The key to successfully selling at car boot sales

By Sharon Fussell, May 28, 2015

In last week’s eletter we discussed car boot sales and what to look out for to profit on saleable items.

I don’t know if you have ever actually sold your own stuff on car boots or school fairs and fetes, but doing so can be a great way to offload stock that isn’t selling on Amazon and eBay.

Here a few tips on how to make the most of your time as a car boot sale vendor…

Set your bedside alarm: most car books are in the morning, very early! You will probably be allowed to park up at around 7.00 a.m.

Pack you goods in easy-to-handle boxes, so they easily fit in your car or van. Cardboard fruit crates from your local supermarket are ideal.

Have a receptacle to put your money into: a bum bag is very useful.

You might find that when you first get to your allocated or chosen spot, other stall holders descend on you to see what you are selling. They may try to barter you down before you have had a chance to think things through.

It’s a bit of a dilemma, because they might make an offer for something, which is far below what you feel is a fair price – so do you sell it to them or wait and see if an actual customer of the car boot sale pays you a more realistic price?

Park at your space and instead of unpacking right away, go and have a walk around before unpacking your goods. Most of the other stall holders will have moved onto others just arriving, so you’ll be usually left in peace to unpack and arrange your stall to your satisfaction.

Take plenty of change: some buyers will hand over a £20 note, perhaps hoping that if you have no change you will tell them to keep the item for free!

Take plenty of carrier bags: customers often appreciate them, as they may have turned up unprepared.

Price up your items beforehand so customers know exactly how much something is: this way they will more likely buy it. Some may barter: it’s up to you to accept a lower price or not.

If possible place your goods on tables – not boxes on the floor: most buyers hate bending down and rummaging through lots of stuff.

Have your fee ready to hand over to the car boot sale organiser; they often turn up just as a crowd descends upon you.

Be realistic in your pricing: yes, you may have purchased a book or DVD for several pounds, but car booters love a bargain and will not usually pay over the odds for anything.

Take some water: if it’s a hot day you may relish a drink and you might not be able to leave your stall to find a drinks vendor.

Lastly, enjoy it! It can be hard, tiring work, but usually car boot sales only last a few hours and you’ll find yourself having lessened any hard-to-shift (by other means, at least) stock and having made a fair few pounds in the process.


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