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"Purchasing at Wargames Shows" Topic

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Action Log

16 Jul 2016 10:50 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

2,931 hits since 7 Jan 2016
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian07 Jan 2016 8:19 a.m. PST

How much of your hobby purchasing is done at wargame shows or conventions? 10%? 50%? 100%?

Lascaris07 Jan 2016 8:25 a.m. PST

Maybe 10%. I do a big buy at historicon every couple years but mostly buy through online purchases.

McKinstry Fezian Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 8:27 a.m. PST

5-10% max

Disco Joe07 Jan 2016 8:27 a.m. PST

I would say 40%. Most of my purchases are done online.

MajorB07 Jan 2016 8:32 a.m. PST


zoneofcontrol Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 8:35 a.m. PST

I keep a running "need list" and "wish list" so I get about half to two thirds of my stuff at cons. Either from dealers or flea markets.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 8:40 a.m. PST

More than 54.4%.

Ember52 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 8:44 a.m. PST

Books,terrain, and accessories: 75%; figures: 25%.

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 8:47 a.m. PST

Increasingly less but near 70% I'd guess.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 8:47 a.m. PST

I do a big buy at Little Wars, and buy at other shows…

Fat Wally07 Jan 2016 8:48 a.m. PST


rmaker07 Jan 2016 9:00 a.m. PST

50-60% maybe

TGerritsen07 Jan 2016 9:01 a.m. PST

10%, which may seem small, but my overall purchases each year are quite a bit, so 10% is still a big dollar total.

Rich Bliss07 Jan 2016 9:02 a.m. PST

Probably around 10%. The only con I go to with a large dealer presence is Little Wars and No one ever seems to have what I'm building at the time. I did get a good deal on some old Skytrex 20mm tanks from Old Glory a couple of,years ago, but that's the exception more than the rule.

Ottoathome Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 9:05 a.m. PST


My big planned purchases are through the London Model Soldier Store, Willies and Staddens and these account for about 70% of my model soldier purchases, about $500 USD a year. Dayton Painting Consortium gets about $250 USD a year between three shows, but that's just because I buy at the shows and have them ship them to me. About $250 USD a year at flea-market at the conventions but that's mostly games and exotica. Books I tend to buy at public Flea-Markets as well or library sales. So that's another $250 USD a year. Of course that's a general mean. My toy purchase for the whole year is about $3,000 USD and it goes up and down with interest.

One problem I have (and from what my friends say I'm not the only one) is that miniature manufacturers seem to not be making anything new. (The big Exception is Andy Turlington at The Old Sarge or something like that). Also, some of them have bizarre business policies. For YEARS I tried to buy Eureka figures at the HMGS conventions but the counter staff was obviously and frankly not interested in selling. I like to buy whole units and armies and many times I wanted, for example to buy a pile of their French Revolutionary War figures. However I buy to a plan and wanted to buy whole units, and that meant buying a lot more than the one or two blister packs than they had on the counter. They mumbled something that they had no ability to oder from the manufacturer. If I did that I could only get 1/4 or 1/6 of a unit out of the one or two of each type they had, and they didn't want to take an order and ship it to me. The guy behind the table basically told me that I could buy whatever they had there and if they didn't have it "tough beans and hit the road." On the other hand I met a dealer in Eureka at Huzzah in Portland Maine who was eager to do anything for me and I bought a lot of Indian troops for the Seven Years War from him and am going to get a lot more this year.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 9:06 a.m. PST

For conventional wargaming, a very small percent.

For my collectors figures, a pretty big chunk of it.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 9:15 a.m. PST

40% on Average

jefritrout Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 9:16 a.m. PST

Between 80 and 90%

Huscarle07 Jan 2016 9:20 a.m. PST

At the moment I would hazard a guess at about 25% (500) at Salute & Warfare, the other 75% (1500) is a mix of crowdfunders, ebay & online. I seriously need to reduce my spending somewhat after looking at those figures!

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 9:25 a.m. PST

Maybe about 40%. I tend to buy more terrain/scenery and books at shows than online.

dapeters07 Jan 2016 9:26 a.m. PST

It depends on what paints, glue, basing materials local train store (80%).

Figs 100% at cons.

Dynaman878907 Jan 2016 9:28 a.m. PST

10% max.

Online is nearly all the rest except paint and other general supplies.

JimDuncanUK07 Jan 2016 9:39 a.m. PST

I usually take about £100.00 GBP spending money for each of the 6 or 7 shows I go to each year. I don't necessarily spend it all at every show but usually do.

I also pre-order stuff and pay for it online and collect at shows. Sometimes I get it delivered if there is not a convenient show coming up.

I also buy paint and brushes at local model or hobby shops whenever I need to.

You can do the sums percentage wise!

Toronto48 Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 9:47 a.m. PST

I do not go to many cons so most purchases are online.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 9:57 a.m. PST

10% at best. Our local cons don't attract the interesting historical dealers.

Mute Bystander Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 10:21 a.m. PST

0-5% in any year.

"Online with proven manufacturers" is my mantra.

21eRegt07 Jan 2016 10:24 a.m. PST

Less than 5%.

45thdiv07 Jan 2016 10:25 a.m. PST

At conventions I spend 60%. If I go without a list, I tend to buy stuff that looks cool. Then I never do anything with it and it winds up on the flea market table.

Staying away from conventions has helped me spend less.

Dark Knights And Bloody Dawns Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 10:28 a.m. PST


doug redshirt Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 10:40 a.m. PST

O% but several thousand on line.

Cosmic Reset Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 10:46 a.m. PST

Zero for about 9 years now.

John Armatys07 Jan 2016 10:51 a.m. PST

About 50% – I have a running shopping list of things I want, often order stuff for delivery at a show and once there commonly end up with a few bits not on the list. I'm particularly keen to minimise post and packing costs.

TMPWargamerabbit07 Jan 2016 11:05 a.m. PST

Limited at conventions. Main reason is So California now is a "desert" for historical conventions with active unique historical line miniature dealers and manufacturers being present. Traveling to a larger regional convention would eat into the available cash hoard. So the majority of purchases are on line these days.

Norman D Landings Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 11:07 a.m. PST

I'd imagine there's a marked dichotomy between the UK & US membership on this one.
The impression I get from TMP is that US gamers attend far fewer shows than us Brits, and that American shows emphasise participation rather than trading.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 11:24 a.m. PST

~10% I go to a con with a budget of $200. USD I spend it all. Not a penny more.

Who asked this joker07 Jan 2016 11:29 a.m. PST

1/2 to 3/4 usually. My yearly budget is low though. So my spending might be only about 10% of some of the really big spenders.

Dagwood07 Jan 2016 11:30 a.m. PST

Used to be 100% at conventions until both local conventions (Dunstable, Colchester) disappeared. Now 90% online.

Not counting books, magazines, or paint.

Personal logo rampantlion Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 11:35 a.m. PST

In an average year 20-25%, but some years I may get a large ticket item at a show which would increase the percentage.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 11:42 a.m. PST

Varies year on year. This year probably about 80% because I have (a) been to a lot of shows and (b) the stuff I'm currently working on has been available at the shows.

When I was wanting odds and sods of 20mm VBCW stuff not many of the bulk vehicles I wanted came from shows so got them online.

No local shops stock most of the materials or items I'd use so all that is at shows or online.

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 12:11 p.m. PST

Zero, as there are no shows that sell stuff here.

ubercommando Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 12:12 p.m. PST

90%. That's because in the UK the amount of traders at shows is so large I can spend about £150.00 GBP and that will provide me with enough figures and scenery to last 6 months.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 12:21 p.m. PST

I think its about 50/50 for me!

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 12:27 p.m. PST

Less than 5%

TSD10107 Jan 2016 12:48 p.m. PST

In the past 2 years? Probably 80%. Mostly at the flea market.

thiesing Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 12:59 p.m. PST

I would guess 30% cons, 30% local hobby stores and 30% on line.

Frederick the not so great Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 1:36 p.m. PST

About 27.23%

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian07 Jan 2016 2:18 p.m. PST

Only do big buys at the rare HMGS con. "Local" cons typically don't have a large miniatures presence

Rakkasan07 Jan 2016 3:07 p.m. PST

When I lived in the UK it was almost 100% at shows. Since returning to the U.S. it is now almost 100% online.

jdpintex07 Jan 2016 3:48 p.m. PST

I make big buys whenever I go to conventions, which seems to hold me for awhile.

Some from FLGS.

Big online purchases whenever I get money for birthday or Christmas or whenever I get to keep part of a bonus (the house seems to grab most of my bonuses)

Have no idea on percentages and have no desire to waste time figuring it out.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 4:01 p.m. PST

0% at cons.

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