How to turn car boots into Amazon profits

By Sharon Fussell, April 27, 2012

Yes, it’s here… the great British spring. How can we tell? Is it the sunshine and warmth? If you have the weather we are experiencing in sunny Wales, it’s probably the pouring rain and cold.

However, it’s not just the weather that signals the arrival of spring and summer, it’s the sudden proliferation of car boots everywhere you look!

Why you should get excited about car boots

Great news if you have lots of books to offload you can take them down to your local car boot. For a few pounds you can hire a table and sell off your books, DVD’s, games, toys, unwanted household goods and yes even old technology such as cassettes and videos you have accrued through the winter.

If you have never had the joy of attending car boots, you will be amazed at the type of items for sale. I have to be honest most of it in my opinion is complete tat and yet it is most surprising what stuff sells and what does not.

Usually, books (especially popular fiction) are in demand, also popular DVDs, videos (yes, people still want them) and even CDs and cassettes.

If attending a car boot appeals, find one local to you with good footfall.

Of course there is no reason why you cannot attend smaller car boots arranged for fundraisers by local schools and churches, but generally, the more people the merrier so to speak.

How much should you charge for your products?

Well, there is usually no use in asking too high a price as most people go to car boots to purchase a bargain.

A price of 50p per paperback or £1 per hardcover is considered fair. Then use the profit from your sales to buy up books others are selling.

Aim for niche non-fiction and haggle. If a seller is asking 50p for each book pick up three and ask: ‘will you accept £1 for three?’ In most cases they will.

Personally I usually negotiate a far lower price because I will buy up any book in good condition from them. But if you are a beginner I do not recommend you do this as you will end up with a box full of 1p books. I find by the end of the day many sellers (usually not traders) will be happy to offload their books as they do not want to lug them home again.

If you do a car boot take carrier bags, a float of change (plus the table charge usually around the £5 mark) Display books in fruit boxes, spines up so buyers can easily see their titles.

You may be wondering what type of books in particular to take with you. Space is usually at a premium, but the following genres are popular.
Craft books, Cookery, Gardening, Popular fiction paperbacks and popular Hardback autobiographies.

Don’t limit yourself to just books, if you can take jigsaws, games, DVDs and CDs.

Also have a box with children’s books at the foot of the table for children to rummage through. 20p each for small children’s books will usually attract parents who may then take notice of other goods for sale and spend a few pounds on grown up stuff!

Let’s just hope the weather improves soon! Good luck!


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