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Anyone Sell at Swap Meets on a regular basis??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Mark_Staton, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Mark_Staton
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 5


    For those of you who sell at swap meets regularly, what do you find sells the best? I have sold at a couple swap meets over the last few weeks, just stuff I didn't need anymore, and I was able to make about $500.00. Thing is, now I'm out of stuff to sell, and I would really like to start buying and selling stuff in order to make some extra cash to find my racing addiction.:). So, what type of stuff should I be on the lookout for? I had a large variety of stuff and most of it sold well, I see lots of tools for sale on Craigslist, an I did sell a small amount of tools, do they normally sell well if you price them cheap? Just looking for things you have good luck with.
  2. henry29
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 2,835


    Anything cheap sells, all the little stupid stuff you think won't sell will, the stuff that you think will sell quick usually don't.
    Most guys go to swap meets looking for bargains.

    Tools usually do really good.
  3. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215


    I've sold and traded at the local meets since I was a kid and what sells best in my experience are simple parts that more people have a use for. Junk like cheap SBC valve covers, beat up Holley carbs, any 15" aluminum wheels, Chevy ralley caps, 94's, 97's and four barrel aircleaners. It's not very interesting but those parts always sell very easy. A couple nicks here or there from the general public knocking one thing into another doesn't hurt the value too much on driver quality ho-hum parts either.

    If you take something exotic, you have to find that right guy who wants some weird part few have ever heard of, condition is everything and it's a bitch beating off kids that were never taught any respect and street rod geezers all day that can not read "hands-off". Then there are the wanna be TV pickers that offer $50 for a $1,500 item which they then in turn give you the "must be gold" or "not enough meat on the bone" BS when you correct them.:D Inspite of this I always take a "Looky Lou" item to draw in those who might have similar stuff to swap. Sometimes you meet some cool people and find that one item you've been searching for. If not it's still always interesting what you run into dealing with the public.
  4. dad-bud
    Joined: Aug 22, 2009
    Posts: 3,884


    Now I know I'm confused - so, if I think something won't sell, then think it will because I thought it wouldn't - does that mean it now won't sell because I had re-thought it would sell.

    Oh!! My brain hurts.

    I will go and lie down now.

    :D :) :confused: :eek: :( :mad: :eek:

  5. I try to attend the regular swap meets that Brad puts on and I have had good & bad success,,I carry pretty much the same stuff and somethings I have taken several times in the past that didn't sell are the first things to sell at the next swap meet.

    Some times the parts you consider junk is the only stuff that sells.

    I hate hauling heavy stuff.

    I've had better luck with 20 dollar parts than 100 dollar parts. HRP
  6. Anything you put out for 10 cents on the dollar sells good. Around here it's tough to get anyone to spend more than about $20, and if the thing is big or heavy it's not as likely to sell as if it's small and light.

    But you never know what's going to sell when. The last swap of the year I sold $50 worth of old manuals to a guy who walked up as I was packing - some of them I'd carried around for at least two years.

    And by the same virtue, two weeks before I bought a Stromberg 81 off another vendor for $40 - towards the end of the day - that I flipped on eBay for over $100.
  7. hellsgaterods
    Joined: Dec 8, 2010
    Posts: 534


    i agree with Henry, we do the auburn swap meet every fall and last years i put a bunch of crap in mine for a friend, just stupid crap like 80's lincoln center caps and just little bull like that, sold almost all his stuff and didnt sell a whole lot of the good vintage parts we brought, i dont get it. i guess i should go raid garage sales all summer and have a truck load of granada parts and ill clean up.
  8. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,762

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    My best sellers have always been carts/wagons/dollies to the guys who just got a tranny or something else they didnt want to have to lug, also bungee cords and tie downs.

    Working on the road a lot i managed to pick up a couple hundred bungees and sell them a handfull for a buck, carts came from all over, a bit of fix up and off they went.

    Cant really say anything i had that was a consistent non seller.
  9. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    I'm most often on the buying side of the table but if I were selling I wouldn't want to be the guys who drag fenders, hoods, trunk lids, engine blocks and other heavy, hard to move parts. I see the same guys with the same large items at every swap meet and I wonder how many times they have had to load and unload those same parts.

    At a swap meet like Turkey Run I see 50 vendors all selling pretty much the same brand parts, like Lokar Shifters, knock off aluminum intakes, and parts like that. There must be some common distributor that they all use and it kinda boils down to who has the best deal that particular day.

    I also wonder if the swap meet business is rebounding after the hit it had taken by internet auction and sale sites ?

  10. One more thing I can add,,I tend to sell a lot of parts to other vendors. HRP
  11. 60srailjob
    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,219

    from nowhere

    I try to BUY at swap meets on a regulay basis...HA!
  12. verno30
    Joined: Aug 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,068


    One word of advice, sell what you know about. If you're into engines, sell engine parts. If not, stay away from them. People will ask you questions and if you know the interchange or issues with the parts, the sellers will be less thna confident and your sales will suffer.
  13. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,801


    There is a weekly Swap Meet up the road Spring to Fall. I make my money buying there and selling on the internet. Every year I deside to take a truck load of crap up there and hope things will be better than last year. It takes forever to make the $50.00 spot fee money back, standing around hoping for a customer knowing the good stuff can be bought in other spots drives me nuts. New rules that vendors have to stay till one or two in the afternoon is another turn off. Buy by 10 list by noon is the way I like to make money. Bob
  14. I'll buy little things not just because they are easier to carry around but If I by big items like heads or a block it is what it is and if it's bad cracked or over bored I am stuck with it.
  15. Egghead
    Joined: Jun 6, 2012
    Posts: 55


    I sell at a couple of meets a year. Always sell cheap. but make a little cash. Might as well get rid of stuff then have it laying around at my age!
  16. Just in case the IRS is listening, I have never sold anything...ever.
  17. bblue34
    Joined: Feb 20, 2009
    Posts: 251


    There is no rhyme or reason sellimg parts at a swap meet ...just be prepared to sell cheap...
  18. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,545

    from Missouri

    I guess if we had the anwser for that we would have the winning Lotto numbers
  19. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,985

    Jalopy Joker

    no guarantee on what will be a hot seller without a big upfront overhead investment. but, if you are just selling air cleaners, for example, always have some hats, model cars or something to attract a wider variety of people. of course, if you sell original '32 Fords for $1.000 you will likely sell them pretty fast.
  20. B Ramsey
    Joined: Mar 29, 2009
    Posts: 643

    B Ramsey

    I used to sell stuff at pomona. Then laugh everytime I see one of my parts in someone elses space. Now they are stuck with it...
  21. Ranunculous
    Joined: Nov 30, 2007
    Posts: 2,465


    Putting the price on items can seperate the men from the pains-in-the-asses too.
    Frequently,your "landing depends on your approach" too. Talking to the seller/buyer a bit shows them you aren't just there to screw them out of something?
  22. Dadstoy 2
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 245

    Dadstoy 2

    When I pull up with my truck and trailer to any swap meet I am immediately surrounded by several other dealers. They dig through the boxes I set on the ground and ask how much for this or that or if I have any whatever they are looking for. Then they offer low ball offers. After the first couple of swap meets you know who they are. Your stuff that you sold them dirt cheap is now worth its weight in gold.
  23. I tend to go to swapmeets to buy and then sell here on the hamb. Fun for me and I reach a much wider audience that is interested in the kind of stuff I like. It's pretty easy and I don't have to be married to a booth at a swapmeet anymore. Plus I get out and find the stuff I want as well.
  24. also agree with funny what sells and what doesn't.....

    started selling at the Pate swap meet in 1977 - always had fun and made money...

    what every you sell - try and make a little profit....not a large one.... -

    like was said also - when I sell to other venders that knock my price down - only seeing it at their spot jacked up for more's worth a laugh to see them load it up...
  25. roddin-shack
    Joined: Apr 12, 2006
    Posts: 2,419


    We have a swap meet north of Barrie Ont. Spring & Fall, where I used to vend. Now the spots are so expensive $195. for a 10x20 for 3 days, that it has driven the small guys away. I was selling most of my stuff just to pay for the spot, no fun in that. :mad:
  26. oldwood
    Joined: Mar 13, 2010
    Posts: 958

    from arkansas

    Buy high and sell low. It works everytime!!!
  27. Poesrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 11, 2012
    Posts: 192

    from Kentucky

    I usually have my best day on set up day. Or before the public is allowed in. I take stuff I want to sell, not stuff that just like to travel with. I sell a lot of stuff to other vendors and I don't get pissed when they mark it up $10. And sell it an hour later. If I got what I wanted out of it, I'm happy. The last couple yrs it seems mostly the $5 and $10 item that you can carry in a sack sells best. JME
  28. falconsprint63
    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,359

    from Mayberry

    just like the stock market--buy low sell hi. anything and everything can and will sell. I try to stick with stuff I know, though. sometimes you've have a smokin weekend and sometimes you won't make enough to cover the cost of your spaces let alone expenses for the weekend. Like HRP I sell to other dealers a good bit, but I also buy from them to flip stuff--it's all a gamble.

    you can also find some really good deals at swaps that turned nice returns via online sales--no market locally, but thanks to the web...
  29. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,067


    Never sold much at swaps, I've always had better luck advertising the item. Before ebay trader papers were the way to go, now its ebay. Used to go to swaps with a guy selling chinese tools in the early 90's., before harbor freight was around. Stuff flew off the truck. Unless you already own the stuff, selling at swaps doesn't seem like it would be worth it
  30. BIG-JIM
    Joined: Jun 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,376

    from CT

    I could tell you but I'd have to kill you.;)

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