I went to the Timonium hamfest today and was terribly disapointed at the turnout. It was the smallest crowd I have ever seen there and almost no vendors showed up, mostly just junk dealers.
That is the sad state of affairs for hamfests today. Gas costs way too much to even venture out anywhere. Our state convention is in the north western part of the state and I live in the southeastern part. I won't go because I will spend more in gas than the fest will probably be worth. The group that runs it may try to move it more centrally so that more folks can actually get to it without breaking anyone. I hope they do it soon. It was a very good fest and would like to go again but with $3.25 a gallon of gas I can't afford to drive 8 hours to go to a hamfest that may not be all that great.
Sorry to hear that. I went to a hamfest last month and had the same scenario. Just a few vendors and a lot of junk. There was actually more old CB equipment than ham equipment. It was a great hamfest at one point in time. It seems as if everyone else across the country is having the same experience.
I have been going to the Timonium fest for the last 20 years or so. I didn't go the last two or three years but remember it as always being one of the best on the east coast. I just don't understand the huge change in attendance and quality. I know gas prices are high but that's not the reason behind the change.
Even the tailgate section was tiny compared with just a few years ago and was mostly junk that no one would want.
i'm sorry you don't have the experience or understanding to realize that others possess a skill set that you seem to dismiss as fantastical.
I used to think it was eBay but eBay is only the manifestation of the real issue. I believe the real issue is our older Ham population. You can shop on eBay without leaving your house. Hamfests require the physical effort to go and walk around.
Every Hamfest I have attended in the last couple of years had bargains that beat eBay easily. But you had to hunt for them. And if you shop on eBay these days you know that people are paying big bucks for things, which should be a stimulus to get folks out to the Hamfests. The fact that it isn't begs the question of age and infirm in our Ham population these days.
No, not just EBay, but ALL the dealers who show us their wares over the internet. Why spend the gasolene to make a trip to some big city, spend hours trooping up and down the isles to see what some dealer has to offer, and then paying almost the same as the suggested maufacturers retail for something you can link to on the web and have delivered right to your front door!
For years, the vast majority of items that have been on the grounds, being sold off the backs of trucks and trunks of cars has been "cast-offs" that have been hauled from one hamfest to another, are generally covered with dust, and have been exposed to hours of sunlight as they sat on the ground next to the cars and trucks that hauled them there! Thanks, but no thanks!
Ham Radio, Amateur Astronomy, and Model Airplanes - what better way to spend some time!
No time is ever wasted that is spent LEARNING something !