Centsible Mom: Tu-Swap appealing to vendors

2012-12-09T00:00:00Z 2013-01-03T13:45:40Z Centsible Mom: Tu-Swap appealing to vendorsAngela Pittenger Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Anyone in the resale business or in the art business is always on the lookout for ways to make a sale, whether it be at craft fairs, antique malls, garage sales or street fairs.

But how many people think swap meet?

While I do enjoy going to the swap meet to find bargains, the thought of setting up a tarp and all my stuff, and sitting outside in the dusty wind only to pack it up and do it again the next day, does not appeal to me as a vendor.

Making that scenario more attractive is what Doug Shugart had in mind when he opened Tu-Swap Indoor Swap Meet about eight weeks ago.

The new indoor swap meet was created with the vendors' comfort in mind.

The 15,000-square-foot warehouse has booths that range in size from 6-by-8 to 20-by-40, with prices starting at $54 a week.

Vendors also have the option of renting an office in the building, which can be set up like a private store.

Booths are separated by pegboard that vendors can use to hang jewelry, art or other wares, and each booth has electricity.

Shugart said he and his wife want to keep the sellers happy. Jan Shugart provides coffee for the vendors on the weekends.

The Shugarts give the sellers leads on estate sales and place ads on Craigslist for the vendors, which Doug Shugart tries to update daily. "My day starts with a cup of coffee and Craigslist," he said. "If I don't have vendors, I don't make money."

Seven-day access to their stuff and lower rates are attractive to vendors like Robb Gonzales.

Gonzales is a new vendor who was setting up his booth for the weekend. He saw advertisements for Tu-Swap, checked it out, and was impressed. "It's nice, clean and really secure."

Another big draw is the price, he said. He has sold from other locations and said he finds this to be a better deal.

At other places you have to break down every night and deal with wind and dust from outside, he added.

At Tu-Swap you get to leave your stuff and if you're not there to do the sale, the owners will do it and not take a commission.

Gonzales will sell a variety of things from household goods to local art and photography, saying: "I want to find good homes for some of this stuff."

Business is starting to pick up at Tu-Swap.

"It's getting busier," Shugart said. "The last two weeks have been fabulous. One day I rented to nine vendors."

Sellers Bonnie and Bernie Rice said "more people are realizing it's here."

The Rice couple sells handmade and resale jewelry, as well as glass art that Bernie makes from items found at yard sales or thrift stores.

Bonnie Rice said they've been enjoying the experience.

Shugart said the vendors "greet one another every day and welcome each other. It's a community."

It's also a place to shop for bargains on unique items.

The indoor swap meet offers a diverse mix of wares and services.

Vendors are selling anything from handmade Guatemalan dresses for little girls, to handmade pens, to furniture and household goods, to vintage and antique pieces, to fine art and jewelry.

You can learn to make jewelry there, get your computer repaired or possibly sign an insurance policy.

Food vendors are also on hand with a variety of menus.

"It's a pretty diverse crowd," Shugart said. "I like the people. You never get tired of the people. If you treat them nice, they treat you nice."

If You Go

What: Tu-Swap Indoor Swap Meet

Where: 3101 E. Apache Park Place (off of Benson Highway and south of Ajo Way), 222-7927.

When: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays.

Vendor Info

Pay a month's rent, get one free through the month of December.

Booth sizes range from 6-feet-by-8-feet to 20-feet-by-40-feet.

There is one office still available for rent.

Vendors have access to their booths seven days a week.

They do not have to take their stuff home at the end of the day.

Tu-Swap does not make commission or consignment off of your sales.

Handicap accessible.

There is a loading dock and ample parking.

Star reporter Angela Pittenger, our "Centsible Mom," shares tips, ideas and news about how Tucson consumers can find value or make a little extra money. Send suggestions or questions to her at apitteng@azstarnet.com or 573-4137. Angela Pittenger

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