Register now to get rid of these ads!

Crazy Swap Meet Stories

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rustyfords, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. oldpl8s
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,476


    I always seem to get stuck next to a guy making noise all day. At Ventura some idiot had to demonstrate his air horns every few minutes. Another swap meet the guy next to me fires up a loud generator and ran it all day long to power a little boom box playing his crappy CDs. Apparently he never heard of battery power. I couldn't even hear my customers when they asked questions.
  2. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,718

    junk yard kid

    It was a few years ago now. But i was a vendor at the big three swap meet and rode my bike over to the lug nut king and bought a few things then rode off. It took me about 3 minutes to realize i left my wallet on his table with 3 dollars in it. So i go back and ask if he has my wallet. He then tells me that ya he found it and then gave it to some random guy that he tells me, told him hed find me and give it back. I then asked the lug nut king " How the fuck was the guy gunna catch me on my bike?" He said he didnt know. I then asked "Did you not think that i might come back for my wallet and that giveing it to a random stranger might be a bad idea?" He looked at me like the total retard that he is. What a fucking piece of shit that guy is. Used to buy stuff from him all the time but dont anymore and tell other people not to all the time. Yes i checked the lost and found and all the trash cans.
  3. texasoldcarguy
    Joined: Apr 11, 2013
    Posts: 6


    Several years ago a friend decided to fly to Texas to attend the Pate Swap Meet in Ft. Worth and decided he was going to buy the 1958 Impala like he had as a kid and drive it home. He didn't want to mess with a vendor who wouldn't take a cashier's check - SO he brought $50,000 in cash in a brown paper bag . . .figured cash talks and he was a serious talker! This was 1988 when $50,000 was serious money.

    He walked around the meet looking at various parts on tables enroute to find his '58 Impala and sat the paper bag down on a table while he examined some parts. Sure enough he walked two aisles over before he realized what he left sitting on the table - the brown paper bag with $50 grand cash in it! :eek:

    As he hustled back to the spot sweet Lady Luck smiled down on him and the bag was right where he left it! And everyone lived happily ever after when he drove his '58 Impala back to Cleveland, OH.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  4. texasoldcarguy
    Joined: Apr 11, 2013
    Posts: 6


    Like my old daddy used to say, "Time wounds all heels!" What goes around comes around.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  5. Lobucrod
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 4,123

    Alliance Vendor
    from Texas

    I was checking out this vintage SW gauge at the Decatur swap meet and the vender was busy so I was hanging onto it till he got free. My buddy calls me on my cell and tells me there is a guy wanting to make a deal on a big $ item I had for sale. I got all excited and hotfooted it back to my space only to realize that I still had the gauge in my hand. Made the deal then had to go back and find where I picked up the gauge. After apologizing for running off with it I paid the asking price instead of making an offer.
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  6. jeepers00creepers
    Joined: Jun 1, 2011
    Posts: 139


    I like the people who bad mouth you like your gonna suddenly agree with them and give the stuff to them at the price they want!
  7. zjerry
    Joined: Feb 11, 2013
    Posts: 319


    I bought my set of 200S wheels at swap meet . The guy had a tag on them that said $200 The man in front of me say's $200 a piece is to much. I ask the guy how much for all four . He tells me $200 for all four.LOL , So I bought all four american racing 200S wheels..

    Attached Files:

  8. one year I was pulling into my swap spot years ago in the north field at carlisle traffic was quite backed up and we were moving quite slow ,the year before I had purchased a pin striping tool and to say the least I had got quite carried away using it on my old ford pickup, a bunch of guys were seting around drinking in their spot with a rather nice chevy seting there as we passed by , one of them yelled out sarcasticly he liked my pin strip job I slamed on the brakes said to him is that your chevy your in luck and as soon as I get parked I will be back and stripe your chevy for nothing you want see a bunch of jaws drop and sober up quick far as I know they probably stood guard over that chevy lol
  9. QB409
    Joined: May 27, 2009
    Posts: 81


    Two guys looking at a 69 Z28 Camaro in the car corral at a swapmeet. Both on cel phones talking to someone on the other end who is helping to decide if the car is worth buying. Lots of talk about the cowl tag, VIN and codes. One guy hangs up and buys the car on the spot. Other guy says to him "you just bought a Camaro that has been tarted up to look like a Z28. It's not a real Z28". The buyer looks at him and says " I know. Its a COPO"
  10. zjerry
    Joined: Feb 11, 2013
    Posts: 319


    That's a good one..
  11. hammeredcoupe
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 512

    from Tacoma,WA

    Funny you should mention Mr. Dilley. We were at the Portland Swap meet last weekend and were laughing about his old trailer full of lights, and how he used to dump all his stuff in a pile. He is another one of those old characters from the Northwest swap meets that are no longer with us. I can think of a handful more that I make a point to go visit with at Monroe, Puyallup, Spokane and Portland. They are classics.
  12. afaulk
    Joined: Jul 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,194


    Went to a small local swap meet a couple weeks ago. I had a brand new shifter,B&M for a turbo 350/400, in the box,for a hundred dollars. A guy offered me $75. I said look guy, they're $220 from Jegs. It's a hundred dollars or I'll keep it until I die. He shut up and paid me. I should have put it away and said just leave, it's not for sale anymore.
  13. A.D.D.
    Joined: Dec 9, 2011
    Posts: 197

    from PacNW

    I'll throw my .02 cents into the pot.

    When I was a little kid my Dad owned a Landscaping company. I was slave labor starting around 10 or so.....
    Off season in the Winter (in the Deep South), he would make me go with him to the Flea Market. When it got busy I was expected to carry my weight hocking crap, wheelin' and dealin'. I HATED it... but damn if I didn't learn a thing or two!!!!!

    Fast forward to 14 years old (few months shy 15).. I got my first car.. 1963 Nova. In short order I ended up having 2 of them (guy saw my car and offered me another). My Dad helped negotiate. Low and behold.. it had factory V8 swap stuff in it and in the trunk. I made a LOT of $$$$ off that parts car then traded the shell to a drag racer for body work. That's when I learned that a car is worth more in parts than whole (car thieves know that).

    Fast forward and I have broken up a few decent cars over the years, bought parts collections from estates and even hauled truck load after truck load out as the crushers closed out junkyards.

    I have done the swap meet scene and know it well.

    Couple funny stories:

    I was shorthanded and VERY hungover one Mother in law volunteered to help me at the swap meet. Luckily I had the truck and trailer loaded.. so I just had to drive to the meet. I show up late and set up next to this young and clean cut couple. I am in Real Estate and have been for years... but I tend to dress for the gutters at the swap meet.
    I had recently taken about 10 pick up truck loads out of the old Vintage Auto up in Monroe when they were closing down. So,I start unloading crap.. rusty shit, windshield frames, dark rust colored sheetmetal, 30's, 40's ,50's and 60's stuff and generally stuff that a NON car person would PAY someone to haul off. The girl gives me this look like she FELT DIRTY watching me. Absolutely DISGUSTED.

    I flooded my 2-3 spaces with crap and within 20 minutes started rollin'. PILES of money rolling in here and there. By Noon ( about time things start winding down for the day)...I look over. The girl is bored, the guy has his ball cap pulled down to his eyes. Their card table had a few nice items, set of valve covers, some chrome.. looked like Camaro stuff.
    Within an hour or so...I am tarping up and my neighbors are packing up for good. Pretty sure they didn't sell a damn thing. Pretty sure I made about $5G's THAT ONE DAY. My Mother in law STILL talks about how crazy, how much money, me doing 4-5 deals at once like a feeding frenzy......... "And it was all rusty JUNK"...... she says.

    Another quick story:

    As a swap meet veteran.... I have plastic bins with lids. One bin ended up being JUNK. Real junk. The cast off stuff. Speedo with a cracked lens, odd head bolts, a gas welding wrench on a chain, etc, etc. I would toss orphan crap in that bin as I packed up for years with the intention to NOT bring it to the next meet. Hell, it even got rusty and orange inside from rainy swap meets. One time it was on it's side..OPEN right under the table. I had no idea. Some old guy comes up and digs through it, then another and another......
    SWEAR on a Gennie Duece grille shell... it's been the most popular thing at my booth! I keep throwing crap in there and it's: "How much for the rusty broken caster", "How much for these screws" ? It became a game and is a running joke for YEARS now... old farts with ORANGE hands digging out worthless CRAP while NOS stuff and rare parts sit on the table above their heads!!!

    I got rid of 80% of my swap meet stuff in recent years (quit buying) but still buy a booth (when it's under $50) to sell and to SHOP the day before (set up day)... lots of times I never even set up. I just sell the booth ticket for face value or less on my way out if I can (usually can).

    I guess maybe I'll go back at it as my boys get older...........
  14. Third DodgeBrother
    Joined: Apr 18, 2009
    Posts: 196

    Third DodgeBrother

    The deals I remember are the ones where, after the back and forth dickering is done, and after my money is in his hand, the vendor says he would have paid me to take that crap off his hands. Kinda funny when it's the $5 coilover springs on the rear of my roadster, or the $5 headers on the VGR, or a set of wide five wheels for the coupe ($10 each, four for $5). Not so much when it's the $175 axle with unidentifyable hubs!
  15. 1946chevytruck
    Joined: Feb 9, 2008
    Posts: 717

    from london ,ky

    i bought a nos 46 chevy pick up heater for $55
  16. Barn Hunter
    Joined: Feb 15, 2012
    Posts: 1,501

    Barn Hunter

    About 12 years ago in Miami...a guy I know bought mini storage units (way before storage wars) and sold on weekends. I deal antiques and used to go to his warehouse every week to see what he had. One time in a corner I spotted a mint original 33 Ford grille that came out of a unit. Whoa! He told me $500. Deal! So I went 50/50 on it with a friend. He took it to the Turkey Rod Run and we got $1200.
    A few years before that I used to deal in 67-69 Camaros. I saw a 69 SS in the strip between the sidewalk and street with grass growing up under it, so I knocked on the door. Owner says he's going to use the 350 in his pickup but I can have the body....Hmmm. Several months later I knocked again and he gave me the same story...6 months later I knocked again...this time he said "I'm never going to get to that...follow me to the tag office". I followed him and he signed the title over to me as a gift...yeah, FREE. I drove it home the next day and sold it the next week for $500. Yeah, I know now it's worth probably 20 times that now, but at the time it was the going price...and it was green with a green would have gotten a few hundred more.:(
  17. 1946chevytruck
    Joined: Feb 9, 2008
    Posts: 717

    from london ,ky

    I bought a 46 chevy pickup grill $15
  18. couple fun times at the swap meet in Christchurch NZ late 1990's.....late Saturday afternoon...its getting boring...I had my daughter with the time she was 1-2 years old..I tied her to a Post with about 5ft of rope...I put a for sale sign on her "Snot nose brat for sale $50".....the looks we got!...same friend is bored too....he finds a nice white stick...walks around like a blind person reaching out with the stick in one hand...other hand ....grabbing girls he kept a straight face I'll never know....we were all wetting our selfs with laughter
  19. push_rod
    Joined: Jul 22, 2013
    Posts: 110


    I've had my 1940 Deluxe Coupe since 1974; I was 15 years old when I bought it. The following year I discovered swap meets. Back then really great parts could be had for not much money (like a perfect pair of front fenders complete with headlight assemblies, and perfect inner fender panels for $50.00!!!), unfortunately I almost never had enough money to buy those parts!!! I can remember most of those great deals that slipped away because I was short on funds! What would really frustrate me back then were the guys who would not take what I'd offer them for a part... late in the day, I'd go back to their stall, and find "SOLD" written on that part... with the original asking price crossed out, and a final sale price written on that was less than what I had offered!!!

    I really get a kick out of the guys who have no idea what they are selling...
    Like the guy who was cleaning out his garage. Had an perfect old steering wheel he had taken off some bygone hot rod project. I asked him how much? He asks me what is it for? I had to tell him I'd tell him what it was for if his price was fair, and I bought it. He says $10.00! I paid him, picked up the steering wheel, and told him it was for a 1940 Mercury. I later sold it on Ebay for $100.00!
    Another time I found a really nice gauge cluster. I again asked the seller how much he wanted. Same deal, he wanted to know what it was for? He sold it to me for $15.00. I told him it was for a 1940 Mercury. I sold it a few weeks later at an Early Ford V8 mini-swap for $75.00.

    I have gotten the best deals from women who are cleaning out garages...
    An almost NOS 1940 Deluxe Speedometer for $3.00.
    An NOS 1940 3/4 ton truck speedometer (still in the wax coated box for $5.00. A usable 1940 Ford Deluxe chromed grille half for $10.00.
    And a brand new 1929 Ford radiator shell for $30.00.
    None of these gals had any idea what the parts went to, they just wanted to get rid of them! (Ex-husbands parts?)

    When dad was younger we used to go to a lot of swap meets together...
    Many times I'd show an interest in a part, only to be discouraged from buying it when he'd say, "What do you want that for? You don't need it!"
    (Some things are just cool to have to hang on the wall!)
    Like the time I only had $100.00 in my pocket. The first stall we walked up to had an almost perfect 1940 Ford Deluxe Convertible dash board, with original paint, and everything on it except the instrument cluster, and clock! I recognized the guy who was asking about it... Stan Betz from the House of Color!!! "$100.00, that dash only fits Convertible and Woodie", the seller said. Mr, Betz began to walk away, but after I argued with dad about wanting to buy it, Stan Betz turned around, walked back up, peeled a fresh $100.00 bill out of his paint stained overalls, picked up that dash and walked off with it!!! I did not find anything else at that swap meet, and went home with my $100.00!
    Another time we went to the January Turlock swap meet. Some guy had a solid 1940 Ford dash that didn't look quite right... "How much?", I asked.
    "$120.00", the seller replied. I then realized it was a right hand drive dash!!! The seller said he had bought a car from New Zealand, and parted it out! He also had the RH Drive radio grille... dad talked me out of it! I am still kicking myself!

    I've only sold twice at swap meets. The first time was back in 1979 when I actually had my coupe for sale, and was selling unattached parts separately. The last time was right after I finished building the coupe when I sold off my unused parts. Both times I wound up with more buyers swarming my stall than I could handle, and later found some parts had been stolen! That last time, a few guys actually begged and pleaded for lower selling prices, claiming they needed the parts for "their car". Later, when dad took over so I could make a run to the bathroom, I found those much needed parts set out for sale (at twice my price) in those guys stalls!!! (I now only sell things online, after doing my own research on current values, and only accept cash or PayPal!!! Friends, family, and local car club members always get my parts for what I have in them, unless they have a history of buying from me and selling for more!!! I may own a few cool cars, but I am not rich by any means. What I sell today, I might suddenly need tomorrow, and I can't always be guaranteed of getting a good deal.)
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  20. DavidY
    Joined: Sep 10, 2012
    Posts: 62

    from 15102

    I'm with you too. Every build accumulates parts that aren't needed. I collect all the unneeded stuff and take it to a meet once a year. I mostly sell for the amount that is offered. My goal is to not haul the stuff back home. I'm not in this to get rich. I just want to enjoy my rides and help others do the same. To those who want to get rich doing this, stay home and sell your stuff on ebay or craig's list. It's a lot less hassle.

    I once bought an early Corvette 2x4 manifold with the correct WCFBs and linkage for $100. I didn't really need it so I sold it a few months later to someone who did need it. Got $100 for it.
  21. -Sled-
    Joined: Jun 30, 2012
    Posts: 113


    This story had my heart sinking... Glad it worked out... Lucky guy!
  22. Finally figured something out after years of going to swap meets as both a buyer & a vendor - If I just stay in my vendor spot & don't wander around... I go home with a ton less stuff than I arrived with! :D

    I do remember setting up for a swap meet early a few years ago & watching a pair of turnpike cruiser skirts get bought out of a truck while the guy was still in line to enter. We spent the rest of the day watching that same pair of skirts change hands several times, each time ending up in a different spot a few rows further away for more & more money. :rolleyes:
  23. To the saints that think making a profit is unjust. I understand that logic, but I've been in almost every situation posted, and on both sides of the fence. I've sold before any "official" transactions were to have taken place just to see it later in the weekend go by in someone else's hands for four times the price I sold it for. Frustrating yes, but fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.

    Same goes for flipping items, at the same swap meet, I showed interest in a 58 Cad grill once and the guy showed up at my booth later, begging me to buy it for a song, so he didn't have to "drag" it back home when the swap meet was over. I was standing and staring at it, wondering where it was going to fit, after everything else was loaded, when a late comer came in and asked if that was a 58 Cad grill. Yup. Sold! Profit! It happens!

    I really don't think anybody is going to buy a house, live in it for ten years and sell it for what they paid for it.

    On the other hand, I had a guy beg me to sell him a truck heater I was asking a twenty for, for twelve bucks because he had to leave and that's all he had left. He hounded me until I caved, just to get rid of him. I saw him and his truck at a show and shine. He recognized me and told me who he was. He gave me another ten bucks, apologized and asked me to come over and see his truck.

    Saw him years later at another swap. Someone torched his garage with the truck in it. I told him if he wanted to replace it I'd sell my project. Done! Some times a little goes a long way.
  24. Chopped 66 Bug
    Joined: Apr 5, 2012
    Posts: 214

    Chopped 66 Bug

    I work about 6 swap meets a year in my business of selling plastic model kits. I have what you did happen often. I always tell the customer walk away and look for a better deal, the item you want will most likely be gone when you return. 9 times out of 10 that is true. See it?, better buy it right then. You can always sell it later if needed.

  25. dorf
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,087

    from ohio

    you guys are what is wrong with this country. your memories are of u screwing somebody. i go to a swap meet for fun , pay a fair price for what i buy and make a new friend .greed its killing this country .
    quick85 likes this.
  26. [​IMG]
  27. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,616

    Rusty O'Toole

    If half the stories in this thread are true it's a wonder more aren't shot or hit by lightning.
    quick85 likes this.
  28. Man, you can buy parts from my swap table any day! :rolleyes:

    Buy low, sell high. It may be greed, but it's how things work these days. If you don't make a profit, what's the point in loading it up and selling it anyways?

    Posted via telegraph.
  29. Who got screwed? If something is too expensive, I don't buy it. If someone wants to buy something I'm selling and re-sell it, it's theirs to do with what they want. I already sold it and got the price I wanted. It's kind of how a free market works.
  30. Bought a 392 Chrysler Industrial hemi engine mock up at Burls Creek Auto flea market earlier this month. It had mint valve covers on it as well as a repaired hemi oil pan. The block was made up of wood. Guy was asking $40.00 for it,I got it for $30.00. Why did I want it? Hell those covers were mint! Sold the oil pan alone at my booth for 40,burned the wood in my firepit and Ebayed the valve covers for a quick $100.00. Bought a right rear lower 1/4 trim for my 57 Belair that was near mint for $20.00 after I told the seller what it was. He even let me talk him down from 25....

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.