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Event Coverage Jefferson swap meet, Loss my butt

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 0NE BAD 51 MERC, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. 0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Joined: Nov 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,566

    0NE BAD 51 MERC

    Been doing the Jefferson Swap meet put on by Madison Classics for 25 years both spring and fall events. Gary and his crew have always put on a great show. I have always sold quality new and used automotive hot rod and restoration parts at a fair price . And I know swap meets have been going down hill since the internet came around. But my goodness I sat in 90 degree weather for two days watching people just walk by and not even look at the stalls ! when I would venture out and see what I could find, It was unbelieveable of how many people would walk down an entire row with out looking either way. Not that there was a lot to look at. Glassware , used clothes, rideing lawn mowers. It has become more of a yard sale. Four stalls of carbs, headers, vintage mag wheels and all I sold was a small too box and a pair of 54 ford head lite rims! But I am sure I will be back in the spring because it is an addiction. lol Larry
  2. T&A Flathead
    Joined: Apr 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,961

    T&A Flathead

    What kind of vintage mags? Send me a pic.
    rab71 likes this.
  3. Mr cheater
    Joined: Aug 18, 2010
    Posts: 573

    Mr cheater

    From what I saw fishing poles and weed eaters were the hot sellers this year. I am basing that statement off of the four people I saw carrying them. I got a few things that I couldn't live without

    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
  4. I have bought & sold at many swap meets and all I can say is you have been extremely lucky,I have had more than one times when I didn't sell 10 cents worth and other times walked away with several hundred dollars the next time out,and what's crazy is the fact that I didn't unload the trailer from the last swap meet,I had the same parts and mopped up.

    I have also put fair prices on good hard to find pieces and they didn't sell,throw junk out and it sold like got cakes,there is no rhyme or reason! HRP

  5. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,225

    from Minnesota

    No matter how many spaces I rent and how much stuff I bring inevitably most questions are about stuff I left I at home 5 hours away.
    stillrunners and sjm1340 like this.
  6. I've noticed a lot of people walking around and not buying too. I don't know if people were in survival mode because of the heat. I bought stuff, but after awhile, just started getting a little disinterested looking because of the heat. There was a lot nice stuff, but some things way overpriced as usual.
    By the way, the stuff I bought had a price tag on it. No tag or "what will you give me?" doesn't work with me.
    Sorry that you lost your butt, I had a sense that Venders weren't doing well there yesterday.
  7. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,323


    The weather messed you up. When it's hot people are just worried about getting the place covered. They forget to look at parts. They just look straight ahead. They are just looking for the next place to get a drink.
    Hershey temps are usually mid 60's. My worst years were when the temps were in the 80's.
    bobwop, 49ratfink and low budget like this.
  8. 0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Joined: Nov 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,566

    0NE BAD 51 MERC

    Did not mean to sound like I was mad, it is more an observation of how the crowds have change over the years. I have made a lot of money over the years , so really I am still ahead of the game . And the weather does play into it but I have been there in the cold,the rain and even snow! I have always enjoyed the comaradery of talking with other car guys. It just seems like they are getting fewer and fewer. times are just changing and I feel like we are looseing something that at least to me was pretty kool. But if you guys are there next spring stop in atWX105-109 and say hi! And my stuff always has price tags and because everybody ,includeing me wants to dicker they are 25% higher than I will take. lol So remember that if you want to buy something :D Larry
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
    stillrunners and chryslerfan55 like this.
  9. We had our annual Fremont Nebraska swap meet today. I was blown away by the lack of vendors today! There was about 50% of our usual vendors. I vended and while it started out slow, it picked up and I didn't do so bad. A big hit was my dollar box. I'll bet I made close to 20 bucks from that. I sold cra---er merchandise I use to put on the tables for cheap and it wouldn't sell but it went like hotcakes from the dollar box.
    Good news is I sold my heavy stuff...a 365 caddy intake and carb and a model A rear spring. I no longer have to lug that stuff around although I sold it cheap-cheap but it's gone and the $$$ is in my pocket, however meager.
    I did see a lot of weed eaters sold but I must have seen at least 7 women carrying wash pans, buckets, baskets around! WTF? Who buys that shit? Who sell that shit!? I sold real live traditional auto parts.
  10. BuckeyeBuicks
    Joined: Jan 4, 2010
    Posts: 2,572

    from ohio

    I am right there with you Larry, I have been selling my junk for over 40 years. For the most part the swap meets are going down hill. I get a lot of low ballers and story tellers but fewer real car guy buyers every year. I still enjoy shootin the bull with old friends and I don't have that much invested in most of my stuff so I usually come out money ahead but nothing like the glory days.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  11. Torkwrench
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,616


    I had planned to go to Jefferson, on one of the three days. However, I ended up going to a, (sort of), old timey junkyard, instead. The other two days were spent working on my O.T. 1984 S-10, and buying a Borg Warner T5 transmission, (out of a mid 1980's Camaro).

    A pair of T5's are what I would have been looking for, at Jefferson. The one that I bought will be going in my 41 Pontiac Streamliner. Still need to find another V8 Camaro T5 for my O.T. S-10.

    P-9.png P-7.png
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  12. UNSHINED 2
    Joined: Oct 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,125


    Haven't gone to Jefferson for awhile now. Seems to be a lot more muscle car stuff there, so I save my cashola for the Twin Cities Roadsters swap. I probably just dont look under the right tables at Jefferson. Maybe next spring Ill go -- change up my strategy a little....or maybe I'll brush up on my socializing skills.
  13. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 3,005


    I've attended Jefferson Spring and Fall Swap meet for many years, but the last few years have been hit or miss. It seems the weather forecast and other variables now come into play over attending a swap meet.
    I was intending on coming this year, but something of more importance required my attendance at the last minute (it came up Thursday). The hot weather would have also been a distraction this year, after about 11am, I would have been in zombie mode.

    My son and I generally go if one of us has something we are looking for. It seems that either we both go, or neither of us go. A day trip to Jefferson costs us about $50 each (in addition to what ever we may buy) by the time we cover all the expenses, so we really have to have something we need or a list of stuff we expect to find at a reasonable cost to justify the cost of going. We both still enjoy going, as long as the weather is forecast to be reasonable. A hot humid 90, an all day rain, or a windy snowy 30, are not reasonable weather forecast days. On those type of days, most the vendors have their stuff covered up, are grumpy, or don't want to deal. Gene
  14. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091


    I have noticed that you can sell small things quick. Most who come to a car show do not drive anything that they want to larger haul things in. I post photos of my large stuff and some times I deliver. Made several good sales . I sell a lot of things real cheap to get rid of them . Funnest thing I sold was a spare rim and tire for my trailer. I guess the guy needed it to get home.
  15. I did pretty good at the Charlotte swap meet this past weekend. It was over 200 degrees most of the time I think☺, so I didn't cover the whole swap meet. But I didn't really need anything so I only bought some taps, 2 T-shirts and a ball cap.
    But I sold over a thousand dollars worth of stuff that I have had for many years and decided I would never use the stuff, so sold most of it for half of what I had it priced at( had price tags on everything). I just wanted to get rid of it and not bring it back home.
    But I am happy because I bought most of it years ago for about what I sold it for.
    As for losing your butt, I had one of those for sale, but no one wanted it..☺
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  16. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,098


    our society has gotten fat and lazy. The car guys are older. So when you add heat and humidity to that...nobody wants to buy something and have to carry it. They are just hoping they don't succumb to heat stroke.
  17. corncobcoupe
    Joined: May 26, 2001
    Posts: 6,158

    Staff Member

    Ok - my opinion......
    I bet most swap meet sellers have had the same swap meet spot for the last twenty years and that contributes to a lot of the ho-hums.
    ESPECIALLY the twice a year swap meets.....

    Many I have attended......
    SAME guy, SAME stuff, SAME place for the last 20-30 years.

    Swap meets ( promoters) could do it self a favor if all the vendors were scrambled up to different spots every year........seriously.

    Let's put it this way- if the seller doesn't want to change spots , chances are you can expect the same results.

    Try changing your swap meet spot.
    At least it may get the buyers thinking something may be new to search for OR a new vendor to look at and search for that treasure you can't live with out.
    My opinion and suggestion.
    INVISIBLEKID and chryslerfan55 like this.
  18. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 29,184

    Jalopy Joker

  19. Latigo
    Joined: Mar 24, 2014
    Posts: 701


    I attend a large meet in the area every year as a buyer. Went again this year and again turned off by the merchandise that is not priced as well as the flea market junk. Often can't even ask the price because the vendor is BSing with buddies. Tried to buy a few things but priced high and was not negotiable. " I can sell them all day for that price." Swap meets used to be fun but I'm about done with them.
    uncleandy 65 likes this.
  20. Cheapstreet duster
    Joined: Jan 17, 2008
    Posts: 258

    Cheapstreet duster
    from georgia

    the swap meet at the drag strip i did very well....sold off $450 worth of old speed parts and purchased an air shift system for my shifter with a biondo box.. and still went home with money..(i still had unsold parts) but my business was brisk...?
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  21. captainjunk#2
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,419


    times are kind a tough on some to , ive skipped a few swapmeet s because the dinero pocket was carrying lint and very few green back s
    bobwop likes this.
  22. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 11,411

    from Zoar, Ohio

    Good advise. I have an antique shop behind the house here. Been selling for 20 yrs now.
    Every time I rearrange the place stuff sells that sat for many a year.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  23. My neighbor and i set up last year at the local monthly last year and both made some money. We thru Ebay prices in the toilet and flushed them, and asked reasonable prices for things.
    plan9 likes this.
  24. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 18,311


    When we go to swaps there are some people in their usual place we look forward to seeing. We know they have good stuff and rush over there to check it out.
    OFT, bobwop and tractorguy like this.
  25. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 16,125


    The rumor at Iola swap meet this year is the promoters were going to encourage vendors to stay through Saturday afternoon or risk losing their preregistered spots. I like this idea a lot, guys who come on Wednesday and want to pack up on Friday at noon shouldn't be able to lock up the most premium spots every year. I was impressed with how good Saturday at Iola was this year. Vendors who want to leave early can take the outlying leftover spots.

    Didn't make Jefferson this time. It's big enough to be worth going and I've never went and came back empty handed but there's definitely a lot of flea market/rummage sale/craft show type vendors there that really dilutes the old car parts down.

    Every time I vend at a swap, it seems like 2/3 of my sales happen in the first hour or two, either to other vendors buying stuff during setup or guys waiting to get into the gate when it first opens. I can see the appeal for vendors wanting to leave early. Problem is, if enough of them do that, it ruins the swap for the rest of the buyers.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  26. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,549


    I remember going to the Pate Museum swap meet in the 70's with my panel truck loaded to the top with left over pieces and just enough cash to buy gas to get there and get in the gate. I had to sell stuff to be able to buy anything.
    The last few swap meets I sold at here locally I sold enough to pay for what I bought but lately I don't have a lot of stuff to sell laying around.
    I'd agree with the Non car junk getting in though. That was the case at the Tri Cities Wa car show this year. One area looked more like a neighborhood yard sale than a car swap meet.
    I was probably one of those guys with the 100 yard stare going through as I pretty much had a defined shopping list of items I wanted to look for. I didn't bring home any shelf decorations from that one.
    At the swap meet here in Yakima a month later I could have spent a bunch if I had it to spend that day and or had my truck along. Taking the car instead of the truck saves money in more ways than just in gas.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  27. I don't get the people who don't stay all day Saturday. They are limiting their sales to only those people who can take off work to go.I think most people have to work until Friday evening and then partake in a swap meet to buy. If they know from past experience that people start leaving early then they may not even try to make it. I remember I used to have to work every Saturday and the only chance I got to go to a swap meet was after work Saturday only to see people pulling out, most likely with parts I would have bought.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  28. quick85
    Joined: Feb 23, 2014
    Posts: 3,053


    As someone who's been attending swap meets since 1970 I found this to be an interesting thread. I've bought and sold and did pretty well for the things I've had to sell. There's simply a new breed of car
    guys out there. I remember dealing with collectors, restorers, racers and plain old gearheads. Swap spaces were cheap and admission to walk around and look at old car parts was generally a couple of bucks. Most of all, people needed items. Going for something to do or meet up with pals was secondary. These days I think more guys go out looking for things they want and not what they need. Add in the fact that many sellers want to get rich and it's no wonder sales are down. I don't think musclecar guys can be put at fault for the decline in swap meets. Most could almost build a complete car from reproduction parts. For me, as a seller, the high cost of swap spaces at many meets means that
    a relatively big chunk of my sales goes towards paying for my space. I just received a flyer in the mail for
    a meet I've supported for forty years...I threw it in the trash.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  29. If it's hot, have water.
    People will stop, people who stop and aren't in a hurry to find their next water buy stuff.
    Hnstray likes this.
  30. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,304

    from Quincy, IL

    ^^^^^^^^good suggestion....cases of bottled water are pretty cheap and may return the investment and then some....

    bobwop likes this.

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