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The Fall York always seems more energetic, being at the beginning of the "model railroading season" and with the approaching holidays, but I have never really noticed a difference in the number of vendors.


Some people think that there are more bargains to be had in the Spring since it is nearing the end of the "model railroading season."  And it seems to me that the weather is a little nicer in the Spring, although you can't count on that always being the case.


I enjoy them both equally.



Those who observe that seasonality is not a factor at York are actually correct; general economic & market cyclicality however is.  The toy train market is completely discretionary and fully dependent on collective disposal income. It is paradoxically further more dependent on how the general & economic press is reporting current & near future economic conditions rather than what is really going down on main street.


If you are on the buy side and you have the luxury of being a counter market shopper than the best "Yorks" will be those when everyone else is simply terrified of what the near term economic future will look like.  Professional vendors and importers (manufacturers) start liquidating their warehouses, B&M types are clearing their shelves, so too are private collectors emptying their closets. Buyers OTOH start hoarding cash and squaring their own balance sheets. If you have cash in hand then buying opportunities will be limited only by your stamina to bargain, and the capacity of your trunk.


In recent history Y04/09-Y10/10 were very good meets. Last (Y10/11) meet saw mostly the worst combination for buyers: stale->crummy inventory + bubble year pricing. I fully expect both this show + next (Y04/10/2012) to be increasingly negative for shoppers. Favorable conditions should return for 2013-> Y04/2014!


None of which should deter anyone new from participating & enjoying this years shows. Use them as a learning experience: learn the meet, catch up with the hobby, and congratulate yourselves on consumer discipline. You will be justly rewarded when you return in 2013 (as in most other consumer marketplaces). Can't make April's show? No problem: hit every train club in the tri State area. NYSME is holding their 2 rail/scale Convention in Piscataway, NJ this July.  Get subscriptions to each of the hobby magazines. Hobby opportunities abound w/o getting into York fever!

Last edited by Between A&B

i have  had better luck, getting lower prices at the spring meet,at the blue-white and siver  member halls.if they didnt want to get stuck with their trains all summer, they will haggle prices. venders in orange hall,for me its been their price or hit the highway. it was exciting going to york,fall or spring,something i never will get to do again.-jim

I go to both and never saw much difference in the crowds or the vendors or the availability of bargains.


However, the last couple years in April I got to prefer going on Thursday (if you don't have to attend any seminars or special meetings).  It just seems to be a more relaxed atmosphere and a little less traffic coming and going.  I also like a more leisurely drive  and breakfast stop in the morning.


          paul m.


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