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Aren't gun shows fun? For the last few years, I've been divesting myself of military odds and ends I've acquired over the years and some finds at garage and estate sales. I look around after I've set up my table just to get an idea of pricing but I'm really not in the buying market anymore, so I go as a vendor. Everything you guys have to put up with, we have up here in Canada. We have the tire-kickers, low-ballers, and vendors who want items for pennies so they can sell them for dollars when the show opens to the public. I've never seen CC transactions at all; everything is cash or (if a buyer is well known to you) cheques. As a vendor, the biggest PITA are the poor lost souls, socially disenfranchised, who will stand in front of your table, gab away, buy nothing, take it upon themselves to "share" their experiences and their extensive range of knowledge (often inaccurate) and block other potential buyers from seeing your stock. It's even more interesting when the chatterbox is one of those old guys with a very casual attitude toward personal hygiene. We have the same vendors who are at every show, with the same vastly over-priced wares that never seem to sell. I'm convinced they're there just as a social outing and meeting old friends rather than from any serious intent to transact business. I price my stuff to a little below fair market value, and I've even sold items at a loss because I did so well on other items that moved for a substantial profit. With the current lock-downs, we have no prospect of any gun/militaria shows in foreseeable future. I hope you guys fare better.
 

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I like to go to the shows , plain and simple. Years ago I walked the shows, now I get a table or 2 . I always set up on Friday so I can walk around and maybe score something. It also helps when the show opens to have everything in place . Like everywhere , there's the contingent of BS ers as wellas low ballers but not as bad lately because I just tell them, "If you don't want to buy it, move on !!" It's amazing how many people expect to use credit cards . I tell them cash only and they say they didn't bring any money. So I tell them, "Then go get some !!" I've even had people want to use a credit card for $5 !!! A guy once said, "It's my social hour " !! That about sums it up for me. I like to talk , sell, buy and just hang out with people who have my similar interests . I collect a lot of things so even antiques only shows, are fun. Here's to your Social Hour !!
 

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I admit I like the social aspect of shows, I like to chat with people & feel the pulse of the gun owners of the world.
I like to keep up on current trends in pricing & availability.
At the same time probably 70~80% of my shooting, reloading, outdoor & related purchases are at shows too so I'm not "just a tire kicker".
I have "shewting stuff money", it comes with me always. It may vary as sometimes I spend a chunk of it & then let it build up again if I don't see something at the next few shows. I've bought entire rifles on a whim with cash just because It was something 'floating round in the back of my mind", I had enough gun money to buy it & it tickled my fancy. The 1914 SMLE was just such an impulse buy, mainly because it had an aperture sight on it & I prefer them to "Open" irons.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I took this show as a learning experience.....

Like I said if someone buys a small item or makes a large purchase I have time for them.... Just dont waste my time for NO reason....

The Second best aspect of this show was people watching..... I saw some real interesting outfits and some interesting body language between husbands and wives.....

Some people go to a therapist.....I go to a gun show....Just my 2 cents!
 

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I like scanning and digging for that one little jewel that has been overlooked, misidentified, or priced by someone who doesn't see or understand the value of the item. If I can leave a show with one or two of those......I won!
 

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Yup! I remember not walking but running to the car clutching a shoe-box, yelling to the wife, "I'll explain later, just GO before he realizes what he's done"!
 

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Oooh...what was in it???
 

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Yup! I remember not walking but running to the car clutching a shoe-box, yelling to the wife, "I'll explain later, just GO before he realizes what he's done"!
Sounds like my $300 Original Brown Bess Musket complete with bayonet , that I got at a garage sale here where I live. I asked her what she wanted for it and she said $300. I did the standard hesitation and then said, OK.
As a side note on finding screaming deals, a guy I met who collects medals and sells them to , was approached by a woman who said she had a medal she wanted to sell. He went to her house and she produced an Indian War MOH complete with the original box. When asked what he would pay for it, he told her $250 ,[it was 45 years ago]. . She gasped and said, "Oh my, I had no idea it was worth that much. I'd better keep it until I find out more about it." So based on that, I tell them, "It's your ------ . You tell me what you want for it " and go from there.
 

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He "KNEW" that this, new, still sealed in the original bag

3783194


was one of these & wanted $100 for it. He told me I couldn't negotiate the price & if I tried he'd pull the sale.
3783196


He got quite snarky about it, demanded the $100 in his hand before he'd let me touch it.
I didn't argue, after all he KNEW!
He still (7 years later) glares at me when I walk past his table.:ROFLMAO:
 

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He "KNEW" that this, new, still sealed in the original bag

View attachment 3783194

was one of these & wanted $100 for it. He told me I couldn't negotiate the price & if I tried he'd pull the sale.
View attachment 3783196

He got quite snarky about it, demanded the $100 in his hand before he'd let me touch it.
I didn't argue, after all he KNEW!
He still (7 years later) glares at me when I walk past his table.:ROFLMAO:
He received his just reward. 🤣 (y) That being said, several years ago I was at the NGD show. Looked at a Radom on the table of a large seller. I thought I will come back later. I was 3 tables away and it hit me that I was stupid. Went back & there was this guy (another dealer) negotiating for it. This guy thought the pistol was refinished. I was on pins & needles. Finally, the guy said that he would be back Sunday and perhaps something could be worked out.

After the guy left, I wandered over to the table, examine the pistol, etc, and made an offer. Ended up with $100 knocked off of the price. It had not been refinished. A couple years later I met the vendor at a NAPCA show & I received this look and a comment that he finally realized what he sold me. He made a comment that it was just one of the risks of the trade. (We became good friends.)
 

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I edited a book on Austrian military ammunition and had asked the author if a certain round shown on a shop drawing was available in Europe. He said that no known rounds existed at all, it was just on the blueprint. A few months later I found one for $5 in a dig box at a cartridge show!!! How I did not spontaneously combust while calmly asking what the guy wanted for it I will never know. I would have paid $1000 without batting an eye. It pays to read and study-up on your hobby passions!
 
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In my early days I was at every show within reasonable driving distance (reasonable being a variable term, depending on mood and what else I had going that weekend).
Year's passed, my collecting goals crystallized and became satisfied.
Then fuel prices started to climb, entry fees rose and some venues charged for parking (urban shows with parking structures at first but then hick shows at sports arenas with nothing but a muddy field).
The price for the outing climbed beyond what I considered reasonable to spend the day looking at the same overpriced stuff that had been on the tables forever.
The introduction of other goods, candy, jerky and at one show, mattresses made the entire effort pointless in my view.
The rising costs also made it prohibitive for dealers from other states to travel to local shows plus the restrictive laws that some states put in place made selling/buying a nightmare.
I'm not talking firearms here, stuff like reloading supplies and gun parts are restricted.
The rise of the internet also lessened my enthusiasm, I could often find my latest desire with the click of a button.

So, at the end of all this, I haven't been to a show in a decade or more.
YMMV
 

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Oh I LOVE the shows near big cities.
They know so much more than us hicks.
Another deal (from the same show but on a different date)
$ 200 OTD!
(It "wasn't working, probably because the tube was expired"!) Actually it had an oxidized (not corroded) battery contact!
3783549
3783550
 

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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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I edited a book on Austrian military ammunition and had asked the author if a certain round shown on a shop drawing was available in Europe. He said that no known rounds existed at all, it was just on the blueprint. A few months later I found one for $5 in a dig box at a cartridge show!!! How I did not spontaneously combust while calmly asking what the guy wanted for it I will never know. I would have paid $1000 without batting an eye. It pays to read and study-up on your hobby passions!
Exactly.
I had heard of the variation. Even now, it is only mentioned in York's book on Radoms but no pictures.
 

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I haven't been to a gun show in over a year, mostly because nothing has been scheduled. The last show I went to was at the Ingham County Fairgrounds (Michigan). My hands (and my money) pretty much stayed in my pockets the whole time. Prices were insane and although a couple of things caught my eye, there wasn't really anything screaming "buy me".

The only purchase I made after walking around for about two hours was a box of ammo for my Remington Rolling Block rifle. I was there with a couple of friends and they didn't find anything either.

From the show: I spotted a Colt 3rd Model Dragoon sitting in a glass case and took a closer look at it. The seller came over to me and asked if I was interested. I looked at it again, and politely said no. He told me it was an original, in great condition, and he was only asking $850 for it. I thanked him and started to walk away.

He said he'd make me a deal on it, as he was selling it for a friend. I walked back, leaned over the case and said "It's not original". He looked pissed and asked me how I knew. I told him I had been a Civil War reenactor for over a decade and that I carried an 1851 Navy Colt or an 1860 Army Colt on a regular basis. He just said "So what." Then I dropped the hammer on him and told him that originals weren't marked "BLACK POWDER ONLY" on the tops of the barrels.

I never found out if it was a CVA or a Taylor's, but when I walked by later, he had it turned around so you could no longer read the top of the barrel.

As for local ammo prices, I picked up two boxes of ammo last weekend and paid $108 including tax for 50 rounds of .357 Magnum SP and 50 rounds of .45 LC. But it was the only store where I've been able to locate those two calibers in the last six months.
 

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I helped an old friend recently do a show not too far from his home is PA at a show selling mostly older milsurp ammo....

It was a pretty interesting day.....here is what I took away..

-Dont get into it with anyone who lowballs or offends you

-If the deal is not right its not right

-People should actually come to a show with hard cash.... People were asking him to take a credit card 10 min into the show

-Stick to your prices and dont buy the BS....

-I have no time for tire kickers at my stage in life....

Best story of the day was a guy who came around looking at multiple calibers of ammo. He wanted to buy all the .223/5.56 my friend had. They starting negotiating and at one point told my friend he was nuts and he saw the ammo alot cheaper at 2 other dealers tables in the show... The air was thick so I kind of broke them up and told the guy we would think it over and he should buy the ammo from the other sources since it was cheaper......Fast forward about 45 minutes and this winner comes back to the table. When I approach him to ask if I can help he just mutters wheres the .223 ammo? I told him it all sold out a few minutes ago..... he starts to flip out.....I asked what happened to the 2 other dealers with cheaper prices?? Mr. Winner just walked away......
On the other hand a lot of people are getting frustrated with being gouged.
 

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On the other hand a lot of people are getting frustrated with being gouged.
It's called "Supply and Demand" . The only reason you got "Gouged" was because you bought it . No one forces you to do anything . I get sick and tired of the old goats ,[I'm one], saying, " I bought mine for $12 " , after looking at one of my milsurps. So effin what !!! I remember too, coffee for a nickel and gas for 17 cents . Doesn't men sh*t because people earned $1.25 / hour or less . I have to laugh at people who walked on when 9mm was $9 /box at Walmart and now are bitching about paying $35 or more . I'm selling all those 9mm boxes to you and laughing at the fact you never gave it a thought even though 8 years ago we went through the same stupidity with Obama and $75 / brick of .22's or more and YOU never learned from it . Stop complaining about "Gouging" and start thinking about what happened before and what can happen again. Maybe you'll be selling like me.
 

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I have not been to a gun show in about a year. But a buddy went to the Mountain Home, Arkansas, show a couple of weeks ago. He said it was kind of sparse, but they did have nice ceramics. Ammo was pert near unobtainable.
 
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