good deals at hamfairs? specifically Dayton

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mparker

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ive been saving my pennies and will continue to do so until the dayton hamfair, i am just wondering if i should take my "wad-o-cash" with me or is my money better spent supporting a local business.


id like to get a few things...

a 2m base antenna suitable for my attic, and either 2 single banders(2200h) or a dual bander(8800 or 208h)
 

SCPD

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Stuff

ive been saving my pennies and will continue to do so until the dayton hamfair, i am just wondering if i should take my "wad-o-cash" with me or is my money better spent supporting a local business.


id like to get a few things...

a 2m base antenna suitable for my attic, and either 2 single banders(2200h) or a dual bander(8800 or 208h)
I would find a smaller swap closer to you for the stuff you are looking for. There's a whole lot of stuff at Dayton, but the good deals for stuff like that would be long gone before you get to it. Every ham needs to do Dayton one time, it's like our friends from the Middle East who go the Mecca at least once, or going to Disney World when the kids are young, it's something you have to do.

If there's something unique you are looking for, it's probably in the trunk sale part of Dayton. Any microwave, ATV, CCTV, tons of surplus Moto radios and accessories, some weird antenna, every imaginable connector or cable, it's there somewhere.
 

N0IU

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Since you are relatively close, buying stuff at Dayton can be a good deal. Remember, you have to factor in your gas money for the round trip from Columbus to Dayton plus your meals. If you can get a couple of other guys to share the ride and the money, that makes it even better. For most of the rest of us, we also have to factor in the cost of staying over night.

But like Wyandotte said, you should experience Dayton at least once if for nothing else, the flea market. For brand new gear, you can usually save some money, but generally not enough to make it worth the trip just for that purpose. If you find something you just gotta have right now, go ahead and get it now instead of waiting until May.
 
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Come to Dayton and spend the weekend looking around and playing with some things you are interested in, but don't feel the NEED to buy anything right then. Sometimes you can end up with something that is total crap and then supporting your local business might prevail. Just my $.02.
 

mparker

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having never been to a show the level of dayton, i am just not sure what its going to be like...

i guess my question better stated would be, am i going to find "show prices" on popular items?

long story short, ive decided on a 208h (unless of course icom releases a replacement at dayton) will i be able to get one brand new, maybe $50 off retail, maybe $60... or maybe packaged with accessories... deals that the local retailer wont/cant offer.

i guess i dont have to wait to buy, but if the savings is worth it i will wait...
 

shaft

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Save your money and go to Dayton, you will be able to find deals on what you are looking for. I would strongly suggest you shop around at the various vendors before you make your purchase. I started going again a couple of years ago. Last year for example, I picked up a Yaesu 817ND, there was a $100 swing in prices between the various vendors and fortunately picked it up on the low end of it.

The flea market is fun to browse thru, once in a while you will find a good deal on stuff. Two years ago we found a Pro-96 new in the box for $100. That same year we also saw someone selling a Pro-2005 for $250. So you will see some good deals and others thinking the junk they have will bring in the price of gold.

Check out Universal Radio before you go down to Dayton, make a note of the price they are asking before the hamvention, then see what they are asking for it in Dayton. I've bought two radios from them the past two years, they were the cheapest out of all the vendors.
 

mparker

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Check out Universal Radio before you go down to Dayton, make a note of the price they are asking before the hamvention, then see what they are asking for it in Dayton. I've bought two radios from them the past two years, they were the cheapest out of all the vendors.
i just called to check on a previous order and asked them if there are "show prices" and the guy said they usually have deals that they dont publicise until at the show...

sounds like ill be waiting... hope the deal on 208h is good enough to be able to afford 2 of them... :)

or maybe just a 208h and a hatchback lip mount with 1/4 wave and the accoutrement, radio, antenna, cables, maybe a tricky windshield suction cup mount... ;)

i cant wait... excited about both the show and getting a 208....
 
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kb2vxa

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Dayton has SO much to offer every ham should attend once in his life, like the man compared it to a pilgrimage to Mecca. It's not what it used to be though, the flea market is a shadow of its former self having given way to a dealer's paradise. While there are show bargains to be had consider the possibility that travel and lodging expenses may outweigh the bargains. It'll end up costing a small fortune when all is said and done so be prepared and make your hotel reservations WELL in advance, still it is well worth it at least once. This is no ordinary hamfest, this is an adventure!

Oh one more thing, be sure to take a camera, photos of the whackers and whackermobiles are priceless!
 

mparker

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It'll end up costing a small fortune when all is said and done so be prepared and make your hotel reservations WELL in advance, still it is well worth it at least once.
i live about 45min or so away :)
 

W9BU

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I agree with the other posters. Go to Dayton. It is quite the experience.

Over the years, I have changed my approach to Dayton. I generally don't bother with the flea market anymore. As others have stated, the flea market is not as large as it used to be and unless you get there first thing Friday morning, the tables will have been picked over. Heck, the flea market vendors walk around as others are setting up just to see what deals they can find even before the general public is allowed through the gates. It's not "kosher", but it happens. For used equipment, I prefer the smaller hamfests. The selection often isn't as broad, but the prices are often more reasonable and the sellers easier to bargain with.

I now go to Dayton primarily for new equipment. I like to visit the various manufacturer booths to find out what's new. This gives me a chance to handle the equipment, talk to the manufacturer reps, and learn more about the equipment than I would from magazine ads or reviews. I also pick up brochures which I bring home and file.

If I'm looking to buy something new, I visit all of the dealers to check their prices. Amateur Electronic Supply, Ham Radio Outlet, The Ham Station, KJI Electronics, R&L Electronics, and Universal Radio all typically have large booths at Dayton. Yes, they have show prices. If you watch closely, you'll see reps from the major dealers along with reps from the major radio manufacturers milling around checking the prices. The prices on popular equipment will generally be pretty competitive, but you may find one dealer who has gotten a price break from the manufacturer.

Don't forget about sales tax if you buy from a dealer. Dayton is in Montgomery County and I think the sales tax rate is 6.75%. If the dealer delivers the item to you at the show, they are obligated to collect the sales tax. Ohio Department of Revenue agents walk around the show on Friday morning to make sure the dealers are collecting the correct sales tax. One exception I have found is with AES--if you don't want to take the item with you, they will usually take an order for an item at the show and ship it to you (free shipping) on Monday. If they ship to an address in a state where they don't have a store, they won't collect the sales tax, either. In the past, I have placed orders with AES at the show on Friday that they then ship from Milwaukee or Cleveland on Saturday and it's on my doorstep on Monday. Great service!
 

shaft

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Don't forget about sales tax if you buy from a dealer. Dayton is in Montgomery County and I think the sales tax rate is 6.75%. If the dealer delivers the item to you at the show, they are obligated to collect the sales tax. Ohio Department of Revenue agents walk around the show on Friday morning to make sure the dealers are collecting the correct sales tax. One exception I have found is with AES--if you don't want to take the item with you, they will usually take an order for an item at the show and ship it to you (free shipping) on Monday. If they ship to an address in a state where they don't have a store, they won't collect the sales tax, either. In the past, I have placed orders with AES at the show on Friday that they then ship from Milwaukee or Cleveland on Saturday and it's on my doorstep on Monday. Great service!
I had a couple different vendors offer to ship the item to me as well to avoid the sales tax, Universal was one you can add to RXR's list too. I didnt opt for this option as I wanted to play with my new toys that weekend.
 
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