Businesses doing well at Phoenix Park 'n Swap

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Valley businesses are finding new places to sell as they try and attract customers during these tough economic times. 

“I struggled with that for about a year and then I decided to give this a shot and it basically worked better for me,” Jeff Brandenberg says.

Brandenberg’s hat business is picking up steam after he shut down his online store and moved it to the Phoenix Park 'n Swap.

“My total overhead here is probably with storage and piping $550 a month." He says that is better than the $2,000 to $3,000 a month he was spending with his online business.

Brandenberg is one of many vendors finding success by setting up shop at a place where Valley people have been able to find bargains since the 1960s.
 
“We do have some that just do this only and they do very well,” Susan Barrett explains. “We then have lots of other vendors that do it as a supplemental income and even as a hobby.”

Barrett is the operations director of the Phoenix Park 'n Swap. She says there are all kinds of merchandise for people to choose from like produce and clothes to people selling stuff out of their garage.
 
“The overhead is very low which is why we attract so many businesses that are starting out,” Barrett continues. She says the cost to rent a space starts at $22. For long-time vendors like Alex Jensen and Tug Ross, not only do they believe it is cost-effective to run a business at Park 'n Swap, but during tough economic times, people are going the extra mile to seek out a good bargain.

“There's definitely more people coming to Park ‘n Swap because there's affordable prices, affordable deals that they find,” Jensen says.

“People are getting excited about coming out here again because of the ease of entry in and out of the market,” Ross says. “It’s also a chance for someone to come out and make some side money.”

Brandenberg, who now sells hats full time, is glad he took the chance to park it at the swap.

“I would take this drastic turn in the economy as an opportunity to do things that are better for you,” Brandenberg says. “I'm a lot happier doing what I'm doing now than I was doing real estate.”

You can get a $1 off admission into the Park ‘n Swap on Saturday, May 1 with any canned food item.  All donations will benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. For more information call 602-273-1250 or log onto American Park 'n' Swap.