The Melville Markets is a swap meet run by the Rotary Club of Melville. It is held every Sunday from 6am to 10am in the car park of the Melville Plaza shopping centre at 380 Canning Highway in Bicton. Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind if you are thinking about selling at the Melville Markets. These are based on my personal experience.
The entrance to the Melville Markets, a swap meet run by the Rotary of Melville.
1. What should I sell? The short answer is anything! Declutter the house and remember, one man's trash is another man's treasure! It is worth noting that only second-hand items are allowed. No new items and no food items. The written flyer we were given specifically states "pre-used goods and potted plants plus arts and crafts permitted". While there we saw things like clothing, children's toys, books, kitchen gadgets, pot plants, shoes, furniture, fishing gear and toolboxes.
2. What time do I need to get there to set up? While the markets run from 6am to 10am, I would advise you to get there earlier to choose your space and set up. There are the usual "dealers" who stake out their car bays very early (some overnight although this is discouraged by the Rotary) and on a busy morning you may miss out if you arrive too late. The Melville Market's Facebook page states sellers should arrive from 4.30am, however, from personal experience, I would recommend arriving between 4 and 4.30am.
It is best to get there early to select a space and set up.
3. How do I set up? Once you select your spot you need to unload the things you are selling and set up within your car bay. You will be charged for any and all bays you use, including one that your car is parked in, so it may be worth unloading then moving your car out. You can always park your car in the other parts of the carpark that are not sectioned off for the swap meet. As you will be setting up on the car park floor, it can be handy to bring a picnic rug or old bedsheets to lay on the ground first, so your items are not put straight on to the bitumen. You could also consider packing a folding trestle table.
It is worth noting that gazebos, tents and umbrellas are not allowed unless anchored with sandbags.
Handy hint - get there early enough to choose a spot along the shopping center verandah so you can make use of the shade!
4. Let's talk money. First and foremost, don't forget a float! Come prepared with change (we had somebody ask to pay with a $100 note early in the morning, so best to be prepared!). It can be handy to have this in a bumbag or something that attaches to you and leaves your hands free.
When deciding on the price you will sell things for, consider if you really want to drag it all the way home or not! It's a personal choice, but we deliberately priced everything quite cheaply to help sell it all as quickly as possible. You can always drop your prices throughout the morning if things aren't selling. Be prepared to barter!
The Rotary of Melville charge $15 per bay and come around mid-morning to collect this fee from you.
5. Is there anywhere to get food? You're in luck! If you have someone to watch your stall you can do a quick food run down to McDonald's (it's walking distance) and grab some breakfast. The bakery at the shopping centre is also open early, as is the coffee shop.
The coffee shop opens early so you can get your coffee fix!
6. Are there toilets? Yes, these are located just inside the shopping centre and opened for the swap meet between 6am and 10am.
7. What is involved in pack up? A representative from the Rotary of Melville will walk around ringing a bell at 10am. This is the signal to start packing up. You have until 10.30am to be packed up and gone. As the crowds begin to thin out you will have a chance to bring your car back in and load it up again. Cars are not supposed to be moved until 10am. It is requested that sellers remove all rubbish, unsold items and packaging.
8. Anything else? Don't forget sunscreen and a hat! A camping chair may come in handy so you don't have to stand the whole time. As it will still be dark when you arrive to set up you may consider bringing a torch. There are some floodlights in the carpark but depending on your location you cannot necessarily rely on these for enough light. Some sellers choose to write prices on stickers or make little signs - this is optional, and often people will just ask you for the price if things are not labeled.