Buying and Selling at Swap Meets

Selling at Swap Meets

Attract buyers with presentation. Clean your parts and lay them out on tables and clearly identify  the product and price on tags.

Customer service is crucial. Look like you want to sell your products. Stand up, greet and engage your customers. People want to be treated well, regardless of where they are shopping. Be the vendor that is known for friendliness and helpfulness. Shoppers will be glad to buy from you, even if your prices are the same as other vendors.

Be open to bartering.  Start a dialog with the potential buyer and you will be more likely to sell them the part. Be open to bartering and negotiating price with your customers.  Know ahead of time the lowest price you would accept for a given item. Be friendly and courteous during the negotiation.

Price your items fairly. If there  is a market for the item, it will sell. If it doesn’t sell than you either have it over-priced or are not reaching your intended market. Your prices should be close to or ideally below the prices of your competitors, especially if there are many of you selling the same types of items at the same swap meet.

Bundle products. If a customer is insisting on paying a price you believe is too low, consider selling it to them at that price if they combine the purchase with other items.

Cross sell. Consider creating preset volume offers, also called two-fers and three-fers. One item costs this much, but if you buy 3, you get a discount! Buyers love this kind of deal and it allows you to move more volume and make room for new products quicker.

Know your items. Be ready, willing and able to answer any questions your customers may have. If you know the history of an item, or any known facts about an item, sharing the information will go a long way to closing a deal.

Be honest and upfront with your customers. Don’t wait for them to notice a defect, flaw or damaged products, point them out yourself. Honesty and integrity are key to building a solid business.

Many vendors prefer cash. Major vendors will accept checks and credit card payments, but the vast majority will accept only U.S. currency. You can increase your chances of sales by offering cash, credit card, or money order payments.


Buying at Swap Meets

  1. Know what you want before you get there. If you are looking for specific parts, write down part numbers and specifics. Better to have it written down than to forget! 
  2. Come early, be prepared and carry cash. Many of the best items go fast. Come early to snag them up before they are gone. Most venues have ATM machines on site but be safe and have cash ready to purchasing.
  3. Be willing to negotiate. Vendors are used to haggling. Don’t offend by making ridiculous, low ball offers or you may end up leaving without an item you want. Know when to make the purchase and when to walk away.  Be courteous.
  4. Make room for the trip home. Make sure your bike or whatever you are traveling in has the space to bring home your purchases. Few, if any, vendors offer delivery or pick up once the meet has ended.
  5. Do more than scan the booths. Take your time and really take a good hard look at all of the merchandise that is available. Sometimes a hidden gem might be right in front of you but you have to look closely. Look under tables, in boxes and behind other objects. 
  6. It never hurts to ask. Our vendors are very knowledgeable and often can help you when you are trying to find something. Vendors often know one another and if they don’t have what you are looking for in stock, their buddy might.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *