Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by M1MRB, Apr 29, 2018.
Hey thats in my price range FREE
Tailgate sales and swapmeets? Sure.
A good, quality hamfests? No way. Full-size hamfests with presentations where we can learn from one another and vendors so we can eyeball (and try?) new products continue to do well in the online age.
It could be said those tailgate sales and swapmeets filled the void until an online marketplace came along and made every day a tailgate sale. No more driving a county or two away to meet up with a bunch of cantankerous folks just to see if maybe there is something you want (but don't exactly need), little recourse if it's a lemon or reeks of cigarette smoke. Now you can look for exactly what you want, air any grievances should a problem arise, and really price compare.
I still appreciate rummaging for novelties, seeing oddities, and oogling over the rarities - but after you go to one or two regional events, you've seen all the junk those surplus-junk guys haul from swapmeet to swapmeet. (A good portion of it will be there next year too!)
I've never been ripped off online, but I've been suckered face-to-face for barely-repaired old gear plenty of times.
I think it's a different thing buying stuff on a hamfest and on ebay. On a hamfest you can look at the items and figure out if it really is worth the money or not. I got an UHF duplex filter for about $10 that way that is now in use. On ebay you never know what you get when it comes to those more odd items.
And don't forget that on ebay you may have to pay for shipping too, something that can make a cheap device become more expensive.
If you don't get things sold at a hamfest it's either because the buyer for that special item isn't there or it's because the price is too high.
Its killed Fest here too , the small ones that is
The thing that gets me about ham fests is the manufacturers that attend like MFJ who actually charge more for their products at the ham fest than the regular retailers do. Why should I directly pay MFJ $10 more for an antenna tuner, at a ham fest that I had to pay money to get into, when I could order it from any number of retailers and have it delivered to my door for $10 less with free shipping?
The main thing about a ham fest is being able to see/buy old stuff and parts. Finding good deals on old variable caps and potential project cabinets. Direct discounts from manufacturers should be expected at a ham fest.
The answer is YES, because as many have said, Hamfest pricing is way outta line. You also take a chance buying at a Hamfest not knowing if the item works.
Not only that, many local Hamfest's I attend here are loaded with non-Ham related junk that smells bad ! 25 year old transceivers selling for $800 and up that smell like nicotine and Mildew aren't worth the kind of money some ask for them. Years ago, when items didn't sell at the Hamfest a lot of it went into the nearest Dumpster !
Years ago most hamfests closed around 5pm. Today they close at noon. Do the math.
The hamfest in the city where I live is doing quite well... not just equipment sales but VE testing, seminars and presentations, demonstrations, GOTA, booths for organizations, and yes a certain amount of socialization. This year we had record attendance.
As to how many dollars of goods are changing hands, no one has a record of that. The vendors and individual hams selling stuff keep coming, and just as many tables are being bought. When I was doing volunteer work at the doors, there was a never-ending stream of hams passing by with materials, antennas, and radios they had bought.
That said, some of the smaller hamfests are struggling.
Online is a great way to buy lightweight items, but the expense and inherent risks of shipping are still problematic for older equipment.
Y'all realize they are talking about UK hamfests, right? Listen to the podcast and the interviews with vendors and promoters.
But we are also seeing the decline of smaller hamfests here in DFW as well. Weatherford - gone. Azle - venue jacked rent from $300 to $1200. Irving -- mostly junk. Cowtown, Hamcom, Belton, Austin and Houston still have good attendance, so far. Many of the vendors who built their business from attending many smaller hamfests now shun them for the big money of one or two large ones. However, now that we have an HRO store, they have picked up the slack.