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John Roche
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just been to the MK swapmeet. Acouple of observations, there weren't as many people there a there usually is and prices seem lower.

Are there too many swapmeets in the UK and is the market flooded with too many cars




John
 

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Hi VFR750

(good to meet you today at MK).

Mk did seem a lot quieter than normal, but most of the dealer/traders I spoke to seemed to have a busy day.

At the moment there are a large number of swapmeets all in the same month or so.

I'm not entirely surprised, but it was only twelve months ago that people were saying there are not enough! (probably hence the current burst of new events).

Are there too many? Depends on how far you're prepared to travel? More swapmeets means more local events!

It also means cheaper prices for the consumer, with more competition traders do cut prices and or offer a greater range of product.

Ebay? - I'm pretty sure you can buy most things cheaper at a swapmeet than you can on Ebay collectors or new models and you can pick them up and look at them rather than trust a description and a photo.

I had the busiest show that I can remember, took lots of new members and meet up with loads of SlotForum guys. Perhaps the display of the new club cars helped, but I definitely thought it was worth the effort.

Thanks Julian (Slik), Brian (NSCC Editor) and Shawn for their help during the day.

See you next time?

Gareth
NSCC
 

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Hmmm, is 750 a dealer? Only, punters don't normally winge about lower prices!

Prices were keen. I did see a VMG Gulf Mirage go for £15 and various Fly at £20.

True, to my eyes it seemed that there were fewer punters coming through the door - the main fee paying door that is - the back door seemed to be open the whole time I was there and there were a few sneaking in that way!

I'll offer an observation to whoever it was that organised this event and to whoever organises others, maybe try advertising them locally; it seemed to me, standing behind the Slotcity stall, that all the faces I saw were the same as in February. I mean, these gatherings seem to be closed shops, with no attempt to draw in UK Johnny and his family, just the regular NSCC members and dedicated slotters. I know when there are local toy fairs and Model Railway fairs in my vicinity the organisers get off their derrieres and put up signage for the general public, on traffic lights and alike, and they get a good crowd in.

Just a thought.

Oh, yes, and a location with decent toilets and a proper ATM cash machine (private joke) wouldn't go amiss!

[Edit after Jexy's post]
That NSCC stand is a proper job and no mistake. Very professional. God how I hate it but here's the icon
 

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John Roche
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE Hmmm, is 750 a dealer? Only, punters don't normally winge about lower prices!

Not whinging, just making observations. Generally I don't buy new at swapmeets (unless it's a real bargain) as I prefer to support my local bricks and motar shop.

Swapmeets are where I buy components for scratchbuilding etc and catching up with people and meeting others. I spent more time chatting than anything else. It was also pleasant being able to look at the stands without the crowds.



John
 

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About 18 months ago the NSCC committee were put under severe pressure (mainly from commercial interests) to organise/allow more NSCC swapmeets.

We had previously sanctioned 6 per year and felt that this was about the right amount but certain people disagreed. As we refused to increase the number "Open" events began to proliferate with the result that there are now 11 slotcar swapmeets planned between now and next July with more in the pipeline.

In my personal opinion (wearing collector's hat, not NSCC one) this is absolute lunacy. There is only a finite amount of money available and extra events just spread it more thinly.

A much loved NSCC event at Evesham has already disappeared under the pressure and I think more will follow.

The attendance at MK was well down on the norm and, unless future events are able to attract non-hardcore attendance then the whole thing is bound to end in tears.

In a couple of year's time when there is a swapmeet every other weekend attended by one man and his dog I shall take great delight in saying "I told you so!"

Brian
 

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Hi Wankel

Ref promo of events - could not agree more!

Just to be clear todays MK wasn't an NSCC event it was an open to all event.

And as others have pointed out, finding it isn't the easiest thing in the world, a bit more signage would be an excellent idea! - not to self to ensure NSCC signs are in place next year!

Promo of any event takes time and a lot of effort, but if done should cover the cost and outlay in terms of time etc.

That said i did see a number of new faces today and had a lots of good chats, but most were old hands at the slot collecting or racing. (one very nice 4-6 year old did enquire as to how she could win the gold trophy in the championship because it matched her new ring! i look forward to her dads entry into the championship - no presure!)

How many more people would go to a Saturday event? (rather than a Sunday). Phil Smith's event on a Saturday seemed to bring in a slightly different mix of families and children etc, not what all the dealers want perhaps, but good to see.

Gareth
 

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Sorry 750, no offence. I didn't mean that the way it looks now when I read it back.

My apologies if you took umbrage.
 

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John Roche
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No offence taken Wankel. I had assumed you spoke in jest




John
 

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In the US the few good slot swap meets we do have seem a bit off but not a lot. The internet has had a huge effect with specialized e-shops supporting the hobby well with new items. The rare and desireable "mint in box" items are generally bought and sold on eBay where they bring very high prices.

But the swap meets at Toledo and Chicago are well attended.
 

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Jim Moyes
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vfr has a point! Whether it's getting to the point of the bubble bursting, I'm not sure, but sometimes you wonder for the long term health of the industry! There seems to be more and more available but I think the buying public is increasing too. Not sure about the swapmeet situation, it did seem very quiet today, and a couple of stall holders I spoke too were quite fed up with the lack of trade, but then there were others who reported good takings!

There were some amazingly good prices and deciding that sometimes it's just best to make hay when the sun shines, I picked up this haul



Not bad when you consider I only really went hoping to pick up the Miticos Fiesta and Renault 5. The Mini and MRRC Cooper-Ford body (thanks, Jamie) were pre-arranged, but the rest were pure impulse. So much so that I had to make use of the local Scottish ATM.


Bishops Stortford in a fortnight, anyone?

Mr.M
 

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hey guys i want some of this action


any swap meets etc in the northwest ??

also
i gote some money i wanna spend before my missus finds it
 

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Scott Brownlee
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I was disappointed not to see new cars there. Where are the autoArt 206 rally cars and classic Lambos, the Cartrix Mercs and Hornby Vanwalls?

Of course, the lack of new stuff didn't prevent me from spending a fortune anyway.

Certainly promotion and a decent venue is the key to getting bigger crowds and not just us die hard worshipers, but will the traders back the new events.

Not to blow a trumpet in close proximity, but I think Jexy1's meeting next May might provide a new template with stalls and tracks for racing and public try outs. Crucially he's planning local media exposure before the event.
 

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Phil Smith
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Well quite a few points raised here about swapmeets , so with my 14 year experience of trading at them I'll try to answer a few.

This was the summer Milton Keynes show, which is very different from the NSCC one that will be in February. This is only the second year that Nigel has run the summer show and the long established winter show will be very busy with many more traders and collectors from Europe attending. Personally I thought this year was busier than last years.

Are there too many swapmeets? well I used to attend many more of the general Toyfairs, I once did nearly 300 in one year!, but I now really only do the specialised slot car shows and this year I will be doing 33 and have to travel all over the world to do so.
I think that there is not to many but they need to be spread throughout the year a little better i.e. better planning from the organisers.
As for Evesham, this was always a lacklustre affair and I never heard any fellow traders enjoying this event even thinking back several years, as far as I am concerned it demise is very welcome! (please Robert let sleeping (dead?) dogs lie)

When you looked around the room at MK it is no wonder that some traders have a bad day, no prices on their cars or just stupidly high prices or even just sitting down behind the table with a glum looks on their faces. Can't understand why many of them bother and that is including some of the big name concerns.

Local advertising is very important, I love to see families attending with their kids, these children are the future of the hobby so they should be encouraged.
 

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Matt Tucker
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I enjoyed MK as much for the buying cars as the banter with fellow slotters. It was nice being able to saunter round and not have to peer over shoulders to see what's on offer nor feel pressured to move on. However I'm sure the traders would like it much busier, which is ultimately what we'd all like as it helps create a healthy hobby.

So my 2 pennies:

- Local advertising for a swapmeet can only be a good thing and I'm sure the local press won't mind publishing something for free esp if its got a little article in it for them.

- Have a race track or two at each event should be mandatory - this would draw in quite a few punters esp if it's pre-advertised. Realise that the hall needs to be paid for etc and that stall holders are a main income stream but a track would take up the equivalent of two stall holders and I'm sure you'd attract more door income than loose due to not having two stall holders income. Also with more punters likely each swapmeet becomes even more essential for traders to come to and hence all space utlised (there was plenty of room for a couple of tracks or a few more stall holders at MK) - a win win situation

- A few signs on round-a-bouts in the immediate vicinity and arrows at all local juntions pointing the way to the event will help people find it and also grab that person who did not know of the event. Even a BIG sign outside the hall could help bring in a couple of people passing by.

- Also NSCC events should all be open and not exclusive although their should be a considerable price differential on the door (e.g NSCC members £1 and non members £4) with the NSCC sign-up desk next to the admitting door.

Anything to make each swapmeet a must visit not only for slotters but locals with a dabbling interest would be good for open and NSCC events.

Re specific trader - cars with no prices on will only put people off and will mean less sales as I'm sure there are people who just want to see a price and pay for it. I'm quite happy asking and haggling but the casual browser might not be.

Finally - the NSCC stall was great with good clear info, a great sign and the video playing gave it that bit extra. Well done.

Matt
 

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I agree with Phil here, what really puts me off buying something in the end is a glum face behind the table that looks completely disinterested in whats going on and no prices on any of the cars...............some clues are always good!!!!
 

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Phil Smith
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The thing is that the miserable, glum looking traders are always the same ones that complain about having a bad day, funny that!
Some people just should not be in the retail trade!

As for signs, some councils will not allow this and if you are hiring the hall from the council it can be impossible to put out signs as they may not let you rent the hall next time, this is the case at Orpington.
 

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When i worked in retail i always thought the best way to a sale is to greet the customer with a smile!!!!
Guess I was wrong about that


Normally you will have to ask the councils permission to erect advertising signs, but normally as long as you promise to take them down theres not a problem.
 

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Like Matt Tucker I also enjoyed the MK meet, this was my second such swapmeet and like the first (again MK earlier in the year) I always like to see the cars in the flesh, the bargains under the tables and anything new that I never intended to buy, but actually end up coming home with.

One other enjoyable feature is the opportunity to 'haggle' - I love it, I mean my good lady wife managed to get the 2 Fly 156 Alfas for £50... not bad eh!

Also finally became a member of the NSCC and had the pleasure of meeting Gareth from the NSCC - thanks for all the help regarding clubs, I look forward to reading the NSCC journals.

So, in my opinion keep the swapmeets bi-annually and make them much much bigger - it would be great to see some 4/6 lane action and a really nice track with scenery and maybe even some european traders as well, offering more unique slot merchandise.

I would have to agree that the meet was very very poorly advertised, no road signs and not even a good sign in front of the the sports hall. I mean I travelled up from Berkshire and if I had never been before, I probably would have never found it. Nearly all local newspapers (usually the free ones) have a local events column and the local radio station has a similar channel for promoting local 'out and abouts'.

Anyway, it was a great day (even the wife enjoyed herself!) and the bargain of the day was a Ditech BMW Grp 5 resin bodykit, courtesy of I think Phil Smith. However I think the front grille is missing - Phil was this left on your table? as it was in the bag when we looked at the instructions.

Thanks

Mark
 
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