on a final show day and I look around at all the empty aisles, I can’t help but feel that we simply need to face this reality and both collectors and dealers should work to cut each other some slack.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."