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"Sauce for the Gander" Topic

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1,126 hits since 26 Jan 2018
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robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 11:39 a.m. PST

Since the line is blurring in HMGS-East, and the flea marketeers have long had so sign an agreement to prevent them from engaging in dealer-like practices, wouldn't it now be appropriate for dealers to sign an agreement to keep them from engaging in flea marketeer-like practices? A few modest proposals:

1. Dealer must clearly mark nature and price of all merchandise. "It came that way from England" or "there's a catalog around here somewhere" are not acceptable excuses.
2. Dealers are expected to take major credit cards, and to test their equipment before opening for business.
3. On receipt of payment, the dealer will stop talking with his friends long enough to process the transaction.
4. Dealers at a historical miniatures convention are expected to stock merchandise of use to historical miniatures gamers. Some, anyway.

Any suggestions?

Cyrus the Great26 Jan 2018 12:17 p.m. PST


Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 12:24 p.m. PST

5. Their booth should look modestly professional. If it *looks* like a flea market table, off with their heads!

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 12:40 p.m. PST

Good ones. :-)

Winston Smith26 Jan 2018 12:52 p.m. PST

Flea marketeers have to sign an agreement?
That's news to me. grin

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 1:56 p.m. PST

6. If you don't want to be at a convention. Stop going and have a sale on your website. I'am so tired of pissed off dealers. Who just have to rant and rave about sale,the Con, and how much it cost them to go to the show.

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 2:28 p.m. PST

The agreement is found on the website. Not one you sign but agree to.

thomalley26 Jan 2018 6:07 p.m. PST

Of course if the buyer and seller in the flea market both have their smart phones they can do a paypal exchange and avoid the "no credit card" rule.

rmcaras Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 6:42 p.m. PST

Of course if the buyer and seller in the flea market both have their smart phones they can do a paypal exchange and avoid the "no credit card" rule.

well, no. That too is expressly forbidden. heh heh…

"8. You cannot accept credit, debit card payments (to include PayPal), or any other form of electronic payment. You may accept barter, cash or check."

I note a bit of ambiguity in that the express mention of PayPal is contained within parenthesis within the phrase prohibiting credit, debit card payment and it is possible to pay via Paypal without a "card" being involved.

But the "or any other form of electronic payment…makes it clear. As does the final sentence. The use of electrons "ist verboten".

Last year, during the HMGS elections, I had some questions, that BOD Member John Spiess was kind enough to entertain my questions. In the extended course of that conversation I asked him directly why couldn't sellers in Wally's Basement accept PayPal. After all PayPal has become the defacto sales method of private person to person transactions.

John said he would raise it to the BOD.

I must admit I never followed up with him [I will now] nor did I see any change in policy or note from John or any other BOD member.

So, I raise it you all Flea Marketeers, both buyers and sellers….would you welcome Paypal as an alternative form of voluntary transaction [besides bartering your mule, a jug of white lightning, or a poke of tabacky]?

As with human nature, there probably isn't a policy change from any BOD [a body at rest tends to stay that way unless acted upon] forthcoming unless there is enough express interest by the membership.

Can anyone elaborate reasons why it should not [other than its currently prohibited].

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 8:36 p.m. PST

Wackmole9 , the dealers subsidize the show. Without them the ticket price would need to go up by about $150 USD per person. That's assuming you don't lose attendees because of no dealer hall.

Since I started going in the late 90's , it feels like the shows have bled dealers. Used to be waiting list for dealers to get in. Now there is empty space. I see that trend continuing. Picture that Hall without "anchor tenants " like Belle n Blade. You lose a few key dealers, it'll start to implode.

But what do I know…

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 8:43 p.m. PST

Well, I have a PayPal account, but as a buyer or seller--cash, thanks. I want to buy and move on, or sell and move on, and not block the table waiting for confirmation on a $3 USD purchase. Hmm. Also I don't have a smartphone.

And they've just chased us darn near out of the first day of the convention already. I think the best move is to do nothing for a bit and see whether the BOD loses interest and finds another target rather than calling more attention to ourselves. There will be other years, and other boards.

zoneofcontrol26 Jan 2018 10:29 p.m. PST

9. Vendor Hall spaces should cost $50.00 USD per day. (The con's loss of revenue can be made up by increasing the price of a flea market table to $500.00 USD – $750.00 USD per session.)

Minis is my Waterloo Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2018 7:12 a.m. PST

Going back to what I think the OP was implying…I've suffered through all of those points as a customer in the dealer hall and I would LOVE for the HMGS folks to police the dealer hall. I have had to almost beg some dealers to let me buy something as they didn't want to have their deep conversation with an old friend interrupted for my rude desire to give them my money. I have noticed that the dealer with the huge flea market booth has finally moved to the flea market…but hey, he paid the cost so I guess that was the bod's call.

Bottom line…if you are in the dealer hall, please act professional and give us a desire and the ease of buying from you. Not to single anyone out but take BTC for example…lots of merchandise, well laid out, plenty of sales help and he will stop talking with a friend to help a customer. I know there are plenty like Doug; I'm just using him as an example because he's a great example.

I'm not replying here to take any sides other than that of the consumer. I recently went with my wife to an antiques flea market show, and the 58-yo lady with the smart phone could take my debit card and send me a receipt within 10 minutes…it's not rocket science.

Even the PayPal way is a viable option…if both parties have access to a smart phone or computer-like device. I'm 59…and I still know how to use my phone to pay by PayPal…again, it's not rocket science.

Bottom line…would the HMGS dealer hall people just please think about getting as many dealers as possible to make our shopping experience easier? It can only help the dealers, not hurt them, because honestly I have on more than one occasion found it less frustrating to just buy on-line. I'd rather pick it up and touch it and see how it looks in real life…so please help me to do that. I absolutely appreciate the dealers being at the cons and would love to carry home their products!

Minis is my Waterloo Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2018 7:13 a.m. PST

I'm sorry…just realized I had two bottom lines. Sorry!

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2018 8:43 a.m. PST

Zone, I'd make them a deal. If HMGS would take a check for $1,000 USD, I'd rent a van and bring them ALL my surplus wargaming stuff. But they'd have to find it all good homes, not just pocket my check and pour everything into a dumpster.
I come out of my flea market session with money in my pocket, but when you consider mileage on the car and the price of a room at the Host, I really would be ahead to pay someone to take the stuff.

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2018 9:10 a.m. PST

Robert, perhaps in your case it would be good to just grab a booth in the vendor hall and set your stuff out all weekend with good markdowns. Seems like a lot less work and you would likely have a larger audience than the flea market. Just a thought…….

zoneofcontrol27 Jan 2018 10:46 a.m. PST

BTC +1

That was my thought as well. With the passion displayed about this topic over several different threads by a few posters, that seems to be a wise choice. They could even pool resources and share cost, space and time manning the booth (in a most professional way).

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Jan 2018 11:16 a.m. PST

BTC and zoneofcontrol; great ideas.

All you have to do Robert is buy some tablecloths, racks and shelving, a nice banner, some nice cloth bags with handles and your company logo on them, get some business cards printed up, dress professionally, maybe a shirt with your company name on it, buy a price gun and make sure all your stock is priced, contact IPayment about getting a credit card processing account set up, get a tax ID number with the state of PA and report the income, then rent a van, load it up, gas it up, head on down, set all your goods up and man your booth for three days/18 hours. Make sure you save all your gas, toll, van rental, meal, hotel and booth receipts for tax purposes.

It's a snap.

We all had to start somewhere, come on down, jump on in, the water is fine.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2018 11:24 a.m. PST

Which, Double G, is why I talked about writing a single check. I've already lost the money, thank you.

thomalley27 Jan 2018 2:23 p.m. PST

"8. You cannot accept credit, debit card payments (to include PayPal), or any other form of electronic payment. You may accept barter, cash or check."

I was just pointing out, how would they know. People are constantly on their phones and you could makes a deal and do the transfer outside the flea market.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2018 3:08 p.m. PST

Double G, it suddenly hit me. You think the flea marketeers are competing with you to make a profit. I think I'm insulted.

Yes, there are probably a couple of dealers cheating on the rules, and two or three terrain-makers clearing $2 USD an hour on their labor. That leaves 90% of us, and WE all know that buying a box of plastics from you at full price and selling it for half price--less table rental, mileage and motel charges--is not a sound business model. What we're doing is minimizing our losses. The ones from two states away aren't even doing that. We're losing even more money finding our toys a good home because we can't bear to throw them in a dumpster.

Sorry this is so offensive to you. Would you like me to post a list of things manufacturers and dealers could do so there would be less stuff in the flea market?

rmcaras Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2018 4:33 p.m. PST

Thomalley, true. I believe it highly unlikely one would get caught.

Many of the "rules" are proxies to prevent "dealers/commercial" from selling in the flea market.

They rely on visual observation, which for things like PayPal, business cards etc would be difficult to observe.

I don't know how one would distinguish a private party selling off figures in original packaging (say from an aborted project) from someone else selling them out of a business inventory? Assuming neither put up display racks or used a nice cover on the tables.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Jan 2018 4:55 p.m. PST

"You think flea marketeers are competing with you to make a profit. I think I'm insulted."

Yeah; sorry, you thought wrong.

Two people suggested you get tables in the dealer hall to sell your unwanted items, I agreed with them.

How did you infer from my comments that I think flea marketeers are competing with me to make a profit?

First off, if you're selling unwanted items, you're probably selling them at or below what you paid, so you're not making a profit, you're breaking even at best or most likely, you're losing money.

For every sale you make below what you paid, you're losing money; OR, you're making it up in volume.

Secondly, no one in the flea market sells what I do in the dealer hall, so none of them compete with me for profits.

Thirdly, the vast majority/99% of flea marketeers sell their items, then spend the money in the dealer hall, so again, no competing for profits there.

And thanks for the offer, but I don't need you to tell me what I should be doing as far how to run my business. You've already provided enough information in this thread as to what dealers are doing wrong in your eyes and none of those things apply to me.

Do me a favor; don't assume anything about me or put two and two together and get twenty two when you should get four. If you want to discuss this further, you know where to find me at Cold Wars.

Hope that is clear, as in crystal.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2018 8:36 p.m. PST

GG, I thought you were being sarcastic. If you didn't list every reason why becoming a dealer for one weekend was a bad idea, you certainly listed enough of them.

"For every sale you make below what you paid, you're losing money; OR, you're making it up in volume."

I really want to know how I can sell below what I paid and make it up on volume.

But you're perfectly right on one thing. While I've been careful not to name names, you're a good retailer--one of the best in the Dealer Hall, and I've never experienced dealing with you the things I was whining about in others. Just try not to gloat quite so much over the demise of the flea market, will you? That's money I can't spend with you.

rmcaras Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2018 10:46 p.m. PST

George and Robert, I think we would all agree that the comparing the flea market and the dealer hall is like comparing apples and rutabagas.

each of us can only present how we see and interpret things, from our unique point of views.

I think in principle you both agree more than you disagree.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Jan 2018 7:49 a.m. PST

I've known you for a long time, you've always supported me at the conventions, which I appreciate. My point was if you truly have enough stuff to fill a van, selling the items in the dealer hall where you get 18 hours worth of selling might be worth a shot is all……… sarcasm intended.

My comment about making it up in volume is an old retail joke "I'm losing money on every sale, but making it up in volume"…………

And your not whining regarding the dealer hall; as a consumer, you have a right to point out things you see as negatives/things that negatively impact your buying experience. Pointing those things out is good for dealers to see; truth be told, I've been guilty at times of yammering with a customer/friend of mine at these conventions and some poor guy is patiently waiting to pay me for his items. I've been attending the HMGS conventions for over 20 years and during that time, I've met some terrific people and when I see them in the dealer hall, we tend to have conversations around my booth.

No harm, no foul towards anyone who had to wait, but your point is taken and noted going forward as there is a great deal of truth in it.

And again, I'm not gloating about anything; now I get to shop in the flea market, something I enjoyed a great deal as an attendee before I became a dealer. Moving one session is not the demise of the flea market and again; if it tanks, they'll move it back I'm sure. No one is advocating the removal of the flea market; again the number of folks who turn that cash into sales in the dealer hall is vital to people like me, so it's not going anywhere, no worries.

Thanks for the comments rmcaras; I agree with what you're saying and yes, Robert and I agree more than we disagree, sometimes things get lost in translation via message board posts is all.

Robert; again, no worries, I don't see this as the demise of the flea market, just a slight change for one convention I sincerely hope it works out for all parties involved.

Thanks again for your time and consideration………..

TSD10128 Jan 2018 10:57 a.m. PST

Wackmole9 , the dealers subsidize the show. Without them the ticket price would need to go up by about $150 USD USD per person. That's assuming you don't lose attendees because of no dealer hall.

$150 USD huh? Care to share the numbers behind that?

My point was if you truly have enough stuff to fill a van, selling the items in the dealer hall where you get 18 hours worth of selling might be worth a shot is all

The problem I see with that is, he'll be like every other dealer, stuck doing almost nothing else for the entire convention. He'll have to show up to the dead zone known as Sunday, something he doesn't have to do as a Flea Marketer. He probably won't have any time for a game, as I imagine by the time 6 PM comes and he grabs a dinner, he'll be wiped for the day.

I still think Dealers should be able to make the decision to pack up and leave Saturday night instead of forcing them to spend an extra night at a hotel and sit there for 3 more hours making minimal sales but that is just a side tangent.

I've often wondered which of the Dealers do this, but perhaps working with a dealer to offer some items on a commission basis through their stand?

PJ ONeill28 Jan 2018 3:21 p.m. PST

The $25 USD cost of attending an HMGS con is the lowest price I have ever seen for any con, symposium or get-together of any type in my experience. My opinion is that doubleing the ticket price to $50 USD and using that money to reduce the dealer costs would be a way to ensure the cons future.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Jan 2018 3:30 p.m. PST

TSD101, dealers packing on Saturday night is a bad idea; once the hall closes for the day, if several dealers want to leave, who's going to stay while they pack? Also, for security reasons, it's a non starter. The Sunday 9-12 selling session is something dealers agree to, it is what it is……………

Dynaman878929 Jan 2018 7:35 a.m. PST

> it is what it is……………

But that doesn't mean that is the way it will always have to be.

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