It’s that time of the season .. well, in Florida anyway, for the RC flea markets. Unlike the North we in the South can usually fly during the winter, but sometimes the cold weather will keep us away from flying. Once the weather becomes more comfortable you start looking at the supplies you need for the hard core flying season. What better way to expand your selection of aircraft and hardware than to visit your local RC club’s flea market.
On the weekend of February 22nd the Tampa Radio Control Aircraft Club (TRAC) held this areas first Flea Market of the year. Even the wet weather didn’t keep people away. Jared Steiner headed up the event and offered coffee and donuts to the vendors and buyers alike.
TRAC is an RC club located just outside of Tampa, Florida. They have a 400X 50 ft. runway, concrete helipad, a 40 ft. covered shelter with water and electricity. TRAC is one of Tampa’s oldest RC clubs and holds several RC events throughout the year.
These flea market events bring together pilots that my have items that they lost interest in or maybe has too many of and has decided to sell it for a fair price. It also brings the pilots interested in great deals and hard to find items.
Flea markets are great places for new RC pilots to pick up some great deals on planes that can be ready to fly..truly ready to fly..for great prices. A lot of times the seller does not want to go home with what he brought so the price drops as the day wears down.
At TRAC’s flea market I saw at least five beautiful trainers just waiting to be flown! They were nicely covered, included servos, the engine and had great prices on them. There were small electrics, a huge Cessna Ag-wagon and lots of hardware to help keep you flying. Sometimes the seller can take the plane up and give you a little stick time to get the feel for the plane. You do need to be careful of what you buy because you may not see these guys again. It’s AS-IS, there are no warranties. Look the aircraft over for any damage, replaced covering, cracked foam or wood and ask questions. Some radio equipment can be new looking but be out dated. It’s like buying a computer, you buy the latest greatest computer only to have it outdated in 6 months.
If you’re a new pilot, take along an RC buddy with experience. He can help by letting you know if something is a good deal or not.
If you’re selling, it’s a good idea to put the prices on the items ahead of time. Then get ready for the negotiations. I don’t think anything actually goes for the price you ask, so maybe start higher. While you’re there selling, take a walk and see what you may be missing. You’ll probably see something you’ll need to bring home, but who said you had to go back home empty handed.
As your areas weather warms up, take some time to do inventory and see what you may need to get you flying. Then watch for any RC flea markets and get there early! The good stuff will go quick. Then watch as cars pull in, a group will gather waiting to see what the seller pulls out of his vehicle.
RC Flea Markets are a whole lot of fun. I always feel like I’m going to find that treasure. And I usually do! –By Keith Hall