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What's up with swap meets

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by metalman, May 9, 2007.

  1. playtag
    Joined: Feb 19, 2010
    Posts: 79


    Auctions are where its at! I go to the swap meets on both sides of the tables.From a buyers stand point the good stuff ain't there or if it is it is priced high enough the seller is going home with it.On the other side sellers are having a hard time buying the stuff to resell.Nobody whats to clean out.I stopped yesterday at a farm house with a wayne 60 clockface gas pump just so happened owner was outside and we talked he said he was going to restore it someday and was not interested in selling.Gotta a better chance of winning the lottery then probally him restoring that old pump.Seems to be the trend ebay,and tv shows like antique roadshow,American pickers are ruining the chances of finding that gem.Everyone thinks they might be giving away a Picaso!Auctions however are hit or miss driven hours and come home with nothing or driven hours and had to leave stuff behind because The truck and cab where full.
  2. banjorear
    Joined: Jul 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,872


    2009 Hershey was the best it has been in years. I was worried there for a bit, but it came back to it's former glory last year.
  3. fergusonic
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 221

    from Kokomo, In

    All of the swap meet parts are in HAMB owner's cars or their garages.
  4. I will always prefer attending a swap meet, handling the items, and haggling the price. Ebay can't replace it. Our recent AACA meet was ok. But some of the he old timers are more interested in jawing and displaying their parts more so then they are selling them.
    Craigslist is putting a big dent in it also. I post items when I know I no longer need them instead of waiting for the next big year swap. And they sell.
  5. corndog
    Joined: Nov 27, 2007
    Posts: 4,352

    from Indiana

    And dont forget Craigs List and the prcie they were paying for scrap metal a year ago. It is expensive do do swap meets unless they are in your back yard. I know as i used to sell at lots of them. Add the price of gas with a motel room and eating out and you are working for free or in the hole. Swap meets are not doing well for many reasons unfortunately, which is too bad 'cause I still like them!
  6. falconsprint63
    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,359

    from Mayberry

    It's not just you. I can't tell you how disheartening I find it go go to BIG swaps like the spring swap and Charlotte and find 10,000 vendors selling gen 2 camaro and fox body mustang stuff. I know there's a market, but it makes me miss the days when you go go and find good tin and parts and peices for a reasonable price. guess we're all showing our age.
  7. 1320/150
    Joined: Oct 9, 2009
    Posts: 647


    When I was a kid me and my dad would leave seattle at 2:00 am and park right in front of the convention center (That is now part of the swap meet) Damn I miss those days!! The whole bus thing is a pain in the ass!! I went for 20 years straight. I haven't been in two years!! I wake up to a swap meet every morning,but it just isn't the same!!!
  8. I'll let you know if swaps suck around here as soon as we thaw out enough to have one. I personally like ebay, and swaps are full of flea market crap, but I still go. Prices can be just plain offensive and every idiot has to bring thier misbehaved spawn in strollers bigger than the Titanic, but I go and enjoy it. Occasionally, I run into a friend or meet somebody that knows something I don't, but should know, and I learn something. There's lots of reasons to go to swaps.
  9. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,167


    I spent all day yesterday at what used to be one of the best ones at Decatur,TX.
    The isles were clogged with gold chainers and their trophy wives and "collector dogs"
    dropping poopsicles for us all to step on.
    There were WAY too many vehicles of all kinds in the isles from 4 wheelers carrying
    6 geezers stopped, blocking the isle while reminiscing about swap meets years ago,
    to motorized wheelchairs and barstools.
    The usual crop of "TTT's" there profiling with their "Pants On The Ground" too loud.
    Things are overpriced for the "chump investors" that come now days.
    I found one hard to find item but it was 40% more than what the same was offered
    for in the HAMB classifieds. I bought the HAMB offered item.
    On the up side for the day I met a young(compared to me) Hamber named Skeet at
    a local McDoodles in his C@@L black fenderless Model A coupe with an unmentionable
    engine w/3-2's(hey,yours is running Skeet,mine's not!) heading to the Thaw drags.
    Great young hot rodder that does good pinstriping and I would trust him alone in my
    shop!(SKEET on the HAMB I think?). NOT a "TTT".
    The kind of young guy that most of us "Geezer-Rodders" hope will take rodding forward!
  10. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,282


    Playtag mentioned auctions, something that are rare in this area, went to one 5-6 years ago and it was GREAT. Kind of sad, I knew the guy and the family was selling off all his car parts that he spent a lifetime collecting. I always wonder about those farm auctions in the mid west with acres of cars and equipment. Lack of funds is the main reason I don't go to more swaps as a buyer these days. I've always wondered what it would be like to fly out to a swap 1,000 to 3,000 miles from home, would I see stuff that was better that the stuff a few hours from home?
  11. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    from colorado

    Yep. I never buy junk, but I see other people doin' it all the time. I never sell junk, but I see................:D
  12. 63dan63
    Joined: Jan 10, 2008
    Posts: 395


    I stopped by Decatur before heading to the Thaw. I wanted three things while I was there:
    1. visit with friends I don't see very often
    2. see a big crowd of both sellers and buyers
    3. pick up a stainless cowl band and a wiring kit


    It was a beautiful morning. The vendor spots were full. The parking lots were full.
    People were buying stuff. I couldn't help but think, "We're starting to turn the corner, people have sat on their money too long."
  13. I went to the big 3 swap in San Diego this week and I had a great time. I came home with all kinds of stuff for a really decent price. It's a treasure hunt and I still get excited about it. I was looking for a set of 54-55 Olds hubcaps and I found 4 sets, all in about the same shape...real decent. One guy wanted $250, another guy wanted $125, another guy asking $100, but I ended up finding a set for $40. Didn't even haggle on that one. It was good for him and good for me. I'll bet those other sellers took those hubcaps back home with them. That's the beauty of a free market system.

    Some vendors want ebay prices at the meets but I can choose to buy or not. I have to keep reminding myself that at least I'm not paying $20 shipping on a $10 item.
  14. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 8,297


    I'm thinking Ryan could make this thread a sticky that will pop up every three years. Probably 30 years from now, it will still be current. And thirty years ago, it was probably the same. The reality is probably, lots of 70-80 year old parts are used or lost by now and so the price goes up. The flip side is that lots of rodders are getting OLD! so the demand will go down. Prices will always reflect demand and inflation whether there is a local or world(Ebay) market.

    Don't you will you could read the HAMB 1946 version where all those budding hotrodders realized how much stuff had been melted down in the war effort?
  15. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,284


    Wow, yeah, surprised to see my 3 year old thread come back up. FWIW the last couple swaps here have been MUCH better then the one that started my rant 3 years ago. I think the downturn in the econany has forced so guys to bring out their hoarded parts and sell them for a lot more realistic prices, they need the money. Course it doesn't help that buyers are hurting too, harder to pry money out of their hands. Still an improvement, least the stuff is there if you really need/ want it.
  16. EnglishBob
    Joined: Jan 19, 2008
    Posts: 1,029


    Had one our biggest a couple of weeks back and it was bigger and better than ever.
  17. Half-Fast Motors
    Joined: Nov 14, 2009
    Posts: 205

    Half-Fast Motors

    I've been going to swap meets for longer than I care to remember & I still like going to them. It's time well spent with friends as far as I'm concerned. There are times when I'm standing in the rain & wind (Portland, OR swap meet) wondering what in The Hell am I doing here & then "Bam", you find something cool or something you've been looking for forever. I've met alot of my friends at/through swap meets (can't say that about eBay) I have alot of collecting interests so I don't get "shut out" very often. It's true, you might have to search through alot of crap to find something good, but is't that alot like life in general??:)
  18. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,795


    We hit the Portland swap meet for the first time in probably fifteen years last year and yep there was the junk and late model stuff but there were some interesting parts in the mix too. The big rub was that it was too far to carry some of the pieces back to the car to want to buy them.
    The worse part of it was the drunks and I even got run over by a drunk on a Jazzy three wheel scooter who didn't even know he hit me. We had one more close call with one on a mini bike and decided we had had enough.

    When I lived in Texas I would load up a bunch of left over parts and haul them to Pate and then when I had sold a few items I would go out and buy what I needed or wanted. More than once I just had enough cash when I went to pay the fee at the gate and had to sell stuff to be able to buy stuff but it was a hell of a lot of fun then.
  19. Steves32
    Joined: Aug 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,280

    from So Cal

    Here's what I never understood.
    Guy rents space. Brings his box truck & trailer loaded to the rafters w/ stuff. He spends hours unloading everything. Out comes the BBQ & the cooler & the lawn chairs. There's thousands of parts laid out & not 1 price on anything. Some of the stuff is cool, alot of it looks like it was sitting in a lake for 50 years (spelled shit).
    Ask the guy sitting there for a price- "I don't know, you'll have to ask Bubba when he gets back". Repeat this scenario all day long. So you do spot some part you want & you do get a price. He wants insane money for it- like a 55 Chevy hood for 800 bux & both back corners are folded over. By 1pm, the whole bunch of them are shit faced drunk & passed out in their chairs. At 2pm you watch them load up nearly everything they brought. They didn't make a dime. I don't get it.
  20. small bloc
    Joined: Feb 28, 2010
    Posts: 8

    small bloc

    I was at billetproof show in gainesville yesterday, great show and crowd, but parts for sale were over priced junk.!
  21. small bloc
    Joined: Feb 28, 2010
    Posts: 8

    small bloc

  22. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 8,008


    All the swapmeets around here have been filling up with latemodels stuff as the old parts are drying up,ebay might be part of the problem but all the old guys that sold the good old parts are passing away or are not in good health to set up anymore. I do like ebay as I found some great parts from other parts in this country that I would have never seen at a local swapmeet but I am getting bummed that the local swapmeets are not like they used to be but we will just have to get used to it as its the sign of the times in some areas.
  23. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,669

    Larry T

    When I used to go to sell at swap meets, I always had a chalk board with prices on it. That way you didn't have to tell every browser the prices of everything. If someone talked to you about an item, they were usually serious about buying it.
    But......It got so it cost about as much to go set up and stay as you made selling parts for the weekend. Basically, I was swapping dollars. So now I just go and look, unless I have some big ticket item that I want to get out in the market place.
    I still like swap meets though, as long as they are warm and dry. (G)
    Larry T
  24. fanspete
    Joined: Oct 22, 2006
    Posts: 686


    They were getting crappy before ebay and such made a big impact.
    I see it like this... there are the 'pros' who are looking to get Barrett/Jackson money for everything they've got, and then there are the real hobbyists who are looking to literally 'swap' stuff they/we/I don't need for stuff they/we/I CAN use. you learn quickly who's who and just bypass the pros and get home a little earlier.
  25. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,777


    i went to s swap at talladega speedway on used to be held in downtown b'ham.but the mayor decided to close down the racetrack/fairgrounds ,so they had to move it.but thats another story. any way,for a first time show/swap i was really suprised at the turn out.he had to go up on the price for spaces and i really thought it would kill him.some of the smaller/out-of-the-garage guys didn't show up.but all-in-all it was ok. i think you may see this one grow to be pretty good size. the RUMOR was that speedway officials had been talking to daytona/charllote about their swaps to get ideas for the future. i hope so. but like above, there seemed to be a LOT of repo camaro/chevelle/truck stuff. a lot of cars in the car corral tho.i sure do hope it grows. next year i'll go down for friday,and sat and set up to sell,i think,as i do believe i have become one of those whore-ders.......:D
  26. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,999

    Stevie Nash

    It's ALL junk around here. I'm surprised they even take time to load it all up, they're not going to get anything for it.
  27. texasred
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,111

    from Houston

    if he was in a $5000,000 motor home im sure he had a clue about something
  28. Spooky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,805


    I have to say, that the Portland Swap Meet-Always in April, turns up good stuff every year I go.
    Yeah, you have the guys selling rusty garnish molding for '32's going for $1,000's that is to be expected. But in between the rows I have spotted good flatty stuff and SBC items that are reasonably priced.
    Like anything else, ya have to dig for the fun stuff.
  29. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    from trevose pa

    Ebay is slow this month and nothing is moving .So I don't know what to say ,Probably the winter and the economy has a lot to play in this scenario .Things just aren't selling .
  30. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 8,008


    This year I probably wont be going to any of the local swapmeets but will try go to Hershey or Carlisle.

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