Friday, November 29, 2019

A Truly Terrible Gun Show... my estimation was the one Brendan and I visited today in Texarkana, TX put on by T&K Promotions. After reading the hype on their website about what excellent gun shows they put on, all I can say is I was sorely disappointed and sorry to have wasted $20.00 in admission fees for me and Brendan today. Once we had paid our admission and gotten my guns' actions strapped with nylon ties, I walked in with one of my Mauser Chileno 1895 rifles slung over my left shoulder. Since I was hoping to sell it I had a wooden dowel down the bore with a paper for sale flag at the top saying what it was - no price shown. As I was standing there talking to a dealer in the outside hall leading to the main showroom, a woman walks over and tells me I "You have to remove the deal from your gun". At first I had no clue, so I asked what she meant. She told me my advertisement had to come off of my gun and she would hold it (evidently the sign not the gun) for me while I walked around AND that I could just tell dealers what I was asking for it. I kept my mouth shut except to say, I would hold onto my sign. I folded the paper around the dowel and took the dowel out of the barrel. Right after I did so, the dealer I had been talking too said 'That was weird, first time I ever saw that happen'. Me too; never before had I been told I could not walk around in a gun show trying to sell a gun with a flag advertising what I was selling. Oh well, their show, their rules. Once inside the main hall, I figured carrying the dowel would be a pain so I tore off the sign and put the dowel back into the bore.

Then I walked around the show. I walked around it twice and had one dealer ask me what I was asking; when I told him $475.00 he paled and bowed his head. I walked on. No one else asked until we were leaving maybe a half hour later at most. Yes, I said a half hour at most. That has got to be about the shortest time I've spent in a gun show except maybe for one put on by Big Al's Gun Shows in Danbury, CT back in August 2009 but I think even though that show was worse I probably spent more time there if only because Brendan and I met a friend of mine from work there. We were in and out of today's show quickly for a couple of reasons, the first being me having to remove the for sale sign from my rifle, why bother trying to sell it if I could not advertise it. The rest of the reasons were that both Brendan & I thought this gun show sucked was subpar; it certainly was not what I had expected after reading the hype on the promoter's website.

First of all, upon entry into the main showroom, it was obvious that the whole front wall of the room was lined by tables selling junk items that were in no way related to firearms. There were plenty of nick-knacks though and other non firearms related things! My first full spin around the hall I noted there were plenty of other tables mixed in among the gun vendors' tables that also had non-firearms or non-knife related stuff for sale. As for the gun tables, most did not have tags on their guns with make or model number let alone prices. I heard one potential customer as a dealer how much he was asking for a revolver and the deal quickly spurted out "four hundred" then seemed to take a moment to think better and blurted out "and seventy five". I should have asked him a bit later about the same gun as my guess was the price would have been different because I figured he was making up prices on the moment. As for the ones who did show prices, most of those guns were older used ones, ones I'd likely have an interest in but as seems usual nowadays the prices were pretty high on most of those. In particular a used Charter Arms Undercover revolver wore a price tag of $500.00. 

Besides the tables selling what I thought were junk items not suitable for sale at a gun show, there were a lot of other non gun tables selling things like knives, optics, and holsters. While a few tables offered some ammo for sale, there was not even a single table dedicated to ammunition sales that I saw and I am pretty sure I saw them all. This all at a gun show that according to the promoter:

"The gun shows are organized and designed to highlight guns, knives and other outdoor sporting related items, so attendees get what they come for, the very best selection of guns and knives that can be found in East Texas" (source). 

You will note they call it a gun show then say they put it together to sell guns, knives and other outdoor sporting stuff (they mention archery somewhere on the same source page - but there was zero archery equipment that I saw). They also call it a boutique style show (and with that I can agree after seeing some of the junk items for sale there).

There FAQ page also says this:  

"What if I don’t have guns to sell?
Related items to hunting, fishing or such are acceptable. If your items are totally non-related, there is a small percentage allowed in each show so that we can keep our shows family-oriented and meet visitor expectations."

They have me wondering what is their idea of small percentage. I say so because I counted 34 tables, out of a supposed 200 table at the show (or 17% of the tables), that were selling items that were not firearms, firearms accessories or ammo and also were not knives or other sporting goods. Those were things like handbags, some sort of water repellent for shingles, coins, Christmas trees (no trees on display but a sign said that they were for sale), nick-knacks, hats, paintings, and other items. Then there were at least 4 to 6 tables that had nothing on them except signs saying they were being held for Saturday & Sunday (we were there on Friday, first day of this 3 day gun show).

This was not my idea of a gun show that I could appreciate. Apparently it was not Brendan's idea of a good show either. So, we left after only about 30 minutes of being inside. Now mind you, while I was not happy about having to take the for sale sign off of my guns (especially since they allow attendees to sell guns there), I was not upset about it, as I said - their show - their rules. Yet, it definitely was one of my reasons to leave early. I mean, why stay trying to sell a gun that I could not let other people know I was selling by way of a for sale flag! It seemed pointless to walk around with it slung over my shoulder while others would have no idea I was trying to sell it. Regardless of that, in my opinion this still wasn't a show worthy of our time or our money as I explained with the other reasons described above. I mean, if I want to waste my and Brendan's time at least we could be doing it having fun at home and maybe drinking a couple of beers or we could be somewhere else that bored us no end like this show but that I did not have to pay a $10 a head entry fee just to be able to waste our time. So out the door we went without selling my rifle and without spending the money from such a potential sale, or from within my pockets, on any items at this show.

All the best,
Glenn B