Are all shows/swap meets alike?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by ezdays, Nov 30, 2003.

  1. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I'm looking for opinions here. Many of you go to train shows and report back with some fantastic pictures. But what about the "swap meet" portion of these shows, are they worthwhile or what?

    I went to the train show/swap meet in Mesa, Arizona yesterday. This is about the fifth one that I’ve been to since I got into the hobby earlier this year. This was by far the biggest one I’ve seen and was very well attended with at least six good sized layouts from different groups, but here are my observations on this and the other ones that I’ve been to:

    1. 1. The layouts always show that someone has put some effort into them, even the simplest ones are fun to see.
      2. Most sellers cater to the larger scales with some dedicated to just one scale, but none entirely to N scale.
      3. I pity the poor S and Z scalers since I have yet to see anything for them.
      4. All things N were scarce. Most of what was there in N scale were the same identical things that these same people had at the previous shows.
      5. A lot of what is at these shows are grossly overpriced, which might account for why these same items are not selling. Some of the boxes are looking dog-eared from carting them from one show to the other.
      6. One table had all new engines, including N scale. They were selling engines at about list price. One engine was priced at $106 that I could get at any of a dozen Internet distributors for around $65. Someone had Life Like engines that were in the $30 to $40 range, used. These are the same ones that Model-Expo was selling new normally at $19, and a month ago was under $12.
      7. If a seller tells you “it runs, but needs cleaning,” that means the guy has had problems with it for a long time and it won’t run when you get it home. These are the only engines that are priced cheap. They are a bargain only if you are willing to rebuild it and replace the stripped gears, broken shaft or missing handrail.
      8. Most used cars are priced at about what you can get new ones for at most Internet dealers. The new ones are priced somewhat higher than they are at any LHS.
      9. Some sellers are willing to negotiate, but others are not. One guy that is at every show claims all his stuff comes from a train store he owned back east. He is firm on his prices saying that they are six-year-old prices that are marked on the boxes. Well, duh, that makes his merchandise six year old too. He is trying to sell a Bachmann Prairie 2-6-2 for $39. I recently bought one at Roy’s Train World for $20.
      • 1. There are few bargains at these shows/swap meets.
        2. One has to be extremely skeptical with everything that is there, even if it appears new in the box.
        3. Sellers are either professional (have a store somewhere), semi-professional (sell only at train shows) or private people trying to get rid of questionable equipment.
        4. It is neat to see all that equipment and those layouts, and to be in the same room with a bunch of people that are passionate about a hobby; but if you go there to buy stuff, you had better be aware of what your getting, because there isn’t anyone there that is giving anything away…. Well, except for the door prizes.
      Now, all the shows that I’ve been to are in the Phoenix area, but I just gotta ask, is this true of all shows in other areas as well? When GATS comes to Phoenix, will it be the same as these? I am convinced that if I go to another show, I should leave my money at home and just go see the layouts and talk to people. Perhaps I'm being a bit too skeptical, please let me know.

  2. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I have to agree with all four of your conclusions.
    Some of the smaller shows back east had better deals. Probably because there were more modelers setting up than people trying to make a living selling trains.
    I was a little embarrassed yesterday when my son and I walked up to one table and he told the lady her prices were outrageous. I appologized to her and after we walked away told my son that even though he was right he probably shouldn't have said that.
    I did notice that an hour before the show was to end alot of venders were changing price tags and more willing to deal.
    One guy even tracked me down to tell me he would consider the offer I made a couple of hours ago. I was rather shocked that he did that and even more so when I told him I only had $2 left and he said we had a deal. I got two dummy locos he wanted $8 apeace, for $1 each.
  3. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    No,a lot of dealers sell new/older stock at fair prices.You have private dealers that buy new from wholesalers and sell as cheaply as possible..You can find good deals.Always check under the front of the dealers table to see what he has there.Remember a dealer will display his newest and higher price items on the table as he know that is where 80% of the buyers will look.

    As far as use locomotives you must have a sharp eye and know what to look for in regards to condition of the locomotive and always and without fail test run those use locomotives before you buy them and above all know the use and new prices for that locomotive.Of course a hard to find limited run engine you should have the price in mind you are willing to pay for that locomotive and be willing to go a little above that if its in your favorite road name and in good to new condition avoid locomotives with missing hand rails and other details the manufacturer may/ may not have the parts you need in stock.

    Let the buyer beware.
  4. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Any of the shows I have been to did not have a swap meet area.
    The vendors were all from hobby/train stores from the golden horseshoe. To those that don't know what that means it includes Oshawa, Pickering, Toronto, Aurora, Misissauga, Oakville Streetsville, Burlington and Hamilton. I may have missed some.
    I only found one that had some real show prices. Everyone else were selling goods at the usual store prices. Most goods offered were in HO Quite a few had N scale and some had G scale for sale.
    So I don't go to shows to buy goods but rather to see what others have done and to take advantage of any seminars held.
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    I suspect that some are willing to discount, but there are others that hold the line and the same stuff with the same price tags keep appearing. Yeah, one guy said he'd make a deal on all his N scale stuff, but added that it all "needed cleaning." I fell for that once at that show in Prescott.


    Seems like both you and Ray agree that this is not the norm in some places. A pity Ray and I are in an area now where this seems to be the case. And yes, it is buyer beware anyplace, buying anything. It just upsets me to think that someone wants to take advantage of a helpless novice like myself. :mad: :curse:
    Well, maybe not really totally helpless :rolleyes: but still a bit upset...:D

  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    I guess in your area, a "show" is really a show. Around here they can call it what they want, but it isn't a show. The TCA meet last week had around six or seven layouts, most of the other ones had one or none. When there is a train store vendor, he usually has all the stuff that wasn't moving at the store, and all selling at store prices. Anyone can rent table space at these shows for about $25. Seminars? Demonstrations? Manufacturer's reps? None of that here. That's why I was interested in knowing about GATS. I think they're scheduled into Phoenix early next year.

    If I were to estimate, I'd say the TCA had maybe 45% O, 40% HO, 10% G and 5% N. Ray can correct me if he thinks that it was different. I have a tendency to breeze by the tables until I spot N scale and I do a lot more breezing than stopping.:cry: Well, this one guy did have a motorized lift bridge made from erector sets that I thought was kinda cool, but was almost as big as my whole layout.:rolleyes:

  7. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Don,I forgot to mention(a mind is a terrible thing to waste) Some if not most of the private dealers at train shows will do some horse trading but,know what you will take for your used equipment and be realistic about your price.Remember,once you buy a new locomotive and walk out of the store it is considered use if you ever want to trade or sell the engine off even though it may have stayed in its box..To most dealers I know there is no such thing as TRO locomotive and by Ohio law if I would buy a locomotive from you I would have to sell it as use even though it may be brand new and never removed from the box and sadly that would affect the price I would offer you and of course the price I can buy that unit from my distributor..Now if I would sell a use loco for new and get caught I would have my dealers licenses suspended or revoke and face a stiff fine.
  8. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    Yeah, I would think that if it is being sold as new you would have to be able to show that you, as a dealer, bought it from the manufacturer or a distributor. That Bachmann Prairie I bought appeared new and in the box, but he got it from another customer and therefore was on his "used" shelf. No returns, no warranties, but I didn't pay new prices either.

    The point I am trying to make though, is that if I went to a general swap meet at the local drive-in or horse track, I expect to find bargins there, not people selling things at list price or higher. Some dealers there are selling their regular merchandise at cut-rate prices. I would think the same thing would apply at these train swap meets, but they don't. At least in our area they don't. They have the right to sell at whatever price they are inclined to, I have the right to walk away. :wave: :wave: :wave: :wave: :thumb:

  9. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    In my experience, train shows are occasionally interesting if I run across a new product I didn't know existed. But I don't go to them expecting to buy anything. I suppose the show layouts are fine for introducing people to the hobby, but I find that I don't pay all that much attention to most of them.

    The swap meets I've attended seemed to have two kinds of sellers: 1] legit or not-so-legit dealers, all of whom are obviously hoping they can snag newcomers to the hobby who don't know what things are worth. And 2] model railroaders who are getting rid of stuff they no longer need or want.

    I don't even bother with the first bunch. The second often have stuff fairly- or even under-priced.

    Actually, since eBay, I don't bother much with swap meets --- but of course you need to know what stuff is really worth to you before bidding there too.

  10. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hi Don!
    Your experience sounds close to some I've had...
    The only swap meet we have here in town is held twice a year by my local Div. of the NMRA....
    Things can vary...some guys are selling good stuff at a fair price, some things are marked up a little too steep, & some guys are trying to make a buck from "cleaning out the garage"!:rolleyes: ;)
    It's just like any other type of flea helps to know your stuff, & to be a little wary. They always have an onsite test track, & I'd never buy a loco without making use of it.
    You're right about the N scale does tend to be scarce at times...what's funny is, I went to a meet last year, & there were FOUR N scale layouts on display, & NOT ONE seller with anything in N!:rolleyes: :eek: :curse:
    Oh well...
    Here are the main reasons I attend...
    *The $2.00 addmission goes to support my local Div., of which I'm a member, & I never begrudge them that.
    *Since I arely attend club meetings, this gives me a chance to run into some RR buddies, & shoot the breeze (& sometimes commiserate about how crappy the swap meet is! :D )
    *Most of the things I buy at the swap meet are thngs you wouldn't usually find on the retail mkt...old diesel shells for .50 cents a piece (great source for kitbashing details...rails, fans, grills, doors, etc...) eight tank cars in a zip-lock bag, some damaged - $5.00. A bag of Atlas HO bridge girders $1.00.
    You know what they say, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." :)
    You're probably right though...if you're looking for new, good quality merchandise, there are probably better routes to take than the swap meet.
  11. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    The GATS shows in the southeast usually have 4-6 layouts, mostly HO and N w/ our S and occasionally an O. One or two shows will have a G layout (Raleigh, NC is one). The vendors will range from the guy who does it as a hobby to guys who travel to every show. Some of the vendors have shops somewhere else. Prices vary quite a bit, but there's always a few "bargins". I got a set of three S-Helper N&W hoppers for $80 at the Winston-Salem show. That saved me $5 over the best price i had found.

    My observations:
    1. Look under the tables for good deals on older or used equipment. Always make an offer instead of just paying the price.
    2. If you need repair parts, the shows in our area usually have vendors who specialize in this. One of our sponsors has an excellant S shop and there is another fella who does O.
    3. At shows, you can see, hold, test and closely examine your purchase before you buy it. Can't do that with E-Bay, Charles Ro, or any other on-line seller.
    4. GATS will put on seminars if anyone has signed up to put one on. GATS doesn't put on the seminars, a vendor or train club has to sign up to do it. Our group will usually run a module building seminar.
    5. Like everyone else has said, "Buyer Beware".
    6. You get more out of the experience if you talk to the vendors and the train clubs. A casual comment will usually lead to a conversation.
    7. Some of the prices are retail because these vendors are running a retail operation, it's just run out of boxes at train meets where they can expect a lot of traffic in a short amount of time. Think of the train meet as a combination flea market and retail mall on wheels.

  12. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Don said:The point I am trying to make though, is that if I went to a general swap meet at the local drive-in or horse track, I expect to find bargins there, not people selling things at list price or higher. Some dealers there are selling their regular merchandise at cut-rate prices. I would think the same thing would apply at these train swap meets, but they don't. At least in our area they don't. They have the right to sell at whatever price they are inclined to, I have the right to walk away
    Absolutely and I fully agree..I simply will not pay full retail or even 10% off MSRP when I know I can get it cheaper on the net.I to have walked away from high prices..

    Think of this also:

    Sadly a distributor can play this high price game if a item is a *hot* seller this of course cuts into the dealers mark up for discount(if the dealer discounts) and puts him at a disadvantage.:mad: Of course there are other games the distributor plays if you have the per capitol to buy by the cases..Again this gives the advantage to those that can buy by the cases- better discount you see from the distributor hence the dealer can give a deeper discount..You take a dealer that doesn't have deep pockets this puts him/her in a very bad position..Now enter e-bay with some of those give away prices it puts the private dealer and LHS at real bad disadvantage even though they may discount to 20% above costs..

    Now think of this..Any train show during the Christmas shopping season will have higher prices due to those that are Christmas shopping for a gift for their Grandson/daughter or son/daughter that is into model railroading or perhaps just wants a train to run around the tree(older folks is known for this) and they may not know any better to pay full or above full MSRP..Whereas guys like us know better..Of course there is no reason for price gouging during the Holiday season either.

    Don,The only thing I am saying it may not be as cut and dry as most bargain hunters think when it comes to discounting at train shows.Remember you start in the hole for the price of the table(s) and you have no idea how the day will go as far as buyesr vs window shoppers...Of course there is no real reason to charge full price for the items a dealer is trying to dump because the item didn't sell to well and collected dust on his shelf..
  13. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I'm glad (but really sad:cry: ) to see that I'm not the only one that feels this way. At least I know they weren't picking on my because they saw the bruises I got from falling off that turnip truck.:oops: :curse:

    I guess I'm going to have to take Ray Marinaccio's aproach and spend more time looking under the tables for the bargins.:wave: In the meantime, I think I'll just continue to buy new stuff from people like Trainworld and N Scale Supply. At least I know where the stuff has been, that I don't have to "clean it" before it will run and that I'm getting better pricing than at these train shows.

  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I go to quite a few shows in the Toronto area and also a few of the flea markets and auctions. I think there are about 3 types of vendors -- the hobby shops, the "basement" operators and the club/individual. The hobby shops will have a larger selection but also the highest price. The individual may have all sorts of prices, especially if he is trying to clear out old equipment, but selection is what he has. We have dealers specializing in every gauge from N to G and sometimes Z as well. (last show had S specialists; Storm works for an N gauge shop; and I can think of 5 dealers selling only British.)
    Last year my wife found a truck in a box labelled $5; she came away with two boxes of cars, trucks and people for that price.
    There is an auction every year in one of the small towns. One of my friends buys "lots" that may have one or two items he wants and often sells the rest for almost what he paid for it. (You just haveto know who wants a GG1 in U.P colours. ;) )
  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    California may be different than other states regarding G.A.T.Shows. The State Board of Equalization ( bureau that issues resale licenses) will insist that every vendor at the show has a license. I've heard that they send an investigator to every show to make sure, but I don't know if that is true. The result is that I have never seen a vender at a show who didn't do it as a business. I model in ho, and I've still gotten bargains at the shows. Some dealers will buy say 100 of the latest Bachmann Spectrum steam engine, Kato deisel, Athearn Genesis, or Lifelike p2k. He'll sell say 75 at full list price, then when something new comes out, he discounts the leftover old stock. Also I model Santa Fe in the 50's. I got a deal on a p2k sw7 from a dealer who had all Eastern road names. Most modelers in So Cal model S.P., U.P., or Santa Fe (including BNSF). If you show up at a show with a bunch of New York Central, you might sell one or two locomotives. Dealers on the West Coast who are stuck with Eastern road names will discount them to get rid of them. I passed the booth three times at a show befroe I decided to buy a sw7 with the most black on it to repaint into a Santa Fe zebra.
  16. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    GATS is due into Phoenix the end of March. Our new house will be just about finished around then, but if I have a chance, I'll do my best to get down there. One thing I don't like about it, is that it is downtown in the Phoenix Convention Center. I never look forward to going anyplace downtown. Ya gotta walk a good half mile just to get to the convention door. I suspect GATS has to be a lot larger than any other "show" I've been to in order to afford the cost of the space rental. I also doubt that it would attract the casual hobbiest trying to get rid of stuff they don't need because of the rental costs. I'm just guessing at that, but at the local "Train-O-Rama" they can rent a table for $20-25. One at GATS has to go for a lot more than that.

  17. ssw_820

    ssw_820 New Member

    A lot of what has been said is true, but not 100% all the time. Depends on what shows you go to. I've been to good GATS shows and BAD ones. I've been to Norhtern California and Southern California GATS shows and several local shows throughout California.

    I've seen dealers at GATS shows offer items (new & used) for higher prices than they did at smaller club type shows/swap meets. Why? Because they must pay $65 and up for a table at the GATS shows. At the smaller shows, they pay around $30 per table. At our club show they pay $15 per table. I have seen 'show dealers' selling the same items for higher prices at other shows than they do at ours. The more the vendor table cost, the more the vendors must charge for items to ensure (or help ensure they have a chance of) they 'break even' or better. I've bought brand new Kato locomotives, no broken parts and test ran them before buying them for well below retail. The last two we bought were a new Kato Santa Fe Dash 9 and a new SD90 Mac (first edition). The 90 Mac cost $65 and the Dash 9 cost around $50. We also bought a P2K SSW/Cotton Belt GP30 for about $25. It was missing the clear plastic number boards. I'l order some replacements from Proto.

    At our show, we allow folks to test run them on our club show layout before they buy them. The dealers don't mind. Probably why they do well in selling stuff and keep coming back. Those with good products have nothing to hide, while those with 'junk' can't find a tunnel deep enough or dark enough. We are not a big show, but we are growing. Yes, we've had some vendors come in with the 'garage junk' many of you have discussed. They seldom sell much. There are also some vendors who just enjoy attending shows to meet people. We have a couple of those folks. They would never attend a GATS show as a vendor because of the prohibitive vendor table costs.

    These shows and swap meets are often the 'back bones' for various clubs. They help generate interest in the hobby and give exposure to the club(s), as well as provide financial support. Most club shows charge a small entry fee or 'donation' to enter. At our show each year, we allow visitors to try out our layout, and let some visitors drive our trains (we use radio equipped DCC) and give examples of the many benefits of DCC. We do our very best to promote the hobby, freely talking trains and modeling with anyone who has an interest of question. Nest time you attend a club show or swap meet, take the time to talk to the members. You know, those folks at the display layout(s) that some of you tend to ignore. You might just learn something new or better yet, be able to share some knowledge that might benefit them. That's what I try to do, whenever possible. Besides the vendors and those deals, a show is only as good as you make it.

    If you have any idea of what you are doing, you can find great deals at some shows and none at others. You can also find great deals on ebay and there are bad ones there, too. If you don't know what you are doing, either learn (though research or joining a model railroad club, or asking the many experts on this forum) or just buy from your retailer at those 'high prices'. I personally believe that this hobby is slowly pricing itself out of existence. What's worse, is most of the stuff is either made completely over seas or the componets used are. Like Nike shoes, some foreigner builds the stuff and somebody over here sells it for 40 times as much as the 'builder' was paid. Someone on one of these forums did a survey to find out the ages of model railroaders. Though not 100% accurate (nothing really is, let alone one of these surveys), it was pretty representative of the hobby, as a whole. The most votes came in the 41-50 year old range. Next was the 31-41 year old range. There are probably a lot more of the 51 and up folks, but many may not even use computers, let alone go on the internet to check out forums and such. I've seen this at the many clubs I've visited also. Not too many younger folks, unless Dad or Mom and Dad are into the hobby. I fall into the 41-50 age group. In 20-50 years, I'll be gone. That (unfortunately) is enevitable for all of us. I've noticed that the attendance at all the shows within 500 miles of my home are showing dwindling attendance. the model train stores are showing declines in customer levels, too. Think about it.

    I MUST say that it IS NOT your local hobby store or model train store that is the blame for the high prices. He/She is problably the 4th or 5th peson in the retail 'food chain' to touch the item he/she is selling. Every hand it passes through from the builder/manufacturer to the buyer nearly doubles the price. That hobby store owner also has a fairly high overhead to cover (rent). They can't sell the stuff for the wholesale price it was sold to them (the price it should be sold for, realistically) or they'd be 'out of business' because they could make any money.

    It's the same thing in nearly every part of the retail industry, not just model railroading. There is good and bad in everything. I've found more good in model railroading than bad (by a large margin). The bad - the ever increasing high prices to get involved and stay involved quality wise. Most of the people involved in the hobby are super people to know and meet. I've been involved in other hobbies such as slot cars. Now there is one 'cut throat group of people' including many in the retail business. Spent 5-6 years in that hobby and only found a handfull of good folks. Got out of that 'pit' and never looked back

  18. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

    I guess we're somewhat lucky in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, I've been going to shows in this region since 1990 and have never had any bad experiences. GATS comes hrough several times a year and it varies each time, but is always heavily Lionel. A local group of hobby shops/clubs puts on a show every November in Ft.Worth and again in January in Plano. These shows are top-notch. 10-15 layouts, 50+ reputable dealers and extensive home layout tours (15-25 over two days). All scales are represented including two very nice S-scale layouts. While many layouts and vendors are at both shows, there are enough differences to make both of them enjoyable. The local Lockheed modelers also put on a show each year.

    The dealers from what I can tell are all reputable, you see the same ones year to year at most of the shows. Line-ups vary at different shows and product is always different. The dealers are a combination of local (and not so local) hobbyshops, traveling vendors that you might see across the southwest, and occasionally manufacturers. CVP Products usually has a display in conjunction with a LHS that's always interesting. Heck, you might even meet Keith. I don't see any rip-off pricing on items that I usually look at, in fact discounting is the name of the game in this area...even at the LHS's year round.

    I'm sorry to hear that some of you have had negative experiences, because a well-run show is great way to spend an afternoon. By the way, the layout tours in this area are always fantastic. We have many, many excellent modelers in the DFW area, as well as numerous club layouts to visit.
  19. Mike R

    Mike R Member

    Just for a different perspective on this topic, let me address it from the point of view of a vendor:

    I am a "private" MRR vendor at six to eight Central Ontario (Canada ) shows every year, plus I do some custom building of wood trestles, bridges & buildings.
    My resale equipment consists of surplus equipment of my own, plus items, or whole collections, that I buy from people going out of the hobby or changing scales. My prices are generally 50% of normal retail list price, and are negotiable down from there.
    I always have both new and used equipment.

    ( Although the points are not meant to portray ALL show attendees, these are observations borne of many, many shows over several years, and are indicative of the majority of those who come to the table.)

    Commercial Equipment :
    a] 75-80% of sales are to either other vendors, or to exhibitors (club members) from the layouts at the show....most of the "paying public" are too cheap to buy much unless it's almost free.
    b] For EITHER one-day, or two-day shows : If I haven't sold 80% of my target $ amount by 1:30PM on Saturday, I am not going to reach my target at all.
    ( BTW...what I do is not a charity, I am trying to supplement a rather lean retirement income. My first $250 in sales of commercial equipment on any given Saturday is at BREAK-EVEN...paying for the cost of the tables, the typical travel expense, and the purchase cost of the stuff sold....IF I bought wisely.)
    c] If the same person comes back to look at a bargain-priced item three or times over a couple of hours, I take it off the table and pretend it's sold. It's a life-lesson in decision-making I have provided...I can always sell the item to someone another time.
    d] Sundays really stink. It's mostly time wasters, and people with little kids looking for something to do, not something to buy.
    It's frequent that a number of the little kids could use some responsible parenting, too.
    e] If I buy a large collection, I may have some of it for a year or two, ( or longer ), in my "inventory", so any margin I may have factored in may be a long time coming.
    f] Although there might be a "swap" table at one show in 20, regular shows are never swap meets. Beware the "roving trader" who walks in with items under his arm and goes from table to table wanting to "swap". I wouldn't touch such an item with a 10-foot pole.

    Custom-built equipment:
    a] At any given show, I will be asked for, [and will gladly provide],details of what kind of glue and stain I use, whether I predrill pin holes, what kind of saw I use to cut wood strips, which operations need a router, how would one build a jig for trestle bents, etc., etc., etc...most folks are polite enough, but sometimes seem annoyed if I have to interrupt the 'tutorial' to look after an actual customer.
    b] At six shows in 2003, and after general conversations and review of my sample units, exactly 28 people advised me they would be sending me spec's of a trestle, bridge, or building they wanted, by email or post, so I could just QUOTE them ballpark pricing and further details. They all seemed reasonably genuine. Of the 28, not one person has sent me anything to quote on.
    c] I have had a retail dealer compliment the quality, ask about a unit in a specific scale for their shop, and then renege on taking a unit, even though it would be 'on consignment', at no cost to them.
    d] When I explain a time factor, I have found that most potential customers think that trying to get $3.00-$4.00 an hour is rather greedy on my part.

    Anyway, that's more than enough from me. Remember, I am just a private individual without any overheads, other than my little bit of inventory...the retailers at train shows have much greater overheads than I don't beat up on them too hard for price, as they aren't getting rich off you.:wave:
    Mike [ cutting back to just 2-3 shows next year ].:D :D
  20. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Thanks all for your interesting input, this is turning into a valuable thread. I'm glad to see a vendor's opinion since there is always two sides to a story.

    I agree on the fact that vendors are there for one reason alone, to make money. Either as a living, to supliment income or to recoup some costs on no longer needed (or no longer functional) equipment. I can see where some vendors spoil it for the rest, and conversly, there are many atendees that taint the image of all the others and make vendors wary. The bottom line is that everybody is trying to get the best deal they can, either sell at the highest price or buy at the lowest. I can't fault either. What I do object to is when one tries to steal from the other, either way.

    I can walk away if I see something that is in a beat-up old box and has a store price tag on it that is higher than market price for new equipment. I do however, get upset when I bring home a "bargin" box of goodies only to find most of it is broken, worn, or just plain junk and I paid too much for it, and the guy that sold it to me knew it. I learn quickly and walk away now when someone tells me that an engine "works fine, but needs cleaning" I no longer can believe them thanks to the one or two times I got burned. I know, they call that "buyer beware," but it shouldn't have to be that way. What happened to the term "honesty" in business? I'd rather go to bed knowing that I treated someone fairly, rather than gloating because I was able to screw someone. It works both ways, sellers and buyers.

    Yes, these vendors have the overhead of table space and transportation, but remember, so does your LHS or mail-order dealer who is paying for space 24/7, not just for one or two days. Internet and mail order vendors all try to keep their overhead low, their customer base large and profit margins thin in order to sell the most they can while never losing sight that without happy customers, they would not be in business long. San Walton learned this quicky and look where Wal-Mart is now.

    Bottom line is that I'd like to go to these "shows" and "meets" not thinking that everyone is trying to screw me and I'm sure most of the vendors there are thinking the same thing. Boy, wouldn't that make for a different atmostphere?


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