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Need extra money? Anthony Pretto invites you to sell your wares at Kobey’s Swap Meet.

Tell me about the swap meet.

Kobey’s Swap Meet was founded in 1976 by my grandfather Monte. It started with only 13 sellers and 200 shoppers. Today, we’re located at the Valley View Casino Center (formerly San Diego Sports Arena), and we attract over 1000 sellers every week and more than 25,000 shoppers each weekend. We’re open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 7am-3pm.

Can anybody come and sell?

We welcome all types of sellers. You can have a garage sale up to two times a year without any permits or licenses. You can also start a business and sell new clothing or a new product, and all you need is a seller’s permit from the State Board of Equalization. We have roughly 250 new commercial merchandise sellers each day and about 500 used garage sellers. Some of our sellers have been selling at Kobey’s for over 20 years.

Of the used merchandise, what kinds of things sell best?

There isn’t one particular item that sells better than another. As long as the item or category of items is priced to sell then it will sell. We have found that tools, sporting goods, antiques, and electronics are some of the most popular used items in recent years.

And 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. We also offer spaces with electricity and spaces on corners. Those range between $45 and $90 depending on location.

Let’s say I want to sell my collection of records or vintage dresses at the swap meet. What’s the process for getting started?

We recommend you reserve a space in advance to guarantee a decent location —typically, a week in advance. You can make a reservation on Wednesdays or Thursdays at our corporate offices (3740 Sports Arena Boulevard, Suite 3.) All we need to get started is a driver’s license and the money for the space rental. If you’re selling new merchandise, then we would need to see a California Seller’s Permit as well. Once you purchase a space to sell, you will be a registered seller in our computer system and given all the necessary forms to fill out.

What advice would you give a newbie seller?

The best advice I can give a newbie seller is to be open-minded and to give the swap meet a chance. You’ll be surprised how much you can sell. We don’t require sellers to have tables or equipment, but we do offer table rentals. If it looks like it’s going to be a warm weekend, then we recommend you wear sunscreen. And bring a lunch if you’re selling by yourself. We also recommend you bring small bills in case someone gives you a $100-bill for an item that costs $10. Finally, it’s a swap meet, so don’t be disgruntled if someone wants to haggle for merchandise. That’s the nature of the business.

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