Christian Travelers Guide + Western Australia

Double Platinum - Karrinyup & Melville Swapmeet Review
Karrinyup Swapmeet

True swapmeet weather is fast approaching. As I write this, I'm sitting outside in the sun because it is just too glorious to miss. The days are getting just slightly longer (ie I'm not driving home from work in the dark) and the temperature doesn't warrant a beanie every time I step outside.

Mother nature is starting to turn on her spring charm which is great news for me, not so great news for the bank balance. If I look at it from a "glass half full" viewpoint, now that Nath & I are officially home owners (we're late bloomers when it comes to home ownership), the more thrifting I can do, the slightly easier it will be to make our mortgage repayments.

Haha, oh well, it sounded good as I wrote it…

Anyway, to whet your appetite a little now that the weather is a-changing, I've brought to you my recent adventures at the Karrinyup and Melville swapmeets.

Karrinyup Swapmeet

Karrinyup (Karrinyup Shopping Centre, Karrinyup Road) :
Being undercover at Karrinyup Shopping Centre makes this particular swapmeet incredibly popular - as it allows for fossicking rain, hail or shine. It's always cranking, but don't let that deter you as I've found even though you may end up parking what feels like miles away, there's enough space & plenty of aisles to poke about without feeling claustrophobic.

My thought is Karrinyup is starting to change slightly. I never really went here for clothes, shoes or accessories but after this last visit, I’m willing to change that opinion. I think kids were well represented in this area, but I didn’t necessarily visit this swapmeet looking for clothes for myself. As far as I was concerned, Karrinyup was the go-to place for collectables & bric-a-brac - which it still is – however there now seems to be a lot more youngin's sprouting their fashionable wares.

My assumption is that with fashion (ie Tempt, JayJays, Cotton On) being so affordable & changeable these days, its easy to buy one season's worth of gear, wear it and then sell it at swapmeet – allowing the bank balance to be topped up and ready for the next round.

Hey, I tell you, if I was wiser back in my hey-day, I think I would have had swapmeet stalls every weekend…Actually, scrap that, I would have been far too hung over to deal with setting up a stall at 4am in the morning. But it seems, the Gen Z’s are a lot savvier than I was haha.

Karrinyup Swapmeet

But ultimately, this new trend in sellers is great – especially if I can continue to pick up Witchery items for a steal and Sabatini shrug’s for $5!

My only gripe with this swapmeet - and unfortunately it's becoming common at most of them – is some sellers blatantly flaunting the "no new stuff" rule. I'm talking jewellery, mobile covers and in some cases, clothes. Kind of like the stuff you'll find at a general market. Doesn’t it go against the ethos of a swapmeet? Then again, these particular sellers are there every time I go, so perhaps Rotary aren’t particularly strict and I guess these stalls hold a purpose for some.

Swapmeets in general are an ideal haven for buying (and selling) kids stuff. Months back while Siobhain was busy nesting for the impending arrival of her first bub, we were discussing the kinds of things she needed for the nursery. We both agreed that a few new items would be great, but second hand stuff was also welcome. And now that kids stuff is on my radar, I'm seeing bargains galore.

On this particular day I saw a couple of women selling some fabulously looked after porta-cots, baby baths & change tables - all for great prices. Some sellers also just pop kid's clothes & toys in a basket/bin for ridiculously low prices (50c - $1) and you can just rifle through. It's amazing what you will find.

My suggested Karrinyup highlights are clothes & accessories (all ages), toys, general books, general/collectable bric-a-brac and rugs.

For further information including open times, visit the Scarborough Rotary Club website.


Melville (Melville Shopping Centre, Canning Highway):
I have to say Melville, at the moment, is my absolute favourite. I have never left this swapmeet empty handed and I've come away with some great things, especially when hunting down china. Given we haven't been for a while, we decided last minute to pay it a visit - and to suss out if there is any change with the introduction of Sunday trading.

We got there around 7.45am and I must admit I found it to be quieter than usual with both buyers & sellers. It did start to pick up though and people were still coming in as we were leaving so that was good to see as I would have hated the new trading hours to have a negative impact on such a longstanding tradition.

Parking is fairly decent for this swapmeet. If you aren’t familiar with Meville Shopping Centre, the best place to find parking is up on the top level carpark, we’ve always been able to get parking in this section, otherwise it will have to be road side parking. You’ll also need to be aware that this swapmeet is completely outdoors, so be weather prepared.

Invariably with my habitual visits to this swapmeet, I’ve come to recognise some of the regular sellers such as my Polish bone china & glomesh couple (yes I came home with a cute $10 bronze number), the rad old vinyl seller, the too cool for school vintage guy, the always happy crochet blanket lady and the bumbag-sporting designer label lady. They are all awesome characters who bring a great vibe to this particular swapmeet.

Amongst the regulars, you’ll also find a number of young girls (and some guys) selling last season’s fashion at great prices, parents selling their kids outgrown gear, a massive variety of flowers/shrubs/herbs for the garden, every tool & electrical piece you can think of, antique/vintage furniture, books and, of course, your run of the mill general “stuff”.

Nath picked himself up some more books on WWII & business strategy, while I managed to spend my allocation on more $1 shoes, baby clothes, a crochet blanket and some more glass tea light holders. And I know Nath was even happier when his regular prayer of “why don’t they have a coffee van here?” was finally answered.

My suggested Melville highlights are clothes & accessories (all ages & inc designer), vintage (records, books, furniture, bric-a-brac), general books and greenery.

For further information including open times, visit the Rotary Club of Melville’s latest newsletter.

Swapmeet Rules
1. Have a gold coin ready for your entrance fee
2. Save the environment, bring your own bags
3. Wear shoes that are comfy & easy to slip on/off (for shoe buyers)
4. Take smaller money (ie $2, $5, $10) as sellers aren't always able to give change from a $20 or $50
5. Be courteous
6. Practice discretion with bartering and don't badger the seller, it's up to them if they want to or not
7. If outdoors, remember to slip, slop, slap.
8. Prams & well behaved children ahem, sorry, dogs are welcome
9. Get there early
10. Have fun!

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Double Platinum - Karrinyup & Melville Swapmeet Review + Western Australia