Sunday, June 03, 2012

Silver Moon Drive In Swap Meet

With a overflowing garage and storage unit that don't seem to be emptying themselves of Jane and Mom's stuff, I decided to finally participate in the Swap Meet this weekend. The vendor fee ($14) is reasonable and I figured it wouldn't be hard to make that back-and then some.

I was right about that part.

For the uninitiated, a Swap Meet is a mix of vendors you'd find at a flea market and people like me, capitalizing on the number of people there to sell items you'd find at a yard sale. Now, I've been to swap meets where it was geared towards one thing, but this one is pretty much whatever you want to bring. The nearest vendors to me were a guy selling tools, electronics and DVDs (He had a stereo to sell, and he had it playing the whole time he was there) and two women with ten tables who looked like they do this every week, with all manner of crystal ware and home items.

Then there was me, in the middle, with a bunch of Disney crap.

I didn't really get to see other vendors until the end, but I found some fantastic produce and bought an avocado, a basket of zucchini, and a basket of fantastic looking green beans for a buck each. I saw a vendor who had a dozen tables set up, stacked high with DVDs. Another booth had clothing, and she had several people browsing her racks of shirts and dresses (all resale). There really is something for everyone, just know that you might walk the whole place before you find something specific.

An online friend made the trek from Orlando, and we met up at the very end. She said she liked this one because it wasn't cut throat and really did have average people selling. There's one near her that is just professionals that don't want to wheel and deal.

If you're a local, and you've thought about doing a Swap Meet, but weren't sure about it:
  • The earlybird gets the primo space. I got there an hour and a half after they allowed vendors in at 5am and was out in the grass. I didn't mind-but you might.
  • Bring your own tables or blankets to set your stuff down. I had two tables, which was good. If I do this to sell more contents of the garage, I'll probably pick up a third, because there appears to be no limit on how much space you get.
  • Awnings are your friend. I used the door from the back of the van as my shade, but if this is something you do regularly, an Easy Up shade is your friend. We have one and I will use it next time.
  • Bring water or beverages, possibly a small cooler-you will need it. (I'm thinking of filling a cooler with ice and bottled waters to sell, in case I'm in the back 40 again)
  • Know your prices but expect to deal, as that's what most people will do. I usually turned around "How low will you go?" with "How much would you pay?" Most times, it was what I thought the low-ball would be. (The guy wanting to buy my DVDs for $2 bucks, so he could sell them for $5, that was another story).
  • Chat with your lookers. I am convinced that a couple of people bought things because we talked about general stuff, they felt comfortable and browsed longer.
  • Sunscreen. (Second time in a month I was out in direct sun for four hours and you wouldn't know it!)
  • If you're a thimble bladder, enlist a partner in selling, because you will NOT be near the bathrooms. (Retail training-I can do this solo!)
  • Bring something to occupy you in the downtime. Murphy's Law says if you have it, you will not be using it often!
  • The day seems to fly by if you expect to be there until 2! I started seeing a slowdown at about 10:15, started packing up at 10:45 and was done by 11. There still were vendors to capture the after-church crowd.


All in all, I walked out turning a decent profit for a little over 4 hours work there and maybe two hours work pulling items to sell. We'll say this-it's on a par with what I would make hourly in my career field. :)

It doesn't take a pro to make money at these events, but do some research online beforehand if you do decide to sell. If you decide to shop at one-bring money-you never know when you'll find that someone is selling something you've been looking for!

3 People talked back:

Charley Smith said...

This is all very helpful information because I was looking to print my pictures, because i'm a photographer, and sell them. The only thing I have not found anywhere is what time the Swap Shop closes. Any idea?

Charley Smith said...

Thank you for this! This is very helpful because I sm planning on printing my pictures because im a photographer and selling them. The only thing I haven't found anywhere is what time the swap shop closes. Any ideas?

Suzanne said...

There is no hard and fast, Charley. In what I've seen in the few times I've sold, many people pack up around 12, but there are hard core vendors that stay until 2pm.

Personally, I don't see much of a return on my time past 12.