Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/09/26

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Subject: [Leica] A Dealer's Experience
From: Marc James Small <>
Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 19:24:17 -0400

For those who would like to know how a lot of shows go, here's my
experience from today:

Up at five, on the road at 5:45 AM.  Drove three hours to Richmond, VA, 200
miles.  Met my table buddy (Randolph Carlisle, an honourable soul and a
List member).  Spent ten minutes unloading -- this was a good show, and we
could park immediately behind the exhibition hall, unlike some, which are
held on the fourth floor and the like.  Spent an hour setting up.

Garnered a dozen or baker's dozen serial numbers for the Zeiss Historica
Lens archive.  Met a couple of internet buddies, including some of our own.
 Sold three consignment items for a grand total of $61 in raw sales at a
30% commission, so my take was a princely $18.30.  Bought a Prontor
release-cable extension, as my Hasselblad eats Prontor cable tips.  Bought
a Hasselblad lens for $700.  Paid $55 in table rent.  Spent $10.30 in
meals.  Drove home, another three hours and 200 more miles.  Unloaded seven
tonnes or more, or so it seemed, of heavy mechanical metal camera gear, and
stowed it away.  Spent a half-hour writing up my figures for tax
accountancy.  Had a couple of stiff Johnny Walker stimulants.

My net take?  Gads, a negative $900 or so?  And I was one of the more
successful dealers there:  a lot of guys didn't sell anything.  My table
buddy worked hard, for two hours, to sell two hundred-dollar cameras, so
his take is probably a tad better than mine, but still not outstanding.

I'm not complaining, as I had a wonderful time and am tickled at the lens I
bought, and I got to see a Zeiss Ikon Miraphot Enlarger, something I'd
never see otherwise (and which I might still buy;  we're negotiating!).  

But, guys, PLEASE think a bit before making blanket condemnations of
dealers and of "how easy they have it".

Marc  FAX:  +540/343-7315
Cha robh bas fir gun ghras fir!