If you don't enjoy
making finds in the field, go to eBay and just bid directly on anything you
want for your collection. On the other hand, if you like the thrill of
the hunt....read on.
Enter a portion of
your collection in your local County Fair. Forget the blue ribbon
(although you'll probably win with the only "old tackle" entry). Spend
the whole day at the fair with cards with your name and phone # on them in
hand. Say nothing to those who are just walking by and looking, but when
people comment to one another on your collection step forward, introduce
yourself, and hand them a card. Now it gets touchy, and you'd better
handle this one just right. Don't become a
pest to people who may not care about your collection. No more than two
sentances from you are needed. If they ask questions, answer them, but
say no more. DO NOT GO ON AND ON about your wants. If you make a
pest of yourself, these people can't wait to get out of your sight and throw
your card in the trash. On the positive side, there's no better way to
share your collection with such a broad range of people., and just
accept the theory that a great deal of the lures and reels are in the hands of
closet collectors, then maybe the way to get in touch with and exposure to
closet collectors is to run a For Sale ad that you have something they want.
When they call to inquire about your For Sale items, you get to know them and
ask questions about their collection! Think like the prey.
Go to the
gun shows, or any collectable show where they are not concentrating on tackle.
Think outside the norm and make connections with people who are collecting in
other areas. I have a friend who collects nautical antiques, finds a ton of
tackle and much to my dismay, actually uses it for decoration!
Find a nice, small
display cabinet to show off a small portion of your collection.With the
permission of the owner, leave your display at your local hunting, fishing and
camping store. Be informative. Identify the lures in the
display with lure name, manufacturer and date of patent. Change
the lures every few weeks. You might even play "identify the lure" with
one piece in the collection. Give its identity when you change up
the lures at a later date. This keeps them interested, and coming back.
Put an ad
on beer pads and distribute them to bars for free! Do napkins or table place
covers with your logo and contact info and give them to restaurants to use on
their tables. If it's free, someone will use it.
friend of mine collects guns and is in the extermination business. He has
access to many houses in a wealthy residential area and finds and buys more
guns than anyone I know. All he does is pass out his card in case a wife wants
to get rid of the gun (tackle?) her (deceased or divorced) husband kept in the
house. I suspect anyone in that business has access to all the tackle anyone
would ever want to see.
fist-full-of-cards tactic with Realtors who list the homes of older
individuals. I've seen some Realtors buy the contents of a house that is going
to be sold before the seller moves out. Make contact with Realtors who can
call you when they list a home of an elderly person. One guy I know places
Luckey's #4 with name stickers which say that he wants to buy lures like
these...in the lobby of retirement homes.
ad in those free papers they throw in your driveway. Typically the ads are
cheap, but they are read by older individuals and who do you think has the
tackle? Typical copy: Wanted, old fishing tackle for my collection, call...
(use your full name, because people don't like to call a stranger). If you
want to get a little more sophisticated, you can offer a reward or top dollar
you will pay for one or many items.
ad in the Farm Bureau newspaper if you live near one of the areas that has a
Farm Bureau. Loads of tackle in farming communities.
letter to family of obituary notices indicating willingness to appraise or buy
tackle. (I totally dislike this idea, but someone told me they did it! It
bothers me greatly.)
newspaper ad where you offer to buy just old metal and wood tackle boxes.
Don't mention the lures and then ask how much they want for the lures to go
with the box when you offer to buy the box. The ethics of this method are
issues of the Gazette and send letters to members who may have stopped
collecting due to financial problems or burnout. I know one collector who did
this and didn't have much luck a few years back, but now many of those
collectors are getting to be over 65. It would require a great deal of time
and luck to pull this off.
the most novel idea goes to a friend in Ky. He looks in junk yards for wrecked
cars with trunks. In the trunks are the old tackle boxes no one cared about!
don't have it, get caller ID on your phone. I'm constantly amazed at the
number of people who will answer an ad and not leave a message on the
answering machine when I'm out of the house. But, with caller ID, you've got a
number, frequently their name, and the time they called. If you don't have
caller ID, you don't realize how many calls you miss during the day when you
are not at home.
individuals offer "bird dog fees" or "finders fees" as a percentage of the
"buy", but I think this is a mistake as the opportunity to make a lot of
people mad is too great. You don't want to get a reputation for "stealing" as
some individuals who do this have done in the past. The reason is because the
finder may never know what the buyer actually paid for the tackle and if the
buyer cheats the seller, the finder is a part of the theft. There is nothing
wrong with making a profit, but some individuals tend to apply enormous resale
mark ups based on their "expertise"and leave the seller wanting. What goes
around, comes around! Avoid the practice and the people who do it.
Run an ad
looking for something other than tackle which will get you in the door or the
garage so you can ask direct questions about lures, tackle boxes, etc. I heard
about one guy who advertises for picture frames in the New England area just
to get a look in the attics of people who respond. He also goes door to door
asking if they have picture frames. I know another guy who goes door to door
asking about old magazines or papers as a way to gain entry. Another friend
runs tackle ads in the town where he vacations the week before he goes to the
town and then accepts visitors to his condo while there.
this is obvious, but go to the tackle shows all over the country. This is the
expensive method, but that's where the stuff ends up at one time or the other.
If you go to enough shows, you are going to meet many of the dealers and they
can be an endless source of information and contacts. The first year I started
collecting lures, I went to about six shows all over the Eastern US, and met
many of the same people at each show. The NFLCC National is the mother of all
shows and the ultimate source, but also the seat of the high prices. Smaller
local shows tend to be better for meeting people and making the connections
that last a life time.
a ton of money and run a display ad in your local mainstream paper. You'll be
amazed at the calls, but it is expensive. Use pictures for sure. I've done
this and had great success, but it only worked for a short time and the calls
diminished after about two weeks. On the other hand, if you live in an area
with loads of tackle, it may provide the best return on the invested dollar.
ad says is almost as important as the ad itself. I find using the phrase "for
my collection" is good because it differentiates me from a dealer who doesn't
want to buy for his collection, but to buy cheap and resell the item. I also
find using my full name is better than just "call Mike". Women who live alone
don't want to call some guy they don't know, but a full name is more official
I guess. If you can get your wife or girl friend to go along, all the better.
Keep the threat to a minimum. If you run an ad in the paper, put both "Bob and
men die and their wives sell their tackle at yard sales for a dollar each! Go
to yard sales and be the first one there. Go a day early. Call the night the
ad comes out for the sale. Be aggressive. I know for a fact that there are
people in our area who go through the newspaper publisher's trash in the
middle of the week to get the Friday garage sale setups. Amazing!
well made calling card with your name, address, and phone number. In this
case, "Less is NOT more". Cram as much info on the card as you can get. You
may not get a second chance to give them the card. Be sure to put an image of
something related to fishing for a mental jogger.
of those "I collect fishing lures" tee shirts in the grocery store. It's
amazing how many people will stop and ask you about your hobby.
as it seems, try to find your wife's grandfather's, or uncle's tackle boxes.
If you get really desperate, even ask your ex-wife to check her family. Hey,
we're talking tackle here!
old back issues of the NFLCC Gazette and call members who may have quit
collecting. It is a tough nut to crack, but if you find one guy who is tired
of his collection, it will be worth all the rejection you are going to face
from the ones who don't want to sell. Many of the early collectors are getting
to that certain age where they want less stuff around to dust and store.
old fishing guides about reels and lures. They had them and they know where
they are now. In our area, the wealthy individuals owned the tackle, but it
was the guides who maintained and kept the stuff. Track down the old guides.
I've found this to be a good source of reels.
old newspaper morgues for hardware stores which sold tackle during the early
part of the century and then track down the families or employees to see if
any material still exists. This is first class detective work, but one hit and
you are home free for the rest of your life. Hardware stores are where the
stuff was sold in the early part of the century. When they went out of
business, who bought the unsold material?
Goodwill store. Prime the pump with cash for the guy who sorts the stuff when
it comes in the door. Make a friend by paying more than anyone.
Build up a
string of "pickers" who frequent flea markets, garage sales. Pay them well and
above all be fair. Paying the people who do the leg work is important if you
want them to come back to you.
want list on the computer with details of what you are looking for in your
collection. Hand out these lists to anyone you think will find tackle. Start a
Web site if you have the time and money to do it.
several copies of Luckey's book, highlight the types of lures you like to
collect and then give those books to "pickers". It's the best way to
communicate what you are looking for in the field. Yes, it costs $24, but if
they find one lure...
storage container sales. Watch the papers for the auctions of these containers
and be there when they are opened. Sometimes an antique dealer will buy it and
will be glad to sell the tackle to recoup his costs.
this one: set up a table with display in the local mall on a rainy day and
take names and phone numbers as they come up to tell you all about the old
tackle they have at home. Great idea!
about people getting on local radio and talking about tackle. Sort of like
guilt by association instead of the hard sell. Try all the media, papers, TV,
radio, flyers. If you can get the newspaper or TV to do an article on you, you
will get calls for a year afterward.
Hire a kid
to bike the neighborhoods and handout flyers with what you are looking for in
tackle. Do a first class job on the flyer...you won't get a second chance to
do it right. Do a color flyer insert in the paper. Expensive, but effective.
Target the areas you send the flyers. There are computer data bases you can
buy now which target specific populations in a given phone directory area. Use
one of these lists to find the over 60 crowd.
If you are
going to advertise in the paper or elsewhere, be sure to have an answering
machine on the phone you list in the ad. If you don't have Caller ID, get it
and put the screening appliance on the phone line to catch those calls that
absolutely will not talk to the answering machine. You'll be amazed at the
number of people who call and don't leave a message. The Caller ID is the only
way to track those calls.
work if you run them long enough. With any kind of advertising, running for
long periods cost a lot, but gives the best results.
content of your ads frequently. The brain filters out repetitious information
and if someone sees the same ad over and over, they tend not to read it after
a couple of times. Visual aids like lure drawings help too. Unless you look
like Cary Grant, forget putting your mug on the ad.
Antique Trader magazine ads or any of the other publications which go to
antique dealers. There are many regional antique newspapers. Take out a small
ad in them and be prepared to wait, but the calls will come.
dealers can be a great source, but they have to be motivated to save anything
for you. Their mentality is to created traffic in their shops and typically
they don't call anyone except great customers when they have a find. Make darn
sure they know you are a collector and not another dealer.
every auction in your area. Even furniture actions have tackle sometimes. Talk
to the other people at the auction and let them know what you collect. Auction
addicts are always interested in buying and selling something and most are
gatherers of some ilk.
"stupid" money for one or many lures. Run an ad saying you will pay umpteen
zillion dollars for such and such and see what happens. The high price is the
ticket to the better stuff. Be cautious here though, careful wording of the ad
is essential. There is an NFLCC member who offers $2,500 for a certain lure
and he gets the first call I can assure you.
If you go
on a serious buying call, be sure to take adequate money. The worst thing that
can happen is to find the mother lode and be short of cash. Flashing the long
green will sometimes get the deal done. Money talks, and BS walks.
it beneficial to carry a set of 4x6 photos in a display folder of what an
excellent lures in my collection look like when I go to buy lures offered for
sale. The reason is that so many people think any old lure is valuable. When
pricing a lure out of the book, you have to make sure they understand that
price reflects excellent condition and you better be able to prove it. This is
why you need what is called a "frame of reference" or a standard like close-up
photos of excellent condition lures.
everyone you know that you collect and what you collect. You can't be shy.
There is nothing negative about collecting lures. The same can't be said for
collectors of antique condom tins. Ask them to hand out your cards. People
will be amazed that you really collect that old stuff, and then think you are
really crazy to pay for it!
Famous collector Ken Webb had a message on his answering machine that says he collects old fishing lures
and asks for your help at the end of the message.
Put up a
sign with photos of your collection at the place where you work. You'll be
amazed at the number of people who have old tackle and didn't know you
collected. This technique is only good for a while as the exposure tends to
talk at Rotary or other service clubs. They are always in need of
"reward" for tackle. Getting leads is important. A reward sounds better than a
certain price. The trick is how much reward....$250, a $1,000? Be careful with
this one. It's only once removed from the dangerous "finders fee" trick.
targeting a specific group of people who you think may have tackle. For
instance residents of older communities or people who don't move but once in a
life time. Don't waste time going to areas where there is a high turn over of
younger families unless you try the "I want to buy your grandfather's tackle"
Get on television. This is the ultimate
method and only a few guys ever do it. Those who do, get loads of calls.
Local cable TV is great for this kind of thing. Rick Edmisten is still getting calls about the shows he did years ago.
Go door to
door with a "I collect fishing tackle" tee shirt on and ask if they have old
tackle. I know a guy in Florida who does this and gets to look through
hundreds of tackle boxes. This technique really works, but you have to have
the personality to be non-threatening. I don't suggest showing up with a two
day growth of the beard. I know another guy who tried this, but his lack of a
shave, no haircut, and the gold tooth just didn't get him through the door.
Set up a
small display in the local barber shop with lures in a shadow box. You can get
lockable display boxes at tackle shows. Same technique for tackle shops who
will allow it.
roadside lighted display sign...blinking with neon of course!
local pawn shop, but understand that these people are in the business of
loaning money not selling antiques. I've found reels, but rarely have I found
worthwhile lures in a pawn shop. They just don't understand fishing lures. I
had a friend who placed an ad in a pawn shop stating that "I buy tackle" and
got a lot of response, but it's a rare owner who will allow such an
infringement on their territory.
nice posters with pictures of lures or reels you want at trailer parks, farm
shows, anywhere people who fish gather. A friend of mine in Florida does a
standup talk with an antique lure exhibit for the Pro Fishing Tackle shows and
get tons of leads that way.
friends first. People want to know you care. Old tackle may have been in the
family for ages and belonged to a close member of the family. Be respectful.
Treat the people and tackle with the respect due someone or something of age
who survived a great many ordeals. Remember, it could be your wife or mother
next. What goes around, comes around!
recently told about a new collector who delivers medical supplies and uses his
daily contact with older people to get the message out that he collects. He
also tells the other delivery people in the business so they can tell people
too. The idea is he is contacting the age group who will have the tackle.
you can just forget all the suggestions here and sit there and buy off eBay.
But what fun is that after the tenth or twentieth lure?