View Full Version : Frag swap... who's been?

05/11/2006, 06:47 PM
So who here's been to a frag swap? I never have but it would be something cool for the club to do, maybe in Sept to get people involved again after the summer lull.
It seems like for something like a swap to work you probably need 50 people at a minimum. How big are they typically? 100 would be nice, but maybe more is out of hand? If we invited all the 'local' clubs (including SV-Sea, PARC, Baltimore, DC, NJ, etc.) we could probably get quite a large group.
I've been reading about them on other clubs forums, rules seem to go like pay to enter if you don't bring frags, or if you're not a member of an invited club, the club buys some frags for the swap and recovers the cost w/ entry fees, raffle, selling food or whatever.
Does this seem like something that's out of our league? I'm just looking for something as a big bash in fall to rekindle the interest. Suggestions?

05/11/2006, 07:32 PM
If we build it, they will come.

I want in on advertising. I would be excellent in that capacity as I have the biggest mouth.

I've never been to one though. :p

05/12/2006, 03:11 AM
Some tips for a successful swap, as learned from both successful and unsuccessful swaps. Some things you think would be obvious but you would be surprised. :eek:
1. use www.fragswapper.com to preregister attendees and manage trades and purchases. I have been to several regional swaps, this site makes a huge difference. It is free to use. This site will improve your quality of life. It will allow everyone to see whats available, how many frags are available, how much it costs and what other people are looking for. It will keep you organized, it will even print out a check list for you to take the day of the swap.
2. Have nametags with both RC and real names.
3. Have food. Have a place to eat food. This allows both fish and nonfish family members to socialize. Remember, the happier your non-fish geek significant other, the easier it will be for you to stay or go to the next one. ie food tables in the middle, frags on the periphery
4. Have an area away from the food for your frags, tanks, and saltwater parphenalia and spills.
5. Have an appropriate facility. Size and shape are important ie enough room to easily circulate around the room, but not so big that you need a megaphone to communicate. Open space is good. Stadium is not good. Set up a microphone if it will be diificult to hear due to # of people. Be able to all be in the same room at the same time. Facility should be well lit, ie a bar may not be the best place to hold a swap. The facility shoould be relatively comfortable. 50 degrees is not comfortable, niether is 90. Smokefree is important. Competing with another event at the same location is not good either, especially with thin walls. Convenient parking is appreciated.
6. Raffles. ie 1$ per ticket for this $25 gift certificate. Who's not going to put in a dollar? 50/50 is also good if you need to raise money to cover costs. FREE is a magic word free anything works.
7. Have a rough schedule. Trading from 12-2, meeting at 2:30, raffle at 3:30, how to demo at 4:30, hang out till?
8. Post your swap on other regional club site. Make several posts invitiing others. 3-4 months in advance, one month in advance, and oone week in advance. Many people will miss one post, three is harder to miss. Last weekend we went to a swap in Williamsport PA. There were several new people from Upstate New York ie Buffalo, Niagra Falls (atleast 6 hours away). One person came from Wisconsin as he was on his way home to NY. All because it was posted on thier club site. Try to avoid having competing swaps with other groups in region. Remember new people = new frags:) May 20 Upstate NY is having a big swap, May 21 NJ group is having Dr. Mac in Cape May, I'd love to go to both, if they were different weekends I most likely would go to both, but I can't do both in the same weekend.
9. Encourage members to go to swaps outside your group. You will see things done better and see things done worse. You'll get different ideas and different frags :D
Best of luck! Keep other groups posted. I'm atleast 3-4 hours away, but I'd come. It would be a good excusefor me to see some friends in Philly.

Dan Thrash
05/12/2006, 06:51 AM
do a lot of people sell frags at a swap?? or mostly trade? i dont have anything to trade, but i would love to go if people sell. anyway, it sounds like fun, but DRC is a small group and it may be a lot of work to set up.

05/12/2006, 08:01 AM
Thank you for the information poconofishy!

05/12/2006, 08:32 AM
Thanks a lot poconofishy. I would have gone to that swp in Williamsport too, but having made the drive to State College the weekend before for my brother, I wasn't about to go up there twice in a row.
DRC has a pretty small active membership compared to other clubs in the area, but if things are well organized in advance I think it would be quite managable for us. It depends on the responses here as to who's interested in pitching in on the organization end!
Dan, the swap would be set up not so much as person A swaps with person B, but more like the NFL draft. There's a pool of frags and everyone gets to pick some. They either payed to play, or brought some frags with them. The picking goes in rounds, and you may be higher in the first round if you bring in a rare frag, more frags, etc. Doesn't have to be set up this way, but just a rough idea. Here's an example of the structure used for the Northern California Regional Swap (http://www.bareefers.org/showContent.aspx?contentId=16)

05/12/2006, 05:21 PM
Poconofishy - those are great points, and a great structure for a large turn-out.

I've been to a several swaps and I'm all in for the idea of doing one in Delaware, it is a great location to draw-in everyone from the surrounding larger cities.

If we want to do one, now would be a good time to find a location and the timing of all other activities in our region (other swaps, speakers visiting, big sales at an LFS, etc)

05/12/2006, 08:18 PM
After reading through BAR's rules - I guess I havent' been to a "swap" just trading - Thanks for posting that Tbor - that sounds like a lot of fun!!!!!

I don't know if other clubs in the area have done something like this before - but wow, what a great idea - really simplifies how to trade - and you get something that is a total surprise on the day of the swap.

The "bonus" round is a pretty interesting idea - a little difficult to fathom, but after thinking about it a bit, it is a fair way to distribut all the frags, and encourages people to bring "rare" frags - exactly how "rare" frags is classified may be a fun judgement call

I think support from the surrounding reef clubs (NJRC, PARC, SVSEA, and WMAS) will be crucial for success - and really spread some frags around that otherwise stay in their respective clubs - and there are some memebers of each of those clubs with incredible tanks and corals!

If you're looking for help orgainizing, you can count me in-

upcoming swaps I could find:

Reefnest - November 18th

any others?

If that's the case - maybe September or October?

05/12/2006, 10:21 PM
Great idea Mary!!

I like the way you are thinking! . Its a good fun project for our club to pull together on. We are centrally located between a bunch of older , more established clubs that like to participate in events like this. I think it's worthy of our best efforts and join the league of local clubs. Like you say, we have all summer to plan and schedule an event. our summer barbeques will allow us to get together and hash out some ideas.

Thank you Pocono!!!
that is a great practical outline for planning a swap meet. I'm going to print that out and save it. and research the sites mentioned above. I have to admit, i have never been to a swap meet. but it does sound like a good adventure. and palnning is everything to make it go smooth and fun.

05/15/2006, 09:25 PM
Well, there's also MACNA the weekend of Sept 22-24. It is in Houston, but it's a big enough event that a lot of serious people from the area may be planning to go. October might be a good time, since that would give us a month to organize the final touches when most people aren't on vacation.
I will get in touch with the other local clubs and see what the general feeling is on whether they might like to be involved or not and in what capacity.
As far as location, I think convenience will be critical to getting attendance. Somewhere right off 95 would be ideal. Maybe like a grade school cafeteria/gym, or a fire hall? Anybody have a place in mind? Glasgow HS is really close to 95, and they have some spaces that might work well & also a huge parking lot.
Sounds like we have a couple of volunteers. I agree, Nick, teaming with at least one other club on this would be a huge help. Any other comments out there?