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eHam Forums => Hamfests => Topic started by: K0BEL on May 05, 2013, 04:34:54 AM



Title: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: K0BEL on May 05, 2013, 04:34:54 AM
Just went to a hamfest in northern mn/wi. Was at another 2 weeks earlier.
Fyi for sellers: If you are selling a transceiver with an unknown history or when it is unknown if it can even turn on or transmit, you are not going to get twice what people are willing to pay for a working radio. Most aren't going to offer you what they think your radio is worth because they don't want to insult you with 20% of what you are asking.
Plus, if you tell a potential buyer what you are asking and they turn away like they burned their fingers, you are asking too much.
And, if you are wondering why few people attend hamfests, it is because sellers are asking 2 to 3 times what the 30 or 40 year old radios are worth. Often a new radio with similar features is less money. Who cares about paying for the history when you are just starting out and trying get a radio to see if you like the hobby?
And, wondering why new hams are dropping out or not using their license? Even someone like me who likes to tinker isn't going to risk hundreds of dollars on something that may have problems now or down the road, and not have parts available.
If radios are priced for collectors, sentimental value, or what you think they should be worth, new hams aren't going to buy them.
When it becomes cost prohibitive for new people to enter or even check out a hobby, they spend their money and time elsewhere. If they can get more use out of the money they spend on a different hobby, they will spend their money on the more usable hobby.


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: AA4PB on May 05, 2013, 01:06:47 PM
Nothing new - it's been that way ever since I can remember. You can find some real bargins and some way over-priced. Most are high risk because you have no way of fully checking out the radio before purchasing it. Purchasing a radio from a tail-gate at a hamfest has never been a very safe investment for a new, inexperienced person in my opinion.


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: W5CPT on May 05, 2013, 03:46:16 PM
<snip>  sellers are asking 2 to 3 times what the 30 or 40 year old radios are worth

Robert - firstly congratulations for joining the ranks of Amateur Radio. Now for the bad news- The price of something has nothing to do with what it is worth. It has everything to do what someone (even if it is not you) will pay for it.  A buddy may sell you a radio for less than he/she might get for it elsewhere, because you are a friend. But the HamFest vendor owes you no favors.   Starting out in this hobby on a tight budget can be done, but is not easy, or without risks.

Here are some suggestions:

If you have not done so already, join the local ham club. If there are two in your area, join both.  The yearly dues are a good investment not only in the hobby, but in meeting others who might know of a "deal" when one shows up.  Very often well priced radios never get to the HamFest or the For Sale Forum because they exchanged hands at the local level.  And you most likely will have the opportunity to see it work on the seller's desk before you ever unfold the cash from your pocket.

After you join the club(s) every time someone asks for some help putting up an antenna, tower, radial field - volunteer and show up. This is how you develop friends who are willing to do you a favor when they can.

Go to your clubs Field Day and show up early to set up and stay late to clean up - same reason as above.

Stay connected to other hams and you may find a bargain. But if you expect to find one with a guarantee at the HamFest you will be as disappointed as you are now. 

Clint - W5CPT -


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: K0BEL on May 06, 2013, 02:23:06 AM
That is what I am saying sellers AREN'T doing. Rather than price things at what people are willing to pay, they are pricing things according to their sentimental value, or what they think they should get for their stuff. Unfortunately, contrary to what they believe, their stuff is not worth more than what people are willing to pay. All they are accomplishing is: 1) They end up carrying their stuff home. 2) Cause fewer people to want to attend hamfests. 3) And, alienate potential buyers - Thus causing new hams and old hams to spend their money elsewhere. It is doing a disservice to the entire hobby.


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: N4NYY on May 06, 2013, 04:45:44 AM
I was at a hamfest in Warminster yesterday. There was a guy selling some nice gear, but he wanted ebay prices. What sellers do not realize is that people do not go to flea markets, yard sales, etc, to pay ebay prices. I typically price my gear/stuff at about 50-75% of going ebay prices, depending on conditions. And it moves.

The last hamfest I was selling at in Feb, I brought junk I wanted to get rid of, including tools. I made $175 off of junk, because I did not want it anymore. And the stuff was flying off the table. For non-working gear, prices should be nowhere near 50-75%.



Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: K9MHZ on May 11, 2013, 06:28:40 PM
VEY,

You're giving way too much thought to this.  I'll echo how the previous replies read.....the selling price of a radio is what the market will bear.  One reason you're seeing so many examples of high priced equipment is because they haven't sold by the time you've walked by.  Fair priced gear that's in great shape goes very quickly.  It's not a "disservice" to the hobby at all....it's just people being people.  Hasn't changed in 37 years of hamfesting for me.  Also, licensee numbers aren't dwindling at all.  In fact, they're higher than ever.  I might suggest getting some time as a ham under your belt before drawing such dire conclusions about the state of things.  While you're at it, just relax and enjoy.

 


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: K0BEL on May 11, 2013, 07:25:33 PM
MHZ, sure, that must be why hamfest attendance is dropping and so many hamfests have been discontinued. And, as eery one of us knows, license numbers don't mean anything. More people may be getting licenses, but once they get them they aren't buying any equipment and they aren't getting on the air. Turn on your radio and listen to the silence. We all know many licensed hams who have never pushed a mic button. Also, using that fact that something hasn't changed in 37 years so shouldn't change now is defective logic. The hobby has changed. The income of buyers has changed. The entire economy has changed. Technology has changed. If hams and hamfests don't change they will go the way of buggy whips. Sure, there are some buggy whips still made, but only a very few die hards still buy them.


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: W8AAZ on May 12, 2013, 04:59:51 AM
I shall consider all this at Dayton.  I saw some good bargains on nice older rigs last year that were sooo tempting, but I don't need another HF rig.  Seems less risky in a way than buying online, as you can actually see the radio, not fuzzy fone shots of it, and perhaps even plug it in and try it to power up.  Seller willing. Buying used anything entails risk to one extent or another.  I will not mention it here in detail, just that I can look at some people or talk to them, and I can judge them as sellers to an extent.  I know what types to be wary of after decades of dealing. So I am not gonna drop big cash in the flea market on something risky that I cannot prove to my own satisfaction is OK.  As for the guys with the over priced gear, they get to drag it back home.  Eventually it goes to their estate sales for a small price, usually.  Then someone gets a bargain.  With hams dying off constantly, alot of estate stuff is cheap out there, for the beginners! 


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: W1ITT on May 15, 2013, 05:11:52 PM
Some judgement and consideration is necessary for sellers of used gear.  I was at a hamfest a couple weeks ago, selling off yet another load of a friend's estate.  Among the gear was a Yaesu transceiver, that had been on the shop bench, with the covers off.  There was way too much stuff to lab test everything, so it was offered inexpensively as a "parts depot" radio.
A fellow in his early twenties came along, told me that he'd just gotten his General license, and would like to buy the rig.  I congratulated him on his achievement, and then told him that I wouldn't sell him that radio for twice what I was asking and a date with his good looking aunt.  I explained that a new ham needs to get something reliable and guaranteed, or at least tested before his eyes by an experienced ham.  I told him that it's important to get up and running on the air while the enthusiasm is hot, and not to put financial resources into otherwise cool radios that would be more appropriate for a more experienced ham.  We had a good chat, shook hands and parted as friends.
We sold the Yaesu later to someone who already had one, and wanted a hanger queen.
If people would exhibit a bit of restraint in selling certain items to wide eyed new kids, and if the new kids would slow down and remember that if something is too inexpensive there might be a reason, we'd all sleep better at night.


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: WI8P on May 21, 2013, 07:41:04 AM
This thread is interesting on a couple of levels.  The first being that what has been said about high prices pretty much applies to any specialty sale gathering.  Besides radio, I am also interested in firearms and cameras.  As such, I also attend shows for those items and find the same pricing techniques - higher than eBay (or Gun Broker for firearms), and even higher than retail for new items.  Sellers seem to be looking for that "one born every minute" sucker.  In some cases however, they will deal if you take the time.

The other thing I found interesting was I attended this years' Dayton Hamfest, which was the first time for me.  On the way out, I was talking to a few other attendees about 'deals'.  I made the comment about going around just before closing as a lot of vendors don't want to have to package stuff back up.  One of the guys spoke up and said he goes dumpster diving after everyone has left!  He said he got 3 laptop computers and two of them fired right up! 


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: N3DF on May 22, 2013, 11:43:15 AM
At hamfests over the years, people have often told me that I priced an item ridiculously high, only to sell the item at the asking price a half hour later. 


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: K0JEG on May 23, 2013, 09:35:36 AM
Depends on what your goals are. I sold some stuff last year, a few single band mobiles, an Elecraft K2, a few old HTs. I put a high price on the K2 (basically what I paid for it), not sure if I wanted to get rid of it, but everything else was priced to get it to someone who could use it. The first guy came past and bought the K2 without a second thought. The rest of the stuff sold with no negotiation. I was very surprised. I also labeled everything that didn't work as a parts box and made sure the buyers understood that.

I've been on the other side too. I'll haggle with sellers too, even if there's a low/fair price on an item. Gotta try, I figure. But then I'll haggle in retail stores too.


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: AC5XP on May 26, 2013, 07:03:28 AM
KD0VEY definitely has a point here. The prices on used rigs were almost laughably high at Dayton 2013. They indeed were so ridiculous that you don't even want to make a counteroffer any more out of concern you might insult the seller.
Last year prices were much more reasonable. This year all I was hearing: "If you think that is too high, I will sell it on eBay!"
Simple advice for sellers uttering that eBay BS like a broken record: If you want to sell your gear on eBay, put your money where your mouth is, and don't waste our time coming to hamfests.
As an example, I saw a guy asking $700 for a used FT-817ND, without even blinking an eye. $700 is higher than the new price...
Can't say those kind of sellers are very smart either, because with the Japanese yen now having dropped 30% against the Greenback (and with no end in sight yet for that drop), new Japanese right are bound to become a lot cheaper in the coming months. And with it, those drop in new prices will drag down the prices in the used market as well. So in 2014, Dayton buyers will be even less willing to shell out big bucks for used stuff.
Oh, one last advice for Dayton sellers: If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen. What do I mean with that? earlier I mentioned you that people won't make counteroffers to sellers who ask ridiculous prices, out of fear to insult those sellers. I am not one of those buyers. I DO put in that 20% counteroffer. And guess what? Almost half of those sellers then act as if they were just stung by a wasp. THAT'S when I say: Stay home next year, buster. Don't waste our tine and patience!


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: K1CJS on May 28, 2013, 03:53:47 AM
KD0VEY definitely has a point here. The prices on used rigs were almost laughably high at Dayton 2013. They indeed were so ridiculous that you don't even want to make a counteroffer any more out of concern you might insult the seller.  Last year prices were much more reasonable. This year all I was hearing: "If you think that is too high, I will sell it on eBay!"  Simple advice for sellers uttering that eBay BS like a broken record: If you want to sell your gear on eBay, put your money where your mouth is, and don't waste our time coming to hamfests....

There is one thing right there.  E-bay hasn't done anyone any favors.  The way some people bid, it's no wonder why the sellers think they'll get more there.  They will, especially if the used gear is popularly wanted--simply because of the way bidding develops into wars there.


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: K9MHZ on May 28, 2013, 02:11:38 PM
THAT'S when I say: Stay home next year, buster. Don't waste our tine and patience!

Or, you could just move along to the next seller with dignity and class.  Your choice.


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: KASSY on June 01, 2013, 10:04:31 AM
The buyers ultimately set the price on everything.  If things are priced too high, they don't sell.

If you don't like the way a seller prices something, then consider his request mere lightweight amusement and move on.

You cannot, and never will, control the actions of others.  You can and are ethically bound to control your own response though, and becoming bossy isn't a particularly adult or nice response.

- k


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: KD2AKG on June 01, 2013, 07:26:01 PM
I agree with the OP about some of the hamfest prices. The last fest I went to was in April. LOTS of overpriced CB radios, some old, overpriced "boat anchors," and a few good deals as well. Very few vendors showed up. What I learned is if you're a new ham looking for a deal at a hamfest, you will likely be disappointed. Unless it's a Chinese HT. 

The best deals got were from locals in the area.


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: K0BEL on June 10, 2013, 10:19:45 AM
Just like in the show American Pickers, it is obvious there is much more sentimental attachment to the things hamfest sellers are over-pricing then there is a desire to sell. It obviously has nothing to do with what buyers are willing to pay since the items aren't selling. I wonder if the sellers just keep getting tables at the sales and bringing the same over-priced stuff just to bs with other hams? Perhaps hamfests should be divided into multiple areas - One section for sellers with overpriced stuff that just want to be there to talk. Another section for people who want to sell their goods and price them accordingly.


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: K9MHZ on June 13, 2013, 06:16:47 AM
Oh yeah, I'm sure hamfest volunteers all over the country will get right on it.
How long have you even been licensed, anyway?

Good grief.



Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: NA5XX on June 18, 2013, 09:11:58 PM
I have seen the price on used gear climb sharply over the last few years.  I think it is spurred by the cost of new equipment.  It is currently difficult to find a new radio priced under $1000.  This being the case, if you see a 20 year old radio at $600 it can be quite a deal.  In actuality, the radio is probably selling used for what it sold for when new.  I think the price of used radios would drop if there were more lower priced entry level radios.  All my HF radios (3) were purchased used and I cold probably sell them today at a profit.  But I like my radios and would not want to part with them.


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: K0IZ on June 19, 2013, 08:07:00 AM
I'm always amazed at how much "junk" is hauled to a hamfest, and then hauled back, unsold.  And are brought back next year again.  Doesn't seem worth the trouble.  Perhaps it's a social thing?  At Dayton, there are some who get stalls so they can get in early, park close.  Selling seems secondary, unless that "fool and his money" come along.

In theory boat anchors should be prime hamfest sellers:  Able to kick the tires, save on some hefty shipping charges.


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: K9MHZ on June 19, 2013, 09:35:29 AM
Well, that probably makes people like HRO happy.  If people want to keep heaving their junk all summer, then God bless 'em.  Probably the most physical activity they get all year....those SOS breakfasts and fried pork sandwich lunches can add up in calories.


Title: RE: fyi for hamfest sellers
Post by: W9FIB on July 03, 2013, 04:17:44 AM
As an avid swapfest attendee, I have a 2 part theory as to the high prices.

The first is that reasonably priced equipment sells fast. Example: At Dayton 2010, I took 3 late model rigs with below eBay prices, and I didn't even get them out on the table. As I was trying to set up, I had people looking and asking the price while still sitting in my van. Since they had reasonable prices, they were gone before the gates opened to the public. So none of the people waiting at the gate even saw the deals. This happens quite often at most any swapfest. So your left with the higher prices. Another trick is to buy early, and then put the item on their table, and work to flip it for a profit. That also raises the prices the public sees.

The second reason is there are people who truly believe that there is a sucker born every minute. They put a ridiculously high price on an item because they really don't need sell it. But if they get the high price, then they can go get a new one and have it pretty much paid for. Some sucker paid the money that most people will not pay. And it really happens! I saw a guy sell an FT-897 for more then a new FT-897D sold for. Later, I saw him come back from one of the new equipment dealers with the new FT-897D. Not only was it paid for by the sucker, but the seller actually had enough left over that he bought a dual band HT as well. Basically traded 1 used radio for 2 new radios. So as long as there are those suckers out there, the high price speculation by sellers will always be there.

The short take is the best deals go early, and the suckers will keep prices high.

As for the junk, I always wondered how many basements they live in over the years before someone throws it away, or actually puts it to use. Remember all those WW II command sets that almost everyone seemed to have for sale? Don't see many anymore. Where did they all go? And I bet they sat on tables many times before their demise.