45th Annual East Coast Military Vehicle Rally Militaria Flea Market 10-12 May 2018

rickf

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Well, This is my 32'nd year. I was a vendor for about half of them. I missed one year due to a serious illness. Myself and quite a few others were kicked out of our spots in the name of "Traffic control" last year. So I, And most of them did not come back as vendors. Most did not come back at all since it had become more of a social event than anything. When I got there last year I find a half million dollar RV parked in our spots that we were ousted from in the name of "Traffic control". And another very large vendor blocking the rest of the road. This year one of those vendors is back in those spots that we were kicked out of but I never got any notice that they were opened up again and neither did the others. Many of the long time big vendors are tired of being bounced around to different spots also. I know of one who told me this was going to be his last year. Just poor management is what is doing it in. The club got a BIG cut on the rental of the lot many years ago but never passed that along to the vendors. This is the highest cost per spot far and away. And every year people have their tents and canopies blown away because they cannot be adequately tied down. This year even the organizers finally got a taste of what everyone has had for years when their tent was moved around by a storm. They are no longer sheltered by the hill that was always blocking the wind for them. NOW they will see what everyone else has to deal with and that a bucket of water just does not cut it. Friday morning I saw a LOT of damaged goods from Thursdays nights storm. So there are a few more reasons vendors are not wanting to come anymore.
 

CUCVFAN

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I sure won't argue with those points. That is poor management...

I took damage to my stuff on Thursday night. I basically made the same statement today: "Had I been able to properly tie down my tent, it would not have blown over and gotten torn up". That is the one aspect I left out of my points, due to its relation to weather, which I cannot really control. But, yes, that is a HUGE problem with this venue.

Hopefully, they can work things out to make it better.
 
My son and I drove down for a few hours on thursday and walked the aisles. It was a bit spread out for the amount of vendors but it was the first day and many of us have jobs. I was lucky to have the day off. We enjoyed ourselves as usual . Good to chat with some old and new friends. We walked away with a few cucv bench seatbacks that were on our list of wants!
 

GM72K10

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Made the 2 hour trek. Friday morning. Went home with a truck load of CUCV parts. Good deal, Good food, good people, good show.
 

major519

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My wife and I started going about 5 years ago. Within three years of going we already saw a downturn in the show. We did not go last year or this year and from the opinions expressed by many it seems as if this was the right decision. It appears that perhaps Findlay is beginning to take over, especially for those in the north
 

jcappeljr

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This was the first year I missed in about 15 years.Extremely busy lately and some family issues...I missed seeing everyone .
 

rickf

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Dinner pics from Thursdays steak dinner

The weather held out long enough for us to get dinner in. I should mention that superb effort was put in by Scrounger and the crew due to some(Many) balky MBU's that just did not want to cooperate with the program. Regardless the dinners was done and on time and as usual thanks to our cooks ZiggyO and Scrounger it was a fantastic meal. Thanks to all involved.



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AOR

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I had a good time I have not attended this show since the early 90's. There was a vendor there that I wanted to get his information but I forgot to and I am hoping someone may be able to help me figure out who it was and get in contact with him. He was there with someone else and between them they had one of the largest setups with used vehicle parts.
I think they came from the south possibly the Richmond area or North Carolina
They were not that far from Murry's setup maybe 1-2 rows further away from the stadium and about the same distance from the entrance road if this helps. He had a part that I was not sure if mine had or not and it turns out that mine does not have this part which is the 4 man hmmwv divider partition that goes behind the second row of seats
off anyone knows who this may be please send their info to me thank you
 

LanceRobson

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Huh? What show were you at??? QUOTE]

He was at the same overpriced, low turnout event, held in the same lousy venue that I was at. I appreciate that the show is run by volunteers and that it is often very difficult to find a really good venue but the parking lot at Ripken Stadium is "the pits".

You either roast or get washed out-often both. There is no really good way to secure tents and canopies. The further down the slope you are the more rainwater will wash through your spaces......and usually the fewer potential customers you'll see.....

There are zero (and I mean ZERO) amenities other than a few porta-potties and too widely spaced trash cans. Other events that have either begun or greatly expanded in the last 15 years deservedly get increasing attendance. They have more reasonable fees, showers, shade, benches, usually have less expensive and better food service on site, etc. Think of the NJ MTA show in Augusta, the Red Ball show in Gilbert, PA, Findlay, OH, the Denton Farm Park show in NC, the SS Georgia Rally and Haspin events etc. Given that few of us can or choose to make a bunch of shows where would you rather go? Every one of those is a far more pleasant experience than the Ripken Stadium parking lot.

Like many others I had a new 10x17 $200+ canopy ruined in the Thursday night squall that would almost certainly have been OK at any other venue I've attended. While each event has to be looked at in light of the peculiar weather and timing in which it occurs some clear trends have emerged:


In comparison to earlier years the fees have gone up dramatically and there has been no increase in amenities or customer traffic to offset the increase.

Each year there seem to be fewer trash cans and I pick up more trash off the ground and out of my spaces where folks have left it.

There are far more events to dilute the pools of potential vendors and MV oriented shoppers. More than half the vendor spaces were empty. In places there were entire rows without a single vendor.

Lastly, and this is an anecdotal observation on my part, I've talked to more than a few folks in the last several years who've said that as many of the items they used to travel to shows for are now readily available online they don't feel the need to attend events as keenly as they once did with the notable exception of seeing old friends. Given the strong social component in motivating attendance I think that any event that does not provide the most welcoming and comfortable venue possible will always loose attendees to more comfortable venues. And a parking lot ain't cutting it!


Speaking for myself, I doubt I'll be back unless the show moves to a much better venue. I think I'm through driving 400 miles each way to sit in an overpriced parking lot when the same (sometimes shorter) drive, will give me lower fees, shade, showers etc......


Lance
 

CGarbee

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I didn't make it this year (second time in a row, and the only two that I have missed since I started going when the event was held on base...).
I would have gone this year if I had been able to reschedule a work related trip.

The above said: I haven't made money selling stuff at Aberdeen in years.... I have, however, really enjoyed seeing folks at the event that I only got to see once a year.
I have been arriving on Wednesday and leaving on Sunday.
Loosing my spaces last year (I was in the rows that got nuked for "traffic access"), having to park a vehicle on my tent flaps in order to keep it from moving some years (big Temper tent), dislike of the parking lot, dislike of having any suggestion that I have made to management/staff (when they came around and asked for feedback on Saturday night) completely dismissed...makes it very unlikely that I will purchase a space at the venue in the future or cookout again. I may make it up for a day or two in the future, but I am not that motivated.

Lance and RickF sum up my experiences pretty well...

That said, until I retire and get a chance to start attending a few more shows that I haven't gotten to yet, the best chance that I have to see everyone these days is at the Denton, NC rally and at the Graves Mountain, VA Rally... Both of which have grass to camp on, shade trees, hot showers, lower prices, etc...
 

Scrounger

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Well I’ll add my two-cent worth at the risk of offending some. And adding to posting in the conversations.
https://www.steelsoldiers.com/showthread.php?178648-Military-Shows-and-Swap-Meet-Attendance-Thoughts


Some years ago, I was involved in volunteer organizations and try not to be critical of the people that run them. Being on the receiving side of criticisms tended to make me want to say if you feel you can do a better job have at it.


I had a good time even with the vehicle problems. I get six spaces a year and if the cost per space was say $40 instead of $60 it makes no difference to me. At that rate $120 isn’t going to make me or break me. I have a lot of other costs that dwarf that.
There were and are some vendors who think too highly of their wares. As an example, there was one vendor selling quite nice 20l scepter fuel cans for $30 and water cans for $12. His stuff was selling and the vendors that wanted more didn’t sell. I picked up three vehicle interconnect cords for $30 each, that was a bargain. If one shopped there were bargains to be had. The vendors that make money are the ones that bring a lot of good stuff and sell it at a reasonable price. I sold a few things and was happy with that.

There has been a lot of criticism about the lost spaces last year. A little background on that matter. That end of the lot has a nasty bend at the bottom and people tended to park along the curb, which made it even worse for trying to drive around. The club decided rather that tell people to stop parking on the curb and since the show had plenty of open spaces just delete that row. Just too add to that. I was the only vendor in my row, the guys who used to get them are at Finley, see other posting about that.

The row next to me used to be filled with members from this forum that got their spaces thru the late Dudley Taylor. That group hasn’t been around much since Dudley’s passing.

The Aberdeen show is what you make of it. Some people see a glass half full and others half empty. I go to see people I haven’t seen for a while, pick up some odds and ends, and generally have a good time.
 

redmudjeep

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I enjoyed my day at the show on Saturday. The carnage from the storms was obvious. I got there at 9am on a day that was supposed to be nice until later in the evening. I was surprised by the number of vendors that were already packing items up or the empty tents with nobody around. I believe there was a lot more small vendors this year but less big vendors. I did not purchase anything this year, as there was not as many deuce parts as other years. Or, just not the parts I need right now. I do appreciate this show though as there are not many that I can get to and back home in the same day. As always thanks to the volunteers and all the vendors that still participate.

Mike
 

maddawg308

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Always have a great time at Aberdeen, rain or shine! The folks I meet there are the best caliber folks you can find, and you can always find neat stuff to go home with. It was great catching up with friends I haven't seen since Gilbert, and some even before that. I sold a few things I didn't need, bought some odds and ends I STILL don't need, and still went home with some $$$ in my pocket. Also enjoyed the auction Friday night, though I didn't buy anything this year, I did give a pile of odds and ends to the auction crew to sell off.

People always badmouth Aberdeen rally, for various reasons, but I still go. It's not just MV shows, several other types of shows I go to have problems bringing new blood in, and turnout goes down year after year. Ham radio shows, classic car swap meets, etc. all have the same story. The newer generation of people who are into this stuff don't want to shop around at shows and spend the moolah driving long distances and buying spots. They want to buy online, have it shipped to them, snap your fingers and there it is. Instant gratification. And that's not taking into account a lot of younger folks aren't interested in hobbies like history-related things anymore, they play video games and text their friends so they don't have to actually interact with humans anymore. Doesn't matter what the hobby is, I see it everywhere - only exception are the gun shows, which are PACKED all the time, because you HAVE to be there to legally by a weapon, no mail order. But that's the only exception I see.

Also, big thanks to scrounger and ZiggyO (and their support staff!) for the great food they made there for dinner - steak and potatoes Thursday night, and ribs on Friday! I also took some home for my daughter and she loved them!

Sorry, no pics of the show, only the food!
 

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rickf

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That shot over the grill of cooked ribs shows a VERY empty lot, And that was Friday night? Was there anyone left for Saturday?
 

CGarbee

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It's great seeing ZiggyO and Scrounger carrying on the tradition of feeding folks on Friday (and Thursday...). ;)
 

surplusyes

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Maryland
We had a great time this year, my 2 police buddies Scott and JR, the sold all of their stuff sat and helped us pack up. We had no less than 4 Brits stop by, Gordon and Melvin have been coming for years. I picked up some real bargain parts for my dummy MG34, seat cushions for my last HMMWV almost new for $20 each and a new cover for my M116. We sold and bought always a thrill. A big thank you to the very nice guys who took a break from their beer and xmas lighted caonpy around 11pmish and helped us move the HQs tent back to its spot after the Friday night wind storm, why it moved a 1000 lb Temper tent yet left the tables with paperwork t -shirts and hats alone (albiet wet) was a mystery. I appreciate all the MV shows and the volunteers who help run them, the spirit of helping fellow MVrs out is great. Best Regards all
 
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