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Is the Internet hurting swap meets and flea markets? With big events like Indy, Jefferson, Carlisle and Hershey coming up, this is an important question on the minds of hobbyists, show promoters and vendors. If you had asked me this a year ago, I would have said that the Internet was the future of the vintage-vehicle marketplace. However, after using the Internet to buy and sell things for the last 12 months, my thinking has largely changed. The quality and authenticity of parts purchaed on the Internet is spotty. I have made some good purchases, but I have made even more bad ones -- aftermarket parts advertised as NOS, parts that don't fit well, even used and worn parts sold as new ones. In addition, shipping rates have increased so much, that anything I'm saving by not traveling is soon eaten up by UPS and USPS. Internet shopping is also very impersonal. When I buy things on line, I miss the wheeling and dealing I used to get to do at in-person swap meets. The Internet may have been hurting swap meets for awhile, but I think the pendulam is begining to swing back.

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