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Event Coverage Another one bites the dust (well starting to)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ahshoe, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. I have been going to swap meets for more than 50 years. It used to be a good time, and make a few dollars. I used to go to 20-25 swap meets a year to sell. Now, I only go to 2 to sell. The Jalopy Showdown, where our kind of people go, and Fall Carlisle. When the swap meets were put on by car clubs things were pretty good, but now, a lot of swap meets are being taken over by different groups.They don't have the core car people involved. They saw that the car people did okay, so they thought they could do better. Guess what ? These people don't realize how much work is involved to do it right, and they set themselves up to fail. There used to be some good swap meets in New England, but a lot of them are gone. how many people remember Amherst New Hampshire swap meet / flea market ? I started going there in 1967. When the good promoter died, a few years ago, and someone else took over, doubled the price for the vendors, and pissed off a lot of people.. Now it is just a memory.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  2. What will kill the swap meet is if you stop attending or vending. I'm 34 and I've gone to Iola probably 18 times. My Dad has been going since the 2nd one they had. He has missed a few years here and there, but he has been to almost everyone. He gets vendor spaces. In the beginning, he was there to buy. He'd get 1 swap space and bring a nearly empty van. Put out a few random things for sale he didn't care much about. We'd come back home with a full van and an empty wallet. We loved it. Yes, the show just isn't what it used to be anymore, thanks to the internet.

    The rule is supposed to be that your things for sale needs to be a certain percentage of automotive. Yes, we have brought lawnmower stuff to sell. But for the 2 lawnmower parts, we bring 50 car parts. Nowadays my dad gets 4 swap spaces, he sells two to his friend and we all go up there, set up our tents and grill and have a great time. Dad can't walk as much as he used to, he's 74 years old. But he still manages to find something cool to bring back home. Last year he got all 4 fenders for a 34 ford sedan with dual side mounts. Absolutely perfect shape, the rears were NOS never installed. The cool and hard to find stuff is still out there, and sometimes, it finds it's way to the swap meet instead of the internet. There's still plenty of people that don't want to deal with shipping and don't get on the internet much.

    My family will continue to go to Iola until the show no longer exists
     
    continentaljohn, jvo and Squablow like this.
  3. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,770

    BJR
    Member

    Then there is the guy at Iola that has been by the gate to the car corral for years that sells magnetic bracelets. He sets the same rusty exhaust manifold and 3 other heavy rusty parts on a table, with no prices or what they fit and stands behind another table and sells magnetic bracelets all day long. The same rusty parts show up every year. Look for him this year if you go. The people who run the show do nothing about him, even though he is not selling anything remotely related to car parts. All they want is his fucking money.
     
  4. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,181

    clem
    Member

    I was thinking the same thing !
     
  5. joeycarpunk
    Joined: Jun 21, 2004
    Posts: 4,445

    joeycarpunk
    Member
    from MN,USA

    Swap meets are directly impacted as mentioned by internet sales but where else can you mingle, see the part before purchasing, perhaps buy and resell for a profit, ect. And perhaps view antiquated items you didn't know you need? Is there crap and overpriced parts? Sure. Still beats cruising the internet. The best swaps are when I find what I need perhaps at a good price. Not like the swap meets of old but still enjoy them. Time to get out with my dad and son, both car guys and enjoy the day.
     
    continentaljohn and Stueeee like this.
  6. True. I talked with my dad last night. He said the flea market area is going to be up by the lake, next to where they have the stage for the concert. Fine with me as most of those spots have been empty anyways.

    Hopefully with this flea market opening up, they will make people move out of the swap that don't have enough car parts for sale
     
  7. ahshoe
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 796

    ahshoe
    Member

    They will never do anything about someone selling non automotive items as they are all in it for the money...If those guys pay for their spots again they will take their money. They don't give a shitabout what anybody is selling.They just want to fill booths.
     
  8. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 1,294

    lake_harley
    Member

    Just got back from the Pate Swap Meet. Drove the 1300+ miles round-trip with two friends and between just gas and 3 nights stay at a reasonably priced hotel we spent ~$500, not counting food. Took a 10' trailer thinking we'd find a whole bunch of cool stuff, but everything we bought fit easily into the back of my Tahoe with room to spare.

    The Pate Swap Meet sounded like a "must attend" event but honestly I was a bit frustrated by it.....a lot of general yard sale/flea market stuff, porcelain and neon signs galore, rows of plastic shipping crates piled full of yard sale leftover junk and on and on. If all of the non car related stuff, campers and motor homes and non-vendors who just buy a space for convenient parking were removed I think the swap meet would only be about 1/3 to 1/2 the size it is.

    All three of us bought stuff, but I think I'll start paying just a little more and just buying what I need, when I need it rather than taking 4 days and lots of money to buy just a few items. I'm 66 years old and am not at all interested in stockpiling parts or hoarding them, just looking for what I need and want and am willing to pay a reasonable price. The vendors I bought from would probably been better off financially too by selling through forums and other ways as well. I was looking for some specific things but nothing I bought was actually what I was wanting, really needing or looking for. But, I had traveled all that distance and I couldn't just go home empty handed, could I?

    But, somehow I'm still looking forward to the next swap meet.....there's one next weekend. At least it's closer to home.

    Rant over.

    Lynn
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
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  9. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,150

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    The rent for the grounds of a swapmeet have gone up every year. With limited places to hold such a large area to hold a swapmeet, they have you by the balls. So they can charge the promoter more money every year. I know of a swapmeet that is approaching the $20,000 dollar mark for the grounds. It goes up every year. Figure the price for a space. You do the math.Then you add Insurance, advertising and all the other expenses and with all volunteers(150+) that get a small percentage for there time in helping. So do you raise the amount for the vendors or do you start charging for parking to off-set the cost of vendors. So can you put up with some crappy vendors or not. If you have not helped with putting on a swapmeet, then don`t complain until you have walked a mile in there shoes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
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  10. OLDSMAN
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,422

    OLDSMAN
    BANNED

    We are the same way here in Nebraska. The good meets you see with more flea market stuff than car parts. We still go with the hopes of finding something we need, and we always run into someone to talk to that we haven't seen for awhile
     
  11. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 1,294

    lake_harley
    Member

    ^^^^^ At Pate I struck up a conversation with a fellow at our hotel. It turned out he lives about 20 miles away from me and apparently has a pretty nice stash of Model A parts. Networking never hurts. Funny that I was 600+ miles from home when I met him.

    Lynn
     
    Montana1 likes this.
  12. TheSteamDoc
    Joined: Jul 14, 2018
    Posts: 223

    TheSteamDoc
    Member

    I understand your fustrations on that. It seems these so called swap meets have turned into a flea market and junk sale galore. With maybe one or 2 guys actually selling car related stuff. Then it'll eventually be just a flea market. I've seen it happen around me. Especially with tractor and Engine Shows. Winds up being arts and crafts with very little stuff that started the show!
     
  13. ahshoe
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 796

    ahshoe
    Member

    Actually I majored in math....So here is my formula for swap meet or any business success.Simply LESS is better. Less money up front for spectators to get in NOT more such as Iola has done, vendor space rent lowered when your event is never filled anymore = more spectators and vendors = more profits for promoter for concessions, vendors rent, parking and admission at the gate.
     
    dana barlow likes this.
  14. I have been going to swap meets / flea markets, as a vendor, and, as a spectator for more than 50 years. In the old days, the meets were usually put on by a local car clubs. Then the people that owned the areas where the meets were held saw that the clubs were making some money, and they decided to run things them selves. They raised the prices for vendors, as well as for spectators in order to cash in for themselves. They were nor car people, just greedy people. yes it cost money to put on a meet. I heard that the Rhinebeck, New York fairgrounds cost $ 40,000 to rent. add to this, insurance, police, EMT personnel, and advertising, and you can see what is happening. It costs a lot before you open the gate.A lot of the old club members don't want to put up with the bullshit involved with putting on an event. My 2 youngest sons were in the Road Agents car club, and the club put on a great meet in East Hartford, Connecticut. the first 2 years the club lost money, and the members had to dig into their own pockets to make expenses. They did it because they wanted to put on a quality meet, which they did. People still talk about the event 20 years later. After the fist couple of years, some club members were more interested in making money from the vent, and you know the rest, No club, no event, greed caught up with them.
     
  15. Hemiroid
    Joined: Nov 6, 2011
    Posts: 135

    Hemiroid
    Member

    Bringing a thread up, back from the dead just because Iola is a week away...
    The running joke is we see the same guy, in the same spot, with the same inferior parts, with the same inflated price tags, nothing changed for years. The swapper doesn't get the joke. Doesn't get that he is the joke...
    I still appreciate that vendor showing up. I appreciate seeing and catching up with car guys I don't see or hang out with often enough. I don't buy much but every so often I find a treasure I didn't know that I couldn't live without...
    The internet has had a huge impact on the swap meets I attend, basically killed the swaps and they are more flea markets than swap meets. I feel that is our fault. If we don't buy from our local swappers they will quit bringing the parts. If we are buying flea market chit that is what the swappers will bring...
     
    HotRodRyan likes this.
  16. I used to attend Petit jean. But it became a yard sale. they are thinking about adding a Swap Meet to the Sept George Rays event. If they do it will be restricted to auto parts only. I mostly buy and sell on the Facebook marketplace.
     
  17. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,385

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    I get better prices when the wives or girlfriend is there. It's either looks,charm or they want the parts gone.
     
    Unique Rustorations likes this.
  18. Hemiroid
    Joined: Nov 6, 2011
    Posts: 135

    Hemiroid
    Member

    How many wives do you have? And a girlfriend too? I'd be too tired to type if I was in your shoes. :eek:
     
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  19. 1ton
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 460

    1ton
    Member

    Oh boy, so this means I can go there, buy some headlight lenses and a bag of tube socks. Gee...
    Isn't that swell.
     
  20. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,814

    Squablow
    Member

    The flea market section was pretty underwhelming, and there were some vendors in the regular swap area who probably should have been in the flea, but overall it was still a pretty good Iola and I had no problem spending all the money I brought with me.
     
    HotRodRyan likes this.
  21. Our 2 day Fremont swap meet will now be a 1 day event....nobody came or vended on Sunday. I still vend unless the weather is really bad.
     
  22. COCONUTS
    Joined: May 5, 2015
    Posts: 896

    COCONUTS

    Swap Meets went from guys trying to sell excess parts, project cars, completed cars to semi professional swap meet guys that buy and sell for a profit now revolve to guys selling household stuff and crap. What are you guys crying about it is just a matter of evolution, first come the French, then the English then the Irish. I only buy from guys selling excess parts out of the back of their pick-up truck. I cannot afford or want to spend the money to buy anything off of the semi professional swap meet guys.
     
  23. I don't really need anything. Ive already got enough stuff. Im old and walking a lot makes my knees hurt. I have no desire to walk around a glorified flea market any more. I can search facebook if theres something I need. Usually if there is something I need I already have it someplace in my hoard. Now I like a Estate Auction. You know everything is for sale. and whoever is Ready willing & and able to pay the most can buy the item. and many tines that Idiot who paid the most is me!
     
  24. onetrickpony
    Joined: Sep 21, 2010
    Posts: 461

    onetrickpony
    Member
    from Texas

    What are they?
     
  25. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,770

    BJR
    Member

    I was there from Wednesday and left Sunday morning. We sold a lot of stuff, traffic past our booth was way down on all days compared to other years. It would be interesting to hear from someone who stayed in the campground. I wonder how full it was this year? Lots of vendors were gone by Saturday.
     
  26. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 5,851

    A Boner
    Member

    My son and I walked 9.2 miles at Iola this year, according to his Apple Watch. Could have been 6 or 7 miles if they would condense it, and eliminate all the empty spaces you have to walk by. Didn't buy anything. Show has been going downhill, with every increase in spectator fees and probably swap space fees and since Krause publications sold the show. After last year's show we said forget it for 2019, but the weather was unusually nice this year so we went on Thursday. And after the show, we said the same thing.....probably going to skip it for 2020. Have been going most years since 1980!
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  27. Stueeee
    Joined: Oct 21, 2015
    Posts: 243

    Stueeee
    Member
    from Kent, UK

    I came over for Iola this year, haven't visited this show for 5 years or so as it's a bit of a journey from the UK. There were definitely a lot more empty spaces on the Thursday and Friday than the last time I was over, but on the plus side, there were a lot more vendors still in place on Saturday than on the 2 previous times I've been. Back then it was sometimes a 100 yard plus walk between vendors.

    It seemed to me that was a lot more street rod stuff there, and less early/traditional stuff than before, but I still bought some useful parts.

    I understand that sitting on a computer at home and clicking on stuff on eBay or wherever is probably a more efficient way of buying; but I don't think that you can put a price on being able to see all the stuff for real, and being able to just chat with vendors or other visitors at a show or swap meet.
     
  28. While wandering through the Swap on Friday, there I see Gene Winfield taking out his wallet to buy a pair of fender skirts from a vendor.

    The next day, in the full sun and 90 degrees, there is Gene again. Walking up an aisle while his assistant is following behind in a golf cart.

    That made the weekend for me
     
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  29. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,814

    Squablow
    Member

    He bought some Mercury moldings from me, and I wasn't even a vendor, I had bought them earlier and I was just walking around with them sticking out of my cart. He spotted them from a distance and knew what they were right away. They were extras for me anyway, bought because they were a good deal, so I didn't mind selling them, and it was really cool to do some actual dealing with Gene. He's a legend and a super nice guy. A friend of mine got a picture of us dealing.

    imagejpeg_0(1)(1).jpg
     
  30. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,385

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    Late to the party in answering back. I meant the vendors wives or girlfriends. Most do not covet the parts like we do.
     

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