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AeroNutTom

Is buying out a table an issue at shows?

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Just wanted to throw this out there for discussion. I saw some talk on another forum about this past weekend's show in Indy and how someone bought out entire tables early on in the show. IS this a general issues across the country? If so should we consider mending rules/guidelines to restrict buying out tables to a time limit? IE someone said Cincinnati has the option to buy out a table only after 12 PM. Which can give anyone time to browse through all the vendors at least twice (IMO).

 

I've been to a few shows and I know a guy who walks around for the sole purpose of buying out tables to re-sell on eBay and I know the vendors are there to make money and a buy out could almost be a dream to some of them. I don't want to deter people from doing that. But I am curious as to what the general consensus is on this.

 

 

thanks all

 

Tom

 

PS moderators if this is in the wrong forum please advise, I wasn't really sure where to post it.

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Tom,

One thing that was slightly different at this last Indy show is that there were two buyers that did this, which is why it was so noticeable. The first table was bought out by another vendor before the doors opened to the general public. That ticked some people off, especially as the vendor did not put those kits back on sale.

The other buyer, the Turk bought out three other vendors, one being me, but quite a bit later in the day. Anticipating that may happen, and as I only had half a table, I had suggested to my partner to bring extra stuff, which they had, so we filled the table back up and I helped them sell for the rest of the day.

The concern for show hosts is that too many empty tables dissuade buyers from showing up if they think there will be empty tables, a big problem, but I as a buyer would go not matter what as I duoubt he would buy everything up and I can still find bargains.

G

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Same thing happened to me a couple of years ago. I was happy although a friend had planned on buying a kit from me. I guess the key lesson of to get to the vendor room early and buy early.

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I read those posts "over there" yesterday too.

 

I had no idea that this was a thing. Seems like a risky investment for the buyer, unless you are very, very successful on EBay (or wherever you turn them over).

 

However, if I were the seller, and the price was right....I'm closing early!

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I personally have no issue with someone "buying out a vendor", whether it's 5 minutes or 6 hours into the show. If it happens before the show even opens, I see no issue whatsoever...it's simply like that table didn't sell.

 

If you start dictating to vendors when and to whom they can sell, you run the risk of alienating not only those vendors, but even buyers who views your actions as dictatorial.

 

"You vil only sell on Fridays and only ven the temperature is above 70 degrees!!!"

 

Oh, and regardless of the price offered, you CANNOT sell your entire lot to anyone! (Talk about a deal breaker)

Edited by RLFoster

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I personally have no issue with someone "buying out a vendor", whether it's 5 minutes or 6 hours into the show. If it happens before the show even opens, I see no issue whatsoever...it's simply like that table didn't sell.

 

If you start dictating to vendors when and to whom they can sell, you run the risk of alienating not only those vendors, but even buyers who views your actions as dictatorial.

 

"You vil only sell on Fridays and only ven the temperature is above 70 degrees!!!"

 

Oh, and regardless of the price offered, you CANNOT sell your entire lot to anyone! (Talk about a deal breaker)

Yea, I don't see this going any where. Somebody wants to make an offer on an entire table, more power to him. How do you draw a line. "You can't sell your entire table to one person". Ok then I will sell all of these to you except this one here and we are good. Not the spirit of the rule? Ok, I'll keep two models. This is a nonstarter. Somebody didn't get what they wanted. Well, that is the risk of a free market.

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I agree that in the spirit of free enterprise people should be allowed to buy and sell as much as they want. Having said that it is unfortunate for vendors who wanted a table but couldn't get one - especially if someone sells theirs out before the vendor room even opens.

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I've seen a "buy-out" taking place at locals for now for some years, and its usually (not always) the same handful of buyers. Personally, I don't have a problem with this happening and see no path forward to prevent it, much less the "need" to prevent it.

For those who have an issue with the "fairness" of this practice, I suggest that it isn't an issue of "fairness" so much as it is "competitiveness"..........they may (or may not) want an item or items from the vendor who was "bought out" but feel cut out of the process because they weren't there before the "mass buyer" showed up. What's not "real world" about that? Have you ever had the experience of putting in an offer for land or property only to find that someone else beat you to it? Have you ever seen an item on Craig's List that you wanted only to find it was sold just before you found the listing? Have you ever participated in an online auction and thought you had it sewed right up until a sniper beats your bid with only seconds to go in the auction?

 

There is a complaint, however, that has significant merit and that's access to the vendors. Our vendors are encouraged to set up Friday evening and then again, three hours before general admission opens Saturday morning. How about selling admission tickets to the non-vendors for Friday night and for an Early-Bird Entry on Saturday?

 

If you have not purchased a vendor table then you can't enter without an Early-Bird pass. Make the Early Bird pass a bit pricey, certainly double the cost of a standard General Admission ticket. See why? That still does not address a vendor from mass buyouts of his fellow vendors....but it does address part of the problem and might even provide a not-insignificant revenue stream for the host.

 

On a related topic, we had a local guy who didn't purchase vendor space but would roll up in the parking lot and sell out of his car without ever coming inside. He was advised to leave and did so, but I see that as more of an issue than a mass buyer beating the common folk to the punch.

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Dick is correct. If folks want to buy out tables, and vendors want to sell out, there really isn't much we can do about it. We can ask everyone to hold off, but it is a free market, and buyers and sellers will do pretty much as they please.

 

However, I disagree that there is no harm done, particulary with a two day show. As has been mentioned many, many times, one of the primary reasons folks go to shows is to shop vendors. If they start seeing empty tables, or believe there is a good chance that much of the "good" stuff will be gone due to buy outs, I believe they may be disinclined to come to shows. It's possible that I'm paranoid and overstating, but from conversations I've had, I don't really think so.

 

In my opinion, and what we've done in Chattanooga, the best thing to do is ask both vendors and buy outers to hold off on buying/selling out until "x" time. That way, everyone through the door before then has a good opportunity to shop, and the folks interested in buying/selling out can still do so. I think that if the request is made up front, and politely, most will understand that the health of shows is the concern, and will cooperate.

 

Mike

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I was a vendor at the Gateway (St. Louis) Invitational last September and was warned that an individual was walking around trying to do this. The models on the table had belonged to a deceased friend, and we were selling them on behalf of his widow. My partner at the table and I decided upon a price that we would accept.

 

When he finally appeared, he asked if we were interested. We responded by asking him to make an offer. It was about half of what we had decided on - which would still allow him a substantial profit had he taken it, AND would have helped our cause as well. But he acted insulted that we would "gouge a fellow vendor".

 

We didn't budge, and he left. There's no way I would undercut my half of the transaction just to make him happy.

Stand up to these people and they'll go away....

Edited by MikeBrickman
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I talked to a buddy who often attends shows, enters the contest, and also buys a table. He is a small scale "vendor". Someone attempted to buy him out several shows ago, but the amount offered was so low that he refused. He was then bought out at his most recent show, about halfway through, and was very happy, because he got to wander the model room instead of sitting at his table for hours.

 

When he heard that there could be restrictions on being bought out, regardless of when it happened, he was not happy. His position was that he paid for a table and that he should be able to sell to whomever, for whatever amount, and whenever he wants to. He stated that he was there to sell, not to miss sales in order to make the show organizers happy and then to return home having missed an opportunity to clear his table.

 

Just saying.

Edited by Highlander

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There's always someone who's going to be unhappy with any restrictions on selling out at any model contest where vendors are present. The issue is never going to be resolved to everyone's satisfaction. I think what each club needs to consider is what is best for the club's event. If your buddy wants to sell out, maybe he could approach the buyout guys ahead of time and offer the stash for sale and save himself the cost of a table, thus increasing his profit that much more if they accept. Then he can still walk around and enjoy the show... with more money in his pocket. That gives him his money, clears his stash, and opens a table for a vendor that wants to sell throughout the show. I don't know, but that sounds to me like a win-win situation for everyone but I could be wrong.

 

Out here in So Cal, we have a number of swapmeet-type model expos and sales without the contest. As a small-scale vendor with not too many kits who doesn't do this for a living; that's where I sell my stuff. So far in five years; I've never had anyone offer to buy out my stash. That would be nice; especially at one of these swapmeets because it wouldn't hurt a local club trying to put on a contest. Still, it's a great way for me to make a little extra cash and also enjoy any contests I go to where I don't sell.

 

Once again, there will always be someone who can give an example of someone who won't be happy with any kind of restrictions or lack of same. The question every club who puts on an event like this has to ask: who is more important to satisfy to the benefit of all the club members and attendees in order to insure the long-term success of said event? The answer; while not ever popular with everyone, is the only answer anyone can accept.

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There is no way to stop a buyout; if we try to restrict it inside the show the buyouts will just move to the parking lot.

 

In places where this is a problem, I think it would be fine to ask the vendors and re-sellers to wait until noon before starting the buy-outs. It couldn't hurt to point out to the vendors that the modelers at the show are probably going to pay more for stuff than the re-sellers.

 

Don

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Another approach might be to require vendors - as part of the vendor agreement - to keep their table(s) open, stocked and manned for the duration of the show. This is not unlike requiring contest entrants to keep their models on the tables until after the awards are presented.

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Anyone who has ever been involved in running a contest is familiar with the "requirement" to leave models on the table until the awards are presented. Getting everyone to agree and cooperate is, of course, problematic! Nick Filippone

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As a vendor and model builder I would never sign such a contract. As a contest participant when I am ready to leave after the judging is completed.I retrieve my models pack them up then take my leave. My models my decision.

As to the vending issue everyone thinks this is a new problem vendors buy out other vendors at shows for decades right at the venue. Nothing new here.The only thing now is the E-bay sellers are more blatant and and undercut the actual worth of the vendor table. The whole reason the are there in the first place. Most that I see at contests cherry pick the table and move on. But some vendors just want to get rid of kits at almost any price. The clubs has made some money by selling the tables in the first place and I have never seen these buyer ever buy out a vendor room. It's not like you have a lot of hobby shops vending anymore you have what I like to call privateers modelers emptying out their collections.

Let's face it most of us have more models than we can ever build. So rather than let someone else in my family or friends deal with it. If someone is willing to give me the proper number to buy my kits I will sell them. The last time I looked I was in America part of this is free and fair trade.

So if one wants to compete in the vendor room one has to be there early and compete . The early bird gets the worm?

Most of the privateers have enough models to keep buying vendor tables for years to come.

 

RONBO.

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I guess I'm just odd, but I always considered that the shows and conventions were for the enjoyment of the modelers/members... not necessarily the small number of vendors who might engage in this practice. There are lots of avenues for ebay-type vendors to contact and solicit potential bulk sellers without doing it at a convention. But, as the number is really rather small, maybe we're making a mountain out of a molehill!

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Bob,

 

I don't know how you would ever enforce such a contract; I can't imagine a chapter taking a vendor to court. The only leverage the contest has is to black-ball a vendor from future contests, and at least here in western PA its getting hard to fill up the vendor tables - (presumably a lot of kits are going direct to ebay).

 

The shows need the vendors as much as they need us, might as well try to work with them.

 

Don

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As a show chairman, I see this as an issue I will completely ignore.

 

1) We sell tables to vendors to sell their wares and do so without preconditions on how they do so. I don't see how that can be changed without hurting vendor table sales, which is one of the largest sources of income for any show.

 

2) If a vendor sells out his entire table at our show, I'm betting he'll buy a table again next year! Most vendors bring what they can, but few bring their ENTIRE stock. Even the "guy" selling his entire stash is rare; so generally they will be back with more the following year, hoping for a repeat performance. Happy customers make for good return customers!

 

3) For most shows, even if 2-3 vendors are completely bought out; there's still a dozen more that are there selling the rest of the day. The idea that any one or two people could buy enough before 11am in the morning to make an entire vendors area look barren is a bit far fetched.

 

4) Attendees who complain about not having access to the ENTIRE vendor stock have no basis for their complaint. No attendee has ever had that! First, vendors have ALWAYS poached each other upon arrival, meaning some of the lowest priced, rarest, and most valuable sought after kits are gone before the show even starts. Second, unless a person is there when the doors open, they're always looking at what those who got there before them passed on. Third, even if they ARE one of the first in there, they cannot see everything in the room completely and quickly enough to have a chance at what THEY want ahead of everyone else; they're still looking at a lot of what others saw and passed on before them, and have NO idea on what was bought and they missed out on.

 

5) The people who buy out these "entire tables" probably hang around after they do so, taking in the show and cruising to see what they may have missed, or to lobby a vendor they made an offer to earlier. If you know who these people are, TARGET THEM! Point attendees towards these guys as having more stuff to sell (it's why they bought the stuff, right?). Give those poachers a chance to make some of their money back right then and there. In other words, treat them like additional vendors!

 

6) For those attendees who do express concern on what they've missed, do NOT be dismissive of their concerns! Explain that there's only so much that show organizers can control and suggest they do try to arrive as early as possible the next year so as to get in ahead of any "competition".

 

I agree that a big vendors area with lots of eye candy is a great attraction to our attendees. I understand the desire to protect that, especially from the viewpoint of a show organizer. I just don't see how you can "crack down" on anybody without more negative results than positive ones.

 

GIL :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges

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As an interesting addition, I was able to stop by the Reg.4 show in Dayton this last Saturday. I arrived there about 11am, and browsed the vendors area a couple of times over the 2-3hrs I was there. Today, I read elsewhere that there had been some "buy-outs" on Friday evening and early Saturday morning (the subject of this topic).

 

All I can say is that at the time I was there, I could NOT tell it had happened. I saw a few empty tables, but just took that to be vendors who hadn't made the show, or were unsold tables. The vendors area looked "normal" and there was no shortage of items to choose from. If I hadn't read about the buyouts, I'd have never suspected from looking around. I don't think it had any significant affect on the show from my point of view.

 

GIL :smiley16:

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This seems pretty simple.

 

If the organizers want to present a vendor room where the average attendee can have access to all of the models of all of the vendors over the entire contest, then they must create a contract that requires the vendors to adhere to that requirement. With consequences for a vendor who violates the contract. And with the consequence to the contest that some vendors won't play.

 

If, OTOH, the organizers want to present a vendor room that maximizes the opportunity for vendors to sell any number of models to anybody at anytime, then they probably don't have to do anything. The buyers and sellers will work it out. With the consequence that attendees who really value access to all models of all vendors at all times might decide not to return in the future.

 

Or they can walk a middle road, with consequences from the purists on either side of the issue.

 

In either case, there will probably be unhappy folks. Some will make scenes and call upon various deities ranging from untrammeled capitalism to the inalienable right to product. Which will have to be dealt with. Which is one of the joys of being an organizer.

 

Good luck.

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In my opinion, and what we've done in Chattanooga, the best thing to do is ask both vendors and buy outers to hold off on buying/selling out until "x" time. That way, everyone through the door before then has a good opportunity to shop, and the folks interested in buying/selling out can still do so. I think that if the request is made up front, and politely, most will understand that the health of shows is the concern, and will cooperate.

 

Mike

I like this approach. However, current leadership of my home Chapter seems to think it's "immoral" to attempt to put any restriction on a seller. They have no expressed concern for the health or future viability of the show. For my own part, I have taken the position that if we are going to allow our IPMS Regionals and locally-sponsored contests to become nothing more than markets for bulk sellers and bulk buyers, then I refuse to support them in any manner whatsoever, and that includes that of my own chapter. Edited by SkyKing
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Gil,

 

I can't really speak for the Wright Field Scale Modeler's, the hosts of the show, but I can tell you that Izzet was there on Friday plying his trade, and he did in fact make a couple deals before apparently being made aware of the fact that his presence wasn't appreciated. From what I was able to piece together, after he made a couple of deals, he was approached by a show official and asked to hold off until noon on Saturday, the same thing I asked him to do two years ago when he came to Chattanooga, and the same thing I asked all our vendors in Chattanooga to do this year.

 

I can also attest to the fact that when he isn't happy he get's very beligerant. When he saw me on Friday, he threatened to sue me (on the grounds that I was being discriminatory) for having used his name in addressing the subject on our club website leading up to our show this year. There were more than a few folks within ear shot and at least a couple were concerned that he was going to start swinging. I apologized to him for any percieved offense, and explained that I meant none. My sole intent was to ask our vendors to stick to the agreement I made with him the year before and not sell out before noon on Sunday. I didn't insist on it, or make it a condition of getting tables at the show, and I never said not to sell to him. Never the less, he, and apparently his attorney, felt I had infringed upon him. After telling me how he would never come to our show again (drat, drat, and double drat), and would spread the word to everyone he knows that we are bad people, ultimately all I was able to do was apologize again to him and tell him if he wished to sue me, go ahead, he won't get much! I saw him in the corridor outside the vendor room about an hour later, and then never saw him again, so I assume he left.

 

All in all, I remain convinced that he, and others like him, are bad for shows. He didn't do it this time, but he has in the past cleared enough tables out to be noticable. He also aggrivates vendors who don't want to sell by badgering them, as he did both in Chattanooga and last weekend. And he brings no benefit to the show aside from possibly paying general admission. If he was at least buying a couple of tables and putting what he just bought back on a table for the duration of the show, that would be one thing. But he comes in, buys up bargains early, leaves empty tables in his wake, and goes home and either stocks a retail store, or, probably puts it on eBay. We all know that a lot of folks go to shows more for the vendors than anything. Enough empty tables and those folks will likely stop coming to shows. I just don't see an upside to him. Granted, the threat to sue me MAY be coloring my thinking a little... :unsure:

 

Mike

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I have to agree with you Mike in that a person like him is merely a vulture, especially if he uses the tactics you mentioned. I too don't see an upside to this sort of situation for show hosts like us. I just don't see a satisfactory way to "control" it without creating a different set of problems.

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Well, since he's doing nothing wrong or illegal, I agree, there is nothing that can absolutley be done to prevent him, or others like him from doing what they do. I think the best thing for show hosts to do is to politely ask vendors to not sell out until "x" time. I think that if we explain that we are concerned about the long term health and vialbility of our shows, I believe the majority of them will understand and go along. And if we get wind that someone is badgering people for deals, we politely invite them to leave the show.

 

Mike

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