Tips for Conquering The Swap Meet


Swap Meet season is coming up fast, so it’s time to pull out the old wish list, see what’s missing in your latest project and make some space on the garage wall for another porcelain sign. Or, it may be time to trailer that barn find and round up all of the classic car parts laying around your workshop to help pay for your next automotive masterpiece. Whether you plan to buy, sell, or do a little of both, the Swap Meet is the place to do it.

Of course, part of the fun of going to a swap meet is finding the perfect pieces for your ride, or meeting someone as passionate about your wares as yourself. The other fun part is haggling for a perfect price that leaves both buyer and seller satisfied. So here are a few tips to help both the buyer and the seller get good prices and enjoy their day.


Buyers – At a swap meet, haggling is not only encouraged, it is expected. Most sellers will be happy to knock a few dollars off the price as long as you are friendly, respectful and don’t try to low-ball them. Low-balling makes you come across as ignorant, crass and someone that the seller may not want to deal with. Think of the amount that you are willing to pay for an item and go a little lower than that. Usually the seller will give you a counter offer and you can go back and forth until you both settle on a price somewhere in between. Also, don’t be afraid to walk away from an item if it is too expensive for you.

Puyallup_4x4_Swapmeet_02Sellers – A good rule of thumb is to think of the minimum amount you will take for your items and price them a little higher, but not so high as to turn off your customers immediately. Remember that you are competing with smartphones and internet access, but don’t let that scare you from getting a fair price for your stuff. When you see someone interested in one of your items, start up a friendly chat with them. Chances are they are either working on a project or have an interesting story to tell about why they are attracted to the item. Also, don’t be offended if they offer you a price at half of what you are asking – every haggling session has to start somewhere. Just counter offer with what you feel is a fair price and go from there.

Hemming’s Calendar of Swap Meets HERE