Has eBay Made the Swap Meet Obsolete?

By Darren Vannoy
Jun 12, 2013 | Posted in Columns | Never miss an article

Our world continues to move toward operating in a prominently digital environment and the automotive industry—particularly swap meets—is no exception. Venues like eBay Motors and message boards make buying car parts simple. That hard-to-find part is usually available, a few clicks away, and can arrive days later—all this without leaving home.

So what does this mean for the future of swap meets? These informal gatherings to buy, sell and trade have been part of our hobby since its inception. According to Michael Garland, media specialist for Carlisle Events, it’s well known that the trend for the younger generation has become swapping parts online instead of at meets.

However, there’s a certain loyalty to swap meets that the Internet cannot replace. There is something to be said about sellers putting sold parts into the hands of buyers and engaging them in conversation—an experience exclusive to these events.

Carlisle Events allots 8100 spaces dedicated to the swap meet portion of their shows and fill them all at both their spring and fall events. There are many vendors who have been selling at Carlisle since the beginning and continue to return year after year. This tradition for many will keep the swap meet business alive and well.

At Grassroots Motorsports, we fit into the loyal group. We’ve been attending Carlisle Import and Kit Nationals for many years. The swap meet is a great place to sell spare parts from our completed projects as well as gather parts for new project cars. Occasionally, we even return with cars we purchased while at the show.

The latest Carlisle Import and Kit Nationals was a huge success with a great turnout despite some rain. Click here to read our coverage of the event. Check out the Carlisle Events website to see their full event schedule.

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