top tips for a car boot sale

Ten top tips for a successful car boot this summer

If you have a spare weekend this summer and fancy doing something a bit different, how about trying your hand at a car boot sale? It’s a great incentive to declutter your home, and you’ll be amazed at the amount of stuff you can get rid of at a car boot sale, hopefully making a nice little pot of money at the same time.

But to be successful at a car boot sale, and make it worth your while, you really need to put in a bit of time and effort beforehand. So, in this article we take a look at ten top tips for car booting success:

  • Research where to hold your sale

There are literally hundreds of car boot sales all over the country and it may be worth travelling a little bit further to a larger, well-supported car boot sale where you are likely to sell more goods. 

Start by asking around for recommendations and also look online: the Car Boot Directory UK site has a car boot sale finder. Perhaps even take the time to visit one or two car boot sales before you plunge in yourself.

  • Get organised in advance

If you want to do really well at a car boot sale you need to do as much preparation in advance as possible. Not only do you need to have a massive clear out so that you have plenty of stuff to sell, but it’s also a good idea to organise everything so that you know where things are. This saves the frustration of rummaging around on the day if someone wants to buy an item that you know you have somewhere but just can’t find it. 

So try and group similar items together so that you can set up different sections on your car boot stall, for example toys, books, accessories, household items and general bric-a-brac etc. 

  • Pack the car the night before

You most probably won’t feel like doing this but it really is a life saver! On the morning of a car boot sale every minute counts, and you don’t want to waste time either at home packing the car or trying to sort out a disorganised mess at the sale. So it really does pay to pack the night before. 

Pack in an organised way, giving some thought as to what you want to put where on your stall. And remember to put your table(s) in last of all, so that you can get them out and put them up first ready to display your goods at the sale.

  • Plan for comfort

Car boot sales can be cold and uncomfortable. Even in summer, the early mornings can be chilly. So make sure you take some warm clothing, and also something to sit on during the sale. It’s also a good idea to take food and drink as you probably won’t have the time or opportunity to leave your stall to get anything.

Also be mindful of the weather. If you wake up on the morning of the sale and it’s pouring with rain, you need to check the forecast for the rest of the day and weigh up whether it’s really worth doing. Even though the car is all packed, most people won’t tend to come out to a car boot sale in the rain and you may be better to postpone it till the next one.

  • Take plenty of cash

A car boot sale is one of the few remaining places where the normal payment is in cash. So you need to make sure that you take plenty of change with you. Remember that as a seller you will need to pay an entrance charge, which usually varies depending on the type of car you have. Then once the sale starts you will need a lot of change, particularly early on when buyers may need notes changing. 

Also make sure that you have a cash box or bag to keep safe the money you make during the sale. It’s also a good idea to bring some carrier bags too, as these can be useful to buyers and perhaps even encourage them to buy more.

  • Make an early start

Check the car boot times carefully: there will be one time for buyers and an earlier time for sellers. Aim to get there a bit before the sellers’ arrival time, as car boots often start admitting sellers even earlier than stated. The sooner you get there, the better position you will get for your stall, and the more footfall you will get.

So don’t hang around, make sure you are there from the very start.

  • Keep an eye open for trade sellers

If you are new to car booting this will be noticeable to more experienced car booters, including trade sellers. You are likely to find that as you are unpacking your car you get people milling around to see what you have got, and some may start making you offers. In this situation, don’t feel hassled by people, be firm and just start selling when you are ready to. 

Bear in mind that many of these early birds will be traders or experienced car booters who specialise in a particular type of goods – such as electrical items or denim – and are looking for things to resell on their own stalls. If you are happy to sell to them, make sure you charge a price you are happy with, otherwise just say no.

  • Plan your pricing

Before you unpack a single thing at a car boot sale, you need to decide what kind of prices you are going to charge. This depends on whether your priority is to get rid of as much stuff as possible or make as much money as possible. 

For the first part of a car boot sale, you will hopefully be able to achieve both these goals at the same time. You will have a lot of stuff to sell, and hopefully keen buyers who are willing to pay the kind of price you are hoping for. But as the sale wears on this is likely to happen less often, and you need to decide whether to stick to your guns in terms of pricing or just take any kind of offer in order to shift your stuff and avoid having to put it all back in the car again!

  • Be friendly and polite

When people are browsing your stall, always acknowledge them with a smile or a hello so that they feel noticed and welcomed. Then give them space to relax and browse so that they don’t feel any pressure to buy anything. 

If they try to haggle on price you will need to make a quick decision as to whether you prefer to get rid of the item or hold out for a higher price. Always be polite, even if they choose to walk away.

  • At the end of the day . . . 

Don’t feel that you have to stay to the bitter end of the car boot sale, particularly if you have been there from the start. As the car boot sale progresses you can often feel a dip in energy and may notice that the more experienced car booters start packing up. You may feel tempted to hang on a bit longer “just in case”, but you are unlikely to make significant sales in the last half hour or so. 

So once you sense the sale is running out of steam, start packing up. You can take your time to do this, to do it in an organised way and also to give that one last chance to any buyer who said they might come back. For example, you can sort the remaining stuff into what you might use at another car boot sale, what is going to a charity shop, and what is just going to be thrown away. And do take all your litter with you, as this is often a condition of the car boot sale being able to run on the site.

We hope that the above tips help you to take the plunge into the world of car booting. What a great way to get rid of excess clutter and also make a nice little bit of profit! 

Good luck ! And do remember to check back here soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from direct lender Munzee Loans.