mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Hamfesting alone...

Today was the CARAfest hamfest at the Howard County fairgrounds.

I ended up doing something I've never done before - going to a hamfest and selling alone. Usually, bsom goes with me, but he had a family event tonight relating to the recent birth of his son, and presumably didn't want to go on 3 hours of sleep. The last time I went to a Maryland hamfest by myself (when bsom got married), I just shopped and didn't sell. I figured it would be too much of a pain to sell by myself since there's nobody to watch my table if I run to the bathroom or want to look at what other vendors are selling.

But I decided to sell this time - I have a basement full of crap and a bank account that I'd prefer to have more money in. So I sold.

The verdict? Like sex, selling at a hamfest is more enjoyable with two or more people, but doing it by yourself is better than nothing. I ended up making $290 (plus some loose change) and selling quite a bit of stuff, including some stuff I've had for a while. This is actually very good considering that I forgot to bring two boxes of inventory with me, including some of my newer stuff, my collection of airport seized knives, and a bunch of cable TV splitters that are always good sellers (I bought a huge box for $2 at an auction and have been selling them 5 for $1. Sadly, I did not sell my last two servers, despite a couple lookers. I really hope I can unload them at the next Hamfest at the end of the month, because after that is a dry 3 month period of no 'fests. I'm also hoping the weather is good for the next one.

The first couple times I went to wander, I locked the cashbox in my truck and covered my table with a tarp and a mover's blanket. After the first two times, I skipped the tarp - I realized I had very few small, easily stealable items, and hamfest customers are a pretty honest lot - they will nickle and dime you, but they won't outright rob you.

I didn't buy anything, partly because I didn't really see anything I had to have and partly because I didn't have a whole lot of time to wander since I was selling alone.

One aside - I was set up next to two older gentlemen who were selling a bunch of ham radio equipment. I overheard a few customers making comments that "it's nice to see someone actually selling radios at a hamfest instead of computer stuff" and the like. Never mind that first of all, CARA bills it as a hamfest and computer show. Never mind that those computer people - both sellers and buyers - are paying admission and tailgate fees that go to the amateur radio club. And never mind that obviously people who go are willing to buy computer stuff, or it wouldn't be worth it for computer-related vendors to show up. The fact is that without computer people, hamfests would be dead instead of just on life support, and ham enthusiasts should be thanking computer people and encouraging them instead of making snide comments about them.


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