San Diego Hotspot: A Guide to the Kobey Swap Encounter
As the sun rises on a cold Saturday morning, San Diego vendors set up their tents and tables to prepare for a long morning of negotiating, selling and trading.
The San Diego Kobey Swap Meet began in 1976, where individuals from the area were able to buy, trade and sell with each other. Building on the reputation it holds to this day, Kobey’s is a place where individuals can discover new trinkets and possibly get their hands on a vintage (fake, of course) fur coat. Thousands of vendors line up every weekend along the parking lot of the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, where they sell items ranging from vintage furniture and used surfboards, to fresh produce and flowers.
With the rise of modern streetwear and the revival of Y2K fashion, the number of visitors every weekend has since exploded. Holding monthly vintage flea markets every last Saturday, vendors can sell the latest sneakers and unique items. So if you’re trying to get your hands on the latest pair of Dunks and missed your opportunity on the SNKRS app, now is your chance to run at Kobey’s.
With an entrance fee of $ 2, you can explore the plethora of merchandise on offer at these vintage markets. Being a regular at Kobey’s myself, I find that I always leave with a handful of purchases of items that I don’t need. If you tend to indulge in retail therapy practices, this is the place for you. As it becomes difficult and quite overwhelming to enter the site, I have a few tips that might help you have a successful flea market visit.
Make a list before entering the market
With the amount of merchandise that is posted every weekend, it can get a bit hectic. One task I usually like to do before going to flea markets is to already have a list of the items I want before I dive right into piles of clothes. Even creating a mental list of what you want can help relieve any stress or overwhelming feeling that may arise.
Kobey’s is open 7am to 3pm every weekend, and I highly recommend going early if you want to get your hands on the best items. Rush hours tend to be between 10 and 11 a.m., so if you want to avoid the crowds and lines, go early!
Do a quick environmental scan
Whether you’ve made a physical or mental list, you should already know what you’re looking for. Kobey’s tends to divide its suppliers into different sections, so it’s pretty easy to find the items you want. Some sections will be specifically reserved for fresh produce and plants, furniture, clothing and sundries. I highly recommend that you take a quick look at what Kobey’s has to offer so you can get a feel for the layout, the different sellers, and if there are generally better deals between the sellers.
Over time, other payment methods such as Apple Pay and Venmo have proven to be very useful. But, since there are vendors who have been selling at Kobey’s for years, using cash has become a tag of exchange. This makes things easier not only for you, but also for sellers!
Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash