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Went to the one at the Clark County Event Center this weekend.
Massively over inflated prices, just like the one ~6 weeks or so ago,

Examples:
Last show and this weekend's show - CZ 75 D PCR for $890. I bought one at a local dealer 4-5 weeks ago for $629
Henry Color Case Hardened Big boy in 44 Mag. $1,290. Found one on line in stock with free shipping to a FFL for ~$900

The Vancouver show no longer has dozens of dealers. Now It's just one mega dealer.
$6 to park, $10 to get in.
 

gmerkt

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I've been a member of the Wash. Arms Collectors since 1987. Paying my dues all along, every year. Including the additional levies for the building fund that was supposed to buy our own meeting venue which never happened.

I-594 and then I-1639 crippled up gun shows pretty good. Really a restraint on commerce. Pretty soon after, the smaller, infrequent vendors became less numerous. Those are the guys whose tables are in the back of the hall and the ones I went to first. Not the regular stroke daddies who had the same shinola every month.

After the two anti-gun initiatives, show attendance started going down seriously. Club revenues started to dry up. Then the Covid virus came along and there haven't been any WAC shows since Feb., I think it was. Who knows when they will have shows again. Both for concerns of public health and financial means.

In the past couple of years, I've been throttling back and reducing my holdings by way of legal means outside of the WAC shows. Even before the Covid virus, selling as an individual at the WAC shows became almost a futile enterprise.

So it's kinda sad for me to realize that I'm done with gun shows for all the reasons stated above. After going to them since the late 1960's.
 
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I've found this to be the case at gunshows for nearly the past decade now. I don't go to gun shows anymore with the intent of buying actual firearms and instead just go to check out the used parts and odds-and-ends tables.

For example the last time I went I found a beat up old Aimpoint for cheap (that I later refurbished) and some SKS parts for undoing the "bubbufication" of any poor SKS rifles I pick up in the future.
 

shibbershabber

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Most all small town gunshows are nothing more than a marketing event for a couple of dealers... prices always suck. Selection is limited. Crap ton of money just to get thru the door.

They probably make more money on the door charges than anything else.
 
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Sometimes I think it's fun to go just to go. Sure there's a small door fee, but if I find something I really want or that rare who-knows-what, the door fee doesn't matter. It's the price of a bgc, really nothing when you're spending almost a paycheck. And if I don't buy anything, well, I got to take a walk and look at some guns for an hour or two. Yes, it's not the same as yesterday's shows, however, it's the shows we get and I'm gonna enjoy them for what they are
 

CLT65

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I like the club shows; personally I think they are still pretty good. I really enjoy Albany, Rickreall, Roseburg, and the annual show that the collectors put on in Eugene, though I haven't been to that one in a few years.

I'm probably different than you all though. I even go to the promoter ones when they're convenient, even though they pretty much stink just like you guys say. I just enjoy wandering around talking to people and looking at guns on a Saturday morning. Sure, a lot of them are silly on their prices, but every so often you find a gem among the rubble. I almost never buy a gun though. I have enough guns. Mostly I buy old odds and ends, reloading stuff, bits and pieces. Once in a great while a gun calls to me that I can't turn down, and no matter how lousy the show, there are good deals here and there.

If I had in mind going to a show to find a good deal on a specific gun, I probably wouldn't bother.
 
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I noticed this too. I was at every Clark county gun show from 2009 until 2014. I moved out of town for 6 years (2014-2019) and just recently moved back last Xmas and bought my house in salmon creek. My fiancé’s father is from CA and he was in town visiting a month or so ago. Eager to show him a REAL gun show, I took him out to the Clark county fairgrounds. Needless to say I was unpleasantly surprised. It was 1/3 of the usual size, none of the usual vendors were there, and everything was wickedly overpriced. Also, the chick at the front desk asked me if I had a loaded firearm and there was a big sign on the desk saying no loaded firearms allowed. I of course told her “no I am not carrying a loaded firearm” and all 3 of us smirked, knowing I had my g19 with 2 spare mags on my person.

Of course the future father-in-law was super excited to be there. He picked up a couple p80 lowers and some standard capacity magazines. He was like a kid in a candy store.

For me, however, it was super disappointing. I remember the gun shows at Clark county taking up the whole building. This time, it was only 1/3 of the building and the partition was up separating the gun show from the hot tub convention or whatever the F it was. If this is the future of the fairgrounds gun shows I will never go back. I didn’t recognize any of the vendors, assuming they were all out-of-town travelers. I remember back in the day local gun stores would have booths at the shows. I’ve purchased many firearms there and before i594 I did many face to face PPT’s with people there walking around selling their items.

Sad times for me.
 

gmerkt

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I used to go the WAC shows for years. I will say, there seems to be a contingent at every show that is unwilling to use deodorant or wash their azz. The ones with concessions were the worst because remnants from some fair burger would be spackled all over the toilet.

You're not the only one who noticed. Realize that the mean age of the membership is getting up there. The usual reasons these days. Young people aren't as interested in gun stuff and hunting; don't have the money it takes to buy stuff now; and in general, now that everying has gone electronic, young people aren't joiners as much.

So the WAC is sliding into an old farts club. And the thing about not taking a bath is a wake-up call. One of the first signs of senility. They get old, don't care as much about their appearance, don't want to take the trouble to clean up. Don't be one of them, make an effort.
 

WAYNO

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Playing the devils advocate just a little...

I've been on the selling side of the table, albeit long ago. Gun traders pretty much all pay the same price for the same products. So if we offer an item for sale and have a $5 margin, a buyer will shop the tables until he finds the same gun for a dollar less. Then he moves on to find one even cheaper. Pretty much the gun will sell for little or no margin. How can anybody buy and sell for zero margin? If ya can't even recoup your table cost, why bother? And then the buyer ends up buying from a large online retailer anyway.

For the longest time, we knew the only benefit we had for selling at gun shows, was trading amongst other dealers and/or collectors. So why have a table at all?

So, we run the little guys out of the gunshows, then the big boys take over the shows, and finally they can ask an amount for a product that will make them a little profit. Then folks continue to buy online to save 5 bucks. The receiving dealer makes more on a transfer than he might have made selling the product himself, and he didn't have to buy the inventory.
 
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Playing the devils advocate just a little...

I've been on the selling side of the table, albeit long ago. Gun traders pretty much all pay the same price for the same products. So if we offer an item for sale and have a $5 margin, a buyer will shop the tables until he finds the same gun for a dollar less. Then he moves on to find one even cheaper. Pretty much the gun will sell for little or no margin. How can anybody buy and sell for zero margin? If ya can't even recoup your table cost, why bother? And then the buyer ends up buying from a large online retailer anyway.

For the longest time, we knew the only benefit we had for selling at gun shows, was trading amongst other dealers and/or collectors. So why have a table at all?

So, we run the little guys out of the gunshows, then the big boys take over the shows, and finally they can ask an amount for a product that will make them a little profit. Then folks continue to buy online to save 5 bucks. The receiving dealer makes more on a transfer than he might have made selling the product himself, and he didn't have to buy the inventory.
I hope you're just using the $5 margin as an example and that's not standard. I've knowingly paid more at my LGS than I could get online, xfer fees included just because I like them staying in business
 
Sometimes I think it's fun to go just to go. Sure there's a small door fee, but if I find something I really want or that rare who-knows-what, the door fee doesn't matter. It's the price of a bgc, really nothing when you're spending almost a paycheck. And if I don't buy anything, well, I got to take a walk and look at some guns for an hour or two. Yes, it's not the same as yesterday's shows, however, it's the shows we get and I'm gonna enjoy them for what they are
The Canby gun show is like this for me. Not too far away, free parking, small door fee. It's not what it was several years ago, but there's interesting stuff and some good deals, just maybe not on guns. I like to walk around and browse. It's kind of like a mental masturbation looking at all of the toys. :D Last time I went I got a smoking deal on an old red metal cased Outers cleaning kit and then found a brand new heavy leather belt for $15.
I haven't been to one of the Portland shows for about a decade now.
 
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Sometimes I think it's fun to go just to go. Sure there's a small door fee, but if I find something I really want or that rare who-knows-what, the door fee doesn't matter. It's the price of a bgc, really nothing when you're spending almost a paycheck. And if I don't buy anything, well, I got to take a walk and look at some guns for an hour or two. Yes, it's not the same as yesterday's shows, however, it's the shows we get and I'm gonna enjoy them for what they are
Agreed. I go to my local show twice a year. Free parking and $5 at the door. IIRC vets are free. For me it's just a way to kill an hour or two with the chance to find some random impulse buy. Sure, lots is overpriced and some of the vendors are oddballs but I've found deals. Plus, no BGCs or fees for private sales. Sorry Oregon and Washington, from the outside it appears that 1639 and 594 were the final nails.
 
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