Monday, October 22, 2018

Gary Vee came to my yard sale

If you collect cards and are active on Twitter, it's likely that over the summer you came across Gary Vaynerchuk, otherwise known as Gary Vee. He's a very influential figure on social media. Despite being incredibly financially well off due to his successful business ventures, including CEO of Vayner Media, he seems to reach and relate to most people about hustling. And by "hustling" I don't mean anything illegal, just that there are opportunities out there to make money by selling old items around the house or finding deals on Facebook or Craigslist and flipping the items for a profit.

I've done this myself a few times, like how over the summer I bought a $40 card lot on Craigslist and broke it up into smaller lots that I ended up selling for over $250. He's constantly retweeting his legion of followers who do similar things, scoring old video games or action figures or mugs or toys and then turning them around for a quick profit. It can be cool to watch, and it's easy to see why he has so many followers.

He also grew up selling cards to make some extra cash, as he said it taught him a lot about how to harness his entrepreneurial spirit. That's where many of us came across him for the first time, when he started getting back into cards over the summer. He drew the ire of many collectors during this ordeal as well, as he went all Don West and was selling lots of junk wax for $50 a piece that were getting snatched up by his fans. I don't think he meant harm by it and it was done in excitement, but it did leave a sour taste for many. Personally, it didn't bother me, but I did find it fascinating.

That brings me to Saturday.

My wife and I were participating in our town-wide yard sale. For a $25 donation, you could bypass a city permit (didn't even know you needed one for a yard sale) and be part of the day. It wasn't at a central location, rather house by house. But you could list 4-5 items you had and be part of the official map of addresses. Having many kids clothes, toys, and various items from our younger days we no longer needed, we thought it was a good way to unload some of it and make a few bucks.

My contribution to the sale, other than a few clothing items, were some baseball cards. I created $.50 grab bags consisting of 25-30 cards, made sure at least three or four star cards were in them, and randomly inserted game-used and autographed cards. I had a few other team bags and boxed card sets for sale too. I figured they'd go like hot cakes. They didn't. More on that later.
Anyways, back to Gary Vee. He started a new series called Trash Talk (click here to view episode 2) were it chronicles him hitting up yard sales and flipping some of the items. These seem to be popular so far.

The sale started at 9am officially, although we had several veteran garage salers show up at 8am when we were setting up. We sold a few items quickly, but many were looking for items like old video games and action figures, which we didn't have. We had a steady rush until around 10am, when it started to slow down.

Then at about 10:30, a silver Range Rover rolled up, and out guessed it...Gary Vee himself. It was unmistakable. He had two guys with him, one with a small video camera.

As soon as he walked up my driveway I greeted him and said "Yo, Gary Vee!" He shook my hand and we did a bro-type hug. You know the one.

However, by me noticing him off the bat, it definitely changed his demeanor a bit. I don't mean that in a bad way, but I think he knew that by knowing who he was, I would know the type of stuff he's looking for, and that there was a high likelihood that he wasn't going to find any treasures to easily flip, knowing I likely would have already been cognizant of that. All my stuff is trash, Gary Vee!

He did comment "Wow, baseball card grab bags!" but spent zero minutes looking at my cards, which was curious given his love for cards. I wanted to say something like "buy one and sell it to your Twitter followers" but I didn't. He was nice to me though, asking how the day was going and how the sale was. One of his guys was looking at the grab bags (I had a sample one out people could sort through) and Gary told him to take a shot on one, but the guy said he had no money. I found that kind of weird. Who goes to garage sales with Gary Vee and doesn't carry a couple bucks?

He did quickly look through some toy cars we had out, but there were no old Hot Wheels. Just my son's cars he can do without. Otherwise, you could tell Gary was in a hurry to move to the next sale. But not before we got this:

#WalletCard Selfie!

It was a a pretty epic moment and I love that he showed up. If nothing else, it shows how serious he is about capturing this type of content for his personal brand. I know for a fact a few hours prior he landed at JFK, so I'm guessing he got in from his travels and immediately went garage saling. The guy won't be outworked for his content, that's for sure.

I did give him and his two guys a grab bag each, hoping it might show up on Twitter or Instagram, for fun, but I didn't see anything. Rats.

As for the sale itself, overall we did pretty well. My cards bombed. I sold ZERO grab bags and only a handful of assorted team bags. I made a few bags of just Mets and Yankees for $1 each, and sold four Mets. Go figure.

I was a little surprised. I almost expected someone to offer me like $20 for the whole box, but nothing. I would have been better off throwing the cards into a big box or bag and putting a price on them. I just thought it might be fun for some kids. But you know what? No kids came.

The men who did come and browse were looking for old video games, old action figures, old jewelry, and Pokemon cards. Very little interest in baseball cards. Again, surprising.

Regardless, it was a successful sale in terms of getting rid of old stuff, and the Gary Vee story totally made the day worth it.


  1. If it is any consolation - I would have definitely put an offer up for the box of grab bags - very good idea, but disappointing they didn't sell...

    At least you did get a cool experience out of the day.

  2. I had no idea who Gary Vee is.

    Every time I've sold baseball cards it's been a shoebox full for one price or even larger. They've sold every time.

    1. I would have done much better had I did this. I gave people too much credit. Would have saved myself some time too. It took a while to make the bags.

  3. That's awesome! I'm suprised he didn't make a bigger deal out of your grab bags. That's the sort of entrepra… entropen… entra… outside the box thinking that he seems to be all about.

  4. Cards at yard sales - I've yet to find any. I would've made an offer on a full box for sure. Sorry you had no takers.

  5. I saw your post on Twitter that he came for a visit. Do you think if you didn't identify him right away that he would have made a bigger deal about the cards?

    1. Maybe, but that's probably giving myself too much credit. I just think he's more into certain toys and mugs and clothing at the sales, as opposed to cards

  6. Very cool story. I like to visit garage sales when I can, but I never find baseball cards. I also would have made an offer on your grab bags.

  7. I hadn't heard of Gary Vee either, but that is a great story! Kinda weird that his guys didn't carry any cash, though. And a total bummer you ddint sell any grab bags. I would have done the same thing - it would have been great for kids, but I think that a generation of super premium pricing has kept kids away from the hobby. Sucks that all your work went to waste. Unless...can you keep that setup and bring it to a card show? I bet you'd sell every last one at that price.

  8. Bummer the baseball cards weren't a hit with your customers. At least you were able to sell a few cards though. I've gone to flea markets where I haven't sold a single card. It's a good thing I bring other stuff to sell whenever I set up.

  9. I've followed Gary Vee for years. He is a class act. I met him at a book signing once, but that's not as cool as having him show up at your house!