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A few years ago during my first "York experience" I stumbled upon the local bandit meets.  I nearly spent all my money on items I found there and had little left over for actual TCA York meet.  Still my time spent at the bandits was a great time.    Do these meets still occur? And is there someone who is the point of contact in order to set up shop at one these meets?

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Originally Posted by GEF: there someone who is the point of contact in order to set up shop at one these meets?


That's actually a pretty good question, and I'm afraid I don't have an answer for it.  Although I attended the bandit meets for a good number of years, and really enjoyed them, there's no question that they are now just a shell of their former selves.  These days, unless I arrive early in the week and have extra time on my hands, I don't even bother making the rounds (and avoid them altogether when the weather is bad).


But I never gave any thought to who actually organizes these various events.  There obviously must be some point-of-contact for each of the respective meets.  I assume someone here will come forth with the information. 

Over quite a few years I have set up infrequently at what was the Billy Budd, what is now the Days Inn, the Holiday Inn, and the show at the west firehall  when it was in a downtown meeting hall (now almost all AF).  At all of these you either preregistered or found somebody on site to pay rent for the space.  (this is not lately)  There is an eastern firehall with a show, too.  I was at the Billy Budd, shopping, when an uniformed officer came through and I heard they were demanding everybody have

sales licenses.  That show had once been huge with an out door tent, and it, ever after, has died away to almost nothing.  Later for another show I tried to get a Pa. temp. sales tax license,  and ran into the usual state bureaucracy in which the person didn't want to be bothered and I don't think understood what I was talking about.  After that, I have, when I set up, and I'd rather shop and gawk, stayed on the fairgrounds.  Too bad, as it means stuff I might have and others have doesn't reach a possible customer who might be looking for it, like ME, for instance!

To my knowledge all have setup fees...not current on the tax hassle, though.


Originally Posted by gmorlitz:

Better make sure you are up to date with the Pa Dept of Revenue. They went thru the bandit show at the Billy Budd (since renamed) years ago and practically shut it down. I also suspect that you need permission to set up on a motel parking lot.



I second the motion !  I've seen the NJ Sales Tax Revenuers in the Greenberg Show in Edison confiscate Joe Grzyboski's tables and goods for lack of a NJ Sales Tax Stamp.  All was returned at some point when the issue was resolved.    148th

I remember those stories about the revenewers going nuts at the Billy Budd.  It was not only the state people but local townships who wanted a cut too.  Nice way to kill out of town business.  I don't think these folks give a hoot about how much the Yorkies contribute to the local economy but it has been that way for years.  They are very short sighted IMHO. 



Originally Posted by David S:


If you really wanted to sell up at the bandit meets them I would give the Holiday Inn a call. They should be able to give you the answer you need or point you in the right direction.  Do you have any local shows in your area?


Dave,  There is actually four train shows in Maryland prior to York.

March 10 is the WB& A Chapter meet in Annapolis

March 11 is the show at the Earliegh Heights Fire Station

March 25 is the Arbutus show

April 14 is the great scale show in Timonium

How do the Yor meet vendors deal with the sales tax issue?

To the best of my knowledge, vendors, as defined by the state of Pennsylvania, are required to have tax numbers and collect taxes. They set up their wares in one of the dealer halls.
Member tableholders (they are not vendors) are not required to have tax numbers or collect sales tax. They set up their tables in member halls.

At one time I thought the registration packet contained the definition of a dealer, but I do not see it in the current packet.

Update: I found this online on the Eastern Division web site:


A dealer is defined as a train or hobby shop owner; someone who sells what is new or currently manufactured; earns a good portion of his/her income selling trains or train-related items

here is a link to the complete document on Dealers:

Last edited by C W Burfle
Originally Posted by eddie g:

Septafan, Not sure what you are talking about. If you are talking about getting into the fairgrounds for the meet, First, You have to be a TCA member or you can be a one time guest of someone that is a member. And yes it does cost money.

yeah,  i found the site.  what is with that?  u have to have members sponsor you?  i just like trains and wanna look around.   i think it kinda crazy that you have to be a member to get in.

Originally Posted by septafan:

yeah,  i found the site.  what is with that?  u have to have members sponsor you?  i just like trains and wanna look around.   i think it kinda crazy that you have to be a member to get in.

This event is a train meet for TCA members and their guests--the largest such event in the entire world.  It is not a train show like the World's Greatest Hobby show (in Cincinnati this weekend) which is open to the public.  It's perfectly logical and appropriate that the TCA--the TCA Eastern Division in this case--would have an event that can be enjoyed by their members as one of the tangible benefits of membership. 


There is no membership requirement (nor is there a charge) for attending the off-site "bandit meets."  They are open to anyone.  But if you want to participate in the largest train meet held anywhere--the event held at the York fairgrounds twice a year for many years--you gotta play by the rules and be a member, or family or the guest of a member.

Last edited by Allan Miller

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