What's the Deal with the Summer Muncie Fruit Jar Show? -- FAQs

I have had several emails about this summer's Muncie Jar-B-Q, asking for details about aspects of the event that, as someone who has gone to Muncie many times, I take for granted. So I figured since they asked, maybe other people have the same questions, and since I wrote some answers, I should share the info here.

If you've never experienced it, the concept of hotel room hopping with strangers can be a little intimidating. The best advice I have for you is to please think of us as friends, because we are a super-friendly welcoming bunch of folks, and I promise you we'll make you feel comfortable, so just come on in!


It will help also if you look at all the photos from previous summer hotel get togethers, which will show you that it's a casual fun time. Look at enough pix, and when you get to the hotel you'll feel like you've been there before, and you'll even recognize faces and names -- we'll be your friends already!

You can check out the past events, with lots of pix: here:


As the Jar-B-Q is NEXT WEEK, I am just going to quickly copy-paste from my emails, and it may be a little disjointed and out of order, but will hopefully help. Please email any other questions, and I will add the answers, and do a better-organized re-write later.

  • First, here's the info about the July 2012 Jar-B-Q from the Findlay Club's website:


''JAR~B~Q'' ... or ... ''Meat in Muncie''

JULY 11 - 15, 2012
  • This year we're calling the 2012 Summer Muncie Fruit Jar Hotel-Show/Get-Together a JAR~B~Q!
  • That's because our favorite chef, "BBQ Bob" Rhineberger, is going to be cooking up a mess of meat for all you jar-nuts!
  • This fun event is FREE and open to all. If you like FRUIT JARS, and you haven't been to Muncie yet, make this the show you attend!
  • Stay at the hotel (rooms are not free, of course), or drive in for the day. If you are just coming for the day, we'll still feed you and give you space to sell your jars, too.
  • Hotel rooms go very quickly so make your room reservations NOW for this fun 5-day collectors event at the Signature Inn, 3400 N Chadam Ln Muncie IN. Phone for room reservations: 765-284-4200. Ask the manager, Jeff Bryan, for the jar show rate. Reserve now, even if you may have to cancel. Better than waiting too long, and not getting a room.
  • Collectors start arriving on Wednesday July 11th, and many stay through Sunday July 15th.
  • The whole shebang takes place at the hotel (NO free-standing show on Sunday, so you can stay up late on Saturday night, and sleep in on Sunday morning.)
  • It's all hotel, all the time, starting with supper on Wednesday right on through the cocktail party on Saturday night.
  • There'll be the every-day-and-night room-hop-shopping, a fun hospitality/party room offering complimentary lunch, supper and drinks, as well as special events (to be scheduled) which will include themed-group-discussions, seminars, the Jelly Jammers Club meeting and the MAFJBC meeting.
  • Saturday afternoon we'll hold a ''no-commission/no buyer's premium/no-fees-at-all/FREE auction'' to which anyone may consign their treasures. There's always some rare jars and advertising items put in the auction.
  • Contact: Jerry McCann @ fjar@aol.com or 773-777-0443 / or Marianne Dow @ finbotclub@gmail.com or 419-455-1112

And now here are the Q & A's
First, J. wrote:

Q. - So you mean this is not a typical show where everyone has a table and sets up in a large room with show hours over 1 or 2 days?? --J.

My answer: 

A. - Correct - we stay at the hotel, and have shopping in our rooms, and all the talks and seminars, meetings, parties, etc.  It's tons of fun,  
The Midwest Fruit Jar Club puts on the hotel get-together in January, along with a free-standing Sunday show. They used to do the summer get-together and show too, but decided to quit as the Sunday show was not as well attended as the winter show. But the hotel room hopping part was always well attended, so the collectors took it upon themselves to continue the summer get togethers anyway. We have expanded the in-hotel activities and turned it into a fun convention,

His next question: 
Q. - OK Then when would be a good time to come for room shopping. Thanks - J.
Now that's a tuffy as each day has its reasons to say it's the best -- so I answered:

A. - I'd say the crowd peaks on Friday, but there's room hopping with great stuff to see and buy every day, as well as talks and meals. Kinda depends if you're an early-bird-worm type, or open-to-whatever-whenever-type. Of course, the best plan is to attend for as many days as possible. 
Another reader, S., writes:

Q.: Hello,
I just wanted to get a better sense for how the jar sale works.
  • We have jars to sell  but were thinking of just staying for one day/or part of a day--not for the night.
  • Do we still need to get a hotel room to sell them?  
  • Also, are the jars generally sold individually or in small or large groups?  
  • Do you have a price on the jars or do people just make offers for the jars?
  • Do we have to be present to sell the jars or if we leave some with a price on them, is there a general area where jars are sold and the money taken in by someone else (similar to a consignment shop) that we can pick up later.
  • If we can only come for a day, which one would you recommend as far as having the best chance of selling as many jars as possible?
Thanks for your time-sorry for so many questions. -- S.

Hi S.--
Glad to hear you're coming, and bringing jars to sell. 
  • No, you don't need a hotel room to sell from. We'll give you a table upstairs in our hospitality room. Several dealers set up in there. 
  • You should price your items. 
  • If you are wanting to get rid of a bunch at a time, a lot of guys set a 'choice' price, then a bargain group price. 
  • Each person is responsible for their own sales, but it's a good honest crowd. Generally, if you're not in the room, a shopper will put the jars they want in a spot on our center table, and then connect with you later to make the deal. Leave your name and cell phone number on your table. 
  • So feel free to come and go, and do your room hop shopping. But definitely plan on staying in the building. 
  • If you have to pick one day, Friday has the largest crowd. But if you have good jars to sell, Thursday is very good cuz the buyers are more motivated to buy the deals before the competition increases. 
Hope that answers your questions. See you there! --M.
Last question for today:

Dear M.--
Thanks so much for your email.
  • My wife says she thinks there is also a jar auction at the sale.  Is that correct?  
  • And if so, do the jars have to be of a certain quality and is there a limit to how many you can put in etc. ? 
  • Also how would we find out the procedure for entering them?
  • Also, we have jars from the early 1900's and a few from late 1800's. In addition to the Red Book of Fruit Jars and online color guides,  do you have a suggestion as to how we can assign the correct price to jars in which there is uncertainty as to the color?
Thanks again, S.

Hi S.--

  • The auction is Saturday afternoon (July 14) - 
  • just bring them to the meeting which starts at 1pm - 
  • we go around the room and people share their show'n'tell items, and also put their auction items out then for preview.
  • There's no entry rules for quality, and no fees or commission unless you put a reserve, then they charge $2 whether it sells or not. 
  • You can sell box lots, small groups, rare, common, paper/books/advertising/go-withs, etc. 

As for pricing your jars -- if I had that magic formula, well, I'd be rich! And 'Color' is a tough concept, and causes many a heated debate.

  • The Red Book http://www.redbookjars.com/ is one good way to go, and is used by the majority of dealers - but it is just a guide.  
  • Best way to learn the state of the current market is to attend bottle shows, and see what things are priced. 
  • Of course, checking ebay completed prices is helpful -- use Collectors Weekly to see the most history --  http://www.collectorsweekly.com/bottles/fruit-jars/auctions?sort=completed  
  • At Muncie you can walk around all the rooms, talk to the dealers and other collectors and check things out before you set up your jars. 


Well, that should give you all plenty to think about, eh? As you see, one day at Muncie is not enough! It'd be better to spend as many days as you can. Go look at those photos from last year.

You won't want to miss the JULY 2012 JAR~B~Q!

Come on Wednesday, get settled in, enjoy all the activities and room-hopping on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, then get a good night's sleep on Saturday night, knowing you don't have to get up early to set up at a show, and enjoy your memories during your trip home Sunday.

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