Make Money & Help Your Store With a Hobby Swap Meet!

space-marine-terminator-walLooking to make some hobby dollars off that pile of grey plastic or an unused army? Why not run a hobby swap meet at your Local Game Store (LGS) and help out the community?

You or your LGS may be looking for a perfect way to boost up the community and their sales. Any long-time hobbyist knows, we tend to get a build-up of models we never use or maybe just supplies that we don’t need.

In either case, that’s where the hobby swap meet comes in- it’s a win-win!

Editor’s note: We are not legaloligists, this is not legal advice for any transaction or business opportunity.  It is a framework that we have seen used, and used ourselves in the past to great success.

The Way a Hobby (or Bits) Swap Meet Works

gw wall rackIn essence, a swap meet is hosted by your LGS. local players and shoppers can come in and buy other hobbyist’s models/supplies that they put out for sale. However, instead of handing physical cash to the person, they take their deal to the front and the buyer hands cash to the store. Then at the end of the day, the store gives each seller there total back in store credit to use on new models and supplies,

This helps support local business and hobbyists on the look for deals can find some seriously amazing pieces at these events.  Plus customers can also pay with credit cards or their accumulated store credit back and forth, which can make for an exciting and fast-paced day.

buy buy buy mad moneyNow there are two important points to make here.

For the store owners: Make sure you have a bunch of stock to choose from that people will want to buy. If you host a miniature swap meet and all you have is Yu-Gi-Oh! cards for sale, the chances are that people will have you special order things or just flat-out won’t come  in the first place cause you don’t have any stock for them to use their credit on.

For the sellers: Don’t be “that guy” and try to strike deals under the table for real cash. Sure, the store is the middleman in the operation but at the end of the day, you’re supporting a local business that provides a place for everyone to play with their friends as well as building a community of gamers.

Now that these points have all been covered, here’s an in-depth model you can use for your LGS if a swap meet sounds like something you’d be interested in!

The LGS Swap Meet Model



  • The Swap Meet is a SERVICE offered by your LGS. As a part of this service, your LGS will provide space to conduct business and provide payment options for all transactions.
  • ALL persons who take part in the Swap Meet MUST register with your LGS BEFORE making any transactions. Each person will receive a buyer/seller ID once registered.
  • No form of payment should ever take place between a seller and buyer. Payment for ALL things at the Swap Meet MUST be made to your LGS.  Any person(s) found not following these guidelines will be removed from the Swap Meet and may receive a permanent ban from any future Swap Meets.
  • A seller should NEVER make a transaction with any person without a Swap Meet ID. The LGS cannot be held responsible for any transactions that are done with an unregistered person.
  • Each seller will be provided with a table, receipts, and a sales sheet. Extra copies of forms will be available.
  • The LGS cannot be held responsible for any lost or stolen product. Please stay with your table at all times.

rob mini swap 1Selling

  • When a seller makes a sale, they must give the buyer a receipt.
  • The receipt MUST be filled out completely and signed by both seller and buyer and the seller MUST record the sale on their sales sheet. This receipt is proof of the transaction between the seller and buyer.
  • The seller should IMMEDIATELY place the product off of their table to ensure that it is not sold again. A seller should treat this product as part of a finished transaction and not offer it to anyone else.
  • The seller should NEVER give the product to the buyer until the buyer has returned with their receipt from the LGS (in the form of store credit). If this takes place, The LGS cannot be held responsible for any product that is not accounted for.
  • Once the buyer has taken the receipt and paid for it at the register, the LGS will add the total amount of the sale transaction to the seller’s in-store credit account.

rob miniswap 2Buying

  • Once a buyer has been given and signed the sale receipt, the buyer MUST take the receipt to the LGS Clerk and make the cash/card exchange with them. Receipts can be saved from several transactions and taken up all at once to the register, but if you are taking a long time, you may want to inform the seller(s) that you are coming back for the product!
  • If you decide to not purchase something you have a receipt for, please be courteous and return the receipt to the seller ASAP so they can put their product back out for sale.


  • Participants may swap models with each other, but, in the case that one party is owed any kind of money, the guidelines above MUST be followed.

And there you have it! Coming from personal experience, swap meets are an amazing way to nab some great tabletop deals as well as supporting your LGS. Swap meets are also perfect sometime shortly after or before Christmas as well. As these are the hot seasons where hobbyists either want to sell or buy kits/games that hobby stores are brimming with.

What does your LGS do that’s similar to a swap meet? Have you ever been to a swap meet before? What else would you recommend to a buyer/seller who’s never been to a swap meet? 

Let us know in the comments of our Facebook Hobby Group, and make sure you enter the latest monthly giveaway for FREE today!

About the Author: Wesley Floyd

Imperial fanboy, tabletop fanatic, King of sprues.
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