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Author Topic: Now I understand why so many don't like hamfests  (Read 4501 times)

Posts: 56


« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2004, 11:13:06 AM »

-This only works for parents: Bring your kid or kids, if they're young and cute. It's hard for people to resist buying from anybody with cute kids. I used to bring my daughters when they were younger, and have them sell lemonade or donuts (or something) while I was selling ham gear. Never failed to attract smiles, and the kids made money!

Steve, that's just flat BRILLIANT.  The way my daughter's always scamming for more greenery, I don't know why I didn't think of it.  And it'd get at least one of the kids out of the house, thus de-stressing the wife's Saturday.  I am -100dBm in awe of your commonsense brilliance. :-)

My big problem is being unsure how to price a couple of old, collectible but uncertain-of-function pieces.  Go with recent eBay inflated prices? Posts on eham's classifieds,  I don't really have a feel for what I ought to be charging.  Oh, items are a BC-1004-labelled SP-200, and its matching power supply.

Posts: 518

« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2004, 12:23:06 PM »

Is that BC-1004 one of the rarer models with the broadcast band?  If so, price it about $1.59 a pound If not, try $1.29 a pound.

Those guys and power supply were heavy.

Ole man JEAN

Posts: 926

« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2004, 02:07:54 PM »

In my experience sellers who are asking a relatively high price for something are frequently insulted by a more reasonable offer.  Also most people will not offer 2/3 of asking price for a major item as that is beyond the norm of discounts.  I think if you were willing to accept $250, a $300 price would have been a better choice.

On the other hand, most rigs that I saw for sale at the last hamfest went unsold, even those with "fair" prices.  

Posts: 1

« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2004, 06:01:05 AM »

For the last few months it appears radios and parts are not selling very well on eBay.  Some radios are only getting 3/4 of what they sold for earlier in the year.  Parts don't seem to be selling at all either like they did.  Your hamfest experience is probably reflecting the same downturn.

Posts: 657

« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2004, 06:38:39 PM »

FIVE BUCKS for the straight key??

I was at a hamfest this past weekend up in Indiana, and even the old (1970's) Radio Shack keys were on the tables for TWENTY-FIVE dollars. Even the old straight keys sell for HUNDREDS on ePay...

Have you got anymore keys??

Posts: 3203


« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2004, 05:05:12 AM »

KA5N writes:
I was at a swapfest a few years back. One guy had a nice S-Line combo for sale on a card table. He looked to be around 40 years old and was sitting at one end of the table so that his knees were out past the edge of the table. His mother (I am guessing that was what the 65+ woman was) was sitting at the other end of the table with knees past the table edge. Each person was fondling a small dog that they were holding in their laps. The only way to look at the S-Line was to get past the two and their dogs. Nary a price shown or any other indication. Never a nob or word to people passing by. The one or two hams who stopped to glance at the gear where ignored. Needless to say the S-Line went unsold.
Went the swapfest was breaking up in the early afternoon I happened by the couple and their dogs and their unsold S-Line. The man said (the first words he had uttered that day): "I don't know what is wrong with people an S-Line for $300 is a very good deal."
Presentation is everything.
Good Lord Allen!!
I have seen these very same people selling jewelry at craft shows and selling rocks at a gem & mineral show!

Seriously, my Wife and I used to do the craft show circuit and encountered people with the same selling style.  Our selling style was to notice buyers (they are all potential buyers) and communicate with them to find out their needs.  Since our product was out of the ordinary, we often had to explain the processes in some detail.

At one show, one of the stone face couples actually berated us for being too aggressive.  Compared to them, breathing could be looked on as aggressive.

Dennis / KG4RUL Silver Worker
Ann / KI4ECO Glass Bead Maker

Posts: 66


« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2004, 09:57:59 AM »

Hello Jason from another UIUC alumnus! I still live in Urbana.

I have been attending hamfests for over 35 years.  It is true that they aren't like they were in 1975 but they still have appeal for me.  There were several large hamfests in Illinois this year; they were mostly well-attended.  I bought something at each one (not necessarily large items) but I also got to eyeball QSO with people I don't get to see very often.  

We usually have a small group of people from the C-U area that sells some things at hamfests.  One of the tricks of selling is to have more than one person to man your table so you can roam and see what others are selling and what their prices are like.  You may want to readjust your prices on some things based on what you see.

Don't give up on hamfests, and I hope you do better next time.

Posts: 340

« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2004, 03:45:08 AM »

I love going to Hamfest's and have never had a problem selling stuff of any kind at them. The trick is to be friendly and as people walk by make nice comments about anything they are carrying around. People are proud of stuff they bought and you make them feel nice. If they talk to you about it they invariably end up buying something from you.  If it's heavy offer to allow them to sit it behind your table, later when they come back to pick it up they always buy something from you. When listing prices put two prices on the high dollar items like transceivers. First price listed would make Ebay look cheap! Second price is the real price you would sell it for. Place a note by each price. First price, if you enjoy bargaining on a sale we start with this amount. Second price, this is my bottom dollar price if you just want to buy it. This works every time if someone really wants the item. On the other items just put one price on them, if they want it they already know that it's a set price and just buy it. Also have your name, address, and phone number on the price tag and whip out your driver's license to prove it's really you if they really want the item. Bring along some kind of homebuilt item for display that attracts attention. I have a HUGE L-network tuner that is built in a standard rack mount size box from an old AM broadcast station antenna tuning "shack" that has a roller inductor rated at 32 uH and 10,000 KW along with a huge copper custom built variable butterfly capacitor also rated at 10,000 KW and is wired with 3/8 copper tubing. Everyone in the Hamfest will have a look at it, and my table! Hamfest's are more than just selling and buying stuff. They used to be where you would meet people you talk to on the radio and a place for fun. So make it fun for people around your table. I think that’s the reason Hamfest attendance has dropped off in the last few years as a lot of the fun has also dropped off.

Posts: 62

« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2004, 07:13:35 AM »

Hamfests are not what they once were. I was a seller at the last hamfest I attended and had cleaned out my  outbuilding where all of my unused stuff was stored. I reasoned that if I had not used this stuff much in the last few years I would not miss it if I sold it.

It took two tables to hold the stuff and I had everything from antennas to an old HF transceiver to Radio Control airplanes, engines and the associated  radio/servo units. A price was put on everything, and a sign was put up which encouraged offers. There was electricity provided to test the stuff.

A whole lot of people kept coming by the table looking at everything but not making offers. I finally began to play salesman and ask if they they are looking so much, how about making an offer?

There was a a teenage boy there with his father and they were interested in some of the RC stuff and made an offer of $100. I told them that for $100 they could have the whole lot. (three planes, 4 motors, 2 radios) and they went away very happy.

Word got around the hamfest that I was actually entertaining offers and in the end, I sold out the tables except for the Pennword GMT Tymeter which now resides in my shack.

Came home with over $500 in my pocket and a new FT-1500 being sold by a dealer. This was all surplus that I had no real use for.

Unfortunately, most sellers do not do this. They have a price that they really have to get because they want to upgrade to something else and are raising money to do so, or they think they can get high eBay price without going through the hassles of selling on eBay.

If you offer less, they tend to be insulted, or will insult you.


Posts: 31


« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2004, 12:47:01 AM »

I love going to hamfests. I don't necessarly go looking to buy anything though. It's almost more fun looking at the other people around. I honestly don't feel comfortable spending a whole lot of money on gear that is used. If I do buy anything, it's usaually not anything that can't immediately be identified as broken. I also notice I don't see many deals at fests. The prices are too inflated. I also don't see eBay as a much better deal for buyers. If your selling, then eBay is a place for you. Just keep in mind, all the stuff that you see on eBay is stuff you won't see at a hamfest.



Posts: 11

« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2004, 11:08:31 AM »

Every Hamfest has it's own unique feel to it. Some are better for VHF/UHF stuff, others for HF, some for vintage equipment. Picking one to sell at or look for items at should not be strictly based on how close it is to home. Sometimes driving the extra hour or two is really worth the effort. You may want to support your local club, but it may not be the best place to get rid of your "junque".
I like to rummage, so if I don't sell any of my unwanted junk, I generally find something I think I need. I always meet at least one interesting person, or have some fun with my neighbor. My only negative comment would be the lack of kids attending them. There was one boy that stopped at my tailgate during the TenTec Hamfest looking for a roller inductor. I brought one to Oak Ridge, hoping he'd show up just to give it to him. We need to get the kids interested, or we go the way of the DoDo...
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