The saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” holds true at the Ogden Motor-Vu Swap Meet, where buyers and sellers collaborate to exchange personal goods and memorabilia.
Furniture, clothing, camping gear, jewelry and more can be found in the sellers’ stalls. Several antiques were on display, including a Pony Express spittoon. While some are sold online for close to $100, the spittoon at the swap meet went for a tenth of the price.
Held every weekend at the Ogden Motor-Vu drive-in, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this month, the swap meet opens at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and 7 a.m. on Sundays. On Saturdays, sellers can rent a space for $5, on Sundays for $18 or $23, depending on the vehicle’s size.
“I like to see everyone’s different styles of life,” said Jessica Curtis, who felt that walking through and looking at the array of items people are selling can tell a buyer a lot about the sellers’ life stories.
A former Boy Scout troop leader’s stall was filled with backpacks and camping gear exhibiting the Boy Scout insignia, while a retired softball coach offered buckets of softballs at her table. There often lies a story behind the personal items for sale, and the relaxed, familiar atmosphere of the swap meet allows for casual conversations between buyers and sellers.
At first glance, the venue may seem underwhelming. The cracked asphalt and card tables betray the promise of bargains and finds, and, upon arriving, it may appear to some like a massive garage sale — but the swap meet offers more.
While some sellers bring collections of their personal belongings, the swap meet also welcomes small businesses to set up shop.
Kari Story owns her own accessories business and uses the swap meet to promote it. During the warmer months, she sells sun hats and sunglasses. She sells scarves and knit hats during the winter.
Story began as a seller for a grocery store and started her business, Dreams and Wings, with a friend of hers. When her friend passed away, Story continued the business. “I kept the dreams for her, the wings for me,” she said.
Story attends the swap meet every Sunday. The meet “has worked out better” than other venues, which are pricey and less flexible.
Story warned, however, that during the summer, sellers need to arrive before 6 a.m. if they hope to find a spot in the crowd. Motor-Vu employee Victoria Castro said buyers need to arrive around 6 a.m. during June and July because “the place is packed.”
Castro remarked on the “great diversity of people” at the swap meet who are exchanging “very unique stuff.”