Tips for selling at car boot sales

By Sharon Fussell, March 10, 2016

The weather has gone very cold lately and the promise of spring seems very far away, despite the daffodils and other spring flowers popping up all around.

You will recall that in a recent eletter we discussed looking out for forthcoming car boot sales to attend and look for bargains.

Perhaps though, you may prefer to actually do a car boot sale yourself.

If you have never before done a car boot sale, you might be in for a treat!

If it does seem like an attractive proposition, below are some tips to begin what could turn out to be a pleasant and profitable occupation.

First, look for advertisements in your local area for car boot sale venues.

Usually car boot sales have to be registered with the council, so they should have a list of venues.

Look in your local (free) newspapers for local press advertisements.

Look out on flyers and banners placed strategically around the area.

If you listen to your local radio station, sometimes they advertise car boot sales on there.

Car boot sales can be large or small: some are huge and take place on a regular basis; some are small and might be a one-off event held as a fund-raiser for a school or church.

Generally, the larger the car boot sale, the more ‘footfall’ there will be.

There is usually a charge to take your car/van into the sale – perhaps £5 or £6 is the norm.

Many sales take place early in the morning, but some take place in the afternoon

Tips for selling at car boot sales…

If possible, load your car the night before.

Always price your products. Often a buyer will not want to engage with you for the price of an item.

Take a float consisting of small change, enough to at least change a £20 note.

Ensure you have your entrance fee on hand: the collection man usually turns up sooner rather than later, that’s if they don’t collect at the entrance gate.

Bring a suitable and safe receptacle to hold your takings (a bag around your waist is probably the best).

Take some carrier bags to place sold goods into.

Bring some drinking water if it’s a hot day.

Take some sandwiches if the car boot sale is on for a good few hours.

Pack tables to display your products on: I recommend two pasting tables.

And, of course, be prepared to deal: buyers like to haggle!

Try and take a friend with you: they can keep an eye on the stall when you need to go to the loo or buy a drink, or when you peruse other stalls to buy up bargains to re-sell.

When you first arrive at the sale, you may have a deluge of other traders watching you unpack and hassle you to sell your stuff for a lower price than you intend: it can be quite intimidating. So I usually arrive and park up, then leave my stuff in the car and have a walk around for a few minutes: that way when I return the pack have gone away.

If I am approached and asked to sell stock for a much lower price than I intend to get, I propose they come back at the end of the car boot sale. If the item they want is still available then I might negotiate with them.

What do you think?

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