Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Small Business Saturday

Back in June of 1988, I was 14, just finished 8th grade, and went out looking for a job.  So one day I decided to walk into a local business (Video rental and one hour photo store) and apply.  What do you know, I got hired.  I learned much about good customer service, connecting with your customers, and being active in the community we worked in.  I also learned more about what it takes to run a small, successful, independent business. There's no way we would've been as successful as we were if it wasn't for our local, neighborhood customers.

23 years later, how times have changed.  Big box stores, retail chains and a tough economy have negatively impacted the livelihood of these small businesses that took a chance on me.  Trust me, I shop at the big stores as well, but I like to think I find a balance. 

There is a movement called Small Business Saturday, in which small business owners are asking that you shop their stores on Saturday November 26th.  Over 2 million people have pledged to make at least one purchase at a local small business on Saturday.  There is no reason to not do this if you need to purchase items on Saturday.  Yes, the price might be a bit higher. Yet, the positives out weigh that with easier parking, smaller crowds and a great way to stimulate the local economy.  

If you are not aware of the 3/50 program it is worth reading about.  Essentially, they are asking you to think about what it would the impact would be if you had 3 less independent businesses in your community.  They note that if you spent $50 a month at a local business, that would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.  And that for every $100 spent in the community, $68 of that will be returned to that local community through taxes and other means. 

Fore more information on these movements please check the following websites:

So I hope that all of you will take some time and shop at a local business this Saturday.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Discretion is in the hands of the signer!!!

Last week, I had the pleasure of working at the Greater Boston Sports collector's club convention/collector's show.  It was a great weekend honoring the 1986 Red Sox, baseball hall of famers Orlando Cepeda and Cal Ripken Jr, and working with some of the current Bruins. 

However, one problem that kept arising from the paying customer was the lack of cooperation from some players to inscribe special messages or noting accomplishments or items there were not authentic.  What does this mean?  Well, there was one customer who thought he had authentic game-used hockey sticks for Tim Thomas and Tyler Seguin.  However, Tyler noted those specific sticks were not used by him and that he would not inscribe them as "game used".  He inscribed them with 2011 stanley cup champs instead.  Then according to the customer they were not signed in the correct spot. 

Additionally, Rich Gedman and Wade Boggs were asked to inscribe accomplishments that they actually did not accomplish.  There were willing to add accurate information, but not something they did not complete themselves. 

So beware, players don't have to sign inscriptions at all, especially if they are not comfortable with it.  Most promoters will put a disclaimer on tickets or in signage that all signatures, inscriptions and locations of inscriptions are up to the players.  Now, this hardly seems fair, as a paying customer, but the rules are posted.  If there is a legitimate issue, the promoter will work with the agent and player to attempt to make everyone happy and maybe add a refund.  Again, this is rare, especially if a customer paid for the extra addition, but on that weekend this came up too often. 

My advice, be fair and make sure you have your facts straight on the items you have to be signed.  As happened with the Nomar signing, you really never know what you have with regards to game used items.  And with inscriptions be reasonable and keep them to a professional sport accomplishment or a simple personalization.  If you are reasonable, the player will be as well.

Stanley Cup Champion Zdeno Chara Autograph appearance!!

Zdeno Chara and the Boston Bruins are Stanley Cup champions. (AP Photo)

Do you need a great gift idea for the the diehard Bruins fan.  How about this?  For the 3rd time in the past 8 months and the 2nd time since the Bruins won the Stanley Cup, team captain, Zdeno Chara will be making an autograph appearance.  His pricing is $59 and $79 depending on the item signed.  Having an autograph from the captain of any championship team is the most valuable one a collector can have, especially in hockey.  This item will appreciate in value by at least 50% as soon as the item is signed. 

This will be happening on Monday November 28th from 7-8:30pm.   The location is La Carretta Restaurant in Derry NH.  For more information please check

The Patriots are coming!!!!! The Patriots are coming!!!!! Aaron Hernandez, Kyle Arrington, Dane Fletcher, Rob Gronkowski, Stevan Ridley!!!

It's been a while since I've been able to post about a current Patriot autograph signing.  Well that is changing.  There are 5 player appearances in the next 3 weeks.  What's great about these events is that, the pricing is fantastic for an NFL player appearance.  There is nothing that will cost more than $60, and some as low as $20 per autograph.  For a total of about $150 you can receive 5 patriot autographs on photos.  What a great Holiday present for the die hard Patriot fan.

So who is coming and when?

On Monday November 14, Dane Fletcher, Rob Gronkowski and Kyle Arrington are appearing at Sports and More in Providence Place Mall.  There is a great super ticket that you can purchase for only $60.  That means you will receive an autograph from each player for only a total of $60.  You save over $20 by doing this instead of purchasing individual tickets for each player.  They are appearing from 7-9pm.  If you purchase tickets at event, prices will increase by $10. 

For more information on this please check or

On Tuesday November 22, Stevan Ridley will be appearing at the New England Picture store at South Shore Plaza in Braintree Massachusetts.  His pricing is $29 for any item.  Add $10 for day of show ticket purchase.  He will be there from 7-8:30pm. 

For more information visit

Then tight end Aaron Hernandez is appearing on Saturday December 3 from 3-4:30pm.  His pricing is $49 and $59 depending on the item being signed.  He will also be at the New England Picture store at South Shore Plaza.  Add $10 for day of show ticket purchase.

For more information, please visit