Couldn't find the thread I had before going to Chickasha so starting this one.
We got into Norman Tuesday night, got to the fairgrounds about 10:30 Wednesday, lots of people already there. Saw lots of people I knew, pretty much all vendors.
Got in the building at 4 PM, took a couple hours to set up, first time I'd been in the building so had to figure it out. Nice being inside except I think you miss most of the action. We left about 6:30 and went to Rays for ribs.
Thursday was the big day, we were there by 8:15, stayed until the last dog was hung on Thursday night, went to dinner. I sold two carburetors, got one to restore. Very little traffic in the north building other than friends who knew I was in there coming by to visit or say howdy. Virtually no interest in the carbs from most people. Did have a couple people take pictures of my display. Did a few appraisals of the "what is this" type and several of the "Look what I just bought, did I get a good deal." Bought a nice 5 ball and a nice little Breeze for Hupmobile. Also a Stromberg OS-1.
Had a beautiful small drum Ruckstell all cleaned, bead blasted and ready to reassemble, couldn't even get an offer on it. Had a Pasco wheel and hub, couldn't get an offer, only had one person who even looked at it. Sold a NOS New Day timer to a friend from Iowa, gave away $100 worth of screwdrivers, packed it all back up and hauled it all back home.
If I do go back it probably won't be as a vendor, if I do go back as a vendor, I will fly down, get one space inside, set up three or four carbs and throw some cards around and go shopping. I stayed in the booth almost all the time, took two half hour breaks Thursday and went to eat and look around a little so I missed all the early deals, etc. I spent two days getting ready, drove for two days to get there, was gone for 7 days and now have a week's worth of work to do plus putting all the stuff away. It was fun and I really enjoyed seeing my friends and the stuff but from a business standpoint it was a losing game for me. I spent roughly $1000 for my share of the gas, hotels and meals + what I spent on my own for other stuff, had gross sales of just a few bucks over $1250, both to friends that probably would have bought carbs from me whether I was there or not. I could have bought a plane ticket and rented a car and been home Friday night late or Saturday at noon for a lot less money. My original plan had been to go to Chickasha and then go on to Texas for a couple days, that didn't work out so it was a 3300 mile $1000+ week and a ten days of not getting any work done at home. Hmmmmmmmmmmm.
My Subaru averaged about 22 mpg pulling a trailer -- some of the time 85 on the Interstate, almost always right at 80 & several hundred miles bucking a stiff wind. I put on 3300 miles for the trip.
So I'll probably be there next year for a day or two but not as a vendor. Here are a couple things I think, as you that know me know, I do have an opinion.
1. For the amount of money they are getting for vendor spaces and etc., they could afford a couple porta potties out in the parking area on Wednesday. It's along walk to the building and back.
2. Six bucks for a cheap nasty lukewarm stale Bratwurst??? Six bucks for an order of Fries??? Two bucks for a little Styrofoam cup of coffee?
3. I can't make any money selling to other vendors. They need to figure out how to get some buyers there.
4. Both buildings had tons of empty space. The commercial vendors must be staying away. There was a nice group and it certainly wasn't empty but it certainly wasn't full, either.
5. I still don't understand the idea of having it in the middle of the week. I've heard a dozen explanations of how it came to be and why they do it but I think it needs to be set up so Saturday is the big day and it's over Saturday night at 6 or 7. Maybe at one point it was a three day meet but it's not any more. You can see everything there in one day.
6. People vote with their feet. From the first year I was there until this year, a lot of them voted. I've been going for 8 or 9 years and it either was smaller this year by a long ways or me being inside made it seem smaller because there were so few people inside.
7. A guy told me that I will never do any good there because I am trying to sell expensive stuff to Model T people. Maybe he's right.
8. I'm not mad and I don't want to run it but if I go next year it will be with a couple carbs or just some literature to display, I'll go with the idea of not selling anything and will plan to be there Wednesday afternoon and Thursday, head off to Texas to hear some music on Friday and fly home Sunday. Friday is now a wasted day anyway, I don't think there were half, maybe a third as many people on Friday as Thursday, many of the vendors left Thursday night and a lot of them left Friday morning so I see no point in being there Friday.
I'm whupped so I'm going to bed and will spend tomorrow unpacking the car and trying to get back to work.
I agree mostly with what Stan is saying. Vendors were down 25% from two years ago. At this rate its going to be all over in 2 or 3 years.
Several factors are at work, primarily I think the price of gasoline being over $3.00 a gallon.
I sold as much as I ever have, so it was successful from a sales standpoint. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I spent all the proceeds on more Model T parts that I liked better than the ones I sold.
I did very well at the meet. I bought over 1200.00 worth of parts and sold about 500.00 worth of parts. Not very good from a business standpoint but for me that's not the point. I go to visit and buy and learn. Where else can you see this much pre war stuff.??? Stan, I hear the same thing at the modern post war meets. If you have high dollar stuff it is hard to sell. Im not judging in any way, but at every meet I set up at I hear the people who have stuff priced too high, (in my opinion) always complaining how they are losing money. ??? I have no good answer to that. Maybe buying too high, want to make too much profit, gas prices, ????. I always bring my stuff to sell, and at the end of the meet most of it is gone... As to the crowd and vendors being less. This year was a bad year for health problems, Bobs wife got sick with a serious health problem on the way down and they did not make it, still hoping she is doing better. By Bob not making it left a huge hole of unused spaces in the north building. I know of at least two more vendors who had to turn back while driving to Chickasa. I also know at least four others who did not come because of surgery or other problems. and a few buyers I know also had problems and did not make it. Maybe we are the problem by getting too old. But, I did see some young guns carrying T parts. As to the T people being the bulk of the meet Chickasa has always been a T meet, we just outnumber everyone else, Its just a fact of life, there are more Ts out there. I hope it picks up next year, but Ill keep going till Im the last vendor .... I do not go to make money, I go to visit, get rid of some stuff, find some stuff, be with my friends while we are still able, I had a great time and hope to see everyone next year .... Remember its a hobby ......... or supposed to be .... (in my opinion)
Yes, it was smaller this year. There were fewer vendors, at least partly because of health problems, and there were fewer shoppers. Is the grim reaper paring it down? Young folks like Tim Alman and the Willses were there, but maybe there aren't enough of them. Anyway, I aim to keep it up as long as I can. I haven't sold at a swap meet for ten years, but I plan to start setting apart stuff to sell and rent a space or two next year.
This is me at Chickasha,
The only gripe I have is, is that it is called a swap meet, the only thing most guys want to swap for is cash. Most of what I brought was given away for free. Yes I sold a little bit, but basically like Donnie said ".... I do not go to make money, I go to visit, get rid of some stuff, find some stuff, be with my friends while we are still able, I had a great time and hope to see everyone next year .... Remember its a hobby ......... or supposed to be .... (in my opinion)". I got to visit with Steve Jelf and Ron Patterson and a few others. I think I need to put my name on the side of my trailer stating I am a forum member so more people will introduce themselves while browsing.
I would very much like at attend. I have never been there, but from what has been said here it sounds very iffy. I am a buyer and round trip would be about 1800 miles if I don't make any side trips. I would be looking for harder to find items other than T stuff. T stuff seems to be readily available to locate and shipped to my home instead of having to travel for it. The harder to find items of other manufacturers I am just having to search the web for. Maybe that is what other buyers are doing? I will pay more for an item than what it is worth if I really need it when I find it on the web. Sounds crazy, huh? I figure if I find it on the web and pay more for it, I am not traveling, gas, motels, food, time off from work to get what I need. Sure, you don't get to visit far away friends, but there is always something you have to give up. I find going that course is far cheaper than traveling to a far away meet that may or may not have what I am searching for and if it does may cost just as much as if I found it on the web. Either way I will be waiting a long time whether I go to a meet that is 1 or 2 times a year or months and months of searching every couple days on the web. Just an angle of how I see things. But, I would still like to see it once. Same goes for Hershey.
I had a good time. The weather was great too. I always like the food back there too. There are folks I seldom see, except at Chickasha, and Hershey too, so that is always a plus. I didn't buy much, but what I did buy was good stuff. I wouldn't complain about the bathrooms. Remember that horrible one that used to be in the front building years ago?
I think the internet and T-bay have put a dent into swap meet sales in general. I used to go to a lot of swap meets with a list of parts that I was looking for, but now if I need something, I look online and many times can get the item in a matter of days. I still enjoy the atmosphere of swap meets, but if you just need parts there are more alternatives than in the past.
Chickasha has always been a T swap meet for me since I started going to swap meets looking for this and that for 'T's.
I use to go to the others in Texas such as Pate, one that was called the Southwest swap meet and a few others. Pate is to big and others like me have said T parts are few and far between.
T's are my interest so for me that's what I go to Chickasha.
If there is a problem with Chickasha its having it in the middle of the week. If it was held say from Thursday thru Saturday or Friday, Sat, and Sunday that probably would be the better as far as attendance goes. You would get more younger people with kids for sure.
As I remember older guys outnumbered anybody under 35 about 5 to 1 or maybe more. That's not good.
If the younger folks had the weekend to attend you would see more of them.
If anybody remembers there was a guy with a nice 35 Ford Coupe that showed up on Thursday parked between the main bldgs. He was asked to leave because his car was a Hot Rod and not original. Yes I know its not a Hot Rod meet. Maybe he didn't know that.
One comment that I remember hearing at the Best Western at breakfast at another table was that T people are cheap and wont spend much money. He was from a club that had Aburns and other big antique cars. And if you noticed like I did vendors with parts for cars other than Ford were few and far between and not moving much merchandise.
These are just some random comments about a noticeable decline that may continue without more younger folks coming to the meet.
I think what needs to happen is for the Model T clubs to get together and ask for some leeway in scheduleing the meet closer to or for all of the weekend period.
This may have been tried before with no luck.
Maybe its the economy or wrong meet timing OR it could be we're just getting to old and T's or to slow for the younger crowd in general.
As long as I can go I'll be there with some money to spend for my 'T's.
It will be the interest that will make the difference.
I suspect it's true that the internet is behind the decline in swap meets, especially for folks who have to go a long way to reach them. Chickasha is relatively close, but when I go to Iola or Hershey the cheapness of any parts I buy there is dwarfed by the costs of attending. When I go to a meet the reasons are:
1 The enjoyment of shopping. This is ironic, because I despise ordinary shopping. I hate searching all over a store, trying to find an "associate" to ask, having to explain what the wanted item is and what it does, and getting a blank stare. But at a meet I enjoy rummaging through a jumble of junk and finding that piece I can use. Ignoring the expense of getting there and pretending the cheap price of the part is the real cost adds to the fun.
2 Visiting. At most meets this means schmoozing with folks I've met online, which is new for me. Any ability I may have for socializing has been largely undeveloped until recent years, and getting to know people online has assuaged my hermit-like tendencies. In the case of Iola, visiting also includes family in the area.
3 Travel. I enjoy seeing different parts of the country. Hershey is an opportunity to visit Gettysburg. Going to Petit Jean, you get to see Russellville and the Ozarks. If you look past the chain stores and plastic food joints, each area of the country has its own flavor.
Online shopping is convenient and often less costly, but going to a meet still attracts me.
Larry, the men's room in the north building was Nirvana compared to the ones in the south building. Those were the vilest restrooms in the western hemisphere. That's the best improvement that's been made at the fairgrounds.
I think that if we are wanting the younger generation to have more interest and accessibility to parts and help we need to have the weekend swap meets , most of the younger people only have the weekends off. We that are retired and have been in the hobby for a while need to remember back to when we had little time, little money but a great desire to have and work on old cars (and things).
Chickasha is a small enough meet that you can pretty much cover it in one day. I think that's why a lot of folks leave Thursday night or Friday morning. Having it for more than two days would not work, in my opinion. But I also think that having it on Friday and Saturday would be better than Thurs. and Fri. Some folks still have to work on weekdays.
I agree with all of that except you are not supposed to make money because it is a hobby. It is a hobby for a lot of people and a business for others. It is a business for me as well as a hobby.
As I said, if I go again - which I probably will - it will be to look for deals or thing I need or can turn a profit on, see my friends and customers, go eat, visit with my friends, look at cool cars, visit, look at junk, visit, have a good time for a couple days and come home. But I will never again invest ten days in it and hammer down the Interstate as hard as we can run to get there, set up as a vendor and not have any time to shop, then hammer down the Interstate for two long days to get home. If I go next year it will be a couple days at the swap meet and on to Texas for a couple days to play music and have some fun. Home in four hours, not two long days. I am just getting too old to sit there for two days running as hard as we can to get there.
I still think they need a couple porta potties out in the field near the entrance gate on Wednesday. It wouldn't cost a hundred bucks. I've rented hundreds of days worth of them for auctions. Considering that most of the guys who show up there are 60+ (everybody younger than that is working during the week) and drink a lot of coffee visiting at the motels in the morning, they are ready for relief by the time they get the truck parked and again pretty short time later. It's a long walk to the building when you should have gone half an hour ago.
Every body has their own take on every thing. What I said is my take on it. When I've gone and taught at auction school or done seminars at the auction conventions over the years I tell the newbies to listen to people and instead of being offended about some comment less than 100% complimentary, think about it, evaluate it and see if it might be a valid comment. That's the way my comments here are. Maybe they need to hear why people think the crowds are down. Maybe they don't and don't want to or don't care. But as a vendor, I'm voting with my feet. This year I gave John my outside spaces. Next year I will rent one space inside instead of three, be there from Wednesday to Thursday night and be gone unless I come back to cherry pick some deals as the vendors who did bring stuff are packing up.
I've sold out a lot of businesses that didn't want to hear anything from their customers unless it was good. As Ricks says, "People vote with their feet." If enough more people vote with their feet this swap meet is going to fold up.
If you read what I said, I said I will not be a vendor as I have been. Last year we burned hundreds of dollars of diesel to haul my big trailer down loaded with parts and a nice C Cab truck. Couldn't even get an offer on it. Finally wholesaled it to Mark F and his wholesale offer was, I thought, very fair. I appreciated him stepping up on it so I didn't have to haul it home. But it barely paid my expenses. This year I barely made expenses. But I made a lot of contacts, saw a lot of friends and scored a couple carbs that will make me some money down the road as well as handed out a lot of cards and screwdrivers that will turn in to business. What I am saying is that I am not going to be tied to a booth for three days again. If I go, which I probably will, I will fly down, and probably just take a show carb along in my suitcase, set it up as a display with cards and a pimp sheet pile and go look for the $100 NOS Stromberg OF that a guy bought and brought in to show me, the OS-1 for $100, the NH Straight throughs, etc.
I don't have much of a dog in any fight any more. I'm getting old, I am buried in work all the time, I have petty much no retirement other than what I earn and I am pretty buried in stuff, including Model T parts. I did really well the first three years I went to Chickasha, sold a lot of stuff and was overwhelmed by the crowds of buyers and vendors. Had this been my first year I might have been impressed by the crowd and how many vendors there were but I thought the quality was really down and the number of actual buyers was really down. Most of the people I saw shopping looked like other vendors to me.
I also found out that I missed two other places they had food instead of the rip off wagon in front of the north building. I guess there is food in the center building and a cheeseburger joint in the south building. There was also a rib dinner Friday afternoon that I didn't know about. I'm not sure if it was open to the public or invitation only or what.
Anyway, I'm glad that most of you have money and time to travel, don't need to make money on anything and just give parts away because it is a hobby. So far I have not found that when I'm shopping at swap meets.
I don't have that going on, I need to pick and choose what I can afford to do and what I can't and which is more important to me. I think a lot of people are like that when they get to my age and with $125-200 motel rooms, six dollar hot dogs and $4.00 gas they are re-thinking how much time and money they want to put in to going to a mid week swap meet.
As always, your mileage may vary, I'm finally up and ready to go to the shop and put all they stuff away and start on a Tillotson I couldn't get done before Chickasha that is going to drive me crazy before it is done but has to be done.
I completely agree with everything that Stan posted. The only problem is that it was posted on this forum and the Erlands and the club that puts on Chickasha, probably won't read this forum and will probably never know the disappointment that most vendors in attendance, experience.
As for the guys with Auburns, Cords, and other rare cars thumbing their noses at T guys, I like their choice of cars and wish I had unlimited finances where I could own one or a whole museum full of them, but because that isn't the case, I don't make degrading remarks about the cars that they own that can be heard, publically. That's not class, and that shows their lack of it.
I agree that the internet and the economy have killed swap meets. If I lived as close to Hershey and Carlisle as I do to Chickasha (and that isn't a hop, skip, and a jump), I could live in Maine, drive through every New England state on the way to Pennsylvania and not drive as far as I did from Houston, Texas. I have attended Hershey and Carlisle. Back in the seventies, I did for several years in a row, but the economy and price of driving has put an end to that. I wouldn't have been at Chickasha this year, if I didn't have a 40 year collection of parts that I'm never going to use and need to reduce storage costs.
As for the term, 'swap meet', I avoid using it around non-car people as I was once asked if I was a 'swinger', by one. Besides, the last time I swapped anything at a parts sale was back in the seventies. It may still occur at some meets, but not since the seventies at the old Texas Pate Swap Meet held south of Fort Worth at the Pate Museum of Transportation. Since then, the few parts sales that I have been to resulted in the payment of cash for goods and at most unregulated parts sales, late model or hot rod parts far outnumber the pre-war parts. Sadly, Chickasha has, indeed, become a vendor's wholesale swap meet, with very little retail transactions, being made.
Now, if all I've said sounds like 'sour grapes', I do have one positive thing to say. Because I wasn't a specialized vendor with just tires, carburetors, or sheet metal, and I had a variety of things that I took for sale, many of which other vendors didn't have at any price, I did well. The only reason that I didn't come home and put a smile on the face of my banker was that I spent all my profit on one item, a rebuilt 26-27 Ruxtell rear end, which up until a couple of weeks before the meet, I had no intention of buying. The thought never occurred to me until the item was offered on this forum. At least I made enough to pay for it and the trip. I'll just have to forget putting any cash back in the bank.
I would attend and be a vendor but it doesn't pay for me to attend on a thurs / fri swap meet for the 1400 miles of traveling one way. If they extended it to a 3 day show it would be better for the working people that could attend on a sat.
Terry you don't have to worry about the Carlisle Shows anymore.. They are dead..empty spaces all over. The North field is empty, alot of tools toys and junk and parking, they are even selling RV's there now by the Grand Stand. even the food people close up early nothing for the vendors at night.
R J, they used to run it Thursday, Friday and Saturday. By Friday night 90% of the vendors were gone and by Saturday 10 AM the rest were gone. I was there loading up on Saturday one year and there were several furious people that had driven half the night to get there and there was nothing for them to buy.
I think they need to move it to Friday and Saturday, move in Friday at noon, open the gates at 3, shut them at dark, 8 to 6 on Saturday and all over and go to the house. It's a one day meet anyway.
Terry Woods of Richmond TX,
After reading your message I thought I'd let you know, the Erslands who put on the Pre-War swap meet do so by themselves. There is no local Club sponsorship behind the Pre-War Swap Meet.
Believe it or not, my best sales started at about 10:30 Friday and I sold more between then and about 2pm than I did any time before that.
Our local club has a swap meet the first Sunday of May at Gateway International Raceway and have had them for decades. We have noticed a very marked reduction in sales and are making less than half of what we made 6 years ago. It is our club's only fund raiser so we must continue to have them.
Our swap meets are mostly general automotive and have very little if any Model T stuff.
Seeing Terry's observation that the Erslands probably wouldn't see this discussion, I sent them a link. There's a saying in business that the customer who complains is doing you a favor because he represents ten others who won't bother to tell you, but will just vote with their feet. Maybe the PWSM group will consider some of the ideas here if they haven't already done so.
Steven, I have attended and enjoyed many of your club's swap meets, back to when it was held at the junior college parking lot, then at Riverport, and lately at Gateway. What killed it for many last year was the rain.
I don't know what the track charges for the use of their facility, but if indeed the meet is getting smaller each year, maybe you could consider moving again to smaller (and less expensive) locations.
Or more likely will be furious with me for having the courage to post what several other people were talking about at the swap meet.
Based on my experience of 50 years in business that is more likely and I will probably be persona non grata from here on out
Several other people told me they won't go back as they did no business. That, however is their deal - not mine. I also know a lot of people did very well selling.
Chickasha Swap Meet, the link you posted for your website got me a "can't be found" notice.
My dad and I had a great meet this year. We cleaned out the garage and sold everything but a shoe box and apple box on Wednesday. We didn't really have anything into the parts and didn't want to bring them home so we were motivated to sell them and some people got some deals. I heard from several people that it seemed like people that brought common stuff and had cheap prices on them did well and people that had higher end stuff didn't do so well.
We also bought some really good stuff that we had been looking for.
1911 E&J tail light for our '11 that had the right patina
Brass spot light that had to be NOS judging by the condition for the '12 speedster
a carb and starting crank for the 1906 Model N
Front tappered spring, original head light brackets, and a speedometer from Russ for the 1910
also had preorderd and picked up two side lights and two tail lights from Wayne and hubcaps for the '06 and '10 from Lang's.
We probably spent more than we had planned on but we didn't drive all that way and take off of work to pass on what we needed for our projects and cars.
As far as it being during the week, It would be more convenient for me at least if it was pushed back two days, with lineup and set up being on Friday, open on Saturday and leave on Sunday. I would only miss two days of work instead of four but it was worth it and We'll be back.
Chickasha Swap Meet: I see this is your first post and you're not using your real name. Come on like Stan, me and the others who have posted and don't hide behind a generic name. If the Erslands are the only ones behind the Chickasha Meets, then they must also call themselves, "The Old Pueblo Touring Association". That sure sounds like a club to me, but the point of this post is that times are changing and if Chickasha is to survive and prosper, its going to have to do some changing, too. Who sponsors it is immaterial to the facts.
I just sent a private message to the Chickasha Swap Meet that made a comment on this thread.
It had to do with some of the concerns that's been mentioned.
Every bit helps.
My choice would be to set up Thursday, Main day on Friday, (most people can cheat at work and miss one day) Load out on Saturday, be home Sunday and still make it to work Monday. (for the ones who live fairly close) Not a major change but could help. ???
Before anybody gets some kind of a spittin' match started here let me say again that my comments are related to MY business, which, for those of you that don't know, is high quality brass carburetor restoration and sales. I have very few carbs that sell for less than $500 and many in the 7-8-9-1000 range. Most are NOT Model T carbs. Since I run this myself and do not have anybody to go to Chickasha with who wants to stand there and my booth while I am out shopping, I am not planning to go back to sell carburetors like I did this year. I hauled $15,000 worth of inventory down and didn't sell anything but two T carbs. That is my experience, everybody else had their own. I am not badmouthing the whole deal, I am just saying that it wasn't worth driving for me, next year if I go - which I probably will - I will fly down and do a shake, howdy and buy run rather than taking inventory to sell. Don't read anything in to this that isn't there and don't read anything in to it that I didn't say.
I see the swap meets here in NYS is also turning into 1 day shows. Dunkirk FRI,SAT,SUN.. Friday half the vendors are there and on Sat everybody packs up at 2pm..Sunday is potluck garbage. Rhinebeck Sat>Sun 1 day show..It doesn't pay to do these shows anymore.. expenses, fleamarket rent, your time etc....
I have been to every chickasha swap meet except the very first one and 2003. There are up and down years and many are getting older. I did quite well selling, but expensive stuff is slow moving. I sell mostly early stuff and I just don't think the market will bear the prices of 3-4 years ago. It's really hard to buy the parts and assemble an early T at a reasonable cost. I think the meet will continue, but there is just not enough interest younger people, gas is just to much(600.00 for my trip). I'll be back, it's just to much fun!
I don't see the comments on this thread as personal in any way towards those who run the meet. A lot of comment about swap meets in general and what has caused some of the reduction in sales and customers. Some, what I feel is constructive, criticism regarding the timing of the meet and a few other criticisms that I think apply to most meets (potty facilities and food prices). The organizers of the meet have an opportunity to think about possible changes which should be considered a good thing. A date change and a few porta-potties might really help for very little hassle or expense. I think we would all like to see the meet continue as a significant meet for pre-war cars.
The first year I went we drove out from Memphis on Thursday and got in about 2 in the afternoon. My buddy and I snooped around a couple of hours and thought we'll get well rested and come back the next day. When we came back at least half of it was gone. Just for kicks we stopped by on Saturday and 90% was gone.
I think they would do much better with Saturday as the big day instead of the middle of the week. I would have been ticked had we driven out Friday after work with plans to go on Saturday.
We went again last year and it was down by a good amount. The younger crowd would likely appear if it were held on Saturday. When a guy only gets two weeks vacation its tough to spend a week getting to and from a one day event that is advertized as two. Just one opinion.
I can't miss over half a week of work to go to a swap meet...
I think the vendors may have some issues that I've never had to worry about, but from my perspective, as a non-vendor, I like most everything about the Chickasha swap meet. I like the parking lot trading that goes on, I like the fact that it is in the middle of the week. I like the fact that everyone in charge seems laid back, i.e. no "swap meet nazis" telling you you can't do this or that, although they do a fairly good job of keeping out the postwar stuff. I hope the Chickasha swap meet goes on forever.
The Spokane Swap meet has gone through some changes. In the last 5 years they started augmenting the swap meet by adding a car show to attract non-swap meet types in hopes they will stroll through the meet and buy from vendors. They charge these people to show their cars then give them token gifts for bringing a car. Maybe the Chickasha group should interject a prewar car show on Friday to boost attendance and keep vendors around. It worked for Spokane!
Had a fantastic time and found a few trinkets to bring home.
A 2500 mile round trip + motel rooms and food meant that there were really no bargains for me at any price. Still, I loved it all and plan to be there next year. Enjoyed seeing many of you and hope you all can make it as well.
The last time I was able to go to Chickasha was in '07. My now deceased buddy and I went and had a ball. That was the last one he was able to go to. In the last few years, I've been going to fewer meets as I have too much trouble with my hips and legs, they just don't hold up long enough anymore. That being said, I still want to go to Chickasha, but I just haven't been able to get it worked out yet, something always comes up. I like going to swap meets as much for the hunt as finding something I can use. It's like going mushroom huntin' for me. One thing about the meet that might help(or make it worse), is something that I saw one swap meet do. They had a minimum time that the vendors could leave. It seemed to help that meet, but then again, it might turn off some of the vendors and they wouldn't show up at all. Just sayin'. Still hope to make it next year. Dave
tom carnegie said it all
Chickasha is the most fun parts meet of all. Hershey is so dang big, and days of hiking to find T parts!
Little meet and concentrated. I like it fine. Been going since 2005 and missed '08 and '12.
Over the years the meet HAS grown smaller, while many other local to me parts meets are the same or bigger, but all the growth is custom, rods, and muscle.
This week it seems to me Chickasha has become a Model T parts meet. Only a few orphan cars or parts. Since that is the reason I go, will continue to do so.
Sold $150 parts, bought $800, shared expenses with a buddy, fun 1200 miles ride out west, and 1200 mile ride home, still swapping (stories that is) on each way.
So for me, any 2 days is fine, weekend or weekday, rain, shine, or snow, nothing will stave me off from Chickasha!
I would be a
Well said "Chief" Dan
Tom , Mike, what are the dates of the Spokane meet? May never get to Chickasha but, as you know, I do get to Spokane from time to time (at least for turkey hunting in the spring, deer hunting in the fall). May have to come out to your swap meet with some cash in my pocket.
Spokane Swap Meet July 11-13 Spokane county fairgrounds.
How is the Grandaddy swap meet HERSHEY doing the last few years. Any changes that anyone has noticed? I have never been but just curious how its really doing.
And by the way I'll keep going to Chickasha as long as I can. I like it.
John, I've never missed a Hershey since my first one in 1970. It is HUGE! Way more T parts and cars for sale than in Chickasha. Problem is all the T parts are not in one spot. It takes from Tuesday afternoon to Friday night to cover the whole meet. That is walking at a good pace. I sell T parts and have done very well there.
Sorry I took so long to respond to this post. I read it with interest earlier today while I was home for lunch. The Chickasha Pre-War Swap Meet of 2014 has just concluded for us. We just finished driving the registration bus back out to the shop, unloaded tee shirts and put the signs away. I do feel that there are a lot of great suggestions (and complaints) here. We have updated www.pwsm.com with next years dates and information. As always, their is contact information on the website and we always welcome suggestions and constructive criticism. Feel free to email or call.
Thank you for stepping up Mike.
Here is my display at the meet. This is just so you guys that weren't there can drool without getting my carbs dirty. =) Several of them are NOS accessory carbs from my collection.
Mike, Great show, bought and sold, walked and talked, cleaned up and left. One suggestion here for us older fellas I hope you would please consider, Porta Potties spaced out around the perimeter. I kind of like the idea of Friday and Saturday show, hoping to attract more youth into the hobby. Thanks, see you next year.
A civil discussion about a show or swap meet doesn't do any good unless the sponsoring organization sees it.
Preaching to the choir seldom has any effect.
Steve wisely forwarded this thread to a proper party.
This happens at SmokStak too where I am chief moderator.
Those threads have similar results......always for the betterment of the shows.......
It sure makes show officials pay attention rather than spoken words that go in one ear and out the other.......assuming they went in at all.
I go to Chickasha to see people I normally will not see during the rest of the year. For me it's as much a social event as anything. I haul a load of rust down, get rid of most of it, then take the money and buy a load of rust to haul home. Mike, Paul and I had more chairs in our space for people to sit and visit, than stuff to sell. It's not our lively hood. There were some vendors there that before the summer is over I will do business with, but bought nothing from them there. The success of a swap meet for vendors is hard to measure because it may create new business down the road. I was disappointed the place cleared out so fast on Friday because I never did make it around to see half the spaces, but my wife would see that as a plus. It's a great place for T stuff. I think about all the people I've met there, the friends I've made that have the same disease that I have and it will keep me coming back. I started to list all the people I saw and visited with and finally decided not to list them because I know I'd leave someone out. Every time I thought I had them all another name would pop up. Hope it goes on for a long long time. Jack and John D, I know you wanted to be there, missed both of you guys, but there is next year .
One other highlight of the swap meet that I forgot to mention is seeing how much stuff Mark Friemiller can load on a trailer.
John: Good point about the future sales for the vendors that make a living at this. Stan Howe, After seeing your carbs in person I probably will be sending you a couple of my OF Strombergs to see if you can make them pretty again. I could not buy one at the meet if you had one, even if I wanted to, because of limited funds. I needed to buy what I can not find in a catalog or does not show up on e-bay very often. But now you are a option I might not have thought of without seeing your carbs in person. So sometime during my model T Speedster rebuild you will get a chance to get some of my money.
I used to attend the Chicksha swap meet from the very first one. I always found a few goddies and needed parts. I quit going 2 years ago when the meet took a turn and guys my age quit bringing early brass car parts.
More and more T parts and less and less early brass car parts, although I do own a couple of brass T's my real interest is pre 1915 brass cars(non Ford). This in no means reflects any negativity of owning or collecting Fords or parts.
Of the group of 10 plus guys that traveled with me from the west coast to Chicksha since the 1st one, only 2 bother to attend anymore. The mix of parts does not offer them the possibility of finding the bits and pieces they require.
While it may be in some way a E-bay issue I believe as guys got older it becomes to difficult to get a load of stuff up and ready for the swap meet. The issue is you load it, tow it, unload it, show it, don't sell it, reload it tow it home and unload it. You spend a huge amount of time effort fuel food and motels just to get there and back. I agree with Stan, for him not only did he spend the dollars to get there and back home but as a 1 man band when he ain't working he ain't makin' any money.
The main reason for the meet to be held on the week days is pure and simple the cost. The county wants more money for the weekend days. that's why move in is in the afternoon so they don't have to pay for an additional day. You must remember this swap meet is a for profit activity for the Erslands pure and simple. So the less expense makes more money for them. I applaud them for their hard work and effort on our behalf.
If you go back and look at the vendors that used to be there year after year, many of the older guys just don't show up anymore.
Hope to see you all in Bakersfield all stalls sold out and the weather is always beautiful in Bakersfield. Bakersfield just get bigger and better every year. Suggest you get there early and bring money 'cause the stuff is there for the buying.
Mike E. -- I'm glad to see that you're here and paying attention to what we Model T Forum folks are thinking about our experiences at the swap meet. I'm a bit disappointed to see that you are still planning on a Thur-Fri meet next year, rather than a Fri-Sat meet as several of us have suggested.
I know that these things need to be planned well in advance and that those dates probably were chosen before receiving any input from this group. But I hope that your group will reconsider the viability of having the meet with no weekend date. I know from having been there for several years that Saturday was dropped from the scheduling of the 3-day meet because of non-attendance. But I think that was because it is a relatively small meet, and vendors thought their sales had ended by then. I agree with having a 2-day meet, but I think you still should include Saturday, since some folks who would like to attend the meet still need to work during the week.
The Chickasha meet is my favorite of all, since I'm interested in only Model T's. So I will continue to attend as long as the meet exists, whatever you choose for days of the week. But not everyone has the luxury of attending an event like this during the work week.
Thank you for your consideration.
Sadly, I have seen the Turlock meet turn from a goldmine to a wasteland concerning T parts over the years. Bakersfield is always a good one, and I will be there dragging a big bag of money to spend on parts
I have heard you left coast guys talk about the Bakersfield meet for some time, and I'd love to attend it one of these years. I'm interested only in Model T's and, like Chickasha, there seems to be a lot of T parts there. But Chickasha is only about a 5-hour drive for me, and Bakersfield would be about 3 times that in my car, 4 times that in my truck. You've gotta' REALLY want to go there to drive that far.
I know lots of folks drive that far to attend the Chickasha meet; let's hope they continue to do so.
I mostly go to Chickasha to see old friends and visit. The problem I see is that it is usually easier for us older guys to take time off during the week to go to a swap meet. Most of the young folks that will take over the hobby from us are working during the week and could go on Saturday, but there is no Chickasha for them. Sad... The last sale Mike made was Friday morning to a well dressed teenaged kid wearing a suit coat and he bought a choke wire for his T. I would like to see more of that. Just saying....
One more complaint that I didn't mention was the lack of correct marking of indoor spaces. We arrived so that we were two rows to the right of the main road. By 4 PM, that put us about the middle of the line. I knew what my space numbers were and that the swap meet rows were labeled SA,SB,SC, etc, starting on the far side of the south building from the staging lanes. Unfortunately, the labeling stopped with SG. No SH, SI, SJ, etc
We entered the building at SA and continued until the lettering stopped and then had to guess where SN was. Nobody seemed to know for sure where SN was. When I thought I had found it, there was a vendor in two of the spaces. I told him that I thought he might be in two of my spaces and he said "no" that he had had the same spaces for years. Because my driver couldn't park inside and block the aisles, he drove out of the building while I sought help. I had to go to the bus at the entrance and Mike Ersland Jr. helped me find my spaces.
By that time (about 6 PM), everyone was in the south building and we were the last vendor to set up. To make things worse, a vendor's one ton, crew cab, dually truck was parked blocking all my spaces and couldn't move because he was blocked in by vendor traffic in front of him. SN wasn't the only aisle not correctly marked. While Mike Ersland Jr. was with me, he noticed a swap meet space that wasn't marked with numbers or letters!
He apologized for the lack of marking, but by the time everyone moved and I parked my U Haul trailer; set up tables; and unloaded it was too late to organize and sort things on the tables: $5 table, $10 table, $20 table, etc., plus people wouldn't let us use the time that we had. They kept wanting to do business which slowed us down. So Thursday morning when the meet was supposed to start, we still weren't ready, and once again people wouldn't leave us alone to organize. I finally had to get a little rude and cover each table with a tarp as a table got organized and tell people that we weren't open for business until everything was organized and the tarps were off! All of this could have been avoided if the rows had been marked correctly and we hadn't had to pull out of line forcing us to the very back of the line. The aisles were so crowded Wednesday night that we couldn't maneuver our 6 X 12 foot trailer and short wheelbase pickup into a 40 foot long space without unhooking and putting a floor jack under the trailer tongue to move it sideways.
If I were a regular at Chickasha, I would have known the layout and how to handle the situation, but the unpreparedness of the swap meet staff, didn't help. In all probability, I will not be back to Chickasha. I sold most of my big, heavy parts and can Ebay and ship the rest, if I don't sell them at Texas swap meets that are closer, the local metal recycler loves to see me and pays reasonable and on the spot. Like other posters have said, "its not about profit; its about seeing friends". Just like humans, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The same is true for Ford parts: ashes to ashes; rust to rust!
Mike W., Long Beach is supposed to be good, too, but I've got the same distance problem you've got, plus both of my T's are nearly completion.
Has anyone read the info page at the Chickasha web page? Says vendor set up next year will be a 8:00 AM Thursday morning. ???? Dan
This year the Long Beach Swap Met is a one day affair, SATURDAY 26 July and buyer admission is FREE to the at Los Alamitos Race Course.
And its still a Thursday and Friday meet? Well, the change might make some difference for the good, as it would cut down on 'insider' trading and selling in the staging lanes. On the minus side, lots of people will be arriving in the dark and sleeping in their vehicles overnight, and set up, once inside, may keep vendors from being open to sell until Noon!
I suppose that change was to cut down on the selling on Wednesday in the parking lot. It should be a real circus when the crowd hits the gate at 8:00 a.m. Thursday while the vendors are all trying to get set up. I don't think they've thought that through very well.
I would be willing to bet there will be a lot of things changing hands in the parking lot off to the west of the Fairgrounds on Wednesday.
I have to agree with what most of u are saying, if set up is thursday at 8 am lots of stuff sold wed. west of the fair grounds, between the vendors and buyers thrusday morn will be the biggest cluster f**k u will ever see, of ppl trying to get in and park, buy, ppl going by on the hwy going to work, accidents waiting to happen. Since all the flyers are already printed for next year, I don't see that they could have changed the dates now anyways, so I will give them that on not changing the days, maybe Saturday would be ok if u lived within a half day driving , but over that, nope it isn't going to help, ppl hate coming home late sunday, and having to be at work Monday morn, or taking Monday off, not talking about the old ppl that don't work or don't need to work, but the younger crowd, that needs to work, sorry to say that's not a large portion of my sales. there is nothing that is going to work for everyone, just need to please the most ppl. one thing tho, the spaces on the blacktop narrowed down, its hard for the sellers to walk along the trailers when 2 are parked side by side to look at parts. If u took out all the pickups and motorhomes parked in the spaces, it would look very empty, its going down hill, but I think the internet has a lot to do with it, when costs are so high. costs me roughly 10% to sell on ebay, way more exposure, sell all over the world. and ppl keep trying to raise the price im asking, in a swap meet, they try to cut u down in price, and im even guilty of that. the world is a changing, so will swap meets.
After spending time at the meet talking with Susie, I think the idea is to encourage folks to make it more of a full two-day meet rather than a day and a half. She said she'd be happy to pay the money for Saturday like they used to do, if folks (vendors) would just stick around. Lots of buyers--the younger buyers, the guys we need more of--can't get off work and are limited to weekend swaps. I do remember walking around the half-empty place on Saturday and having guys who just got there angrily tell me they drove all night for nothing.
Chickasha is a unique venue. They are strict about keeping it that way, hence no post-war stuff, no purses, no Vette T-shirts. It deserves as much support as we can all give it. If shoppers are buying, the vendors will be there; if vendors are there to sell, the buyers will come. As the cost of attending rises, don't stay home, get smarter: carpool; share a hotel room; share a trailer; haul parts for gas money; eat only 2 meals each day; drive at 60 instead of 70. Et cetera.
It seems like their main concern with the change of setup time for next year is to stop pre sales. Why should they care or try to control it. That's not the problem. It will never be controlled. It is part of the swap meet. If a person wants the good deals, get there before daylight as we do. I understand why they dropped Saturday, and went to a 2 day meet. People were leaving early. But the day that was dropped should have been Wednesday. Have setup Thursday at 4:00 as normal and Friday be the main day and load out on Saturday. Ask the vendors to not load out till 3:00 or 3:30 unless an emergency. Still would be a 2 day meet and have some weekend time. The other thing I do not understand is why they keep us out of the line up area till a certain time. It worked better when we just lined up as we showed up. If you are reading this Joe, It is confusing and dangerous the way it is now. And a stampede at 8:00 AM is not the answer. I am always in line just before daylight. I always see some near misses in the way we have to bunch up in the side roads and parking lot to the west. I think the way you use the strings and line us up in the field is OK and has cured a lot of the confusion we used to have. It would take 1 or 2 people to be there before daylight just to make sure the cars go into the strings correctly. It may sound like a lot of complaining but I am not trying to run the show or even want too. These are just my suggestions from observations made from years of attending the swap meet. Chickasa Pre War is the best game in town, We appreciate the work everyone does to put it on. Please do the best you can to keep it going.
They limit the lineup as they do because of the fees they pay; they don't have permission from the county to use the fairgrounds until 4:00 since that's what they have paid for.
Susie said the highway dept. forbade lining up in the road on the west side due to the road blocking that was occurring.
All you got to do is buy the place one day ahead and as venders get there,let them move in. No parking lot crowd then and the meet is on!
Yes, but at $15K per day that's a costly accommodation.
My experience with working with fair grounds and fair boards to rent facilities for auctions -- which I have probably done 100 times in a dozen or more different towns -- is that the weekend is more expensive than the week days.
If I were running the Chickasha meet - which I don't and don't want to - would be that the main gate opens at 8 AM Friday for vendors, set up time for vendors is at noon and the swap meet opens to the public at 3 or 4 in the afternoon and runs until 7. Open again at 7 in the morning and close at 6 PM Saturday night. Everybody and everything gone by 10 PM Saturday night. Pay two day's rent and get it done. It's a one day swap meet anyway, this would give 3 or 4 hours Friday night, and a good day Saturday, anybody can't or doesn't want to be there doesn't have to show up. People can load up and get out of there in time to still get on the road a ways toward home on Saturday night, buyers that want to be there Friday can be there Friday evening, the vendors can still do all their parking lot trading and have time to set up before the general crowd gets in. I don't see the need for a three day meet, there isn't that much to look at. My first concern would be to have merchandise to sell and the very next one would be to have non-vendor buyers to buy it. I don't think there is any question that having it on a weekend is going to bring more buyers. Having it in the middle of the week is a pretty elitist deal.
As always, your mileage may vary. As I said before, I will come to see my friends, visit, do a shake and howdy run, visit my friends, pass out some cards and screwdrivers, visit, try to buy a few things to offset the cost of the trip, go to dinner, visit and call it good.
For my plans, which from here on out include going to Bryant, Texas on Saturday and going to the Heart of Texas Records show on Saturday night - which was the original plan this year - having it on Thursday and part of Friday is good. For the overall general well being of the meet and the future success, I think it needs to be a Saturday meet.
As far as the cost of renting the grounds. Let's just say there are 200 spaces. They rent for fifty bucks a space. That's ten grand. If they rent for sixty bucks that's an extra two grand. That would pay the rent for Saturday if it's like any fairgrounds I've ever seen. If you can rent another 50 spaces to vendors because it is now on a weekend, that is another three grand. If you lose another 20 vendors next year that is twelve hundred in lost revenue. It pencils out in my world.
Right now they are paying three days rent. Pay two days rent and put the money from the extra day you are paying for now toward the rent for Saturday. That's what I'd do.
For those who are rich enough or retired enough, the days don't matter. But I agree Saturdays would be better for those who have to work during the week. When I had the sign business I would stay Friday evening and pack up Saturday morning. There were always people who showed up looking for a meet, disappointed to find out that it was all over. Occasionally I even had a few Saturday morning sales, maybe because there was nothing else to buy.
RV, it can't cost fifteen thousand dollars a day to rent that place, can it???
well Thursday is fine as I don't have to sell my stuff!!! I will shop all day and set up late Thursday afternoon. bigger 1.00 table next year. charley
Stan is right. This years swap meet was utterly disappointing. I have owned T's since 1982 and have been coming to Chickasha off and on for the last 10 years. This year was probably my last visit. I live in France and if you guys think it's hard to justify the expense of gas etc to get you there in the pursuance of your hobby then consider the costs flying over the pond, car rental, accommodation fuel and meals that I and other Brits like me have to shell out only to find when we get here that at the end of day one, vendors are starting to pack up to go home. Perhaps you may feel that it would be better if we stay away so that you keep stuff in the US of A, but over the years we've spent a lot of money on our hobby in your backyard and if you want this swap meet to continue and flourish -- things will have to change. If vendors can't be bothered to give two full selling days to the meet then there won't be any customers bothering to come. So many more people will visit if you include a full Saturday, they have to work during the week. It's not rocket science! Come on guys --- get it sorted!!
Stan, don't quote me because it's certainly possible that I misunderstood, but that's what I heard Susie tell Jon, Tyler, and me the cost for Saturday either would be or was. I got the impression that it was more than the cost of a weekday. I also recall her saying that if there was sufficient interest and commitment that it could be done.
Kenneth, I don't think anyone said stay away. Costs you incur getting to the meet is your choice.
The people who own the fair grounds and the local Chamber of Commerce need to look at the influx of money that venue brings to their city.A little assist on their part could help revitalize a lot of things.
RV, I dunno, but I can't imagine it costs Fifteen thousand dollars to rent a public facility for one day. If it does, in a state as big as Oklahoma and a county as big as Grady and with half a dozen other good sized towns in the area, there are other venues available. I don't really see any reason why the south building inside spaces are necessary unless it is for security, but they are open at night anyway. I don't see much of anything in that building that couldn't be sold outside. The north building is pretty big but this year was not more than half full, so a 12,500 sq ft building would accommodate every vendor who was in that building. There are a dozen other towns in Grady County, lots more in surrounding towns, maybe it needs to be in El Reno or Lawton instead of Chickasha.
It is interesting to note -- and I just wasted half an hour on google and the various sites about Grady County and Chickasha -- that there is very little information about the swap meet tied to Chickasha. There was no mention of it in the city events for March 2013 or 2014. Nothing about all the motel rooms it rents, etc.
There is also no rate card that I could find for the fairgrounds or any mention of how much rent it brought in during the one to five years of County Commissioner meeting minutes I glanced over.
Well, it's their deal. Since it is a for profit company that runs it it has to run like a business. I'm sure they have a lot of time and energy in making it work.
Jack, from what I could find of the Chamber of Commerce on their Grady County/Chickasha web sites, they don't even know the swap meets exists. They probably would rather it would go away.
I'm off to the shop but again, I can't imagine it costs $15,000 more to rent the facility on a Saturday than a Friday. I've rented a lot of buildings for auctions over the years and it gets pretty expensive so maybe they do charge that much. I'd be buying a piece of land and some porta potties if it was costing me $25,000 to rent that place.
Well it was 4700miles round trip for me and by the time I add the cost of having a new key made for my truck because I lost mine and forgot to bring the spare it all added up to $1,600.00 I never make enough profit to pay expenses but that's not the point. I go because I like it and I get to see friends I don't often see otherwise. At least two thirds of my sales were pre arranged and by the way I did some actual trading.
With the set up next year being thursday morning I probably won't be as vendor as I have to leave thursday evening and it just wouldn't be worth the hassel. I like the way it has been the last few years with wed line up, wed evening set up and all day thursday to shop while my wife tends the space. Oh, and I got a good deal on five new 34x4 tires, found a couple of t parts I wanted and got a nice brass tail light that matches the side lites and head lites for my 07 rambler model 24. The tail lite alone was worth the trouble (not the expense).
Kenneth may have been complaining (in a way) about the costs of getting to Chickasha from France, but he was tying to that, the fact that it is pretty expensive (and disappointing) when you travel that far, expecting to have two good days to buy at a swap meet, only to get there and have one good day, and that is assuming that he arrived on Thursday, not Friday. On Friday, some vendors were pulling out early that morning, and by 9 AM, the race to leave was on.
If you didn't shop on Wednesday (which wasn't supposed to be a day open to the public) or Thursday, You wasted your time and money going, regardless whether you came from Japan, Ecuador, Alaska, Washington, Maine, Great Britain, or France. If I lived in France, I'd have to be independently wealthy for my other half to let me make a trip to the U.S. for a swap meet. I'm sure that if I could afford it, that she could think of a lot of other places that she would rather vacation at.
Some posters have said that they didn't go to make money, but to see friends that they only see once a year. That's great if you are in that financial position. I, myself, didn't go to make a profit (and if you subtract the money I spent on parts purchases), I went in the hole, $1000.00. My main reason for going was to get rid of some stuff that is costing me $460.00 per month at storage facilities to store, and because of the shortness of the meet and the lack of retail buyers, I came home with half of what I took and have ten times that much stuff that I didn't even take, so my mission was not close to being accomplished. At the rate, Chickasha produces buyer traffic, and only being a one day retail buyer meet, I could attend for the next 10 years to clean out my storage.
I guess if I can't sell the parts on Ebay, I'll have do what my wife told me to do, "Sell that JUNK to the junkman, and be done with it".
Well I had a great time, I RAN OUT OF MONEY Ok so I'm on a fixed income because I retired last December. It was very tough to come the last couple of years and had I not retired I would not have been able to come this year because of work.....the way we were grouped together for secluding of vacation was bad because of consolation of personal. I was now having to deal with a fellow employe 200 miles away, if he was wanting off I could not have the same day off. You would think after 32 years it would not be a problem but it was. Not to turn this into a work bitch session, but I found many parts I was needing and some I wanted, many more but my wallet is a bit thin. Cant wait for next year.
Most folks have time and money, but not time and money at the same time.
Well said, Ralph, it's all a matter of tradeoffs....
I think the interest is there for Model T's and A's and parts for them.
There are more catalogs from vendors these days and thicker catalogs for them that I can remember.
Suppliers making reproduction parts and rebuilding this and that for T's and other old Fords are quite a few.
And if anybody noticed Chickasha wasn't advertised in the Vintage Ford magazine. Anybody catch that? Was it in any other magazines or online old car adds? What about FordBarn?
What is being advertised in the Vintage Ford is the Pate Swap meet here in Texas. Pate is big and they promote their meet. They were passing out fliers at Chickasha. That's OK but just wondering.
There is probably less T parts at Pate but they were promoting it. And there wasn't any T's or A's in their add.
Its a matter of promotion, getting the vendors together, scheduling and working TOGETHER to sell as much as possible. But maybe that's to easy.
Stan Having 2 inside buildings is very important. The weather at Chickasha can be terriable. We have been lucky for three years in a row. I have been there when it was 8 degrees and snowing. I think a notice to all the vendors to try and not load or leave till about 3:00 on whatever the last day is would help. Put a letter in with the stickers stating the problems of leaving early are causing. Most of the vendors (not all) would understand. We start loading early on Friday but it is the camping stuff and not parts. We useally start putting up the parts about 2.30 and try to drive the truck in about 3:00 or 3:30.
The North building was so empty by 1:30 on Friday that two vendors were able to back their trucks and closed trailers to their stands to load up. The parking lot on the railway side had less than a dozen cars when I left at 2 pm again on Friday.
I was very disappointed with the number of vendors at the meet, especially on the second day.
On balance, it was not worth the 2700 mile round trip.
Garry, I never complain about the cost of getting to Chickasha. That's down to the individual wherever you live, but I look forward to the swap meet through the year and if vendors are going to keep cutting it short, I cannot justify the cost of a round trip(for me) of some 9000 plus miles. Anything less than a two full day meet will condemn this to becoming a 'local' event in the future. The knock on effects of that for Chickasha motels/business's and the town in general would be significant. There is good stuff to be found at Chickasha with some very professional vendors and there is also a huge amount of rubbish. Vendors with good stuff have good sales. The others need a kick up the backside.
Kenneth, I think the proof of reality on Chickasha has been demonstrated in this thread. There are a lot more attendees that feel the way, you, Stan, Tony, Mike, Dale, and I feel about Chickasha being a one and one half day meet (Wed. afternoon and Thursday) if you stretch it to include all of Thursday. If the swap meet is going to continue to cater to vendors only, by eliminating the weekend, then it will be a vendor's wholesale swap meet. If they would have it on the weekends (at least on Saturday), then some younger retail buyers (not vendors) might have a chance.
Terry, Thanks for your support. Next year I'll try to get to Bakersfield (if I can afford it). Hopefully, vendors will bring saleable stuff AND want to sell it. Leaving so early at Chickasha shows an indifference to customers that astounds me!
How much is the table fee for the Pre War Meet? The gun show held in the same month is 45 bucks for an 8 foot table.
Let's say the rental fee is 15K for the place, at 45 dollars a table you'd need 334 of them to pay the rental fee.
I have been going to Chickasha for at least the last ten years. Due to its central location it attracts from all over , East Coast, West Coast and most of the rest of the USA and other countries . It is to me much better than any of the meets I,ve attended which has been several.
It is a four day affair to many of us. Two days of long drives and two days of selling. Most vendors are hobbyists like the folks on forum. They inventory their T parts, which seem to grow as time passes. They pick out things that they will never use and load them in the limited space of a pick up bed. If the bulk of their parts are sold by Thursday afternoon and their buying needs are met, why would they want to delay a long trip back home.
I had a great time this year selling a few parts and seeing friends that I don't see until mid March. I plan to be back next year and hope to see Don Meadows, Bob Bergstead, John Danuser and Jack Davon whose large spots were vacant due to illnesses. Chickasha is the best and the Erslands do a great job
Warren, it was a two day swap meet, only if you count Wednesday before 4 PM and Friday morning; as some vendors were loading up and leaving as soon as I got there from my motel in El Reno at 8 AM. By 10 AM, you could have raced go carts in the south building and I'm told the north building was even more vacant.
Just because you drive from Knoxville, you can not count driving days as swap days. Did you do any buying or selling, or visiting friends (other than anyone who might have been in your vehicle) on your traveling days? I, only had to drive from Houston but even if I don't count the day I spent loading before the swap meet and the day I spent unloading when I got home, and just counted my driving days, I was gone four days, too, but I sure as heck didn't do any selling or meeting forum friends on those days (with the exception of George Clipner of L.A.) who drove with me.
The only other year that I have been to Chickasha was probably 25 years ago, It was a full three day meet then, as vendors came to sell and make some money, instead of just coming to shoot the breeze with some Forum friends.
I didn't come to Chickasha this year with the intention of getting rich. I came with the intention of getting rid of some parts that are costing me $400. per month storage, and I sold many parts for less than I could have gotten on Ebay, based on recent sales, and less than I paid for them, in a lot of cases. I'm going to try the Petit Jean AR. swap meet in June. If I don't clear out my storage by then. I'm just going to take a lot of things to the local scrap yard. If I can't sell parts for somewhere near what I have in them, I'll be darned if I'm going to give them away at a swap meet. I'm at the point where I'd rather see it crushed and melted down.
While I am a relative newcomer to the Chickasha swap meet, I think it's a great event. This year was my second year and both years I purchased parts on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
For many, "Chickasha" is much more than a swap meet.
In addition to finding much needed parts, I had the opportunity to socialize with many fellow Ford letter car enthusiasts. The Early Ford Registry members arrived from near and far, including England.
I also bumped into a fellow brass car enthusiast that I hadn't seen in 40 years.
The private collections in OKC that were opened in the evenings to those at the swap meet were most interesting.
I am sorry to hear that some were disappointed. However, notwithstanding some of the sentiments expressed in this thread, the vast majority of the many individuals I spoke with at the meet had a great time.
I am planing on attending next year's event and looking forward to doing so.
Spaces are $45 before October 1 and $50 after. I haven't been there as a vendor since I sold the sign business ten years ago, but I think I'll take the plunge and get back into attempted selling again next year. This is strictly a hobby for me, and if I sell enough to pay my expenses I'll be a happy camper. That said, I think starting a day later to include Saturday for the working folks would probably be a plus. I suppose next year is already set, but maybe Mike will consider that change for the following year.
As I've said half a dozen times on this thread, I'll probably be there, too. Just not as a vendor the way I was this year. I can afford to go like most buyers do, for a couple days, check out the booths and spaces, score a few deals, visit with friends from all over the world -- this year I saw friends from England, lots of US states and some from unknown places -- eat too much and have a great time. I met a bunch of people I've done carbs for, a couple guys I've sold things on ebay, a couple guys I've done Ruckstells for, a lot of people just from the hobby in general and a few people who know me from auctions. Had one guy tell me the whole story of Herman and Frieda just like I'd never read it, saw Tim Kelly from the New London to New Brighton and some other people who were on it, too. I bought a new Prus cast iron head, have the O'Reilly Multi Lift head in my garage covered in drool, came home with some goodies and ate way too many ribs and too much Prime Rib. All I'm saying is that it isn't profitable for me to go back as a vendor with 300 lbs of brass carbs, driving all the way from Montana, 4 days of hammering down the Interstate -- two going and two coming. I can fly cheaper, the motel is the same price during the meet whether you vend or buy, you can rent a car for a few bucks in OKC and fly home and be home in four hours instead of two days and two more nights in a motel. Nobody is saying it isn't a good time and a lot of people do very well as vendors. I wanted to find out how I would do with high end brass carbs this year and I found out. Not much market. I didn't intend for this to turn into a gripe session about Chickasha. I think they would do better to include a weekend but from my standpoint it's like everybody's business. It's theirs to run, they can do what they want. If it succeeds and continues -- good for them. If it folds up -- guess I'll be going to Bakersfield. It's closer anyway.
As usual; well said, Stan. People have to look at a swap meet from a vendor's point of view. After all, it the vendor's weren't there, there'd be no parts to buy. MHO
Terry Ill be at Petit Jean in June. Spaces K5 and K6. Been setting up there about 30 years. Do you have spaces yet. They may already be sold out so I would check as soon as you can. Hope to see you there. Bring a lot of stuff. Try to have all of it priced with stickers or tags on the parts themselves before you leave. It will greatly reduce the confusion and stress levels. I think by you not having the individual parts priced is what added to the stress of your setup at Chickasha. Just a suggestion from a long time seller. Remember that you can not sell it all at one or two meets. If you sell 1/2 of it, each time you set up at a meet, at a reasonable price, you did very well. Do not scrap it. At least sell it to another collector or friend for scrap prices if you have to. Looking forward to seeing you and others in June at Petitt Jean .... Stan and other vendors. There is another side of going to the swap meet as a vendor not really touched on. A friend of mine (who also goes to Chickasha as a seller) used to work for Toro. He was a sales rep. and accountant for them. They would set-up at trade shows, fairs, ect. He said they "never" made any money at the shows. They would haul tons of stuff, take a couple days to be there, have a few employees on payroll, ect. Every year it was always at a loss. Then every year the "bean counters" would always have a meeting to try and eliminate the trade shows. It would always be decided to continue the shows and fairs as it was always decided the , advertising, good will, showing of the quality of there product, ect always outweighed the loss. That would only apply to the vendors like Stan and his carbs,, The Coil man, and others with new products or services offered. For vendors like Stan with his carbs, a table with a couple of carbs, some literature, business cards, ect is probably all he needs. But guys we do need you to keep coming or how do we get to know you or your products... And Chickasha is still the best game in town for most of us....
It is a good game in town but in terms of running a business, which is what I am doing, I am my own bean counter and have to weigh the value of attending a trade show as opposed to staying home and working in the shop and listing what I have for sale on my web sites. This last year I had about 5,000 hits on my web site. It cost me about $50 with world wide exposure. The trip to Chickasha took ten days, cost well over $1000 and I had about 100 people who actually came by my table. At the most. I still think my time and money are better spent to fly down, do a little business exposure, BS with a lot of my friends, buy what I can ship in a Priority Mail box or two and fly home instead of dragging a load of stuff and standing there for three days trying to sell it to people who think everything should be dirt cheap because it's a swap meet.
I've been in business for about 50 years and still believe in what a wealthy old friend of mine told me when I quit teaching school and went in the auction business 32 years ago this spring. "Take care of your business or you won't have a business to take care of." I've done pretty well with it so far. I work a lot and try to be fair, don't give anything away I don't have to and run my business the way I want and need to run it to make a return on my investment in time and money. I'm still running my auction business -- 32 years & 401 auctions under my belt. Still in the auction business and still on the road playing music, working in the shop countless hours every day, still have both my ranches and am still working for Montana Public Radio. I just spent an hour on the phone with a guy from Arizona who is buying a baler I have for sale, with spring coming my machinery business is picking up and I am spending time on the phone and emails about tractors, swathers, balers, etc., -- either selling or buying inventory.
I have so much going on that I have to pick and choose where I spend my time and my money. Tomorrow I'm helping at the High School Rodeo here in town. It's fun but it takes time and will cost money before it's over. I'm sponsoring a couple of the buckles for the kids. I don't have time or money to fool with things that I don't enjoy or don't make me money.
I'm glad other people don't care if they make money going to a swap meet or not and can afford to just give away their stuff, I'm not there for that and I've never had anybody just give me anything at a swap meet because they weren't there to make money.
Everybody else can run their business and their life their way. All I've said on this thread is that to me it is not worth dragging a bunch of inventory down the road for two days and stand there for three days not selling anything and pack it up and spent two days dragging it home. If it's is worth it to you, load the trailer and leave in time to get there early. It isn't worth it to me. I have better things to do with the 4 days of travel time and all the time it took me to put away inventory after I got home.
I have been on the phone since 7:30 this morning, am going to go take a shower and go to breakfast, have a guy coming to look at a tractor at noon, going to the last hour of an auction 100 miles away this afternoon and then am playing with the band at a little concert venue tonight. Off I go.
well I had a great meet selling & buying, if you bring what they want it will sell. plain & simple.charley
What a lot of people want is a box of rusty junk carbs for about ten bucks. I like those, too. That's not what I sell. So I don't bring them. That's what I like to buy from people who do bring them. Especially people who don't know what they have and what it's worth. The other side of that is the people who have a $25 carb and think it's worth $400 because they looked at my web site and saw something that looked kind of like it for $350. Some brass carbs are worth $25 and some are worth $250 and some are worth 4 or 5 times that.
I wish I had the ability to forecast what people wanted at swap meets, but I don't. Unfortunately, my parts are mainly 26-27 which won't fit or be correct on pre 26 T's. I did have some early Ford V8 parts from the years that I had 32, 34,and 40 Fords.
The parts that I sold, for the most part, sold for way less than what I thought they would bring, there or on Ebay. Bear in mind, I wasn't trying to make a big profit, but breaking even would have been nice. I don't have the time to go to swap meets, year after year, as Donnie suggested, unless someone wants to pay my $400.00/mo. storage in exchange for some parts. I am spending my retirement on storage and I thought Chickasha was the best chance that I had to unload and break even.
For the majority of the last 45 years that I have been collecting, I had my own storage in my own prefabricated building on my parents property. When my Mom died, my brother, sister and I, had to sell the property which included my storage barn which I paid for myself. For some reason it never occurred to me, back in 1970, that my parents weren't going to live forever, and I foolishly built the barn on their land, instead of buying my own. It was a hard lesson to learn and any other youngster new to the hobby should learn from my mistake. One should always plan for the future.
Back to my parts, I took some good stuff; a lot better than some rust that I see at swap meets. I had an aluminum Warford that needed nothing. I'd install it in a minute in my car if you didn't have to shorten things, so I bought a Ruxtell.I have got a space at the June Petit Jean AR. swap meet and will try again there and some small local swap meets here in Texas. I'll continue to try to sell on Ebay, which I have had a lot better luck doing. If all else fails, I'll post pictures her with my pickup full of parts when I take them to the local scrap dealer.
Terry: Glad you have a spot at Petitt Jean. Will see you there. You did have some good stuff. I bought some of it. (all at your price with no haggeling). I do understand what you are saying about storage of the parts. Storage units useally eat up the value of whats in them, if left there very long. Im in no way trying to tell you what you should do with your stuff. I just hope you can get rid of it without having to scrap it. Do you know what spaces you have at Petitt Jean. See you then ....
Donnie -- Terry will be next to us, up the hill from you. He's on J-24; We're on H-25 & 26, or thereabouts. Paul Mikeska handles our spaces, so I'm not sure of the numbers. We usually drive our T's there from Fayetteville, about 150 miles each way.
I can't imagine loading up decent car parts for the scrapper.
Probably about 10 cents a pound there.
Isn't there someone local that could relieve you of them for 20 cents a pound? Or whatever price you agree upon.
And help you load them up.
If I was closer, that person would be me.
Or maybe a lower rent storage?
I bought about $200 worth of parts from you at Chickasha, and so did a friend.
You won't get rid of it all in one swap meet.
When I sell at a swap meet, I see people walking out with the same parts I brought the last 5 years, but left at home this time because I thought no one needed them.
Just the way it is.
Thanks for the good deals at Chickasha.
Hopefully I can go to Petit Jean and buy some more of your parts.
I had a great time at Chickasha. I very much enjoyed visiting with other T hobbyists. I was also able to find some urgently need parts for my current project which is a 1924 Coupe. It did seem that the swap meet was somewhat smaller this year but I attribute that to the fact that some of the vendors like Bob Bergstadt and John Danuser were not able to make it for health reasons. I am already looking forward to next year's meet and look forward to seeing many of you there.
Warren Rollins and Harold Carpenter, I actually was going to come but got up about 2 weeks before Chickasha, got dizzy, passed out and fell 4 foot to the floor in a heap, bruised, sore feet swollen, passing blood wound up in the hospital 2 more days got 2 more units of blood and now 4 weeks from that fall, still have swollen ankles, and sore ness and shortness of breath, walking with a cane slowly. I sure hated to miss it, I've always gotten my tubes, flaps, wood bands etc, picked up there for my inventory and saved freight, and get to sell and see friends whom I mostly know by faces, not names, but I've been at this game for almost 60 yrs, so I sell almost daily and ship from here presently. My problem now is my supplier has quote shut down, so I don't have a catalog of parts wholesale since 2011, so I don't know whether I'm loseing $$ or making $$ until I reorder from someone else, but it's always been a hobby, and now my supplement income to a little social security. Bills are always there.
I have owned T's for 25 years. Business trapped me in a mode of Work, Work, and Work for those 25 years. At 73 I rediscovered Ts and have enjoyed this forum for a few years. Ts are the most fun to drive & work on for me because of the on line Vendors that sell all of those parts that keep the hobby alive for all.
I have a Maxwell that needs parts at times that are Swap Meet only. This means that I must wait for the next Maxwell Swap Meet to get Maxie running. The Ts get replacement (wether new or Old) within a few days.
The times are changing. Counties are running, what were for the people, rentable areas for large sums, as if breaking even is not as important as making profits. This drives people to the Internet and those Vendors will fill the void. Those of us who do not have a regular Job must respect those younger who do and schedule on a Saturday. If we don't, the internet will win all business. Counties must provide Vendors that are operating for the sake of volunteerism for charity.
Keeping prices for food and water reasonable, is a must for this type of operation. I have been renting buildings for 25 years and during the 2008 debacle saw 98% occupancy due to reasonable rents. The old Swap Meet is no more. A return to a real "Swap Meet" is the only way to save this form of business.
Even this MTFCA needs to include smaller former Swap Meet Vendors on it's Suppliers list. The only way to Save the Swap Meet is to change it.
My thoughts for what they are worth.
"every day the light at the end of the tunnel gets larger"
Good points, Cary.