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Swap Meet Etiquette

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by paperdog, Jul 9, 2006.

  1. kenagain
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 820

    from so cal

    Hey going to be at the big 3 no discount to Lifters or HAMBers maybe a free beer tho wont be too many prices on parts if ya want it make offer hope this does not piss any body off
    Hey just joking see ya there
  2. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 2,637

    from Minnesota

    I have been vending at swaps for 30 years,15 at Jefferson.Quit going there last year.It wasnt profitable enough to offset the ebay effect.The $4.00 gas plus lodging etc etc made it easy.
    I will be at more Twin Cities swaps but there are really only 3 that matter.The Buick show,Back to the 50's swap, and the Roadster swap.
    From a vendors point of view I only have one pet peeve.When I get the nickle and dimers who whine about the pric on any part or say they can get it cheaper I look at their hands.Bet there isnt any dirt or grease on them.I hit the junkyards and farm yards to get the parts.(read that money and time spent)bring the stuff home and spiff it up(more money and time)then drive to the swap,rent space ,set up my tables and tents...just to hear some guy who wont go get the part himself berate my prices.
    Word to those who complain about pricing....go find the stuff yourself.
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,592

    from SIDNEY, NY

    Again, here's one for all of the "Ebay is the devil" people. At Fall Carlisle last October, I had a N.O.S. Trans-dapt bell housing lying on the ground. I told everyone that asked about it that I'd take $100 for it. Apparently, that was too much, as the closest anyone got was a $75 offer. At the end of the week, I loaded it back on my truck, broght it home, listed in on Ebay, and got $212.50 for it. Ebay may be one of the factors that are hurting swap meets, but no more that the cheap fucks that are stuck in 1978 and won't pay a reasonable price for something they need for their project.
  4. KreaturesCCaustin
    Joined: Sep 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,258

    from Austin, TX

    I met my fiance at a swap meet in Lawrence, KS. I guess that means I like them :D

    I think that the organizers of the swaps should not allow the cheap Chinese toys and other non-car related crap, but it's up to them, not me. If I see a booth selling that junk, I just move to the next booth. I've found some cool treasures at swaps and even if I go home empty handed (which is rare), I still have had fun treasure hunting. Oh, and to the guy that didn't like the tattooed and pierced teen ager at the fast food joint, I'd 10:1 rather deal with them than the crunchy old red necks with mullets that think their SBC stock valve covers are gold plated. At least the teen ager is making an HONEST living.
  5. here's my .02

    1. KNOW your parts, don't rely on the seller telling you what it may or may not fit.

    2. ALWAYS carry many small bills (1s,5s,10s), to me it's bad form to haggle down from $15 to $7 and give a $20.

    3. DON'T bitch at the seller. it's their parts, if they want big $$$ then say "thank you" and move on. what are you going to accomplish by arguing.

    4. Be realistic about your offer. if the seller wants $30 chances are your $10 offer isn't going to work.

    5. Sellers, if you don't want people to go through you pile and then walk away, then lay out the pile for all to see. the reason i walk away is because there was nothing in there i was looking for but i didn't know that UNTIL i went through the pile.

    6. Sellers, if your part is marked $30 in a pile of stuff and i dig through it, find out it's $30 and put it back. that means i thought it was worth a lot less then $30 to me and didn't see the point to argue about it (i'm there for deals not to be insulting).

    7. Sellers, remember it's a swap meet there's going to be haggling that's the game. don't go with FIRM or NO DEAL prices, if you want $10 for a part put $15 on it. i've bought many things over the years at the asking price because i thought it was worth it.

    also i love the pile-o-parts, you get the best deals from them (and sometimes you find more then just parts in there).

    pomona is outta hand with the non automotive junk, if you have toys (or other) to sell go to a flee market or a local swap meet just not the automotive one.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  6. I go to the Portland swap meet every year to get yelled at by the loudspeaker, and maybe sell some parts I don't want. The price I ask is not always the price I'll take, remember it's a swap meet, cash talks BS walks. I seldom sell anything for more than I have into it at swap meets, If I think I can make a killing on something it goes on Ebay .
  7. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,276


    I still can't not go to a swap meet even though there has been a definate change in the last 10 years or so. All the good treasures (hard to find stuff) is gone, no dought to E-bay.
    I'm always amazed at some of our local venders that drag all this heavy junk, (and I do mean JUNK) year after year, all of it junk and overpriced. One guy has been dragging the same clapped out, rusted , not even a good parts car 67 Fairlane convertible to 2 swaps a year for at least 4 years in a row. Piles and piles of rusted junk sheetmetal drug out of the pasture, dead junk motors, transmissions, ect, ect. Tons of work to load it, unload it, load it back and haul it all back home. Yet they keep bringing it back year after year. I'll never understand that mentality.
    Still once in a while you score, last spring at our swap I bought a flathead for $200, condition unknown but a nice set of Edmond heads on it. Of course when I pulled them the block was cracked, didn't matter, I wanted and would of paid the $200 for the heads, good block would of been a bonas. The bonas turned out to be a Mercury crank in it!
  8. I go to about six meets a year. I have a friend that sells golf carts and tools, and I tag along, help him get set up and then wander off. I do better at the swap meets for my hot rod parts because when I have those Dietz headlights in my hand I KNOW what they are worth and don't have to depend on the honesty of somebody on E-bay.
    But what REALLY frosts my ass is when you ask some guy what he wants for that whippit something and he says" What you gimme for it?" or "waddaya think it's worth?" You own it, you brought it to the swap meet, You price it!
    You'd be suprised at the guys that get pissed when I tell them that. If you want to sell it, You price it! Thanks for the rant.......Mike
  9. Thumper
    Joined: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,611


    Shit's worth the price of admission at Brads swap meet just to hang out and BS with the world famous Sockfuckers !!!
  10. When I go, just as I did yesterday at Moultrie, GA. I know what I am looking for and what it is priced using a lot of different sources, including Ebay. I do use ebay as well to buy parts. There are only 3 or 4 swap weets in our state area during the year so waiting on one to come around is not always an option. I do enjoy going to them, seeing some of the same vendors there year after year and supporting them when I can. When I go I know what I am willing to spend. I try to be nice to everyone that I talk to, I might have to come back to them later if I can't find it elsewhere. I haggle with them with in reasonable amounts. Yep I do hate it when there isn't prices on stuff but I also use that as a haggling tool. If I don't like their prices or attitude I thank them for their time and walk away NO SALE. Basically treat them the way i want to be treated. But I do enjoy the hunt and the fellowship during day as well. It is what you make it buying or selling. Not everyone uses Ebay. Just my .02 worth
  11. h0twired
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 133

    from Winnipeg

    They are the ABSOLUTE worst. What a waste of swap space.
  12. chopped
    Joined: Dec 9, 2004
    Posts: 1,920


    You'd think they would just stop going.
  13. I just returned from Moultrie. I went with a specific part in mind. I didn't do the inside buildings because they are full of die casts and clothes. (if i wanted that I'd go to Walmart) I needed a solenoid for a Ford transmission. I found an entire T-89 transmission for less than a solenoid on Ebay. The people was there, price was on the transmission. I put a deposit down and looked at other stuff. Came back got my transmission, he loaned me a cart to take it to my truck. Very enjoyable experience. In 3 hours I had covered all of that place I needed to. (BTW there was a real sharp '50 Olds 88 Business couple there, 425 Olds motor $14,500. Nice!)


  14. S.F.
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,893


  15. Rusty Junk Ranch
    Joined: Dec 13, 2006
    Posts: 777

    Rusty Junk Ranch

    Ive been going to swap meets for 30+ years. No different then or now. I still enjoy looking at rusty junk no matter what. Just nice to get off the farm once in awaile!:D
  16. I never saw the original post from 2006 but attended many swaps in Michigan before I retired & moved to Oregon.
    Now swaps are a good way to meet fellow rodders who have my/our interest. I'm 300 miles away from most HAMB members. If my parts don't fit what streetrodders want they just walk by. I've only been to the Grant's Pass swap last August since I moved, but did meet some good to know HAMB people. I'm hoping to hook up with Mike Miller at the Portland Swap & meet a good portion of the NW social group.

    Etiquette? I price everything & am normally willing to negotiate prices unless I've already priced at my minimum price point. I'd rather take stuff home instead of seeing another vendor buy it from me & have it priced on his table for $100 more. Maybe that's why my 40X50 shop is full.
  17. Ain't that the truth. The problem is everyone wants to buy it from you for half your asking price so they can take it and sell it on eBay for a huge profit.

    Now if I can sell whatever item on eBay and I know the last 10 of them have all sold between $50 and $75, why the hell should I sell it for less after I went to the trouble of lugging it out to some field 30, 40, 100 or more miles from home and paying for space there to sit on to sell it? I can stay home and save the trouble, and screw those bastards.

    Anymore I price the stuff high just so the guys who have to get a deal from you can offer less and I still get what I want. Unless I just want to get rid of it. Sometimes then it's "make me an offer" and whatever they offer usually gets the item.

    And if I do have something someone else manages to make money on, more power to them, I just know for the next time to start the item with a lot higher price.
  18. Been going to swaps longer'n I can remember. Good ones, bad ones, I'm sure we've all seen them, and nobody forced me to go to any of 'em. You can usually tell if the vendors are there to get rid of their stuff or to make $$$. I used to do a few, most stuff I took I did NOT want to take home so priced it to get rid of it. I couldn't care less what happens to it after it's gone, that's like telling the kids what color shorts to bury me in! If somebody wants to pay my price, it's his to do whatever. Free enterprise at its best, eh? But a lot of going to swapmeets is the comaradery, seeing other car folks, all those great hawaiian shirts, and the excellent cuisine. usually worth the price of admission. Made some good scores at swaps, others were a bust. I'll not stop going to them.
  19. Mad Mark
    Joined: Jun 23, 2007
    Posts: 481

    Mad Mark

    Originally Posted by InDaShop [​IMG]
    I am getting tired of the "Crap" vendors. Selling everything from "As SEEN on TV" crap, to 99cent store shit.
    Like the Hot Wheel "dealers" who buy 'em at Wal-Mart and put $3 -$5 on them at their table?
  20. I get tired of the "vendor" who is never by his shit! To me, if you are bringing parts out to sell, BE THERE with them! I don't have the time, nor the inclination, to return 30 minutes later to see if you have decided to show up and actually sell your parts! If you are going to pull that crap, at least leave your cell number at your stuff and HAVE YOUR PHONE TURNED "ON" so when I call you, I don't have to leave a message! If I have to leave a message, I'll have my number blocked, my message ain't gonna be civil, plus you have lost a sale!
  21. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,428

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    I love swap meets..I could go to one every month if they would have them for me to go close enough to me. (within 2 to 3 hours)
    I do agree the cheap crap pop offs and stuff like that has to go.

    Swaps are like a candy store to me, and If the guy has a reasonable price on his stuff and it aint crap..I give him what he wants for it.
    If it really isnt as great as he thinks it is..i see if he will let 5 or 10 bucks of it go..if not..i ask later, if the answer is still no..i can take a hint...most of the stuff i look for aint the only one on the planet , so finding it sooner or later will not be impossible.
  22. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,736


    I haven't sold at a swap meet for probably ten or more years simply because I didn't have enough stuff to sell to make it worth going. I used to do Pate and The Dallas swap meet that was in the bank parking garage in the 70's when I lived in Texas. Usually had to take enough to sell to be able to buy anything I needed or sometimes didn't need.

    I might sell this year just to see if I can pick up a few extra bucks to spend on the projects and in turn find a few pieces for the projects. And to get out and bs with a bunch of fellow car guys.
  23. Daddyfink
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 463


    Get up early, go have a good breakfast and grab a large Coffee to go. Get there, walk around, run into friends and catch up, go through some junk, walk some more and go home.

    Maybe I found something and maybe I didn't, who cares! I never go with the expectation of finding what I want, that way I don't feel cheated or bummed at the end of the day.

    It was something to do that involved cars, junk and friends, it was good. Bonus if you do find something.

    And wow, a three year old thread brought back from the dead! Nice!
  24. This sums it up for me^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^But maybe I like to BS with strangers and friends more than some do.
  25. Pothole 31A
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 318

    Pothole 31A

    I went to a swap meet today in Berea Ohio which is near cleveland. It was OK... it was more of a racers swap meet than it was anything and not really geared towards hot rods. But i did find some parts out there i got a working set of 12v headlights and a auto trans floor shifter for 90 bucks total. I was able to pay what i thought was fair and felt i got a good deal at the same time. So there are people willing to deal with you and i feel also that my age helps. Being that i am only 24 and some old timers look at me as the future and are willing to take a little less "to help a kid out". But while others dont like us there and wont budge on price.

    Also a few weeks ago i sold some parts at a meet and had a great time. I was willing to work with buyers and maybe took a loss but it didnt matter i made money on something that wasnt even of use to me and also met a fellow HAMBER and helped them out so it was a winning situation for all.
  26. Kerry67
    Joined: Apr 11, 2005
    Posts: 2,606


    Nothing can or will replace a good swap meet. Granted there is a lot of crap to wade through. I don't mind people selling auto related toys & memorabilia but when you go to an auto swap meet, I want auto related stuff and not garage sale crap. I just wish there was a swap in Arizona that is big enough to take a day to walk through. All the swaps out here are so small that you can do them all in under an hour. Good-Guys is the best swap of the year out here.
  27. Jalopy Jim
    Joined: Aug 3, 2005
    Posts: 1,867

    Jalopy Jim

    Sometimes by asking you find what you need.
    Last fall at the roadsters swapmeet at the fairgrounds I walked by a booth that had a few autolite 4100's I need 4 2100;s for my Falcon project. later that day T walk by and on a lark decided to ask him if he had any 2100;s. Yep boxes full of them back near South Dakota. So a few weeks later I drove out there and spent 2 hours going through boxes of Autolite 2100's to find what I needed.
    It was well worth taking the chance to ask.

    jim h
  28. Kerry67
    Joined: Apr 11, 2005
    Posts: 2,606


    When I had my 57 Pontiac, I would walk through Jefferson with a sign on my back that said:

    It worked. People would see the sign and call me over. I found a lot of stuff I needed that way. Stuff that I would not have noticed or stuff that they did not have out in plain sight.
  29. raceratrod
    Joined: Feb 1, 2007
    Posts: 229


    It's all about attitude on both partys. I had a 40 plymouth coupe up for sale for $8900 and had people poking and slaming doors all day . When i look at a car with the price marked i know if i want it or not . You don't offer half the price and walk away like a ass.
    Then on the flip side i had a 14 year old looking at the car ,and he asked permission to open the doors and to look at the car. Did he have the money to buy ??? but his attitude was great and i spent the time with him and answered all his questions.
  30. I dunno how those guys can sell the same hotwheels you can buy in Wal-mart for more money. The collector ones when they're new and hard to find, okay, but the regular ones?

    I'm guilty of bringing some myself, but only when I can find them cheap enough to sell for a buck each. Sometimes that's all I sell, at least three or four of those will buy me lunch. But the idea is someone's kid will be like "daddy buy me this" and maybe he'll see something he wants, too.

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