Finding Gold At An Automotive Swap Meet Is Not Impossible.
You just never know what you’ll find at an automotive swap meet. As a vendor, I’m buying and selling at the spring Lancaster Automotive Swap Meet.
Take for example this one time I found a $250. The worth of gold in a plastic pill bottle tucked away in the unsuspecting place. And not just of any vendor’s table, it was right under my nose all along.
This gold story started at this twice a year Automotive Swap Meet event. This event like most is put on by Car Clubs to collect money for their much-needed local community charities.
I was venturing on this fine sunny Saturday “and we vendors have a rule” be there real early to get a prime spot. If you’re lucky enough to get your booth up and organized before the gates open, you have a chance to scout around, do a little “bartering.” Hell, all of us vendors do this practice. It’s the norm, “but only if we have time.”
Some so-called swap meets vendors bring a few items to put on a “one” table. Their purpose is relatively simple, there not there to really sell anything, just to spend the whole day wandering around and buying.
They hope to score a few cheap items before the gates open to the public. For example, this one guy just wants service station signs, maybe the odd antique for his brick and mortar store, but most signs. And let’s not forget the most important thing when going to these events, enjoying that commodity and the fun car show atmosphere.
But I’m really not so different. I go to the same tables to buy a few extra things, bring it back to my table, a slight markup, and … I’m good to go, right.
If you’re still wondering where the gold comes from, you have to understand where these/me auto vendors get items to sell.
Most vendors buy their product at auctions, abandoned storage lockers, deadstock at a car dealer, swaps meet like this one … one vendor would buy from the other and it goes on.
I classify all of us as modern-day gypsies. Some of these guys at a swap meet camp out in their pick-up trucks or tents for the two days or for as long as the swap meet event lasts.
Finding gold at an Automotive Swap Meet, well, it’s not impossible, Kinda.
At some of the more significant events, the guys will bring their whole families, camp out for the weekend with their kids, and most of the time they love it.
Now finding the gold part comes into play at my very own booth, and I didn’t even realize it.
Most of my product that day was bought from an estate auction a few days earlier, but it was mostly NOT auto-related.
This poor fellow that passed away was into old radios and electronics and was a technician of sorts. I bought plastic tray containers (cheap) with small nuts and bolts, springs out of old watches, exciting things for some people, maybe!
But as I came up at the gate, I told the car club dude taking my money, what I had, and that it wasn’t exactly auto-related. “Well, don’t bring that stuff again,” he said… Right. He had to say it in front of all the people standing there. “It is an automobile swap meet.” Not a garage sale.
At my table I decided not to even look inside these trays, it’s not like to hid a Muncie 4 speed transmission in them. I just wrapped these plastic containers with a shrink-wrap material so the drawers didn’t slide open and put $5.00 per box on each of 20 drawers.
12 o’clock noon came along and after no lookers or buyers, not even for a lousy five bucks, I thought I had to be a little creative if I wanted to dump, I mean to sell this product. “I’ll remove all these dinky pieces of hardware from the drawers and put them into baggies and sell the items that way.”
After pulling all the drawers apart, separating all the little bullshit things I itemized them into clear plastic bags, I finally got to the last container out of 5. I pulled the very last drawer out of the last container, and I said “WHAT is THIS!”
A “pill bottle filled with something yellow!” After getting it evaluated, it turned out to be $250. Worth of gold!
$5 .00 was all I was asking for the whole container.
So, you never know what you’ll find at Automotive Swap Meet vendors table or mine! Eh!
Finding Gold At An Automotive Swap Meet Is Not Impossible. Extra
Here is an interesting Swap Meet Vendor Story
As a vendor at a local automotive spring swap meet I laid four electric drills on my table for sale. A husband and wife team came over; he looked at one of the drills and said “I should have that. ”His wife/partner leans over his shoulder and quietly whispers in his ear, dear “you already have two.” Yeah, but I should have another.
You can see her eyes roll back into her head.
I would have sold him all four if he wanted them. Being a car guy, I understand! “He said as he walks away, you never know when you need another drill.” It must be a man thing, eh! “More is better right boys!”
Bring on those Automotive Swap Meets … I’m more than ready!