There are a wide variety of items that can be found at a swap meet, such as thrifted goods, food items, automotive equipment, clothing, jewelry, souvenirs, art and antiques. Most swap meets, according to Green Hands USA, "are not just exchanges of goods as money usually changes hands." Food is usually sold either fresh or pre-packaged, and artists may choose to attend swap meets to sell items they have made themselves.
Swap meets may be organized by a community/neighborhood, a volunteer organization, a store or vendor, or even a professional organization, as in the case of Hawaii's Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. At many swap meets, individuals bargain for items in spite of the previously set prices.
Sometimes, companies selling auto parts organize swap meets and corrals to help classic car collectors obtain hard-to-find parts. They may also sell gauges, tires, wheels, vehicle frames and fenders. Vintage car toys, signs from automotive shops and cars that are ready to use or restore are available at these types of events.
Swap meets are commonly held as outdoor markets, and are considered a way to recycle goods and in turn benefit the environment. They may be regular scheduled, or one-time events depending upon their host. Swap meets are not a new phenomenon. The Aloha Stadium Swap Meet in Hawaii has been taking place since 1979.