The Flip Trade Show Returns to Gardendale Civic Center

Daniel Steelman grew up in Alabama with a love for buying, selling and trading sports cards. He has turned that passion into a growing and thriving trade show business that now counts shows throughout the Southeast. We asked Daniel to tell us a little about the show that will be back at the Gardendale Civic Center on April 14th and 15th and how he got into the business.

Tell us a little about your trade shows and what folks can experience when attending?

Daniel Steelman: “The Flip is a trade show and marketplace for collectors of sports cards, non-sports & trading card games (TCGS), Pokemon, MTG, comics, video games, Funko Pops, currency & coins, sports memorabilia, autographs, jerseys, action figures, toys, Die Cast, Nascar/F1, UFC, Wrestling and more! The selection of items will vary in each category.

Attendees enjoy The Flip Trade Show at the Gardendale Civic Center. Photo courtesy of The Flip Trade Show.

We have had 16 shows in 9 different cities as of now. We have done Von Braun Center in Huntsville, BJCC in Birmingham, Gardendale and Trussville civic centers, Montgomery Shriners, Hoover at Soirée, Panama City Beach at the Travelodge Sports Complex, then Columbiana at Shelby County Arts Council or Old Mills Square.

We have exhibitors from all over the south from Louisiana to Kentucky to the Carolinas and down to South Florida. We buy, sell and trade at all our shows. We have live Auctions, grading submissions, autograph signers and sometimes for free. You can bring items and talk to vendors about evaluating as well. We have a very family friendly atmosphere with oldies music playing as well as police and security on site at all times for everyone’s protection. We are looking to make this into a whole weekend experience not just a collectibles show. We plan to have post show music events and entertainment plus activities for kids as we grow. We give kids free cards and try to help out the next generation when we can. We are looking for local charities to work with at each event so that we can help out and promote their cause.”

How did you get into the business? Have you always had a love of trading cards?

Daniel Steelman: I will be 40 years old in august and started as a kid. So, it’s been crazy to see how far it’s come along. Before it was a nerdy thing to do, now investment firms are getting in on the action. It’s traded like the stock market now with reports and professional analysis of prices to keep people educated.

Flipping products has taken on a life of its own over the last few years. The alternative investment category is one that has exploded. It’s not just collectible junkies who are buying, selling, and trading items now, but also Wall Street investors and big firms. We have stepped into a new world where assets are becoming collectibles as they hold real long-term tangible value.

With our events, we hope to help people all over find serious buyers or items they are looking for to build their bankroll. The Flip is a perfect combination of new and old ways coming together to create something fresh and exciting. We hope you will join us on this journey!

So maybe 30 years ago as a kid I wanted to have a card show in my garage after going to one at the Galleria. I printed up flyers not even knowing what they were, just put my info and date on them. I went around on my bike and put one in every mailbox in Northwood lake in Northport. There was a massive turnout of 3 kids and parents. But the itch started right then and there for events. Sold all my cards before my senior year and got out of collectibles. After doing music events for well over a decade I got tired, old, and moved on.

A Few years ago I found some baseball cards at my mom’s house and got that itch again. Bought a few collections off Facebook Market Place, flipped them and that was it. I was hooked again. A few more years later and it was more profitable than what I was doing. I had a hard decision to make in putting down my CBD company which I worked for years on, spent a lot on as well as had investors & my late mothers name on it.

But something told me to take a risk. I did and it paid off. Then I wanted to live my childhood dream and host a sports card and collectibles show. I started on my plan building a network in 2018. But it wasn’t until June 2021 that I was finally able to do it. Thanks Covid. Show time came and of course a hurricane came through that morning and a wreck shut down I65 north for half the day. Great first start!

Well, we are now touring the south and starting to doing multiple shows a month. I have had my first major shows at a convention centers and I’m hooked. Getting to go around again has been reenergizing. Meeting tons of great folks along the way has restored my faith in people. I wish someone had introduced me to trade shows 20 years ago. They are much better than music events. The workload is less, the ROI higher, the stress is less. It’s business people doing business with other business people for the most part. I might not be getting rich but I’m having fun again in a much more positive environment.

To me that makes life worth living.

You can learn more about The Flip trade show here.