The old adage is that one man's trash is another's treasure, and nowhere is this more true than the local swap meet. Pop open the boot, lay out an old blanket and suddenly all the knicks and knacks you are trying to be rid of have been exchanged for a pocket of cash.
Operating every Sunday morning from the lower carpark at the Broadway Fair shopping centre in Nedlands, the Rotary Swap Mart has been operating for years. Along with the regular stallholders selling books, crockery, glasswear and pot plants are one off vendors who can sell anything from kids toys to vintage brooches, ladies and kids clothing, furniture, and other assorted goodies.
Let's be clear, the Broadway Swap Mart is not a massive undertaking. When I visited there were only about a dozen stall dotted around the carpark, but I found it easy to empty my wallet and headed home with dozens of excellent books and toys.
Some people feel awkward going up to strangers and poking around through their offcasts, but once you get over yourself, you'll realise that people are just happy for you to browse and chat. If you can pick up a bargain at the same time, more power to you.
These toys cost me $12.50. I gave them $15 because I felt so guilty
Entry is a gold coin donation, and there are some stalls where all proceeds go directly to Rotary or other charities. I picked up all these brilliant quality toys for less than $15, with all the money going to charity, and the two young boys from John XXIII manning the stall doing community service.
There is a permanent store selling an enormous range of excellent books – paperbacks are $1, hardbacks only $2. I saw dozens of popular books including The Devil Wears Prada, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and The Da Vinci Code amongst others. I only stopped buying books when I ran out of cash (and had no more room in the pram to put them). This was one of the biggest, cheapest and most diverse range of books I had seen in a long time.
There is also a great stall for second hand crockery, glasswear, cutlery and assorted kitchen gizmos and bits and pieces. Perfect for local students looking to set up a new place. The pot plant stall has a great range of plants and herbs at prices much lower than your local nursery.