Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One mans trash

I can't recall who first introduced me to the Cloverdale Kids Swap Meet. But man, am I glad they did. The swap is this coming Saturday. This huge swap meet happens once a month and it's crazy! Crazy because of the deals I have gotten, $10 for 5 pairs of baby shoes, and crazy because the attendees are usually on a mission and you have to be able to hold your own in a crowd. Luckily, I have navigated the Chinese subway system at rush hour so I feel adept at handling these crowds.

There are two buildings filled with vendors, mostly selling used baby and kid clothes, toys, supplies and more, and there are also some tables of new items such as hair accessories, tutu ls, personalized books and other items. Bring small bills and lots of them. My first time I brought a singular $100 bill and ended up having to beg money off my sister because no one could give me change, not even the ladies at the front doors. They have an ATM but it is an independent one so it has higher than average service fees. Also, bring your own reusable bags as only some vendors provide bags and they aren't too sturdy.

Expect to pay $1-$4 per piece of clothing, but come ready to negotiate. Most vendors are local moms just looking to part with their stuff for a decent price. Of course, better deals can be had if you buy more items, and some vendors will let you leave big stuff you have purchased at their tables so you can keep shopping. But you can always leave and come back in at no charge for the day.

The swap opens at 9am but the seasoned shoppers get there around 8:30-8:45 to line up because the good and big stuff goes quick. I showed up to the January swap at 8:50 and as I got to the front of the line I saw a guy walking out with a gorgeous wooden rocking horse. It definitely pays to be early.

Admission is $5 and parking is free. The swap is held on the Cloverdale fairgrounds and there are signs as you get close. Maybe I'll see you there - I'll be the one with the blue Ergo elbowing other moms out of the way so I can pick up a change table pad and some sun hats for the babe.

~ H

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