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Huge Frag Swap Suggestion...

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    Posted: October 09 2012 at 4:57pm
I'm not really sure where to put this, so it's going here. I've talked to several of you about this (both in the current Presidency and some potential new Presidency members.)

For the past 5 years I've been an addict of the frag swaps back in the midwest. They're much different than I've seen out here. They draw anywhere from 400-1000+ people in a single day, and the cash flow to the club is tremendous.

I'd like to propose we try one here. The problem I see is that early spring is the best time for them, and starting to plan one once the new Presidency comes on board may be too late to have one this spring. But, maybe we can all be on board with the idea? If so, I volunteer to get it going...but we need to start with a lot of help...now.

I've already run one of these, and I've been to countless others (in Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, etc.) I already have tons of info/form letters/etc. on how to do this. But, here's the basic idea:

We get a place like where we currently meet for a full day. Vendors are invited from all over, and they pay to set up in prime locations. "Advanced" hobbyists (those with a lot to sell) can buy smaller "early bird tables" where they can set up small tanks or just sell in containers. Walk-in hobbyists have last pick of the tables, but they aren't charged to sell just a few items. Everyone can post their items on Fragswapper.com to presell (helps keep the number of people in the building all at once down). Fragswapper allows users to post pictures of items for sale, so this also helps to sell items that would typically be closed up during a sale (zoanthids, etc.)

For those who just want to shop, there's a small entry fee (maybe free to members or whatever). There would also be a huge raffle (I've got about 150 companies on a list that I know have donated nice items in the past) and goody bags. Depending on the value of the donation, the company would get a certain level of sponsorship in return (advertising on various things). I've also seen t-shirts sold, food available, you name it.

I see this being very successful since it would give those who live hours away a reason to come and get everything they could imagine in one swoop. Vendors can usually unload a lot of items since the crowd is more diverse than what they usually get...and they get more new customers. Hobbyists can unload their frag tanks all at once and not worry about people asking for "free delivery". Buyers win too b/c a lot of sellers end up giving good deals at the end so they don't have to haul their corals back home. Clubs tend to get a LOT more members (especially if entry is free to members), get some nice cash flow to fund speakers/equipment/etc., and their members are forced to interact more with each other.

Anyway, I would be thrilled if we could do this. Usually these are packed shoulder-to-shoulder, so I'm not the only one who enjoys them. I'm volunteering to get this going, but I need support from everyone.

Thoughts? :-)     

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jwoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 5:02pm
Sounds like our Fragstock in March. Did you go to it this last year? The only thing different here would be adding the ability for everyone to sell and not just vendors.

FYI at our last fragstock we had close to 400 people show up and it was only open for 2.5 hours, so I could see expanding the concept working pretty well.

It'd be up to the new President but it might not be a bad idea to expand Fragstock.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 5:10pm
I think the key is for everyone to be able to sell. This draws in more hobbyists that just want to offload their stuff, but not necessarily buy. Hobbyists also typically have more beginner-friendly corals while the vendors bring in the high-end stuff. Most vendors rarely feel like hauling $5 Xenia in, but have no problem bringing a $600 master scoly. Having hobbyists selling will fill the lower-end market...as well as maybe fill the void for some of the more old-school awesome frags that vendors don't typically have. Hobbyists would also have the chance to offload equipment...which always works out awesome for everyone.

If you guys had 400 people in 2.5 hours, then an expanded one could be nuts. We have had people coming in from 13 hours away before, and it was common to travel 4-6 hours for one.

Yes, I did make it to the Fragstock. Although they sound similar, Fragstock was not like the frag swaps I've been to. It was nice, but I think there's some unlocked potential.



Edited by ReefdUp - October 09 2012 at 5:12pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote e46slc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 5:13pm
Love the idea Nikki! Also like the fragswapper deal, that way we don't have to be the first one there to get the good stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 5:35pm
Let's do it.  

Nikki- make it happen.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Teknik777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 5:53pm
Nikki awesome idea! I think it would be a huge event! I am willingto help out also if needed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 6:21pm
WAAAHOOO!!!

So, would we still call it FragStock? Same time of the year? Same place?

Is it possible to get a separate FragStock volunteer section of the forum (like MWRF) so we can plan without clogging up the normal threads? It would also help us plan without having to drive all over the place to meet.

Teknik - got you down as the first volunteer! ;-)

Who else wants to volunteer?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ann_A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 6:26pm
Awesome idea! Let me know if there's anything I can do to help!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nsfw dave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 6:39pm
not sure if its part of the idea.. but even equipment people would want to try to sell seems like a good idea. ive tried to get something like this going in the mustang community, but cost is a little bit more significant when deal with car stuff. btw.. love this idea.. and absolutely think something similar to fragstock is a definite must with no reef fest this year. 
why do i pick the expensive hobbies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 6:44pm
Exactly - we always had equipment at the swaps, and it was pretty awesome. There was also live rock, dry rock, sand, books, you name it. I usually had a bucket of old test kits, light bulbs, etc. for free...and it was always gone really quick.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote bur01014 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 6:47pm
hate to be the downer, but this sounds like pest swap city to me...

perhaps I am just too particular (i only buy from certain vendors), but providing the opportunity for everyone to sell increases the risk of pest swapping, along with the frag swap.

please don't let me discourage the concept everyone is pumped about, but I do think we owe it to inform the new hobbyists the risk of buying at such an event.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nsfw dave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 6:53pm
agreed, but its also on the buyer to dip and quarantine anything they might find to be a risk.

why do i pick the expensive hobbies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 6:57pm
That's a great point. Maybe we could hand out pamphlets on dipping/QT or even get the teeny bottles of CoralRx for goody bags.

In my experience, vendors/hobbyists have about the same type/number of pests (hobbyists get it from somewhere.) But, you're right, there are ways to counter this. I'm sure those who are uber-cautious with their reefs already have a QT system or just won't purchase (but may sell.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nsfw dave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 7:01pm
a handout on dipping and qt, is an awesome idea.

why do i pick the expensive hobbies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jaschall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 7:26pm
I think this is also a great idea. Think you could plan it on a Friday or Saturday?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 7:46pm
I'd recommend it on a Saturday. We should be able to get more vendors - especially those who are far away. I know I'm usually up around 3am the day of the swap getting ready, so I'm sure others would appreciate it on a non-typical work day.

The schedule I've seen work many times (not saying this is how it has to be...just an idea):

8 am - Doors open to staff/vendors for setup
9 am - Doors open to early bird hobbyists for setup
10 am - Officially open
2 pm - Raffle
3 pm - Event closes & cleanup
5 pm - Everyone goes home

This is why I've recommended lunch be served (pizza, drinks, etc.) Otherwise, people leave for lunch and we would lose money on the raffle, etc.

Again, nothing is in stone...just throwing out ideas.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Fatman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 7:56pm
I'll help.  If we want to we can set up a google or similar site with a log-in for volunteers and planners to work from if setting one up here is too hard.  Also we can use a free live meeting tool for the meetings.  Let me know.

Fat

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 8:02pm
Ooh, I hadn't thought of that. Nice idea!

Thanks again!

Edited by ReefdUp - October 09 2012 at 8:03pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote lskurys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 8:03pm
This sounds really good.  I know the first thing that my wife did in the hobby with me was the Reef fest / frag fest last year at the Redlion hotel.  We both had such a good time.  We have been wanting to do something like that for the past year.  I have talked to alot of people that have stopped by the house to see the new tank and we all end up on the even from last year and how much everyone liked it. 
 
Just thinking that there is a lot of warehouse space in Noth Salt lake that is not being used.  This might be an idea for a large location just have to work out details for the vender with power. 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2012 at 8:10pm
Hm, another good idea! A warehouse would be ideal (as long as the power situation is ok) since water on the floor is no big deal. We've always had to request power limitations of the building when searching...I've seen too many swaps with blackouts. But, thankfully the day of the LED has arrived!
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