Quoted from shlockdoc:
I know people don’t like mike pacak and Ivan and him can’t overcome their bs but it a shame he used to bring an awesome lot of stuff outside, which is what this show is about. Treasure hunting.
The inside vendors all brought generic crap, 5 leg bolt vendors and not a single interlock switch. No Steve young, no starship fantasy, no flipper fidelity,it was lame from that standpoint. You could not buy a single ramp at this show.
Sorry to rant but way too many EM’s, no true parts guys and no a single sign to direct traffic.
Well, if you think someone can will steve young to start doing shows again... go for it he stopped coming because it wasn’t worth it for him financially for the effort required. And the makeup of the inventory people like Marco bring is based on what they believe is worth it to what their goal is. This change in makeup of vendors you mention is a reflection of what the audience is doing... not Ivan IMO. It’s why we have more mod vendors than parts vendors at these shows anymore. More people are spending money on pimping games then fixing games. The vendor investment of time and space is going to follow that.
No vendor is going to make money worth their time selling <$10 parts to 50-100 people on Friday. In the post “Marco has an ecommerce site” era and the updated sites that followed... people don’t need to stock up at the show anymore. They do it every day of the week. People hope to come find the show pricing on things that otherwise they’ll just buy from home.
I had common parts out that were brand new in box selling for 25-50% off the cheapest online sources and they barely got a glance. The only common piece I sold was a pair of flipper buttons! And this was an inside vendor booth.
Funny you mentioned ramps... I had brand new (still in packaging) TZ and TAF ramps for 20% less than retail and never got any serious looks... let alone offers.
I had validated boards for at least 30% cheaper than Mayfair (or regular online sources) that barely got looked at. The stuff that sold best was actually all our used Williams stuff.. including the untested stuff.
Most buyers I spoke to were just looking for a specific game part for one game... not necessarily buying what was a deal. As a big vendor... it would kill you to try to bring your huge variety of stuff. And if it’s small $$ stuff forget it.
It was great we were able to find parts we needed to fix some issues that came up during the show, but I know no vendor can survive selling a handful of transistors and bolts to a few dozen folks after spending probably close to 1k to be there.
Most people think of Allentown as a two day/one night show and then they are home and resting by Saturday night. As a vendor, Allentown for us was 4.5 days and 3 nights of expenses on the road... plus room, equipment rental, gas, etc. basically more than double if I just showed up Friday and went home Saturday mid day like most do.
The demographics and market/retail environment has changed. Craigslist, Facebook, ecommerce, game pimping vs game fixin... all have changed what people do at a show verse what we did 10+ years ago. We can’t just will vendors into burning $$ because we want the convenience of their presence.
Starship not being there didn’t surprise me one bit... their booth is normally a ghost town. I did miss getting to see vendors like curly from lsop... Tony from GLM... Mirco...but we had Kerry from mantis make the trip... the guy from pinsound, and most of our regular greater mid Atlantic vendors (CT, Marco,pinstar, Mayfair,pingrafix, tiltgraphics,pinnovators, kahr, gametime, etc). Plus all the other vendors that I can’t list out for time and space