Monday, July 14, 2008

Finding Your "On" Button, Poll Results, Topps Town

At each National I've been to, I have volunteered at the etopps booth to help sell in-hands. At each one, I have trained newbie volunteers who have never sold an etopps in-hand. I would give them a crash course, offering pointers and encouraging them to shadow me while I work with customers (in other words, I would make it look easy).

After a certain point, the trainee would try to work with customers on their own. While I would keep a grin on my face as I shadowed the volunteer, occasionally I would cringe inside knowing all too well what's it like to do this for the first time and seeing how nervous the volunteer would be with customers.

If you're not used to working with the public, it can be nerve-wracking. It's not supposed to be easy. If it is to you, consider yourself lucky. Give yourself time and be patient with yourself.

When selling in-hands or doing anything with the public, it helps if you can find (and press) your "on" button or be wearing your game face. The challenge is to find this within you when you're in a situation you may not be comfortable in.

Those new volunteers at the National would show signs of relief with their own selling by their third customer and seem more confident by the fifth customers.

If you're doing this for the first time and you're as nervous with your first customer as your tenth, don't continue. This may not be your thing to do, after all. If there are others around you who are selling etopps cards (like at the National), I would recommend asking them to critique what you're doing.


Poll Results

Thanks if you voted in the autograph polls.

Each poll had landslide results:
Best Autograph Offering: Tim Lincecum
Biggest Surprise: Allen & Ginter Prince Fielder
Worst Autograph Offering: Fred Lewis


Finally, Topps is promoting their online platform to kids as "Topps Town."

I noticed at the All-Star Game Fanfest, the Topps booth was called Topps Town.

I wonder if Michael Eisner had something to do with this.

Here is info about the site from the "about Topps Town" link.

ToppsTown™ is a virtual sports-themed world where children can play games, collect and trade virtual Topps cards.

How does it work?

ToppsTown™ is a world fueled by players entering codes, receiving virtual cards, trading and playing games. No material cards or money are used in ToppsTown™. Players create an Avatar and are assigned their own Clubhouse. Players acquire codes, either through new packs of Topps trading cards, or through promotional avenues such as advertisements, sporting events or food packaging materials. They then enter the codes on the ToppsTown™ website, where they receive a set amount of virtual cards. These cards will be used to trade, collect and play games.

Trading Cards – Players can trade any card they like. They can offer up cards for trade, or request players they'd like. It's up to the individual trader to accept or deny trades. No money or material goods are involved.

Collecting Cards – Trading cards are collected and stored online in a virtual Binder. They can be viewed at any time, front or back. They will be saved in the Binder until the next card season of the particular sport starts.

Playing Games – In several games you can select a particular player to help you. For example, when playing Extreme Batting Practice, picking a player with a better bat control will increase your chances of scoring more points.

ToppsPoints – Are used to purchase additional items for Avatars and participants' Clubhouses.

Who is ToppsTown™ for?

ToppsTown™ is designed for all ages 6-up.

Why ToppsTown™?

ToppsTown™ was created to gets kids more involved in the safe and fun world of trading cards. Over the years, collecting and trading cards has diminished. We're hoping that our new generation of "cyberkids" can carry on the tradition, whether online or with actual cards.

Is it safe?

Yes. Names are all made up. There is no direct contact between players. Trading is a yes-or-no proposition.

Does it cost anything to join ToppsTown™?

ToppsTown™ is free to play, although collecting more codes through the purchase of actual cards will enable players to collect and trade more virtual cards.

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