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Author Topic: Hamfest Pet Peeves  (Read 3703 times)
K7MAP
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Posts: 4




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« on: July 08, 2004, 01:42:08 AM »

I propose that the ARRL expand the role of Official Observers to include not only bad operating habits, but bad Hamfest Seller habits too.

Here are my top pet peeves about hamfests that I have attended in the last few years.

1) Overpriced used 2M mobile rigs. No. Your 10 year old 2 meter mobile rig is not worth $150 dollars. I can buy one NEW at HRO/AES/GigaParts for $110 to $140 almost any day. Used rigs should go for no more than 50% of the current new price of a comparable rig.

2) Too much junk. 80% of the stuff at a Hamfest should have been thrown into the garbage 10 years ago. Do the world a favor, if it does not sell after two hamfests, dispose of that Commodore 64 tape drive and that 23 channel Sears CB.

3) Dirty grimy filthy radios. Have you no self respect? If you are attempting to sell a basket of commercial Motorola HTs, can you not take a moment and wipe off the clumps of dirt from the radios?  

4) e-bay at the Hamfest. You are asking $500 for an older HF rig and you can not tell me if it works or not. You can not tell me because you just bough it off of e-bay the week prior and know nothing about the radio.  At least I give you credit for telling me this as I ask questions about the rig.

Comments or other perspectives?

Mark in Oro Valley, AZ


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KG4RUL
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2004, 09:10:20 AM »

Same old gripes, different author.  The people who do the things you named believe, deep down in their hearts, that you are not talking about them.

Dennis / KG4RUL
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N4VNV
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2004, 04:44:57 PM »

My "Pet Peeves" are:
1. The "VENDORS" bring very little to the hamfest anymore. The last three hamfests I attended (this year) no one had a (A) HamStick for 60M. (B) A switching power supply. (C) Hump Mount for mobile rig. Now they want you to give them your order AND PAY at the hamfest. They will ship when they get back to home base. So why did I come to the hamfest, I could have just made a phone call. You vendors are your own worst enemy.
2. NO GOOD FOOD!
3. No place to sit!
  ..finis..
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K7VO
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Posts: 1010




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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2004, 09:40:55 PM »

It's not just 2m rigs.  Hamfest prices seem to be eBay plus 50% or more.  I'd rather just deal with eBay sellers and eHam sellers.  Is a 30 year old 70cm crystal controlled FM rig worth $100?  An old IC-22A worth $65?  A Kenwood TS-520 worth $450?  No?  The folks at hamfests seem to think so, and then grumble about how poor the 'fest was when they take their old junk home.

Oh, and yeah, lousy food...  I'm vegetarian and finally one hamfest had veggie burgers this year, and I'm ashamed to say I don't remember which.  I do know that they got my money when most don't.  A lot of people don't want grease burgers and dogs any more.

73,
Caity
K7VO
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AA4PB
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2004, 07:39:09 AM »

Why vendors don't bring more stuff - or increasingly, don't show up at all?

You pay to rent a truck. You pay your staff to load it with all the stuff. You pay them to drive it to the hamfest and you pay them to unload it and sit with it all weekend.

Then the hams want a big discount because after all, this is a hamfest where everything should be discounted.

Then you pay your staff to load most of it back into the truck and drive it to the store and unload it all again.

Its must easier and more "cost effective" to sit at home and take orders via the Internet and the 800 number.
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N8VCL
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2004, 03:00:07 PM »

Dirty Grimy Hams.  Have you no self respect?  How about a shower?  Try it, you'll like it.

Scott
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KG4YJR
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Posts: 179




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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2004, 06:11:37 PM »

I know this might ruffle a few feathers and sound a little hypocritical but I don't mind buying non-ham or electronic items from fellow club members that sell things that they make such as crafts. Besides being good friends some of them need the extra cash. I know it doesn't look good from the people that came from out of town and may even be promoting the problem even more. I personally and proudly can say that none of them sell the real obscure items like porn tapes or Elvis on velvet paintings. I always feel like I should buy a few things at each and every hamfest the wife and I go to and sometimes with all the dumpster dug-up equipment there, buying a t-shirt or hat that a fellow club member made is the only acceptable option for us. I want to see these things keep going and that's my small part.

73
Dave
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W7DJM
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2004, 04:04:43 PM »

So if I have this correct, you are basically complaining that

Overpriced

Too much junk

Dirty grimy filthy radios


You are asking $500 for an older HF rig and you can not tell me if it works or not


Well, I don't remember being at any of the hamfests in this area and seeing someone with a big club forcing you to take your wallet out of your pocket.

bottom line:

When YOU all the rest of YOU stop paying eBay prices, and stop paying high prices at hamfests, then the prices will go down.

Or, maybe they are worth that, who knows?
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N5MJ
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Posts: 8




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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2004, 03:23:26 PM »

Hamfests are the easiest venue to visit with your fellow amateur.  For some, it's the one time of the year when we can all be found at one place - more and more, sadly, it's the last time...

I like supporting the vendors that support our hamfest - <shameless plug>http://www.alamohams.org</shameless plug>
and try to lighten their return trip load.  We don't have a local "candy store"...

Overpriced used stuff?  Well... whatever the market will bear, as the old saying goes?  Personally, I have no problems making a fair offer on any item.  If the seller wants to sell, they'll sell.  If they don't, they won't.  Some have no clue what to price their gear at.  A small stack of Hamiltons or Franklins is a powerful disincentive to packing the gear up and taking it home, again...

To the grouches and sourpusses - enjoy seeing your friends and cherish the experience.  We're not getting any younger.

73,
Mike N5MJ
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N1OU
Member

Posts: 70




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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2004, 07:57:35 AM »

My only complaint?  Hours.  So many of the smaller hamfests are open only on a Saturday morning.  I'd go to more if they'd just not close the gate after lunch!

Hamfests are great fun!  I've never been to one I didn't enjoy thoroughly.  Its the only time I like to shop.  I prowl the displays and flea market.  If I'm curious about something I stop and talk to the vendor.  If I need something, I look for it.  Sometimes its there, sometimes its not.  I don't care that much.  I just enjoy being around, chatting with other hams, looking and treasures and junk and all the stuff in between.

Food?  I never complain.  Most hamfests have at least a little, but its not the focus of the trip.  Overpriced stuff, maybe fresh from e-bay?  I don't care.  I won't buy it if it costs more than I think its worth.

Hamfests are for fun!  Make it a day, within a day's drive of my home and I'll probably be there.

73

Gordon, N1OU
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EXPRO
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2004, 06:01:20 PM »

Yeah all of the above. My biggest irk is narrow aisle space, why do all the unwashed lardasses have to gather right in the aisle and shoot the shit instead of having a seat at the coffee teria? Geez let some hams with money to spend have a chance to pick up that gear without drool all over it.
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KA8SEP
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Posts: 38




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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2004, 07:59:45 PM »

Saturday morning? most of the ones here are on Sunday morning. Id love it if they are all on Saturday.

Ted
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20595




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« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2004, 01:25:54 PM »

This is really funny, I just noticed the post/thread.

I agree that when hams stop using eBay to buy stuff, then the prices at the local "hamfests" will come down.  Most sellers rightly feel, "Why should I sell it here for $100 when some idiot on eBay will pay me $200 for the same thing?"

Progress!!

Prices at these meets depends a great deal on how many sellers there are, too -- and, also how often the meet is held.  Here in L.A., we have three "regular" ham radio Swap Meets per month, on the 2nd, 3rd and last Saturdays of every single month.  So, without any additional "hamfests," there are at least 36 meets a year.  As such, there's lots of competition to sell and nobody can ask high prices because the prospective buyers would just laugh at them and keep walking.

I like that, it works in the favor of the buyer, not so much for the seller.

Agree with all the other stuff about food, timing, seating, etc.

WB2WIK/6
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K7MAP
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2004, 01:28:47 AM »

Thanks to everyone who has commented on this topic. It has been interesting seeing the replies and takeoffs to my original comments.

If there was a single common theme to the pet peeves, it was the prices at hamfests. Seems that there is loose consensus that prices are "too high" in many cases. Good reasons listed were because:
1) Inexperienced buyers willing to pay too much or Potential buyers hesitant to make a counter offer
2) e-bay prices are now the benchmark
3) Too little price competition in some parts of the country

WB2WIK made a great insight. It is amazing that anyone is selling anything at a Hamfest when they could put it on e-bay and be almost guaranteed of getting more money for it.

Interesting thread. I hope we get a few more opinions before it fizzels out.

Mark in Oro Valley, AZ
K7MAP
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KB9YUR
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Posts: 229




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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2004, 08:39:33 AM »

What's usually missing at all the hamfests I've been to is good quality radios. Anyone
seen an Icom 575H or 275H with all the original equipment/box lately?!?
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