How to Find Things to Sell at a Swap Meet

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Attic clutter can yield valuable swap meet finds.
Attic clutter can yield valuable swap meet finds. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Frugal shoppers willing to scavenge will find that swap meets offer some attractive deals. Likewise, sellers can use these venues to get rid of unwanted items or sell their own small business' wares. The versatility of a swap meet means you can bring nearly any piece provided that you're willing to sell it for a reasonable price. Finding things to sell at a swap meet can serve the dual purpose of bringing in extra cash while clearing out home clutter.

Assess your audience. Some swap meets aim for specific groups like gardeners or musicians. Check the guidelines for the meet to determine if any rules exist as to what you can and cannot bring. Even if you don’t have to operate within a specific area, you’ll be more likely to succeed if you’re mindful of the audience you're selling to.

Start at the least visited recesses of your home and work your way out. The very back of the closet, the dusty boxes in the attic and the top shelves of the garage probably hold belongings you haven't used in ages. Generally, things not used for three to six months are ideal candidates for a swap.

Hold a mini fashion show for yourself and try on clothing, shoes and jewelry that you don’t wear on a regular basis. If it doesn’t fit, is no longer your style or just doesn’t get you excited anymore then it could be prime for sale. Hold on to fine items you want a high price for; instead, opt for pieces you could sell for just a dollar or two.

Scour the kitchen and bathroom for small appliances that you never use. For example, a new waffle iron you bought but never use or an old flat iron that you no longer need.

Collect finished projects if you're an avid crafter. Swap meets are ideal for selling some of the piles of doilies you've been making or the dozens of scarves you've knitted. You may even want to dedicate your entire spot to hand crafted items if you have a significant inventory.

Tips & Warnings

  • Group like items in bulk for sale or offer special deals for customers who buy multiple pieces, such as the fifth bracelet free with the purchase of four. These deals will catch the eye of swap meet buyers.
  • Check your local laws as well as the rules of the swap meet to determine what permits or licenses you may need to sell at the event.

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