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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

HOM: Show Incidents

I guess gun shows have their own psychology. --- I had a man come by my table every little bit to look at a moderately expensive book I had. He'd pick it up, fondle it, read a bit, only to shake his head, put it down and walk away. After he'd made half a dozen or more passes like that, I got up and moved the book from the far left edge of my display to the far right edge. When he came by again and saw the book was gone, he got quite busy digging and shuffling to find it, finally complaining to me that he'd really wanted the book, but now it was gone. I shuffled out, pretended to poke a bit and then produced the book from where I'd put it, remarking that "someone" must have moved it. He grabbed it and paid cash on the spot. Would he have purchased it if I hadn't jarred him into thinking his delay had cost him the book? I doubt it, and for sure he wouldn't have paid my asking price. --- I'd picked up a collectible book at a bargain price so I put it out at a low price so it would move quickly. A number of folks came by & looked at it, looked at the low price, and walked away, so I got mad and doubled the price. The next guy to walk up bought it . . . --- Two guys at the table next to me got into an argument over a box of Old West artifacts, and the longer it went on, the louder they got. Price was the issue -- the owner was asking $1500 for the box. Finally the buyer grabbed the box and said "I'll give you $500, take it or leave it!" The dealer said "NO!" and grabbed the box back. "Fine", the buyer yelled, "I'll give you your $1500, then!" and tried the grab the box again. The dealer pulled the box back. "No! It's $2500!" The buyer grabbed the box. "You said $1500!" "That was before you made me mad!" The dealer grabbed the box back. "Here's your damn $1200! Gimme the box!" and the buyer dumped a dozen hundred-dollar bills on the table and grabbed the box again. There was a thirty second pause, the dealer picked up the money, they shook hands, visited a minute, and then buyer walked off with a smile and left the dealer counting his greenbacks with an equally big smile. --- A local dealer and a dealer from Boston had neighboring tables at a show here. Both of them dealt in antique firearms from the Cowboy era. Coincidentally, each had a single example of a particular make and model of a fairly rare rifle out on their tables for sale, and to press the coincidence even farther the two rifles had consecutive serial numbers. To a collector, having a consecutively numbered pair of firearms is worth a HUGE premium so the worth of the pair of rifles was far more than their individual values. The fireworks started when a passer-by noted the serial numbers and mentioned them to the dealers, which put them head-to-head with each trying to buy the other's piece. Neither would budge and the final result was that they pulled both rifles and neither would sell their rifle to anyone. As far as I know, the two dealers are still hanging on to their rifles and waiting for the other to yield or die. --- A local dealer who apparently made a few enemies had to replace all four tires on his van after an unhappy customer sliced them open. To show that nobody ever learns, this happened to him at two consecutive shows here. --- A man at the Outlaw Inn gun show bought a used .22 rifle and took it straight to to his car to show to his wife. I guess he wanted to prove it worked because he loaded it, and when he pumped a round into the chamber it fired. Obviously it was defective. His wife expressed herself quite loudly to him and stomped off, so after a minute he worked the action again -- and it fired again. I was standing nearby, but at that point, "I" walked off. See above statement about learning. TBC (Me) (Blacktail Books)