Wipe the dust off the sign, bike or bonnet and make an offer and it could be yours. Thousands of transactions like this – where payment could be in cash or in kind – took place on Friday and Saturday at the Ballarat Swap Meet.
Organisers said 15,000 people wandered on to the massive event grounds and hundreds camped out on the new site.
For some attendees and vendors it’s part of a swap meet calendar and for others it’s all they need.
In the latter camp is Dot McIntosh from Stawell.
She said even though her antique irons and assorted fripperies and accoutrements were not selling as quickly as she’d hoped, it was still worth coming.
“It’s a bit of a slow day, but it doesn’t matter, it’s all fun,” she said.
“They’ve been more interested in...the caravan than what’s on the table.”
The risk for many is going home with more stuff than they arrived with.
Fabian Simeone from Sunshine has some colourful Malvern Star frames for sale but has picked up three vintage bikes with stunning frames and top-tube gear shifters to take home with him.
He said he got a good deal, which in some cases at the meet is more important than the item itself.
Ballarat man Steve Mikus has taken home lots in the past but he said it was behind him now.
“I made $1 in profit a few years ago...even though I sold lots that year,” he said.
He usually takes home more than he brings- Kerryn Severino, on his friend Steve Mikus
His friend Kerryn Severino said it was not uncommon.
“He usually takes home more than he brings,” he said with a laugh.
Rotary Ballarat chairman Robert Glass said they were pleased with the crowd numbers.
“It’s going pretty well, considering we’re on a new site and still learning the ropes with this one,” he said on Saturday.
“We’ve got really positive feedback with the actual layout. People are finding it much easier to get around,” he said.
“The work that my fellow Rotarians have put in to turn on this event has been tremendous. But we’ve also been helped by a lot of community groups which has allowed them to raise a lot money as well.”
The crowds ranged from interested locals, estimated to be in the minority, to the serious meet-heads, who knew how to barter and bargain.
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