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Event Coverage swapmeet or not

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by kiwicowboy, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. kiwicowboy
    Joined: Nov 28, 2008
    Posts: 349

    from linwood nc

    looking at putting on a HI performance and hotrod swap meet,but before putting out a lot of $$$$,How many would be interested in swap meet spots ect.
    10 x 20 spots $20.
    $5,to get in ,
    $10,to park in car corell,
    I am looking at the Lexington nc,possible on a Saturday am 7am to 1pm,
    so we can still make sum late day meets,,for the guys the can remember the Long Beach swap meet in Cal,it will be along the same lines.
    Thanks and looking for your input..
  2. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,279

    Jalopy Joker

    doing this on your own? done this before? got a car club or some other car guys to help out? bump up car corral to $20 too. parts swappers look to make less than car sellers.
    be sure to look on calendars for dates that do not conflict with other events in general local area,
  3. Get in touch with BRAD54 on here he runs and has ran a couple here in GA and FL He can be a good resource
  4. DERPR30
    Joined: Jun 3, 2010
    Posts: 803

    from HARVEY LA

    Location location the right location and plenty of advance advertising makes all the difference

  5. summersshow
    Joined: Mar 3, 2013
    Posts: 899

    from NC

    Sounds interesting... Now for it costing $20 and only being there for a few hours I wouldnt think would work. Alot of the buying crowd comes in in the afternoon. Im in Boone and would be interested in coming if you set something up. Indoor, outdoor? Car show and swap meet? (tends to give a variety of things to look at and will bring more people). I run a few shows, shoot me a message if you wanna talk more about it.
  6. I dont live near you, but used to make my living doing swap meets. The 1pm closing time would be a huge turn off.
  7. brokenspoke
    Joined: Jul 26, 2005
    Posts: 2,885


    I'm not paying to enter a sswapmeet as buyer.
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,887

    Member Emeritus

    This is my approach, The first is location, easy access and parking, the next is Bathroom facilities, after that is admission, swap meets are considered lowcost entertainment so if you are charging admission on a start up event it has to be less than $10. adult. Publicity makes a big deal so choosing a date is important with no conflicts to other area events and then saturating the area with advertising. While free to attendees would be nice I dont see how this can happen if you have to rent the grounds and most people understand that so a token admission is not out of reality. It's like going to the gentlemans club its free to look but there is a cover charge to get in the door. You cannot overcharge the vendor either, remember you want the guy who cleans out his garage more than you want the professional set up. The garage guy cant lay out $100 for spaces if he has only $100 worth of junk to sell so they wont come. On a start up my suggestion is 1 space free for everyone purchased so if a 25' x 10' space is $20 you get 25' x 20' enough for a PU /car and place to put stuff. Car corral can be $50.00. Around here swap meets start at sunrise and are over by noon so if you want to run yours from 10-4 good luck. My take is people want to come walk around get a deal and then leave to do other weekend tasks before afternoon nap so it is a morning event not all day, it can last all day but dont expect afternoon traffic. Dont worry about refreshments hire the catering truck guy and just get a commission of sales. If you dont own the land find out what the liability factor is for property damage and accidents and who is responsible party, you may need to get your own insurance. Last and scary is the sales tax laws, in some case the event promoter could be responsible for sales tax collection so you need to find out what he law is for garage sales vs swapmeets... Good luck with your endeavor.
  9. Pops1532
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 544

    from Illinois

    I used to sell at swap meets in the midwest. Your vendor and admission prices sound reasonable, maybe even low for the vendors. Your car corral pricing is a little low.
    90%+ of sales will be before 11:00 AM at most events so I like the 1:00 PM ending time unless it's an early spring or late fall show where the temps don't get warm up until the afternoon.
    You'll need to hand out flyers at other events in a 2 hour travel radius, and maybe at a few bigger events even farther away.
    The better swap meets I used to sell at policed what was being offered for sale to keep out the way off topic stuff.
    Talk to a lawyer, accountant and insurance agent before you do anything.
  10. Pops1532
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 544

    from Illinois

    I can't think of a single swap meet within 4 hours of where I live that has free admission to buyers.
  11. pinkynoegg
    Joined: Dec 11, 2011
    Posts: 1,135


    we just have it good here in Texas. Never paid to get into a swap meet (unless LSRU counts...)
  12. Brian C
    Joined: Mar 25, 2005
    Posts: 494

    Brian C

    Mr. Spadaro is offering some solid advice.

    We used to promote toy and collectible shows and car shows here on Long Island back in the late 80's and early 90's.

    I can only add 2 things from our experience:

    A $5 admission is easy for your people at the front gate. Simple change and gets the line moving quickly. People hate to wait to get in. Stay away from an admission where there are singles involved in making change, it will only give you headaches.

    A couple of hours after the swap opens talk with your people who are taking money at the front gate.

    If people coming in are paying the admission with 20's and 50's, the majority of your vendors are having a good day. If they're paying to come in with 5's and singles, your vendors are probably not doing so well. I've found that this "rule of thumg" works over 90% of the time when trying to get a feel for how the event is going.

    If you ask them staright out the majority of your vendors will always claim they are having a bad day. It's just human nature. ;)
  13. Jokester
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 441


    Typical in this area is $5 a carload for buyers. Many are a $5 donation to a charity.

  14. lostmind
    Joined: Aug 21, 2011
    Posts: 2,049


    I do one swap meet a year. I'm done packing up at 11 AM , and off for breakfast.
    All the serious buyers are done by 9:30. The really serious ones are there with their flashlights while I'm setting up.
    The rest of the day is just entertainment for those left.
    Nothing wrong with your prices, the spot could be a little bigger.
    2 for one on the first go around sounds like a good idea.
  15. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,012

    from Atl Ga

    We live in a very litigious society; the very first thing I did was incorporated as a business. If you don't, and some idiot drives his trailer over some other idiot who was looking in the trailer with a flashlight, guess who's going to lose his house in the lawsuit? It ain't the guy with the trailer.
    The second thing I did was hire a CPA, because Uncle Sam is a stickler for details, and does not have a sense of humor. Countless small business owners lose everything because they did their taxes themselves, or had a friend "who is good with numbers" do them.
    The third thing I did was buy a big-ass insurance policy because, as I said, we're a very litigious society. Which required me to prove I was a business, which also required me to have a business license from the state for another $100.

    Correction: I THOUGHT it was a big-ass insurance policy. The facility I use now requires a $2M policy for anybody doing anything on their property.

    When I was small and had fairly little expenses, it took me three years to break even every month.

  16. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,891

    from Oregon

    Glad you added that last part Brad! Not sure most folks have the patience or funds to lose money for 2-3 years until a swap meet really takes off and starts paying the bills. It's surely not a big loser usually, but they do take time to turn a profit.
  17. corncobcoupe
    Joined: May 26, 2001
    Posts: 5,086

    Staff Member

    1. Cost of facility including rest room availability etc.
    2..Lawyer for a contract.
    3. Insurance Agent for liability insurance or a bond
    4. Determine For profit or charity and file the proper IRS tax documents.
    5. All State Tax permits/ certificates - both as Swap meet promoter and sellers, some states require your full list of sellers so they send sales tax collection documents.
    6. Hired Help for set up and clean up

    That's first before anything else or picking a date.
  18. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,012

    from Atl Ga

    Losing money is easy if you're willing to work a full-time job to pay for driving around to car shows and cruise-ins every Friday night, Saturday and Sunday during the entire show season handing out fliers (and printing them!), drive a beater instead of having a new car payment, not have cable TV, don't take vacations, etc. etc.

    The real bitch, and therefor the first real victory, was figuring out which household bills to juggle at the end of every month so we had the $300 start-up bank to make change on the first weekend for the show. After two years we were finally able to have $300 set aside all the time for our start-up bank. (Nothing like the first guy of the day giving you $100 for a $3 spectator entry!)

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