Money markets: Where big bargains await

By Melina Byrne

Did you know that Sass & Bide first started selling their designer clothes at markets? With a huge bounty of both trash and treasure, markets are ideal hunting grounds for Recessionistas. Melina Byrne is certainly not new to markets. She has made money by setting up her own stall, and also saved cash with her keen eye for bargains. Here, she shares her insights with RESCU.

Recently I watched a segment on markets on Channel 9’s money-saving show, Money For Jam. It showed a man who made $600 profit by selling clothes at a Sydney market. This instantly reminded me of my own foray into market selling…

Before I discovered eBay (my favourite market!), a friend and I used to sell our stuff at markets, like Melbourne’s Caribbean Gardens Market. I don’t think we ever made $600, but we made a tidy profit most days.

Here are my top tips on selling at markets:

1) Have a wet weather plan. This is ultra important. My market stall got rained out twice (it was in Melbourne, remember) and we ended up losing money on those days. If only we had a tarp or umbrellas to cover our stall.

2) Be early. You want to have your pick of the best locations. It’s usually first in, first served.

3) Be organised. Have plenty of spare change and plastic bags for customers. A calculator also helps, plus scissors are useful.

4) Present your items well. If you want to make maximum profit, make your items look inviting. Hang up clothes, organise books neatly, etc.

5) Look happy. Frowns may scare off customers.

6) Price your items clearly, but be prepared to drop prices for hagglers.

7) Bring plenty of food and drinks. It can be hard to leave the stall for meal breaks, and it can be a long day.


I also love browsing at markets. I’ve picked up some wonderful one-off pieces.

Here’s my advice on successful market shopping:

1) Be early. The bargains are snapped up fast and some markets close after lunch.

2) Haggle. If a price doesn’t suit, try your best to score a discount.

3) Bring actual cash. Not all market stalls take EFTPOS. 

4) Take your own bags. Often, stall owners don’t supply plastic bags. It’s also better for the environment.

For more advice:

Must-read: Money Magazine’s article: Selling At A Market.

Also, study my prior blog on secondhand shopping.

My favourite markets are:


1. Paddy’s Market in the city

2. Paddington Markets

3. Glebe Markets (great for second-hand bargains)


1. Caribbean Gardens Market

2. Queen Victoria Market

To find markets and fairs near your home, go to this website, which shows the events by state.


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