The size of the meet is getting smaller. Fewer vendors for new parts. Did not see Model T Ford booth this year ? Did the date change mess up the turn-out ? Went by Thursday evening to see vendors waiting to be let in to set up. Is this city or club rules ? Seems like of extra effort for vendors. Please don't let this swap meet die as it is the main source for rare parts or valuable information for the old cars
Bill, I think the turnout was about the same this year as last year. Its hard to say one way or the other. The parking outside the gate is the fair committee rules. If we go inside before 4:00 the swap meet is charged another days rent. They do allow some of the large trailers like Coker's and consessions trailers to get in early. As to new parts vendors. They have been gone for a few years. One of the big problems is (and has been for years) is a lot of the vendors that do come, pack up on Friday and leave. I have mentioned for years that is just shooting yourself in the foot as a vendor to leave early. I wish more of the vendors would just plan on staying at least till noon Saturday. I will stay till after noon on Saturday even if Im not selling anything or not. We do start to pack up our camping stuff and food, ect. But we leave all the things for sale out till at least 1:00 on Saturday. Then we pack it up. But this year was still a good year, and I think it will take a couple years to see if the new Saturday date will help out or not. One more thing is to talk about all the good things that are still there, not harp on the bad. Because it seems like all everyone wants to talk about is how bad something is. And that does not just apply to the swap meet. Have fun and be safe .... Donnie Brown ....
For many years the gate has opened at 4:00 PM the day before the meet. It's nothing new. I believe this practice is due to the county charging for another day if the opening was earlier. Even if there were more vendors, I believe the four PM opening allows enough time for everyone to get set up.
Which Model T Ford booth did you not see? MTFCI and MTFCT were both there.
I attribute the decline in number of vendors largely to the influence of online selling. Much of what used to be sold at meets now goes to eBay and other websites. Also, some folks give up going due to the passage of time. The guy who always sold at meets when he was younger may not be up to it anymore. Others may bow out because they haven't sold enough to consider it worth the trip.
MTFCA was in the north building east side
I started going to Chickasha years ago. It was bigger then. BUT that was before the internet, less vendors with great catalogs, and social media that more people use all the time.
Another reason is a LOT of old and classic car interest is in the cars of the 50's thru 70's and yes in the 80's.
There are LOTS of classic car and car rebuilding shows on TV and no car shows that deal with T's, A's and etc.
I was at Chickasha 2 Years ago and had a great time, saw lots of T parts and got some good deals.
And after reading a few comments on the forum then the impression was given that were less vendors, parts and so on. I didn't get that impression at all.
All I can say is that by the comments and pics of parts that's been on the forum this week it looks good to me as always.
T's will always have a fan base. I'm one of them.
I don't think it was any smaller this year than last. Several years ago it was bigger, but as has been mentioned, that's probably because of online selling. I liked the Friday-Saturday change and think it made a better meet. In years past when it was Thurs.-Fri., lots of vendors left late Thurs. There still were plenty of vendors this year on Saturday. Not all of them, but still plenty of good parts choices.
I went to Chickasha back in the early 90's. It was glorious.
I went this year expecting to be sorely disappointed but I wasn't. There was a lot there, especially for Model T's.
I think the swapmeet was slightly larger this year than last year and the Friday/ Saturday schedule is better in that it allows the local and regional people that may have to work on the week days the opportunity to attend on Saturday ...I did see more young familys this year than I remember from last year ...maybe if the format stays Friday/Saturday AND vendors stay till 12:00 on Saturday the crowds will pick up ...always an optimist...gene french
The grass lot was definitely more full than last year. The South building seemed a little thinner.
I would guess there was more vendors than last year.
One reason the south building seemed thinner is the absence of Howell's Sheet Metal this year and last. They had a string of spaces where there is now a huge bare spot, which can be seen in Steve J's panoramic view in another thread.
Mike: The whole east wall in the South building only had maybe 3 vendors on it.
All you guys need to come to Luray and then on to Strasburg. Two Pre War meets in one week. Where else can you do that. Dan
With all the empty spaces, I wonder why they don't just move all the vendors indoors?
Jerry, two related reasons. They wouldn't all fit inside. There are too many of them, and the inside spaces are smaller.
Not only did Howell's skip, but also Wallace Wade Tires. No Johnson wheels for at least a couple of years. I think Steve Johnson has retired or cut way back. Bob Bergstadt hasn't come since his business was sabotaged, but Bill Devine has at least partially replaced what he used to bring. (That's a guess. I don't know how much stuff is in the Birdhaven trailer.)
the north building would have fit in the south one no problem. then maybe less rent.i dont like the north one. to picky. this was my 40 th year i might be back, still up in the air. charley
Wallace Wade Tires is out of business.
With apologies to Mark Twain, the reports of Chickasha's demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Because I have to man my spaces myself, I can't get out and about much, so I depend on hearing what visitors to my spaces have to say. Only one fellow reported one vendor's deep unhappiness and vows never to return. Everyone else I spoke with seemed pretty happy, and agreed that the Friday/Saturday venue was an improvement.
One new event this year was the "Vendor's Appreciation Dinner" in the Community Building. This was held from about 3:30 to 5:30. Most of the vendors had left by then, but it was a good time of informal fellowship and some fine eats, including the best oatmeal raisin cookies I've ever had in my life. The local Cub Scouts served as waiters and did a bang-up job, repeatedly visiting all the diners and offering to carry away dirty plates and bring more food, especially more cookies, which I had to turn down. The spirit was willing but the flesh was too much.
I sat with Mike Ersland at the dinner and was treated to the full history of the meet. Their biggest gripe, and the one they hear about most often from the attendee/customers, is the vendors leaving early. They're trying to do something about that, something which I'm not at liberty to reveal, but if it goes through would be a big change and, I think, a very attractive one.
See y'all next year.
We were in the north building and thought that the meet was a bit larger than last year's meet. My son, grandson and son-in-law (all Model T owners) came to the meet and found some great treasures. I like this swap meet because buyers come from all over the country as the meet is centrally located. We will be going to next year's meet and look forward to seeing all of our Chickasha "friends". Russ Furstnow
I used to be a marketing manager for a large chemical company that would do many trade shows a year, for what it's worth.
One of the contract rules, was no leaving early. If you wanted to pack up your exhibit and close down shop, that was your choice, but NOTHING was leaving the building until after the indicated time. Safety and security were main reasons, NOT attendees satisfaction.
And one of the things that the annual convention of another hobby is trying is to schedule other like interest groups into charing the space or hosting their own event at the same time. The crossover of the two related interests generates more traffic and more vendor rental revenue.
Military collectible and a gun show works well. Prewar auto parts and antiques or quilts to appeal to other demographics. Prewar autos and possibly tractors or steam engines, etc., Just food for thought.
I've never been, but it seems this year, the posts and threads have been much more positive. Maybe all the forum griping is directed towards the OCF.
They could offer the venders that stay for the Saturday night dinner first choice of all the spots for next year.
As Robert says, things sound more positive this year. Kind of thinking I'll go again next year. Time to get back there maybe.
Glad to hear all of the positive comments, sounds like I need to plan to go next year.
Most of the spaces that are taken, are spaces someone has had for years. Moving them or taking their spaces is what caused some vendors to leave. The thing that caused most of the spaces to be taken away and a vendor needed to move somewhere else, was because of the construction. The construction has been going on for years. First it was a new North building, then a new South building, then parking lot changes in front of the North building moved more vendors, Then parking lot changes between and to the east side of the buildings moved some more, and now the new rodeo arena moved people again. Then I think this year they moved the food vendors inside the south building moving some more people. Other than the food vendors location, all the other moving of people was not caused by the Erslands, or swap meet. It was all the results of the Fair Committee's decisions, that the Erslands have no control over. What we need is more vendors, who like myself and my two friends come to the swap meet, not caring if we make any money or not. We are there for the love of the hobby, and just have a good time. If we make something OK, that was a good day (or days). I know that is something that everyone can not do, or even want to do. I have tons of parts, and I know lots and lots of folks like me who have tons and tons of parts. Most of my stuff has been paid for with sales long ago. So I do not need to make a killing on it. Hell I could give most of it away and still be OK. So all you folks who have more parts than you will ever use in your lifetime. Throw a bunch of it in the back of a pickup. rent a space or two, and come planning to stay all the way till afternoon Saturday. (no matter what the weather forecast is) That is the best thing that could happen to this meet and maybe save it. Even if you do not make anything, the fun is well worth it. I know and can attest to the fun part of the meet.... I have been going since 1986 .... .... and Ill keep going till Im too weak to make the trip anymore .... have fun and be safe Donnie Brown ...
they took mine for food vendors last 2 years this year for golf cart, i wont bring anything next year if i cant get the old spaces back. charley
This is my 6th(?) year at Chickasha. Unlike last year, I heard no complaints from other vendors this year. I think most realized that maybe the swap meet is starting to rebound. There were a number of suggestions presented to the Erslands last year by many vendors. Some of the more visible changes made this year include the date change back to Fri-Sat, another was the addition of 2 (maybe 3?) ATM machines on-site. I think one way to keep vendors (and buyers) around longer is to not open the gates for setup until 5:00 or 6:00pm on Thursday with no admittance to the grounds unless you're in a vehicle with a booth windshield sticker. Maybe, even better.......... ..............How about a 6:00am opening on Friday morning for booth setup. More importantly, there should be no field within town for an earlier Thursday day "swap meet" at some parking lot or field. Vendors can plan ahead for arriving on Thursday afternoon or evening instead of Wednesday afternoon or evening.
Also, can more vendors personally do their bit by boosting the swap meet through their own social media, websites, clubs and even mentioning it with customers over the phone?
See you next year at Chickasha.
Steve, A later entrance time would only make it harder on the vendors. It is 10:00 or later by the time we get set up, and we do not bring the "tonnage" some folks do. We are worn out by the time we get set up. I have been swap meeting for over 40 years. You can not control early sales. Never have and never will be able to do it. If a person does not like someone buying something before they get there. Then all I can say is get there earlier, like a lot of us do. My swap meet selling starts the minute I get in the truck and leave Arkansas. I have sold stuff in the parking lot of a gas station on the way to Chickasha. The Ersland's do not want to try and control early sales. Its really none of their business what we do before we get there. It is nice to see that this year is at least not another year of decline. Maybe with some more ideas from the Erslands and more vendors taking a attitude of staying longer to help promote the best swap meet I have been to. This may be the year the decline starts back the other way. At least we can all hope it is.
I wasn't there last year so it was a couple years for me. I thought this year was much better than the last time I was there. For one thing, there were some porta potties out in the "early sales and waiting to get in" area.
I wish people wore name tags.
I like that we are able to park in one of our spaces and use the other to sell out of. I can't walk miles and miles without sitting for a little while like I used to. Nice to be able to go over the to pickup and rest for a bit, stash new purchases and make a phone call, etc.
I wish there were a couple more kids like John Williams grandson who had a coaster wagon and would haul parts to the pickup for a few bucks. I'll bet Conner slept all the way to Iowa. He had a line up of people waiting for him to come help them.
Thank goodness for Kevis Prus and his hot dog and Turkey grill, Pecan pie and chairs. I had a touch of the flu and by mid afternoon Thursday was in need of something to eat and a place to sit for a while. A fried Balony sammich, a hot dog, a Pepsi, a piece of fresh Pecan pie from Roy's (ordered the night before by Kevin) and a chance to sit down for a few minutes gave me new enthusiasm.
WHY do vendors not either have someone to watch their stuff or leave a cell phone number. There was a little steering column from some early car that I wanted really bad. I went back to the guy's pickup and table three times Friday looking for him, asked the guy in the next spot who said he hadn't seen him all day and when I went back again the table, the steering column and the pickup were gone. Probably didn't sell a thing and was disappointed in how poorly he did as a vendor.
Remember if you are wanting to open earlier that Chickasha is in the Central time zone. It is an hour ahead of us and with the time change being only the week before makes it seem like 4 AM if it opens at 6. For the Pacific time zone guys it is two hours ahead. I have trouble enough being there by 7 or so. We ran later this year than usual. One of our group was 99 and stayed up pretty late Thursday night after driving all day Wednesday and standing out there by the pickup selling from about 10 AM to 6. He was moving a little slow Friday morning, as was I.
Back to the shop.
For several years I've been telling myself I need to rent a space or two and take a bunch of stuff to sell, but haven't gotten around to organizing the goods and making it happen. Looks like I need to make a special effort and actually do it next year.
Stan, I had the same thought about wearing name tags. I also belong to the National Watch and Clock collectors Association and everyone wears name tags at the regional marts. It sure helps in putting names with faces and remembering them.
The only disappointment I had this year was that I did not get to go to J W Hamburger stand or Ken's at Amber. Just doesn't seem like Chickasha without going to at least one of them. I sure could use one of those onion burgers about now. Or some of those Amber ribs.
I wish people would put a price tag on every item. So many times the vender is busy and I want to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time due to the fact that I am vending also so I just move on to the next vender.
Even better is when they go off and leave somebody there who knows absolutely nothing.
S Jelf, That is what the swap meet needs. More people to load up something and go. (and stay till afternoon Saturday) I try to have prices on my parts as I load at home. It really helps. But Dean, Sometimes the price is meaningless. For example, The "water bag style" running board refrigerator I bought was marked 400.00. I told the man who had it, I really liked it, but we were way to far apart as to what I could give. He said "how much would you give" I said 100.00 was all I could give. He never even hesitated. and said he would take the 100.00. But I do agree that things should be marked. I also have a big sign that has my cell phone number on it. I set it up at my spaces. I get several calls a day when Im out roaming about. If someone takes the time to call you. You can almost guarantee a sale. (if your parts are priced) There are three of us that travel to the meet together. I pay for all the spaces. I joke with my friends (who are Model A guys)that the only reason I let them come is so they can sell my stuff for me. Even with three of us, there are times that all three of us are gone. So the phone number really helps. We had name tags a couple years. Steve Jelf had tags for folks to use and I had a box of name tags set out on my tables with a sign requesting Model T Forum members to use one. There were several of our tags in use those years. I forgot to put the tags out this year. sorry ... Anyway, I really believe that the swap meet can be "on the mend" if everyone chips in and keeps a good attitude about it and does whatever they can to support it. have fun and be safe ... Donnie Brown ...
I have been to the Chickasha meet every year since 1992 and yes I have to agree it has gotten smaller. One reason for that I believe is the passing of some of the older vendors, I can name several who were regular vendors for years who are no longer with us. I didn't have a swap space for the first time this year due to the limited time I could be there. I had to leave at noon Friday. That being said it was one of the best years from a buying standpoint for me this year
I also think it would be a good idea for everyone to wear a name badge. Not all of us know each other and I personally would like to meet and say hello to other forum members who are there to help me when I need help and who are there to sell me a part when I need that.
Something like this could be good to go with name badges. Might make members stand out.
Probably NOT a Good Idea! If some one made up Hats like this (I like the Idea) they would probably want $26.00 for them and we know Model T owners are basically Cheap and rather spend the money on Parts
Didn't make it to Chickasha this year (dang!!!) but sure hope to go next year. So glad to hear so many favorable comments from those that were there this year, after so much "negativity" last year! A couple "comments" for what they're worth,......
I think a good compromise (regarding name tags) is the black baseball cap that I bought from the late (R.I.P.) Bob McDonald, Federal Way, WA. (the "T" snowmobile guy). Bob had a bunch of BB caps made that have the words "Model T Forum Member" embroidered in gold on them. I wear that to swap meets in hopes that other forum members would notice it and ask my name. I always thought Bob McDonald had a good idea with those BB caps and I still do! Wonder what happened to all those other caps that Bob had made,....???
One other "comment" FWIW,......
I strongly believe that vendors "SHOULD" stay for the entire duration of a swap meet! Some poor fellow who's working for a living, trying to make ends meet and support a family, and has the same interest and enthusiasm for the hobby as us old retired guys that have lots of time, deserves to see the whole show (INCLUDING ALL VENDORS) even if the poor guy can only make it to the show late on the last day! My feeling is that if even one vendor left early, the guy got gypped!!! I don't think if a vendor is willing and agrees to stay for the whole swap meet, he shouldn't be allowed to participate at all!
There!!! Now I feel better,.....harold
Oops! ......isn't willing!
I usually wear either of my Model T Club's name badges to swap meets.
Harold!! lets do it like in the old days, Saturday & Sunday, i am old & retired. i dont care when i get home, but dont like to drive at night. charley
Don: You are pretty much dead on with your pricing. $26.82 at Vistaprint. Of course, the price goes down when you start buying different quantities.
Harold: Black & Gold are doable as well. In fact, they have a fair amount of styling choices.
Name badges is enough to wear because 90% of the guys there do belong to one of the clubs. Next year lets remind people on here before the swap meet not after about wearing name tags.
I price my stuff to sell quickly, so there's not much left by the last day. There were some buyers, but my stuff was pretty well picked over by then and all of my best stuff was gone (except the roadster that didn't sell)
Saturday sales were 0.4% of my total, at just over $1 per hour. Tired, sunburned, and another night in a hotel 800 miles from my wife and kids to spend 9 hours selling $13 in parts... I see both sides. Leaving early hurts the meet, but keeping the trip affordable is an important part of keeping good numbers too. There's no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone.
Ive always thought that a swap meet promoter should "request" that all vendors stay till after noon the last day. There are lots of reasons why you can not make it mandatory, or penalize a vendor for leaving early. Things like emergencys at home, a persons job, poor health, ect ect. But if they were to "request" the vendors stay as a way to help promote the future of the meet, then I think a lot of vendors would at least feel a little more compelled to stay. The bulk of sales are the first or second day. Always has been and always will be. The good stuff goes first. But some of my best buys are the last day as vendors are loading up. Price can get really cheap by then. The other side of the equation is that a lot of buyers only have a limited amount of money to spend. They are trying to hold out for the things they really need. But when it is obvious that they will not find all they were needing, I have seen buyers come back and buy some of my items at the last minute, because they really wanted the item, but was afraid to spend their cash too soon. I think Mike Walker mentioned somewhere in one of these threads about selling a lot in the last hour or so that he was there. There is really no way to figure out or plan a strategy that will work. Just get there as early as you can, stay as long as you can, bring as much as you can, and hope for the best.... have fun and be safe Donnie Brown ....
(Message edited by dobro1956 on March 23, 2017)
Respectfully, a vendor can decide when to pack it up and leave any swap meet.
He has paid for his spaces, and the swap meet promoter gets his $$.
To " firmly request" or penalize a vendor for leaving on the last day of a swap isn't good.
As always, the maxim of swaps is the early bird gets the worm. If you don't get there on the opening day, or in case of Chickasha, the line-up day for 4pm entry, you lose out on perhaps what goodie you may run across, even if not on your shopping list. Could be that 'find' of a deal, that you can flip while at the meet.
For my selling, parking lot was twice of what I sold on Friday, and for Sat. morning less than 5% of Friday. Staying all day of the last day would be another hotel night expense, maybe those who camp can save, but I have a two day trip back to home in FL. But...enjoyed my time again this year!
in the old days we camped tell Sunday. but now we have to get out.i am to cheep for a motel and dont drive well at night so we leave afternoon on Saturday. 6 hr drive home. charley
I have participated in many Pirate events as a vendor (antique weaponry) and there has been a big problem with people packing up early having nothing to do with sales. The problem has come due to insurance for the event. It seems that cars moving around in an area where people are walking is a big no no. Once the event is closed to the public on day 1,2, or 3 its a different matter.
At the Petit Jean swap meet, there is no vehicle movement in or out of the meet from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Friday and Saturday. It has been that way forever, and it works well there. But I'm afraid a rule like that would backfire at Chickasha, causing vendors to skip Saturday altogether.
As a young member of the hobby, I can't afford to take a lot of time off of work for swap meets. God knows I'd love to, but simple arithmetic says I need to make some decent money to justify it. I just did a very basic equation to figure just my gas, and I'd need to sell at least $200 worth of parts just to pay my way there and back. That's not including the price of setting up a booth!
However, I would love to be able to come, as it's always a good time when you're digging in piles of rust looking for gold. Maybe next year I'll have enough parts cleaned up and ready to sell and enough money saved that I can afford to take the time off work. I loved going to this swap meet when I was in college, and I'd love to go back someday soon.
I like having a swap meet space, even when I don't have a ton of stuff to sell.
It's nice to be able to go back to your space for a break occasionally. Walking around in the sun can really dehydrate you quickly....and for me, that leads to nasty headaches.
I may get a space or two at Chickasha next year.
Everyone check out the Luray Swap Meet in May. It ends on Sat and the next day there is a HCCA Swap meet in Strasburg PA. That is 2 Pre War Meets in one weekend about 200 miles apart. Dan
Chickasha has become the ' market' for regional parts sellers and eBay sellers. Through the years there has been noticeably fewer restorers participating. Also, the popularity of the TV show 'American Pickers' has inculcated an incorrect expectation that a seller and buyer need to do 'The Dance' of beating down a listed price. I feel my prices are less than reasonable and get disappointed by every single potential buyer offering a 40% off. It's really wearing on me after having driven 7 1/2 hours one way to present my Model T parts...
Good one, George -- I had to look up "inculcate."