Do you want to start a swap meet business but you want to go niche? If YES, here are 22 best profitable swap meet business ideas & opportunities for 2021. There are business opportunities that may not require a full time business person, as a matter of fact, you can keep your 9 to 5 job and still engage in the business or you can combine the business with another business that is demanding. One of such businesses is a swap meet business.

Swap meet which is popularly known as flea market is a type of street market that provides space for vendors to sell previously-owned (second-hand) merchandise. This type of market is often seasonal. However, in recent years there has been the development of ‘formal’ and ‘casual’ markets which divides a fixed-style market (formal) with long-term leases and a seasonal-style market with short-term leases.

There tends to be an emphasis on sustainable consumption whereby items such as used goods, collectibles, antiques and vintage clothing can be purchased. If you are interested in starting a swap meet related business, here are some of the best swap meet business ideas that you can choose from;

22 Best Swap Meet Business ideas & Opportunities for 2021

1. Operate a Facility for Indoor Swap Meet

One of the swap meet business ideas that an aspiring entrepreneur can start is to operate a facility for indoor swap meet. An indoor swap meet in the united states, especially Southern California and Nevada, is a type of bazaar, a permanent, indoor shopping center open during normal retail hours, with fixed booths or storefronts for the vendors.

Indoor swap meets house vendors that sell a wide variety of goods and services, especially electronics, clothing, furniture, handbags and toys. Other items are flowers and plants, pet supplies, leather goods, sporting equipment, perfume and cosmetics, luggage and electronics, to name just a few.

There also are booths for services, including window tinting, palm reading, alterations, engraving and estate planning. The majority of items sold here are new, although antique alley does feature some vintage and second-hand goods.

2. Organize Outdoor Swap Meet

Another swap meet related business idea that is so popular not only in the United States of America but across the globe is outdoor swap meet. As the name implies, it is an outdoor location where the organizer provides space for vendors to sell previously-owned (second-hand) merchandise. This type of market is often seasonal. This is how it works, everyone interested in selling off second goods pay to book a space where they can display their items.

It is the responsibility of the organizer to make sure that they conduct publicity that will help them pull crowd to the location. As a matter of fact, the better your ability to pull crowd to your outdoor swap meet location, the easier it is for you to get vendors to pay to rent a booth or space from you.

3. Organize Vintage Swap Meet

Organizing strictly vintage swap meet is yet another unique swap meet business idea that an aspiring entrepreneur can successfully start. Vintage is a popular expression that is frequently used to refer to all old styles of clothing. In its modern use, it often indicates that the item is at least 20 years old, while items a century old or more can be considered antique.

Today vintage dressing encompasses choosing accessories, mixing vintage garments with new, as well as creating an ensemble of various styles and periods. Vintage clothes typically sell at low prices for high end named brands. It has been part of the world since World War I as an idea of reusing clothing because of the textile shortage.

4. Organize Antiques and Collectibles Swap Meet

Another swap meet business idea that is worth starting is organizing swap meet for sellers and buyers of antiques and collectibles. Antiques and collectibles swap meet basically engage in retailing or auctioning vintage clothing, antiques and collectibles, such as coins, jewelry, books, figurines and memorabilia – retailing antiques (items over 100 years old) and collectibles (items less than 100 years old) and other related merchandise.

The market for antiques and collectibles is still going high because there are people who appreciate these items. If you start this type of business, you will always have both buyers and sellers on a regular basis.

5. Organize Furniture Swap Meet

Organizing furniture swap meet is yet another highly thriving swap meet related business idea that an aspiring entrepreneur can successfully start in the United States. Furniture are a major part of our lives cum facilities; there is hardly any facility that you will come across that you won’t find a piece of furniture in it. This goes to show that furniture swap meet business is a highly thriving business.

Furniture swap meet businesses mainly retail household furniture (living room, dining room and bedroom furniture, upholstered, coffee tables, sofa tables, end tables, sofas, love seats, chairs, bookshelves, ottomans, display cabinets, consoles and TV stands and otherwise), outdoor and office furniture (Desks and home office goods, lamps, recliners, rugs and outdoor furniture) make up the rest of sales.

6. Organize Electronics Swap Meet

Businesses that are worth going for are ones you are certain people would need your services or products either every day or at least once in week. A business such as electronics swap meet falls into this category. Electronic swap meet business consists of businesses that are into the sale of a wide range of new appliances, electrical goods and home entertainment products, such as dishwashers, TVs and computers, etc.

7. Organize Bicycle Swap Meet

Organizing a swap meet where sellers and buyers of bicycles can meet is yet another unique swap meet business idea that an aspiring entrepreneur should consider. Bicycle swap meets basically engage in the sale of used bicycles (Mountain bicycles, Road bicycles, Hybrid/cross bicycles and other bicycles), bicycle parts and accessories from different manufacturers (brands) from the United States and abroad.

Nevertheless, despite rising consumer demand, external competition for bicycle sales from bicycle swap meet businesses, which can provide less expensive bicycles from low-cost brands, has steadily increased.

8. Organize Computer and Accessories Swap Meet

Another swap meet business idea that an aspiring entrepreneur should consider starting is computer and accessories swap meet.

All you need to do is to attract operators that mainly sell and service all forms of used computers such as desktops, notebook computers and software, as well as accessories like printers, scanners and keyboards. These goods are generally purchased from domestic and international manufacturers and wholesalers and then sold to end consumers, including households and businesses.

9. Organize Artworks Swap Meet

The fact that people appreciate artworks means that people that are into organizing artworks swap meet will always attract artists, owners of artworks that want to retail them and buyers of artworks.

Basically, in artwork swap meet, you are expected to see items such as paintings, drawings, print works, sculptures, framed photography and other related artifacts and merchandise. So, if you are looking towards starting a unique swap meet business, then you should consider organizing artworks swap meet.

10. Organize Sporting Goods Swap Meet

Another unique swap meet business idea that is worth starting is sporting goods swap meet. Sporting goods swap meet mainly retail used sporting goods, such as bicycles, camping equipment, exercise and fitness equipment, apparel, footwear and other sporting goods and accessories.

The truth is that if your swap meet location is in an area with good human and vehicular traffic, a place with the right demographic composition (sports men and women) and you have vendors displaying quality sporting goods from different brands, you may not have to struggle to get people to visit your swap meet location and make purchase.

11. Organize Leather Products Swap Meet

Organizing a swap meet where only leather products will be retailed is yet another profitable and unique swap meet business idea that an aspiring entrepreneur can successfully start. Basically leather products swap meet business is all about retailing used leather products such as leather belts, bags, wallets, wristwatches, shoes, slippers and sandals et al.

12. Organize Toy and Hobby Swap Meet

Toy and hobby swap meet is one of the best swap meet business ideas that can be started in the United States of America and in any city of the world.

It is a swap meet where they sell a wide range of toy and hobby goods, such as traditional dolls and toys, electronic toys (including video and electronic games), board games, hobby kits and craft supplies et al. These goods are retailed to the general public after they are purchased from local and international manufacturers and wholesalers.

13. Organize Aquarium and Pet Accessories Swap Meet

Another swap meet business idea that is worth starting is aquarium and pet accessories swap meet business. Starting this type of business means that you should attract people that will be involved in retailing different types of aquariums, aquarium accessories and a variety of food, treats, toys, collars, leashes, cages, fishes and other sea animals, and fish feeds and medications.

This is a thriving business because pet parents or pet owner who treat their pets as family members, have grown increasingly hence the increase in demand for pet products and services.

14. Organize Wedding Gowns, Tuxedo ad Accessories Swap Meet

The fact that there would be wedding ceremonies at least once in a week in your city or town and brides would usually shop for their wedding gowns and accessories from a bridal shop or any avenue where they can get it makes this type of business a thriving one.

This type of business predominantly retails used tuxedo and bridal wear, including wedding gowns, veils and other accessories such as shoes, ties, gloves and jewelry. So, if you are looking for a business to start as an aspiring entrepreneur who has an interest in selling stuffs, then one of your options is to open a bridal shop in your city.

15. Organize Cell Phones and Accessories Swap Meet

As long as people still make use of cell phones, the demand for cell phones and accessories will continue to be on the increase. Cell phone and accessories swap meet business is indeed a profitable business because the replacement of damaged or worn-out cell phone parts and accessories is compulsory if you want to continue to use the phone.

Just ensure that you can attract sellers and buyers of phone cases, mass storage component (SD card, SD card slot and special USB micro-B flash drive), chargers and external batteries, selfie sticks, smartphone tripod mount and micro-USB to HDMI cables et al.

If you are looking for a swap meet business to start as an entrepreneur who has an interest in the technology cum cell phone industry, then you should consider organizing your own cell phone accessories swap meet business.

16. Organize Coin Dealers Swap Meet

Another unique best swap meet business idea that an aspiring entrepreneur should consider a swap meet for coin dealers. Coin dealers purchase coins for investment purposes. As with stamps, precious metals or other commodities, coin prices are periodical based on supply and demand.

Prices drop for coins that are not in long-term demand, and increase along with a coin’s perceived or intrinsic value. Investors buy with the expectation that the value of their purchase will increase over the long term.

As with all types of investment, the principle of caveat emptor applies and study is recommended before buying. Likewise, as with most collectibles, a coin collection does not produce income until it is sold, and may even incur costs (for example, the cost of safe deposit box storage) in the interim.

17. Organize Industrial Equipment Swap Meet

Organizing a swap meet where seller and buyers of industrial equipment converge is yet another thriving swap meet business idea that should be considered. The truth is that there are several equipment that people can make use of to accomplish the task they have at hand.

Equipment such as, mower, hand drillers, heavy duty drillers, welding machines, forklifts, light construction equipment, medical equipment, audiovisual equipment, industrial energy equipment and pumps and theatrical and motion picture equipment, power saw, filling machine, scaffoldings and virtually any equipment that is needed to get any task done.

So, your responsibility is to look for sellers and buyers of such equipment and ensure that you have them in your swap meet location.

18. Organize Fire Safety Equipment Swap Meet

Fire safety equipment swap meet is no doubt one the best swap meet business ideas that an aspiring entrepreneur can successfully start. All you need to do is to ensure that you attract sellers and buyers of fire safety equipment or devices such as fire alarm, sprinklers, fire blanket, fire signage, fire hose reels, fire extinguisher, firewalls and fire rated floor assemblies to form fire compartments intended to limit the spread of fire, high temperatures, and smoke.

This indeed a thriving business venture because you will notice that a good percentage of banks, homes, offices, public and government facilities have fire protection equipment installed in strategic positions.

19. Organize Medical Equipment Swap Meet

Another unique swap meet business idea that an entrepreneur should consider starting is a swap meet that brings together sellers and buyers of medical equipment.

In this type of swap meet, you will attract sellers  and buyers of nonelectronic medical, surgical, dental and veterinary instruments and apparatus, such as anesthesia apparatus, electromedical and electrotherapeutic apparatus, X-ray apparatus, surgical appliances, dental supplies, beds and other specialized hospital furniture.

20. Organize Shoes Swap Meet

Organizing a swap meet where sellers and buyers of different types of shoes meet is yet another thriving swap meet business idea that is worth considering. As a matter of fact, it is easier to attract retailers and buyers of used men’s shoes, women’s shoes, men’s athletic shoes, women’s athletic shoes, children’s shoes, slippers and other types of shoes from different manufacturers (brands) from the United States and abroad.

21. Organize Musical Instrument Swap Meet

Another good swap meet business idea that is worth starting is musical instrument swap meet business. Trust me, if there is a swap meet business idea that is profitable, then music instrument swap meet should be part of it. All you need to do is to ensure that you attract buyers and sellers of different types of musical instruments such as percussion, woodwind, string, brass and keyboard.

22. Organize Jewelry Swap Meet

Organizing a swap meet where buyers and sellers of different types of jewelry meet is yet another profitable swap meet business idea that is worth starting.

This type of business involves bringing in together buyers and sellers of jewelries like Crowns, Earrings, Fascinator, Hairpin, Hatpin, Sarpech, Bolo tie, Carcanet, Choker, Necklace, Pendant, Torc, Armlet (upper arm bracelets), Bangle, Bracelet, Cuff links, Rings, Belly chain, Body piercing jewellery, Breastplate, Brooch and Chatelaine.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How Do You Start A Swap Meet Business?
  • Conduct your feasibility studies
  • Learn Everything you need to learn about Swap meet
  • Choose a name and register the business
  • Draft a detailed Business Plan
  • Secure the needed licenses and permits
  • Apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
  • Open a corporate bank account
  • Raise the needed capital base
  • Lease a store facility
  • Source for your supplies to sell at the flea market
  • Hire employees
  • Market and promote your sports business
  1. How Does A Swap Meet Work?

A traditional swap meet involves strictly bartering. The same principles that make a good swap meet apply. Announce a date, time, and place where you and your friends, those in the community, or those in your circle of influence can gather. All participants should bring items they no longer need or want.

  1. How Do Swap Meets Make Money?

A flea market’s revenue also comes from taking a percentage of vendor sales. For this reason, you want to choose vendors with the best-selling flea market items. Some of the best-selling flea market items include jewelry, furniture, crafts, and vintage goods.

  1. Why Do You Call It A Swap Meet?

The term swap meet (with swap meaning “to exchange, barter, or trade”) appears to have been in use since at least the late 1940s and early 1950s, though the concept predates it. Noted and long-running swap meet, the Paramount Swap Meet in Paramount, California, says it started in 1955.

  1. What Do You Buy At A Swap Meet?

Technically, a swap meet is a gathering where people swap primarily used merchandise. You will find clothing, hand tools, toys, books, furniture, and Knick Knacks et al at swap meets.

  1. How Do You Sell On Kobey’s Swap Meet?

All potential Sellers of new or handcrafted merchandise must have a California State Board of Equalization Seller’s Permit (“California Seller’s Permit”) with their name(s) and the Seller’s Permit must specify the address of the San Diego Sports Arena located at 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., San Diego, CA 92110, before being permitted to purchase a ticket to sell at Kobey’s Swap Meet.

If you are selling used or garage sale items you are entitled to sell two (2) times in a twelve (I2) month period without a California Seller’s Permit. After selling two (2) times in a twelve (12) month period, you must have a California Seller’s Permit regardless of what type of merchandise you are selling.

  1. How Do You Select A Date To Sell At Kobey’s?

Once you have obtained all required permits, licenses, certificates, and related paperwork you may select a date to sell. Be prepared to select an alternative date if your first selected date is sold out, or if the selection is not satisfactory. Be prepared to let the Kobey’s employees know what you are selling, if you have sold before, and the date you wish to sell. They do not hold spaces or make reservations by telephone.

Kobey’s spaces are approximately 16’xl8′ in size consisting of two (2) car spaces on the parking lot, except for rows I and J which run smaller. Each Seller must have a valid Kobey’s Seller’s License (ticket) to set up in a marked stall on the given date. Kobey’s Swap Meet can be divided into the following areas: the “front section” consists of rows A – J, and the “back section” of the Swap Meet consists of rows K – T.

  1. What Do You Wear To A Swap Meet?

If you are planning to go to a swap meet, then you must be ready to dress down; dress down – way down. Wear comfortable, baggy, unfashionable clothing, such as a low-key tracksuit or off-brand jeans and shirts.

  1. Why Do They Call A Swap Meet A Flea Market?

According to the association that runs one of the markets today, the term first sprang up in the 1880s when an unknown bargain hunter looked upon the market with its rags and old furniture and dubbed it le marché aux puces (“market of fleas”), because of shoppers’ perceptions that some of the more time-worn wares are sold there.

  1. What’s Another Word For Flea Market?
  • Flea Fair.
  • Garage Sale.
  • Marche Aux Puces.
  • Rummage Sale.
  • Street Market.
  • Swap Meet.
  • Tag Sale.
  • Yard Sale.
  1. How Much Does It Cost To Sell At The Swap Meet?

It costs $15 to sell on Fridays, $30 per day on a Saturday or Sunday for a standard space. If a seller is selling new merchandise, then we recommend a $40-space on a Saturday or Sunday which are located in the first two aisle ways inside the entrance.

  1. Are Flea Market Booths Profitable?

Yes, flea market booths are profitable if done right, and of course, they can are a great source of side income. They are relatively low maintenance since most are staffed by the owners, meaning, as a vendor, you don’t have to stay at your booth when it’s open. The rent is fairly cheap when selling at flea markets, depending on your local market.

  1. How To Reduce Theft And Breakage?

Conduct more internal audits, especially of your financials and of any employees who handle customer transactions. Perform thorough background checks on all new hires. Consider using a payroll service to ensure accuracy. Train managers and supervisors to monitor employees and watch for suspicious behavior.

  1. Are Flea Markets Worth It?

Yes, flea markets are worth it and as a matter of fact, flea markets are a great alternative to garage sales because prices are generally set far, far higher than at garage sales. A vintage glass bowl that might sell for $1-2 at a garage sale can easily sell for $5 or even $10 in a flea market.

  1. How Do You Hold A Swap Meet?
  • Decide how you’ll exchange the stuff.
  • Pick a date and time.
  • Pick a place.
  • Encourage pre-swap swapping.
  • Figure out where to spread everything out.
  • Figure out what to do with what’s left at the end.
  1. What Are The Best Selling Items At Flea Markets?

Here are some of the top selling items at flea markets;

  • Antiques, electronics, and home appliances
  • Baby/toddler clothing & toys
  • Mobile phones and computers, game consoles (the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s vintage game consoles are well sought after nowadays) and video games.
Solomon. O'Chucks