GCC Swap Meet: A Family of Buyers and Sellers

Aaron Carlos

Every third Sunday of the month, GCC hosts a selection of interesting artifacts sold by an equally interesting collection vendors.

The swap meet, located off Mountain Road behind the parking structure, is a unique experience. Local merchants can buy a space the size of three parking spaces for $50. Most of the vendors are local residents trying not only to sell their valuables, but also to connect with other members of the community.

“It’s more of a family then it is strangers trying to buy and sell,” said Nicholas, a retired antique salesman from San Francisco. “It’s really quite enjoyable.” He said that he has been coming to the GCC swap meet to sell his valuables off and on for the last 10 years. Most people who attend the swap meet, whether as a merchant or just a curious shopper, have been doing so for years.

Everyone embraces each other with a warm handshake and a sincere “how are you?” As a first timer to the GCC swap meet, I was amazed at just how friendly everyone was, from the parking lot attendant to the random people foraging for hidden gems in the vast crates of the individual merchants.

The warm climate made for a nice setting. Not too hot or too chilly, it was quite a pleasurable experience. “Everyone gets to know each other a little more each time..you see the same faces and eventually you get to know the people on a more personal level,” said Nancy, a patron of the GCC swap meet for the last 15 years.

The swap meet has evolved while it’s been at GCC. “I’ve been coming here since before they built the parking structure,” said Cindy Baker, a longtime patron of the swap meet. “I remember when there was water running down that hill, it really is much better now; the elderly have easier access with those elevators.”

Her son Rhys Wait was with her as well, selling their products and making small talk with the customers, creating a real family experience. “It gets better and better each time,” he said. “There’s a good variety and you look forward to seeing the same people.”

The products being sold are unique. From ceramic dolls to VHS tapes, it all brings back feelings of nostalgia. Yet it’s the people that make the swap meet a continual success. The mood is very uplifting, seeing so many people, and there are a lot of people, being courteous and caring toward one another.

You hear casual conversations as you walk by each table. Discussion topics vary from politics, sports, movies, or just the casual “how’s your family?” You get the sense that even though most people don’t interact outside the swap meet, when they do see each other on that third Sunday, it seems as if their running into an old friend.

Whether you’re just browsing or searching for something specific, attending the swap meet is a fun experience. The artifacts for sale are very unique. Fine China sets, lawn mower parts and handmade sweaters are just some of the things that will catch your eye. There is a strict no refund policy and all sales are final.

The cost for a space is $40 if you preregister at http://seco.glendale.edu/cse/other/swapmeet.html.

The fee is $50 if you register on site the day of the swap meets. Attendance is usually estimated to be around 2,500 people. Admission is free and parking costs $2. The swap meet begins at 8 a.m. and ends around 3 p.m.