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Hot Rods Went to the spring swap meet today

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ekimneirbo, Feb 29, 2020.

  1. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,102

    from Brooks Ky

    Went to the swap meet and it never ceases to amaze me how people pile stuff in boxes with no indication of it's origin and expect to sell it. Then there are the guys who have tools with prices higher than the retail stores sell them for. Granted, you can find a lot of little tools for decent prices, but a lot of it can be ordered off the net cheaper. I was looking for a couple of carbs to use on a dummy 2x4 setup. Didn't care if they worked as long as they looked similar and reasonably clean. Found one for $25 that was pretty decent. Found the same Holly at another vendor who wanted $50. Told him I just bought one for $25, so he dropped his price. The thing that got me was the number of vendors who had tables full of blackened carbs that looked like that had all been imprisioned in a dungeon for years and they wanted $150/$250 for them. At the very least they were going to need a rebuild and probably more. I did manage to get some small rat tail files,some Cobalt air tool cutters, and a coil of brake tubing and a residual valve.
    My point is that it seems when I attend swap meets any more, just about everything I buy seems to be from vendors of new things, not from the guys who hauled all their treasures/junk to the meet. I can get these same items on line, and often cheaper. I'm beginning to think that paying $10 to park a half mile away, and another $10 to get in, and then walking till I can't walk any more may not be worthwhile. My legs don't get tired at all on the internet.
  2. I don’t think i could agree more.
    2OLD2FAST, Hombre, ekimneirbo and 2 others like this.
  3. drptop70ss
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,148

    from NY

    A bad day at a swap meet is still a good day IMO.
    IronTrap, Saxman, rc57 and 27 others like this.
  4. dan31
    Joined: Jul 3, 2011
    Posts: 1,045


    Sure , there are exceptions , but anymore as i gaze across the tables of parts there seems to be a moment that I realize that I've thrown out better shit then most are trying to sell.
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  5. Same here. The only things I seem to buy anymore is stuff like the little abrasive whiz wheels that you use on a die grinder, sandpaper for my DA, and maybe some garage gadget that might catch my eye. Around here deals on anything you'd want to buy have been history for a long time. The swap at Englishtown deteriorated to nothing years ago unless you need a lawnmower or household items. Most of the used parts sellers seem to want retail + 10%. Things have certainly changed over the years.
    reagen, mad mikey, Hombre and 2 others like this.
  6. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 5,540


    Travel North in the fall, Carlisle & Hershey. Less crap per capita.
  7. uncleandy 65
    Joined: Jan 14, 2013
    Posts: 2,864

    uncleandy 65

    Welcome to the world of swap meets. I have been doing swaps for 50 years and this was going on long before that.
  8. Corn Fed
    Joined: May 16, 2002
    Posts: 2,731

    Corn Fed

    If you think being a buyer at a swap meet stinks, try being a seller. You spend a week organizing your parts, pricing them, loading them up. Then get up at 3am to drive to the meet, sit in line to get in, pay $30, spend a couple hours unloading and trying to make your spot organized. Then you sit or stand all day while knuckle draggers who dont have 2 nickels to rub together want you to sell them your stuff for scrap value. Then at the end of the day you get to load it all back up, drive home, and unload it back into your garage. And if you are from one of those great states that requires sales tax, you get to send a check to the Governor.
    Sounds fun right?
  9. What Corn Fed and Uncleandy65 said....been doing swap meets since 1977 and a few online sales.....still prefer a swap meet on an eye to eye.....actually sell a lot of stuff at the meets....price is what it's about.....product - there's always some one else with the same shit.....
    Speedys Garage likes this.
  10. low down A
    Joined: Feb 6, 2009
    Posts: 257

    low down A

    a holley for 25 and one for 50 a total of 75 and you got the knads to complain. heck they should store there stuff for years and just give it to you.
  11. mopacltd
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 845


    Hell, I'm one of those guys that pick through the trash cans after the swap meet ends! Just ask Lumpy63:D
    5window and dana barlow like this.
  12. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 907


    I can get all the crappy Chinese tools and supplies I need any day of the week, so I don't spend a lot of time with the tool vendors. I go to swap meets to find cool old stuff to buy, or sell cool old stuff that I'm ready to let go. Respectfully, its seems to me many of the guys complaining about swap meets are older, and may have already amassed all the cool old stuff they could ever need. Maybe it's time to become a vendor and move some of it along? Like @Corn Fed said, you'll get a real different perspective on the whole swap meet dynamic.

    Maybe I'm spoiled living in the Pacific Northwest. Portland, Monroe and Puyallup are pretty good meets on the whole. I can't recall ever leaving disappointed. (Except maybe regretting something I didn't buy when I had the chance, but that's on me.)
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
    Saxman, reagen, Barn Hunter and 4 others like this.
  13. Yup.
    Having your own retail business sucks.
    uncle buck likes this.
  14. fuzzface
    Joined: Dec 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,296


    pay $30, I wish. Here you get a 10x20 spot and it cost you $60. then if you want to leave a car on a trailer it cost you $120 then.
  15. G'day, I did manage to make it to a Pomona swap meet once. Ended up it was a long drive from the hotel we stayed at so glad we didn't try to walk it. Just left the hotel and ran into a hitch hiker and picked him up. He was an Aussie looking for a car to take home. Made the drive a lot more fun. Yeah I know, but I'm from North Dakota and we pick up hitch hikers.

    Anyway, on to the swap meet. There was more stuff from China being passed off as American made that I could believe. I bought a set of BBC roller rockers that were new in the box. After checking them when I got home I sold them off. They sounded like they had filings for rollers in them.

    I did manage to buy a turbo 475 from a dealer selling overhauled transmissions. He had a large selection of 2004r and 7004r to chose from. He didn't have it there so had us swing into his shop Monday morning. He had everything I needed boxed up and ready to go. Left all the boxes untaped so I could inspect them. I got a couple of his business cards for future reference. Nice fellow. We packed the boxes in our suitcases. Imagine the TSA guys when they x-rayed those cases.

    mad mikey and olscrounger like this.
  16. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,984


    You have to be more specific about the carbs. Small base WCFB and 4G cores bring stupid money these days. If they're for something special (e.g. dual quad Corvettes), you better sit down before you ask the price.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
    carbking and swade41 like this.
  17. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,102

    from Brooks Ky

    I think the first thing any savvy buyer realizes is that buying used carburetors is chancy proposition. Most people don't remove perfectly good untouched carbs from an engine without having "attempted" some form of tuning that probably didn't work for them. Then they let the carbs set with fuel in them so it dries up and clogs passages. The best thing to do when buying a used carb is to assume its junk or has some kind of'll be right most of the time. You ain't ever gonna see this guy again after the show. One guy had a $25 price stuck on the carb. The second guy had everything sitting there with NO PRICE. It was sitting on the floor, not prominently displayed where it looked like he was proud of it. Externally they both looked fine. That doesn't mean they aren't junk. I was looking for dummy carbs to hide a fuel injection set up. Somone looking for a functioning carb could pretty well bet these two guys wouldn't sell good functioning carbs for $25. So offering $25 pretty well answered my question about the carbs expectations. If you wish to pay more for used carbs, thats your choice. I can pretty well bet that most of the guys with higher priced used carbs hauled them back home and parked them on a shelf to await the next swap meet. They will be even older and dirtier and probably worth more money next time.;)
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
    2OLD2FAST and bchctybob like this.
  18. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,322

    from red oak

    Cornfed had about 15 carbs, I bought one from him. It seemed his brother would of bought it but apparently didn`t see it. Would of bought his T body but I got a kid in collage.
  19. unklgriz
    Joined: Sep 12, 2005
    Posts: 284


    Now wait a minute, being a small business owner ourselves, my wife and I sell vintage and antique items of all sorts, and tools. You have to remember that the person (vendor) selling these parts and/or items at these shows do more than just show up with them. I totally agree with cornfed. The other thing you need to realize is how much time we put into finding these items, usually cleaning them, and sometimes fixing them. So when someone offers you a price for your item and it is usually an insulting price, you would like to tell them to go online, or to their local store and do the same thing. Offer them your price and see how far you get. We usually end up making far less than the average person after we pay taxes, fuel, food, maintenance on vehicles, etc.
    I do agree with you tho, there are people out there that ask way over retail and the sad thing is, there are people that will pay that not knowing what they are doing, so the cycle continues. A lot of those people look online to see what an item is going for (ie Ebay), but they don't look at how much it has actually sold for when it comes to their prices.
    Also, when you are buying it online, how much are you paying for shipping?, you have to take that into account too. All I'm saying really is you have to be on both sides of the fence to really see all of the ups and downs on both sides. Not every pasture is planted the same. just my .02
  20. uncle buck
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 1,591

    uncle buck

    I shake my head and continue walking when I look at something I’m interested in and see that time was spent labeling it and not pricing it. Are people that embarrassed to say what they want for something? If there is no tag or label I will usually ask if I have any interest in it

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    reagen, uncleandy 65 and jim snow like this.
  21. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,406


    This past weekend was the first Wisconsin swap of the year, in West Bend, and there were plenty of dealers trying to sell import tools, old license plates, and model/toy cars. But one guy had a pair of decent '34 Ford front fenders and that made the whole trip worth it. Only thing I bought.

    The only thing my shop does is sell old parts for old cars, and I don't even bother to sell at swap meets anymore, it's too much work for the return. Having prices on everything, and being there to answer questions and make sales is key. But I can't justify fucking around all day to maybe clear $200 after expenses. The internet has buyers browsing all day, every day, that's the place to be the seller.
    2OLD2FAST and swade41 like this.
  22. Your going to see carb prices all over the board.. I had 4 holley 600 on my last swap table, Put $50 each on them. Yes they needed kits and a good cleaning, Couple guys came along and was offering $25 and $30 each I asked they was gonna buy ALL at that price and stated no just one, Said no thanx you might find one further down the row for that price.. Then another came along and took all 4 for the $50 each didn't even quibble about the price paid CASH ! Said have good day.

    Just came from the Glendale swap today and it was cheap basterds day, I don't mind dickering with folks its all part of the game but when they are kicking you right in the balls and say you are the crazy one with the prices, Makes a person go back to selling on the ol interweb. Yes there was a few that knew what they was looking for and stepped up and made good offers on my stuff.
    Like @Corn Fed stated it gets tiresome loading, unloading dealing with the shit that just not making it fun anymore.
    swade41 likes this.
  23. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,921

    Jalopy Joker

    fewer and fewer swaps to attend - it is like any product, or service, it is a 2 way street - need a product/parts and need a buyer - like selling anything - having the right part at the right place for the right buyer at the same time is a tough one - more than once have gone to a swap with plenty of $ but, found nothing that I needed - other times have gone to swap with small amount of $ and found something that I really needed, or didn't know that I needed it until I saw it - not a perfect world
    uncleandy 65 and jim snow like this.
  24. WiredSpider
    Joined: Dec 29, 2012
    Posts: 676


    The only difference between a good swap meet and a bad one is finding one thing you want
    Muttley, dan31, Pinstriper40 and 6 others like this.
  25. Peashooter67
    Joined: Sep 30, 2018
    Posts: 10


    I’m sad to say I accidentally missed ours in wise county last weekend.

    Last weekend of May at texas motor speedway is the c10 nationals and swap meet. I’ll be there with my c10 and my RV for the whole week end.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  26. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,036

    ramblin dan

    I still go and check things out at most swapmeets in the area I live but have cut back on the ones that cost me more to drive to than what I spend at them. As far as being a vendor at them I guess I've learned how to enjoy the very small percent of happy idiots that most of the guys on this thread are referring to who feel you should feel honoured to contribute to their projects by giving away your parts to them.
  27. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,984


    "C10 Nationals"; Boy, am I getting old.:rolleyes:
  28. You sure have a one sided, and ridiculous I might ad, way of looking at things.
    I have no problem sending guys like you on their way and if I seen you a second time I'd damn sure double the price for ya.
    Most guys do this as a hobby and cheap ass people that think they deserve a cheap price for their own benefit and screw the sellers is why you see less and less of "the cool stuff" being brought. It gets old real fast, cornfed and unklgriz are right on for what vendors have to do to show up and get insulted by cheapskates.
    alchemy, Squablow, low down A and 3 others like this.
  29. I stopped going to swap meets about 5 or 6 years ago. Here where I'm at old parts are 80's truck fenders. Looking for anything say pre 70 is almost impossable. I use to go just to be with friends and hang out and look forward to lunch, but that doesn't happen anymore either. I probably hadn't bought anything in the last 3 years that I went. I always hated when you tried to deal with a seller and he would tell me that's my price, I can get more than what I'm asking on ebay. Well then put it on ebay.
    Muttley and uncleandy 65 like this.
  30. Peashooter67
    Joined: Sep 30, 2018
    Posts: 10


    Just how old you?
    C10’s have been around for a while. Wish I had both my grandfathers C10’s.

    I’m sure you probably weren’t born between 1911-1923.
    C10 nationals is 1947 and newer or post war and newer, it’s your choice on how to describe them.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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