48woodie

Hershey 2017. Swap Meet or Parking Lot/ Camp Grounds ??

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It was a little disappointing seeing so many of the Swap Spaces this year being used for parking, campers, camping or just empty ???????

 

These are just a few of the photos I took.

 

Concerned in the future of the Fall Meet,

 

Mike

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Edited by 48woodie (see edit history)

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Although none of the pictures you've posted were of my spot, I'll be the first to tell you that in January, 2016 I paid for my spots.  Three weeks before Hershey I was in a motorcycle accident and was messed up really bad.  I made it down there for Friday and show day, but when I made it down there, I was there for a parking spot.  I could barely stand, walking was even harder, and I was in no shape to sell anything.

 

This year I was set up at my space, but I would hate to lose my spaces based on that happened to me last year.  I know a lot of guys who set up that are AACA Judges, so they don't bring a lot of stuff but they do set up.  Sometimes they're open, sometimes they're out looking just like you are.

 

You should also aware that you have some vendors who are AACA National Directors.  Some of those guys who are directors used to set up, but now that they're directors, often when they get to Hershey, they get stretched too thin doing club business and don't get the time to set up.  I would hate to see a director be penalized and lose their vendor spots because they're doing club business to keep the business running.

 

Bear in mind that there are a couple of rows of parking in the Chocolate Field annex where the Hershey Region workers park their cars, it might look like a parking lot, but that area is reserved for the folks who work hard to put on a good show.  You can't punish the folks who are donating their time and efforts to put on event that we all enjoy.

 

Next year Chuck Crane will be the AACA National President.  Chuck sets up just down from where I set up.  Depending on what side you view his spot, Chuck's spot looks like a parking lot, but then Chuck and his wife take up a fair amount of space selling their vintage clothing.  That also bears on what side you're looking at.

 

I'm over by the Horseless Carriage tent.  On Friday they put on a big shindig where a lot of the HCCA members get together and have lunch.  There's nothing saying that vendors don't shut down their spot to go to that event or the High Wheeler races.

 

Are there people who abuse the flea market spaces??  Absolutely!!  But there are also some vendors who are there in the Flea Market who have a legitimate reason not to set up, or they might not be set up when you happen to go by their spot.  What may look like a parking lot in some areas, there is a good reason.

 

 

Edited by ex98thdrill (see edit history)

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Having attended since 1972, I agree that there was a change this year. Several others also commented about the empty spaces, rv parking, and just plain tag sale spaces with none or almost no car related items. With fine weather, attendance down, many fewer vendors, and costs going way up, we decided that this year was our last year vending. We rent a 20 x 80 tent, port a potty, truck &trailer, fuel, tolls, hotel, and VERY overpriced food that can only be called terrible on the field.......we have had enough. I don't like to complain, and that's why I have waited so long to talk about it. I didn't want to be the first on the site to pull the trigger. We will still attend, but for a shorter length so we can still see all our car friends. Time marches on, and things change, sadly it's clear the Fall Meet is changing direction from where it has been. Ed

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Yes it is.  You have several factors....

1.  Age - Most of the vendors are retirement age and they've gotten too old to do it.

2.  E-Bay - You can sell things on E-Bay, you don't have to deal with the weather, you don't have to carry it, you don't have to move it and you don't have to get beat up by some idiot who watches Pawn Stars or American Pickers who wants you to pay $80 per space and give it to them for nothing.  From a buyer's standpoint, you can find it quicker and not have to spend four days trying to find a needle in a haystack.  There's a lot of stuff that we have found online that we wouldn't have ever gotten had it not been for the internet.

3.  Reproduction market - When I was a kid, my father used to trade one box of Ford parts for two boxes of Mopar parts because the Fords were in demand, while the Mopar stuff nobody wanted.  If you're restoring a Ford, you can go onto that show field and buy almost everything you need brand new.  Forty years ago you had to scrounge.

4.  HERCO - Herco won't let the vendors go in until 7am, and they want the visitors out of the parking lots at 5pm.  That doesn't give you a lot of time to set up and sell.  By 5:20 you might as well close up because there isn't hardly anyone in sight.  Back in the day people would stay open well into the evening because the people were there to spend money, they had time to do it, and the vendors had the incentive to stay open.  I don't think we've ever sold anything after 6pm.  If the people were there we'd stay open.

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I'd also be curious when your pictures were taken.  It almost looks like Saturday morning to me....and by then the vending is basically over. 

 

A lot of vendors start packing up Friday afternoon.  Unlike in the past, the days for the flea market are Wednesday and Thursday, Tuesday afternoon a lot of vendors are set up, and as mentioned Friday it starts to wind down.

 

I camp on the field at my selling spot, and have stayed over Saturday morning for the show, and you can basically have your choice of parking spots on the Orange or Green field Saturday morning.....

 

I have sold a lot of stuff on Ebay and understand the concept, but there's nothing like face to face discussions.  I met a lot of people I'd been corresponding with, even put one new friend on to a Juki sewing machine I knew about.  You also hear about cars and parts for sale, the networking that takes place at Hershey is important.

 

For some of us old timers, Hershey is becoming more about the people one sees and less about the cars and parts....

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I injured my foot on the Monday of Hershey week.  I was attending as a spectator, but at the comparatively young age of 46 I found myself counting my steps.  The "reasons" above might be accurate, but surely they cover a small minority of the empty acreage I witnessed on Friday this year.  I felt bad for the lone vendors setup between empty spots... I probably wasn't trudging up the entire length of the row just to see their goods.  Sadly, those making a real effort to sell are being impacted by the parkers and campers.

 

The car corral only appeared about 3/4 full on Friday.  In past years, vacated spots seemed to be quickly recycled.

 

The world is changing, as is the hobby.  Hershey needs some corrective measures to refocus the swap meet so the shoppers and vendors get a fair shake.

Edited by gpfarrell (see edit history)
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I was set up on the Chocolate field and felt the same thing when I got out to walk this year.   A lot of empty spaces and multi-unit camping areas.  I am a bit prejudice on the vendors selling as I like to close and get out and shop too at times, I also attend several club meetings during the week that mean time away from the booth. 

 

I also felt the crowd was very light this year with the best selling day I had on Thursday.  The crowd was terrible on Tuesday, better on Wed and evaporated at literally 4:30 on Friday.  I looked down the row at 4:30 and saw a light amount of people but at 4:40 I noticed I could see all the way to the south end with only a couple of walkers in sight!

 

My pet peeve is with the vendors.  When the forecast Thursday called for 40% chance of rain that afternoon (with a good forecast for Friday) I saw vendors packing with a small steady stream exiting the field all afternoon.  None of us like rain but this gets worse every year it seems.  If rain is mentioned some immediately pack it in.  That doesn't help entice the buyers to stay or even come so the spiral continues. 

 

I do think aging out has a lot to do with all of this, the convenience and saved travel cost of internet shopping and the HERCO issues all have a lot do with what I too see is a disturbing change/trend for the Fall Meet.  Next year is 40 non stop years for me, love it and will keep going but it is definitely not what it was in the 80's or 90's.

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Good! Then maybe we can get off the Golf Course and back on the Giant Center, and I can stop twisting my ankle in those 'Woodchuck Holes" and tree roots!

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I turned 60 this year and attended my 21st consecutive Hershey meet. In the last 10 years my wife and I have had to over come a lot of health issues both big and small to continue our string of visits. This still is the most wonderful automotive event in the world in our opinion. I have read all the comments about parking, attendance, vendors and the effect that both time and the internet have made on our hobby. I can tell you eBay is a poor source for buying and selling anything, and I have done both. There is nothing like seeing it, touching it, smelling it and negotiating on it face to face. The food in Hershey is wonderful and yes expensive, but folks who own 50 and 60 thousand dollar cars should not complain about the cost of eating out, there is always McDonalds. We come to Hershey to see our friends, some that we only see once a year. It is about the experience, which is the only thing we take to the grave. We as hobbiest have done such a poor job of getting young people involved and have priced it right out of there budget. Want to help Hershey and our hobby grow, get your kids, and grandkids involved. Maybe re evaluate letting in customs and hot rods. We are getting older, so while we can, give back to the hobby instead of pissing and moaning about shoppers not wanting to spend $5000 on a $300 sign and weather or not a vendor parks in a space he paid for. Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion.

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Ex98thdrill mentioned a couple of concerning things.

 

He knows AACA Judges that use their spaces for parking "throwing out a few things so it looks like they're selling.

 

He knows of National Directors who no longer sell from their spaces.....and use them to park.

 

And why would prime spaces in the Chocolate Fields be used for employee parking.

 

Looks like the typical abuse of the Government.

 

Mike

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Oh, I forgot to mention......

 

Who pays $ 8.00 for a $ 3.00 Milk Shake???

 

$ 15.00 parking......it costs $ 20.00 at Soldiers Field in Downtown Chicago.

 

Mike

 

I must be getting old.

 

 

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I've been going to Hershey for 15 years as a buyer and I've always seen the empty spots, camping spots, and cars just parked. It might be worse than in the past and I am in the camp that would like to see vendors consolidated and a " premium parking" section for those that need or want it.

Long term, I think there will always be a place for Hershey. I am just a hobbyist, and I don't make a living from it, but I've been selling (and buying) stuff on EBay since 1998. There are things that are not easily sold there that are at a swap meet. Oversized items, back issues of magazines, fragile items, etc.

I was a vendor at Hershey for the first time this year and I think it worked out well. Wednesday was the most productive for me and I got rid of lots of big old stuff cluttering up my garage, met lots of nice people, and I had fun. Now I live local so my outlay of dollars was less than some others but it was well worth it for me.

By the way my space was empty Thursday after 3 and all day Friday for family reasons.

I'll be selling again next year.

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 We paid over $700 for two nights for a standard hotel room at the Lodge.. Because we wanted to. This is not a hobby for people who are counting their pennies, sorry to say. Life is short so enjoy it as much as you can. Never know if you will be here next year to enjoy the World's great car show.

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On ‎10‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 5:49 PM, 48woodie said:

Ex98thdrill mentioned a couple of concerning things.

 

He knows AACA Judges that use their spaces for parking "throwing out a few things so it looks like they're selling.

 

He knows of National Directors who no longer sell from their spaces.....and use them to park.

 

And why would prime spaces in the Chocolate Fields be used for employee parking.

 

Looks like the typical abuse of the Government.

 

Mike

No it isn't.

 

1.  The judges can have a flea market space, and they can sell, but what's to say that they have to be open all day, every day when you walk by??  Most of the guys I know who are judging, set up, but then they pack up on Friday.

 

2.  National Directors - You obviously have no idea the workload that those guys have.  Are you saying that the national directors should give up their spaces because they can't sit in their spots due to the meetings that they have to sit through??  When Terry Bond was on the National Board you seldem ever saw him on his spot.  Now that he's off of the National Board, he's back at his spot.  When Herb Oakes was alive, he had his motorhome on his spot and would sell vintage license plates as time permitted.  When he was National President, he left his motorhome at home because he was at Hershey Lodge.  Don Barlup was a lot more visible at his spot before he became a National Director.  When Don was National President, you hardly ever saw him because he was busy.

 

3.  Hershey Region workers - You have people who are volunteers who are working their butts off trying to put on a good show.  Are you saying that they have to park way out of the way to make you happy??  A lot of those folks are not young by any means, yet they're working a full day and a parking spot for these volunteers is the least you can do for them.  It isn't like their parking is scattered, there is one section where most of them park together.

 

Several years ago I was approached to run for a position on the national board.  I refused to do it, I was pushed, I pushed back, rubbed some people the wrong way and I've paid for it ever since.  It's gotten to the point where all we do now is show our cars and go home.  The reason I said no has was never for lack of love for the hobby or the club, but I've seen the crap those guys have to deal with, and I don't have the time, the money or the desire to deal with that crap to the level that the job requires.

 

I'm sorry you don't like the fact that the AACA National Directors get stuck in meetings and can't be at their flea market spots.  I'm also sorry that people who are in their 70's and even 80's come in before 7am, and work until 5am and are given a parking spot as compensation for working for free.

 

What you think is abuse of government is not the case at all.  Without these folks busting their tales, there would be no club and there would be no Hershey.  I highly recommend you get more involved so that you can understand the whole picture. 

 

Bear in mind there is nothing written anywhere as to what time the vendors have to be there, and how long they have to stay.  At $80 a spot, if business is bad, they might cut their losses, pack up and head home.

Edited by ex98thdrill (see edit history)

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Dear Ex98thdril,

 

# 1. Lets say you drive to the mall to go to Sears to buy a tool you really need...you get there and they're closed. On the door is a sign..."We will be closed part of the day Wednesday, we might be open some of the day Thursday, but we will be closed all day Friday. Would you drive back just to see if they are open ????  I don't think so.

 

This is no way to run a business or an AACA Swap Meet / Car Show.

 

# 2. The same answer as number # 1. If a Vendor can not manage their space during normal business hours then they should not have a space.

 

I realize that they will need to use the washroom or have breakfast, lunch and supper.

 

# 3. Reverse everything.....So you're saying that the shopper should have to park miles away, which they do. Then they have to walk all day to see that 30% of the swap meet is being used for parking and camping.  Most of the shoppers are as old if not older than the volunteers .

 

Lets say you go to the same mall as just as they open to get a parking space close to the doors and all the parking spaces near the doors are full. You then have to walk all the way through the parking lot to get to the doors only to find out that all the employees, security, maintenance, Management, owners etc. are allowed to use all the close parking.

 

This is a Swap Meet not a parking lot/ Camp grounds. It doesn't matter who you are or what you have to do the the show. Swap spaces are for selling....as advertised.....Wednesday through Saturday (Oct4 -7th, 2017).

 

Maybe they should change the Wed Page Ad to " 9,000 vendors.....well almost 9,000 vendors....5 %of the spaces are used by the Board of Directors and Judges.....5 % is for the workers.....10 % is for camping...10 % is for random parking. ( See attached photos).

 

I was on the Board of Directors of one of the larger car clubs and one of our biggest concerns is "How do we get younger people interested and involved in vintage car clubs".  Having them come to a swap meet and have to wade through empty swap space isn't going to do it.

 

Not everyone can take off work or family obligations Wednesday , Thursday and Friday especially if you are young. Closing early on Friday and not opening at all on Saturday is not far to those who have to work for a living.

 

And again.....who buys an $ 8.00 milk shake?

 

There is a lot of abuse of the swap spaces and I hope it can be corrected.

 

Mike

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If you read the Swap Space Registration form it states that the Flea Market is open Wednesday through Saturday, 7 am until 5 pm.

 

It also states that " No Flea Market swap spaces shall be solely used for camping or parking". (#4).

 

Are the rules set by the AACA only for us common people ?????

 

Setting out a card table with grandma's crocheted  pot holder does not constitute an swap space.

 

Oh yah.........Who buys an $ 8.00 milk shake ?

 

Mike

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Ha, me thinks some are confused between a business and a hobby.

 

Most of the business run spots are staffed the whole time, me as a one man show hobbiest will do as I please and if it don't please you.....too bad. I'll be at my site when I can and when I can't I won't.

 

I do not make a living offering the parts I've accumulated and frankly I am usually under water when all is said and done, but if someone needs or wants what I have and it helps their project along or brings them a little joy that's great. But I am not going to be waiting with baited breath for someone to come along if I don't want to be there every minute of every day.

 

And 48 is way off base, that is not employee parking in the Chocolate field it is VOLUNTEER parking. Hats off to them.

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Sure is a lively chat here.  48 Woodie, sorry your glass is half empty.   For many of us it's a hobby, not a business as has been pointed out.  Still, I did great and have no complaints.  I also found some great stuff this year.   My booth was open while I served as an AACA director for 15 years, but on a limited basis.   I had a smaller than usual display this year because of my broken leg, so if a few things on a table at my spot disappointed you I humbly apologize for the limitations dictated by my medical situation.  I'll try to do better next time.  Be warned however,  you'll not find me there when I'm out shopping, and you'll also not find me there during certain hours on Friday when I try to attend the Spark Plug Collectors of America meeting way over by the old stadium, or on Friday afternoon when we try to be at the Buzzards Breath Touring Region meeting. This year I also attended a Continuing Judges Education session.  Of course Saturday I also had judging obligations to fulfill on the showfield.   You'll also find me closing up early on Thursday so we can take our turn at the AACA membership booth late in the afternoon.  If you wander on by during those times you are more than welcome to take a picture of my  space, but personally, when I take pictures at Hershey it's of neat old cars and great stuff piled on tables.  I hope you enjoy next year's event, I can promise great weather, and I highly recommend you try the crab cakes.  

Terry

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Terry,

 

My glass is normally over flowing.

 

Please don't get me wrong....I love Hershey. And I found a lot of great items to buy and got to see many friends that only see once a year.

 

I appreciate all the hard work that everyone does. It takes many hours of preplanning just to have the show. And many, many more hour to run the show.

 

I just feel that someone has to speak up.

 

I have been going to Hershey since 1982.

 

Over the past 10 years I have noticed that more and more spaces are not being used for Selling.

 

If a person reads the Flea Market Registration and makes a decision to purchase a space then he or she must abide by the rules.

 

How sad who it be for a young enthusiast to travel 10 minutes, 1 hour or 6 hours to go to his or hers first big Saturday Swap meet and gets there and no one is there vending.

 

Maybe he or she takes Friday off work to find 1/3 of the spaces empty in the morning or 1/2 empty in the afternoon because vendors decide to go to a meeting or just go home.

 

Can't these meeting be held after 5 pm when the flea market closes ?????

 

Can't the organizers have an area just off the vendor areas for volunteer parking.

 

There is plenty of parking just to the South and North of the Giant center, just South East of the South Red Field and just east of the North Red Field.

 

Are the Hershey Fall Meet Organizers afraid to admit that they have a problem. Is it to hard to Police. Or is it Status Quo..let the next guy handle it. Or if I rock the boat I might lose my great Parking Space/ Camping area.

 

I'd love to be on the Board of Directors for the show. Think of the benefits. 

 

Actually how do I apply for a position.

 

Still wondering who buys $ 8.00 milk shakes ?? I can afford it...but why?

 

Mike

 

 

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Thanks for your response.  The Hershey Region, who actually organizes the fall meet, including the swap meet, reviews everything about the event, and starts planning for next year immediately,  and I'm sure they would be interested in your thoughts. Rather than try and organize the event on this forum you  should compose a nice letter outlining your thoughts and ideas and address it directly to the Hershey Region AACA.  I know you have a concern for the future of the event, and you raise some interesting points so thanks for having the courage to speak up.  Just be sensitive to the fact that each vendor is an individual. 

 

You would need to be a member of the Hershey Region in order to be on their board of directors. It's a very large group of dedicated volunteers who run this event, and if you were a part of that group there would be very little of your time available for either vending or shopping. There is designated volunteer parking near the Giant Center, and other locations throughout the various fields. 

 

What you mention about casual or first time visitors is unfortunately true.  Last year I was packing up late on Saturday and had a couple stop by indicating they had heard that there was a car show and flea market that day.  They showed up at about 3:30PM.  I explained the whole thing to them, handed them an AACA application and let them know the best thing they could do is join the club.  They did, and this year they came by on Friday afternoon to tell me how much they appreciated the help.  Yes, unfortunately, if Sears is having a big sale, there will still be customers to who show up a day late, or after all the goodies are gone. 

 

Don't know why you are hung up on over-priced milk shakes, but then again on a hot day at the ball park, that $5 beer tastes mighty good.

 

Hope the post Hershey season is good for you and that you'll be back again next year to find some goodies.

Terry

 

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18 years ago my wife and I would spend two days walking the flea market including the old airport. There was sooo much to see and look at. We were'nt really looking for any particular parts but there was soooo much to see. The rows were chock-a-block with vendors hawking everything imaginable. There was soooo much to see.

Wednesday I brought a car to the corral to sell. About noon I thought I'd walk the market for a bit. After all, there was soooo much to see.

After maybe three rows of walking and seeing maybe  8 vendors  my knees and hips  brought me to my senses.

There was soooo little to see.

Well, I did sell my car.......................Bob

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I had not been to Hershey since 2010. My life has changed in many ways over those few years and stayed the same, as well. I just went to be amerced in car stuff. I tied up Friday and Saturday and spent something like $300. I didn't need anything special and had no desire to carry things around. Lots of windshield time, too. And I never turned the radio on, 10 hours or so driving for me.

 

All old people there. I saw one old guy sitting in a space and wondered what obsolete thoughts the five red blood cells he had left were churning up in his brain.

 

It was annoying to have campers and trucks parked with bumpers touching to close off the territory of spaces. I wouldn't have been surprised to see someone peeing in the corners to mark their space. It reminded me of how the Sooner state got its name.

 

Although I wanted to go to Hershey in 1974, I didn't make it until 1990 for the first time. I went up RT81, got off at Manada Hills, and came in by RT39. Coming over that last hill in 1990 the whole meet spread out in front of me, lots of advertising balloons, bright tents, and cars all around. It is a lifetime memory. I took that route this year. The view coming over the hill was hardly inspiring. A coupe of balloons, dark camping trailers replaced the tents, and overgrown trees adjacent to state property detracted from the view.

 

I plan on being back next year. The itemized cost accounting is entertaining. It made me remember I left a $5 tip for my $7 breakfast Saturday morning. Over the years watching car collectors deal with money has been the most entertaining part. My Grandfather used to say "He's got fish hooks in his pocket." I like to tell about the two old Buick owners who got ahold of a penny and invented copper wire.

 

I'm happy. What's a psychiatrist get $400 per hour? It was two days of mental health at a bargain.

 

And you know, if you put people in a lineup, the complainers are real easy to spot. Almost like their forehead was rubber stamped.

Bernie

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My last thought.

 

When I walked up to the Red Food Truck in the Red Field at the south west corner of the stadium I noticed a tip jar at the window .

 

Who pays $ 8.00 for a milk shake then leaves a tip ?????

 

Mike

 

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