Why you should go to a car boot sale this bank holiday weekend…

By Sharon Fussell, May 21, 2015

I know it’s May and very soon we’ll be into June, but I do feel it’s quite chilly for this time of year. In fact it’s difficult to judge how to dress because you have no idea what the weather is going to do.

However, despite the inconstant weather, it is the time of year when car boots, school fetes and charity fund raising events take place on a frequent basis.

To be honest, in my locality, large, managed car boot sales are rare: you have to travel over 30 miles to find a regular car boots, like the ones they show on BBC’s Bargain Hunt.

I do admit to enjoying watching Bargain Hunt: for those that have no idea what it’s about, it’s a long-running daytime TV show that involves two teams of two people traipsing around fetes and car boots trying to find objects that they can buy for less than they can sell them for at auction.

The TV show gives an allowance of a few hundred pounds to each team to buy items that take their fancy; items that they believe should make a profit.

The concept of buying and selling is reversed – in that usually you buy from an auction and sell for a higher price at a market forum. This TV show does the opposite.

It does present a challenge for the contestants, and it frustrates me to watch them. I find that most of the items chosen are complete tat and often far too much money is handed over to vendors, who must see the contestants coming!

Personally I prefer buying low and selling for whatever profit I can make. On the whole, car boots do provide a great way to increase income, and I don’t mean by doing one yourself!

I find all kinds of items, but it does mean separating the wheat from the chaff most of the time.

Recently I was walking around a car boot sale in a leisurely fashion: it was near closing time, most vendors were packing away, and on one stall I spotted a jigsaw puzzle. The box was a little tatty, but it had a brand name and there was a image of a steam train on the front.

I purchased the item for 50p. It was used, so I took a chance on all the pieces being in the box.

Luckily my husband Clive loves to do jigsaws, so it was completed and checked accordingly: all was good.

I listed it on Amazon and a after a couple of weeks it sold for £12.99 plus postage.

The jigsaw had multi-appeal; it had 1,000 pieces and popular for buyers who liked jigsaws and trains.

So you can make decent profits from sourcing low-cost items at car boot sales. Here are a few items I look out for to resell for a profit online:

  • Non-fiction books
  • DVDs
  • CDs
  • Games and toys (brand new and wrapped if possible – you’ll be surprised but you can find items in this condition at boot sales)
  • Small, easily posted NEW household items
  • Jigsaws
  • Baby items – new and factory wrapped

So this weekend, I recommend you find a bank holiday car boot and try your luck: you just don’t know what bargains are out there.

Good luck and happy searching!


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