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swap meet booths what sells (or doesn't)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rustdodger, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    YES!! If I had $100 for every time I have stood there waiting for 5 minutes, and finally given up and walked away in disgust!!:mad:
  2. willys1330
    Joined: Jun 21, 2007
    Posts: 111


    I bring cheaper items now because of the tuff times. People will still pull out $1.00 $5.00 $10.00 and $20.00. You can separate them on tables and Tarps and don't have to price every item. Have one table with some better things because you never Know! Also have had good luck with wanted signs for things I am looking for.
  3. Make note of # 4 on the list. Pisses me off.
  4. modelaman
    Joined: Nov 26, 2007
    Posts: 114

    from sunland ca

    I have never sold at swap meets, but have bought a lot. Like someone else posted If there is no price on the stuff I am interested in and I have to ask how much something is, I just pass, for some reason it bugs me if there isn't a price on it. I also bring a parts catalog as sometimes it is cheaper for me to buy the part new as the seller is asking to much. Just my thoughts
  5. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,396

    from Napa

    I'm gonna start selling cans of Bullshit Repellent, and cattle prods for the Extreme Power Bullshitters (EPB's)- should clean up. Please choose the pinpoint spray for jolting sellers into realizing that you actually might want to buy some of their stuff, and the fogger style for the militant groups of 3-5 who congregate in front of the parts you want to look at, and give you dirty looks if you try to invade their Bullshitting Perimeter (BP) and look at some parts with an actual intention to possibly purchase. I advanced on and successfully penetrated several hostile BP's at Sacramento last Sunday, a couple times having to resort to the slow moving high torque method of bullshitter displacement, but as I spent an hour getting there and put several miles on my feet, extra mileage on my sore dogs to maneuver around groups of stagnant militant EPB's just wasn't gonna be SOP. Did see one large group (with club jackets, which automatically adds extra EPB entitlement) growing roots in front of a nice display of decent junk, backs to the parts for the most part, purely on a clogging mission, who were approached from both sides by hopeful pee-on buyers, and stood their ground and tightened their BP, until one little wirey guy hollered out "Hey, can you guys pull your bullshit session over to the side??" Oh, the righteous indignation- they grudgingly moved, but of course, one of them called him an a$$hole- to which he responded "OK, whatever it takes to get you to move"
  6. Thorkle Rod
    Joined: May 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,392

    Thorkle Rod

    Everything I've had no use for and sold at a swap meet I actually needed within 6 months.
  7. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    Good one Gene. same as my rant, but far more eloquent! WTF is with these assholes anyway? They do realize some people are actually there to buy shit, right?
  8. Dchaz
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 474


    For some reason i have always had good luck selling used flomasters and worn out slicks. Don't know why. A friend used to own a muffler shop and I would take all his take offs from the car lots. 20 to 30 bucks on them and they go quick.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 7,869


    The hardest sell lately seems to be stuff that's still new in the box. Even at near 1/2 off the Summit/Jegs price they won't buy it. WTF is up with that? My friend had some brand-new-in-the-box Edelbrock 1 into 2 mufflers like for F body GMs. Tons f interest, they're right around $90 by the time you get em home, he couldn't get $50. Seriously? Why is that? These were folks who actually wanted/needed the part too. Is it better to use a charge card and add interest to the purchase?

    On the other hand some really junky shit that you'd never imagine sells like crazy sometimes. Ya never know...
  10. Hmm,that might work.I usually find out I don't bring enough cash when I find something I could use....:mad:
  11. I have been doing Car Part Meets and Flea-Markets since 1968 and have sold tons of good stuff and tons of junk (what I thought was junk anyway). For the past 10 years I have been selling alot of non car parts but car related thing like toys and accessories like spot lights, skirts, anything from the 50's and 60's and very few reproductions and this is at the parts meets. I have had alot people come by and tell me that I have the only good stuff at a parts meet with over 100 vendors.
    The best advice I can give or my 2 cents worth is STAY AT YOUR SPACE ! as much as you can and above all else BE WILLING TO BARGAIN ! 90% of the shoppers at parts meets and flea-markets want it cheaper than whats marked. Talk to everyone, be friendly to everyone (even the know it all jerks).
    I have also found that if you are there early as possible you will sell a bunch to other dealers who think they can get more than you can for an item, don't let it bother you when they do make a profit. I always get a chuckle out of selling something to another dealer and then seeing them put it on their table for 3 0r 4 times what they paid, usually you can see them packing it up to take home with them later :D
    I have never been disappointed in what I made at the end of the day at any Parts Meet or Flea-Market, but I always bring ALOT of stuff and take home ALOT of stuff :eek:
    H.A.M.B.ers are my best customers ;)
  12. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,509

    from California

    I always get a chuckle out of selling something to another dealer and then seeing them put it on their table for 3 0r 4 times what they paid, usually you can see them packing it up to take home with them later

    you sound like my brother. if he finds something for 50 cents and gets 5 bucks for it he's happy, even if it is worth $25.00. I have no problem hauling stuff back home. I want top dollar for my junk... takes too much effort to find it all to sell it for less.
  13. bigbob55
    Joined: Mar 19, 2010
    Posts: 778

    from Pittsburgh

    If you want a word of advice from someone who has vended 30 years with 4 different venues ranging from Engines and speed parts, in the 70's/80's to 50's memorabilia in mid 80's to now Car Movies and Drag Racing is the worst time to get into vending anything...On one side you have travel and space expenses eating you up. On the other side Evilbay and on line forum selling is driving the actual selling cost down...although much of the stuff is misrepresented and or people on line don;t realize what they are buying until after they bought it and seemingly refuse to admit how bad they got screwed on shipping and handling. To make matters a bit worse if you are selling used components the sources are drying up......if it is new items mailorder competition will reduce any lingering profit you could have made. Ain't like it was 30 years ago and getting worse from a vendors standpoint. If you want to do it for a hobby that is one thing, but if you are remotely thinking about making any profit doing it as a living you are wasting your effort. Just calling them as I see them doing 30+ events a year as a hobby
  14. brad chevy
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    brad chevy

    Alot of good points made.If you are going to sell at the same swapmeets on a regular basis it helps to not take the same items everymonth. Switch your stuff up. I do good with tire and wheel combos,original old speed parts and real chrome parts. As stated earlier if you leave your booth leave someone there that knows your prices,nothing worse than being told ( I don"t know he"ll be back in a little while.)And it helps to just tell the experts to just walk on if they don"t want to buy something.I sell more before the meet even opens to other vendors walking around with flashlights. Hell if I get my asking price on an item I don"t care if they resell and make a profit.One guy hit the nail on the head. Know your parts,what they are and worth.Its takes a little effort put price tags do help alot when it comes to just lookers that never buy anything but your waste your time.
  15. texasred
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,045

    from Houston

    How hard is it to tape a price tag and what it fits on a part? my main bitch at swap meets is a pile of parts with no price or what it goes to .if you got a 57 olds rear end then mark it as one.
  16. It always helps to have some items that attract attention, bling for the buyers. Nice clean parts that people see and it brings them over to check out your stuff. Bling does not mean chrome or other crap- I mean a nice set of wheels, a good grille, set of cheater slicks, it can be almost anything that will get someone's attention.
  17. Mutt
    Joined: Feb 6, 2003
    Posts: 3,219


    I always - ALWAYS - had a box of cheap throw away rain ponchos and plastic tarp/covers to sell to make the cost of the entry. A buck or buck fifty or so sold them all every time.
    Just make a prominent sign convincing the people they are ideal for storing out of the way under a seat, ect.
    Those that waited were wet when they came back too late...

    It's always smart to have a few little items like that that aren't really car related but handy.

  18. I have been going to swap meets since 1980 (Hamburg NY.)
    You never can tell what will or won't sell.
    I take everything that is loose......
    I have meets where I didn't sell anything until Sunday 12:00.
    I have been to a swap meet where I took a small trailer and the pickup full
    of stuff and sold it all on Saturday...I only took stuff home that I bought on Sunday,
    Mason City Ia, 1982.
    My motto: As long as you can pay for the gas and entry fee.....have fun.
  19. rustdodger
    Joined: Jan 17, 2009
    Posts: 275


    Thanks for some good input to my initial post guys. My notion before I posted to start this thread was that what sells is a bit of a crap shoot. That seems to be the conclusion that a number of others have come to as well.It's my opinion there are some good nuggets in here that I will put into practice when the surplus pile gets big enough for another booth venture.
  20. 40fordtudor
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,503


    Mean Gene---Laughed my ass off at your rant. I used to go to swap meets with a power bullshitter like you portrayed. He knew everybody. I usually continued on and hit the balance of the row of vendors and then hit the other side of the aisle and met back up with him, still bullshitting. Never knew I was gone. We'd start out and he'd say "not so fast"--or "you're not even looking at this stuff". One day I'd had enuf and told him "I walked this row while you were bullshitting". Did that change things??? No chance---once a bullshitter, always a bullshitter.

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