Hawaii’s swap meets can be major productions.
They’re big business, with many vendors relying on them to make a living. One vendor put her three children through college by selling fresh fruits and vegetables at the swap meet.
Aloha Stadium Swap Meet
The largest swap meets on Oahu is the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet in Halawa. Held just outside the 50,000-seat Aloha Stadium, this thrice-weekly event draws thousands of bargain hunters. Hundreds of vendors are on hand to sell everything from jewelry, clothing, arts, and crafts, knick-knacks, and souvenirs to sunglasses, collectibles, accessories, housewares, produce and more. Many manufacturers who can’t afford the high-priced retail spaces in Waikiki sell their goods here. There is an entry fee of $1.
Kam Super Swap Meet
A five-minute drive away is the Kam Super Swap Meet in Aiea. It’s decidedly smaller than the stadium swap meets, but it still offers a dizzying array of goods: food and produces, crafts, collectibles, clothing, jewelry, toys and much more. The entry fee is 50 cents.
Ample parking is available at both the Aloha Stadium and Kam swap meets. Also, public transportation to both swap meets is available via TheBus.
The Mango Marketplace
Central Oahu is the home of the island’s only indoor swap meet. The Mango Marketplace in Wahiawa has 30,000 square feet of air-conditioned retail space on two floors. Vendors here rent stalls to display and sell a variety of goods, including furniture, artworks, collectibles, toys, electronics and more. The Mango Marketplace is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
General swap meet tips: Dress comfortably, as you’ll do a lot of walking. Comfortable walking shoes are highly recommended. For the outdoor swap meets, a sun visor or hat will help protect you from the elements. You may want to arrive in the morning to beat the afternoon sun. Many shoppers bring wheeled carry-on luggage to avoid having to make the walk easier.