So, Ya Wanna Have Trade-O-Ree?
ISCA wishes to thank Dr.
Gene Berman for
his valuable input of the information on this page.
The first suggestion is to decide who is going to sponsor the trade-o-ree
as you will need help. It is usually an OA lodge, Council, District,
Chapter, or even a Troop. But it can just be a few traders as well.
Decide whether your area and circumstances would be better served by
an overnight activity or a day activity. Do the target people have to
travel far (overnight may be better) or will most of the attendees be
local. The first time out you are probably better off holding a one day
event, if possible. Its easier, cheaper for the attendees and later if its
a success it can be expanded.
SELECT A DATE
Select a date and place to hold the TOR. A hotel or church banquet
room, gymnasium, armory or other large are that can accommodate lots of
tables and people are the best resources. Once you have a date, be sure to
notify ISCA so that it can be included on the TOR
You may be limited in your date selection by the facility you wish to
use but try not to conflict with other trade-o-rees in driving distance of
yours. Usually two weeks is adequate spacing time at minimum although in
some areas the trade-o-rees run every week.
Try to get a facility that has adequate lighting and ventilation.
Probably 50 tables is a good number for a starting trade-o-ree although
you may only sell 25 or 30 your first year. A place that can be expanded
to more tables later is best. A place that already has the tables and
chairs at the facility that you can borrow is almost always best.
Begin your publicity early. At least six months in advance, although a
year is even better. Advertise in the trading papers, your local papers
and local scout papers to bring people out. Put out flyers in scout shops,
camps and round tables from your council to attract people. Get your
information submitted to ISCA. We provide several FREE advertising
opportunities with national exposure. ISCA lists your TOR on our web site
on the TOR calendar as well as listed in the quarterly newsletter.
How much to charge for the tables and admission may be a factor of
what the facility costs you. If your facility is donated, you may be able
to keep both table fees and admissions down which will bring out more
dealers and people. Several TOR's charge a few dollars more for tables
against the wall versus tables in the aisles. If you have costs
incurred in obtaining the facility you may have to charge more. It is
always best, if possible, to charge a nominal fee for tables to spark
interest and keep admission to a token amount, with people in uniform
perhaps for free.
Auctions, especially of valuable and rare items can make a lot of
money for your lodge, council etc. It also brings people to your trade-o-ree
if they know what is going to be auctioned and they need the items. If you
can get donated items to auction, the better the items the more people
will come to bid on them and the more money you will make with quality
items. You can start a year in advance by finding "old timers"
in the council to both make donations and give you names for you to follow
up of comrades no longer active who may have things lying around to
donate. If you are struggling to get items perhaps known traders will
allow you to auction their good items and give you say 15%. Its not only
the 15% but it attracts people who want that Bronx Valley or that Lodge
155 (old name) etc. But of course you want inexpensive items to auction as
well for beginners and those coming with limited budgets. A mix is always
best. Mix local and national items; mix valuable and inexpensive items,
mix types of items such as Jamborees, OA, CSPs, R+W's etc.
Have food available. You can make money selling the food and its a
needed accommodation to the people attending. Usually coffee, tea, bagels
and cream cheese, donuts etc. are adequate for breakfast and hamburgers,
hotdogs, soda and chips are good for lunch although some trade-o-rees have
more exotic breakfasts and lunches. The spaghetti and salad dinners served
at the Daniel Webster TOR in New Hampshire for a couple of dollars can not
GIVE THEM THE INFO
If your event is to be an overnight event, be sure to list motels
available, and other arrangements such as camping grounds if appropriate.
The day of the event adequate staffing is a must. Try to have scouts
available to help dealers move in and out. You need people to work the
registration table, the auction, the food and just keep things moving. Try
to arrange adequate parking.
PLAN THE DAY
Once you begin to advertise have a map of your tables and fill in as
the requests come in. Most trade-o-rees charge a bit more for wall tables
than center tables.
Print your flyers with clear directions to the event including starting
and closing times. Dealer setup is usually an hour before opening to the
public. List a contact person for questions. Flyers should be available at
as many trade-o-rees as possible as well as locally around the council and
Lastly, if its a council or OA event try to tag team it together with
other events such as a Merit Badge Midway or a show and do so
non-collectors get the exposure and may buy from dealers only too happy to
sell and then return. Nothing can kill a trade-o-ree faster than no
walk-in traffic thru the event.
Good Luck to All. Its a piece of cake. Right?
Happy Trails to All from the Big Apple,