How to Set Up a Swap Meet Vendor Booth

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Called swap meets in some regions and flea markets in others, these open gatherings of vendor booths offer plenty of items for sale, often in outdoor venues. Vendors set up booths to sell goods such as collectibles, antiques and other items to the public. Traditionally, vendors sell used items displayed in cases or on tables, but that doesn't mean you are limited to these options. Many vendors sell new items and food. The swap meet organizers can help you with event details and set-up information.

Contact the swap meet organizers to find out swap meet dates with available space for vendor booth rental. Select the size space you may need and the booth location, if the organizers will allow you. Pricing may depend on your space size, location and other options. Sign necessary contracts and send required rental and vendor fees to the swap meet organizers. Ask about any mandatory licensing, tax IDs or insurance that you need as a vendor.

Inquire as to what the swap meet organizers provide onsite to vendors. Some may provide tables, tents and electricity at an additional fee. Also, ask where the vendors should park and when and how long you have to unload and reload your truck or vehicle. You may be able to set up your vendor booth a day earlier if the event is held inside a locked building. If it is outside, ask how early you can arrive for set-up.

Bring tables, tents, signage, chairs and any other items you need to display and set up your goods for sale. Tag your goods in advance with price stickers or bring a pricing sheet listing each item and a baseline price. Bring a stack of business cards or brochures if applicable. Prepare to haggle on pricing, an expectation at a swap meet.

Arrive early to set up in time for customers. Many patrons arrive early to swap meets to find the best items for sale. Bring cash in small bills, at least $100 to $200, so you can provide change to your customers. Also, bring a locked cash box to hold your money and checks.

Arrange your tables for optimal display of your items. Leave space to make it easy for customers to peruse your tables. Place your sale items neatly and group together by item type. Display signage with your name, phone number and website prominently at your booth if you are a business seeking more customers. Put a flag and a dish of candy or other free items to give away to draw passersby to your booth.


  • Bring people to help man your booth and draw customers. Decide in advance how low you will go in the pricing of certain items.



About the Author

Francine Richards is a licensed multi-state insurance agent with years of human resources and insurance industry experience. Her work has appeared on Blue Cross Blue Shield websites and newsletters, the Houston Chronicle and The Nest. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.

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