Ah car boots, who doesn't love the early Sunday morning scramble to the local car boot sale! For those unaware a car boot is a bit like the American version of a "yard sale", basically you stick all your unwanted items into your car and take them along to a field or warehouse advertised as doing a car boot and sell the items. Car boots do tend to be more popular during the summer months however some place do all year round ones, its best to check your local for more details. I've been to them both as a buyer and as a seller, if its something you are not familiar with going to one as a buyer first to get an idea of what its all about however I have my hints and tips below which are useful, although some of them work well with both I have separated them.
As a seller.....
The preparation -
1, Everything you want to sell put into the car the night before. It makes it easier to go in the morning.
2, Make sure you have a pasting table to place items on and if possible blankets, hangers etc. If you can present your items nicely more likely somebody is to take a look. Ensure the pasting table and/or blankets are on the top so you can get them out first.
3, Have plenty of change and bags for sales. I recall one time Sunday I was there and the first item I sold the lady gave me a £20 so be prepared with all the change you need
4, take a flask of warm drink and/or sandwiches, this saves you money buying them there and its a long morning without them. If you go in the winter make sure you take warm clothing and if possible take camp chairs to sit on.
5, make a note of the change you take with you. I usually take £10 for the pitch and £20 in change. I write a note of it before I go and take a note pad with me to keep a proper record of items sold and the price. You don't have to do this but I think it's useful.
6, Try to sort out items according to type, so for example have all the clothes in one bag then glass/ornaments etc in another etc so when putting them out its easier. Anything you consider a "high value" item keep this safe. With items you are selling I would try to stick within seasons, so for example if you are doing a summer car boot Id advise against selling winter clothing and vice versa. I have found at winter car boots that selling things like gloves and scarves go down quite well because people want them to keep warm. Coming towards Christmas, gifts like make up sets, toiletries etc sell well.
7, Go in the very least pairs. I've never done it on my own but setting up and doing it on your own must be pretty stressful so I would advise doing it with another person.
8, set your alarm and go early! My local car boot starts at 6am and so I am there no later than 6:15am. I know its early but the earlier you go the better the pitch your get and the easier it is to set up. Find out the opening time and pitch charges before you go and get there within 15 minutes of it opening and ensure you know where you need to go, if unsure start out early in case you get lost.
1, Once you are there expect the vultures to circle your car. This happens wherever you go and whatever time. I advice you pull up, with the car doors locked and take a minute or two for them to move on (if they do) then get out, locking the car doors behind you and open the boot and get out bits at a time. The vultures will try to rifle through your boxes and/or bags but keep an eye on them and firmly say you are not selling anything until you are set up. They will get the message eventually.
2, Have an idea what money you would like to make on items. With car boot buyers they very seldom pay the first price so over price your items and go from there, as a rule of thumb I usually stick double the price, so for example if I wanted to get £2 for an item quote them £4 and work from there. With this don't just sell your items for anything; if you are adamant an item is worth more than quoted don't sell it.
3, Keep your money and the valuable items safe, don't turn your back on them because they may go missing. When setting up ensure the items are safe and unlikely to get stolen. Small things like jewellery and make up I put in a shoe box and stick them out last as these are more likely to get stolen.
4, The first hour will be the busiest and then things usually die down. After this you can if you want take it in turns to have a look around if you wish. This does help the boredom.
5, I've never done this myself however I have seen some sellers towards the end declare very loudly "all items now 50p" it attracts attention and its likely to get rid of any old junk that you don't want to take home.
6, know what time (if you can find this out) is the earliest you can leave. Some car boots start early at around 6am and let people begin to leave at 11am but some people might stay until around 1pm, if things quieten down leave when you can rather than stand around.
As a buyer...
1, Similar to the selling really get up early, dress warm and arrive promptly at the car boot. The earlier you arrive the more likely you are of finding something you want
2, Have an idea on what you would like to buy before you go, I know this isn't always the case but its a good place to start from when wondering around.
3, As advised above with sellers most of them will over estimate a price, offer them below what you want to pay and hopefully your end up paying roughly the price you want. If not walk away, as a seller they have an idea of what they want to sell an item for and if you think its over then don't buy it.
4, Have a good look at the item, ensure all parts are there, instructions etc. I personally as a rule wouldn't buy electrical goods from a car boot sale as you can never ensure it works however this is up to you but you are taking a risk. With things like toiletries/make up etc have a look and see if its been used or opened, try to be mindful that it might have gone off so if it looks "old" it might not be any good.
5, Be prepared to rifle round boxes/shelves etc. Not all people will be good at organising their pitches so if they are not you might need to take a good rummage through.
6, take plenty of change rather than notes, as mentioned above I've had people pay me with £20 notes, it's frustrating however if you are buying an expensive item then notes are better.
Try to take it in a light-hearted fun way. Car boots are stressful especially for sellers however it can be an enjoyable day and an easy way to get rid of old items, or to find a treasure you have wanted. Go there with an open mind and take note of my tips, they may be of some help to you. A car boot is very hit and miss, I'm quite lucky as a seller in that I've usually sold quite a lot of stuff but people in the pitches near me have sold hardly anything, equally as a buyer I've gone and either bought loads of stuff or nothing at all it really is the luck of the draw. I mark car boots as 5/5 because overall they are very good for all involved, good for those wanting a bargain and good for those wanting to sell old stuff no longer being used.
Well I have have finally got around to doing my annual car boot sale this morning! Anything that we no longer use or need, be it clothes, household stuff ........anything really, I will not allow to just be thrown out!
I stick it all in the loft which highly irritates my husband as he thinks it should be dumped the minute you no longer use or need something.
I, on the other hand hate to see waste and if I can make a little money out of selling it at a car boot sale then that is what happens.
~~What are car boot sales?~~
For the uninitiated, Car boot sales are usually held through the summer months for obvious reasons and you stick all your unwanted possessions in the back of your car and drive off to a venue preferably close to your home, lay it all out and hopefully sell it! Simple as that. Or is it?
Well the first drama for me is getting it all out of the loft (no garage you see) and into the back of the car. Luckily, my daughter did all this for me the day before whist I was at work, otherwise it would probably all still be sat up there waiting for me to get round to it. I must admit that some items might be a bit dizzy as they have been to car boots and back again as no-one wanted to buy that particular item but I won't throw them away!! They have to sell at some point.
The next drama is setting up. You arrive at the venue of said car boot sale which is usually a big field at some ungodly hour. Some people will start at five in the morning but there is no way I can get up for that time so I am usually one of the last to arrive at about half sixish and someone usually tells you where to park.
I can remember my very first car boot sale, years and years ago and felt quite threatened and amazed by the amount of buyers that don't even let you get your stock out of your boot before they are rummaging and firing questions at you. The first customers can sometimes be dealers or even other sellers who will buy stuff off you and then go sell it at a profit on their own store! Cheek of it!!
You do get used to this behaviour though but you need to keep your wits about you. Most pitches cost around five or six pounds and if you don't have heaps of stuff to sell it might be an idea to share with a friend.
~~Tips I have gathered over time~~
*Have plenty of change on you as you could lose out on a sale if a note is offered early in the day and you can't provide the change.
*Most people like a bag so gather together all those supermarket bags and you really can never have enough! I ran out this morning and a fellow seller gave me some of his.
*Take an old papering table with you and a tablecloth to lay some of your items out. Be prepared for people to want to buy ANYTHING you have on show though. I have been asked the price of the chair I have been sat on, the price of the tablecloth underneath all my wares and even the radio I had on in the background LOL If it moves..they want to buy it, but at a rock bottom price.
Which leads me onto my next tip. Don't expect to sell each item for much money. If your goods are in really good condition and you want more from them you are better selling in local ads or ebay if you do that kind of thing. Most of my stuff was clothes, old kids games, books, old ornaments etc so I let it all go for 50p to a £1. To be honest, I just wanted rid. Even at these prices, people try to haggle you down. This morning I was selling jeans at 50p a pair. This lady wanted three pairs and tried to offer me a £1 but I stuck to my guns and got the £1.50 I wanted. It can be quite good fun and you get a bit of banter with some customers whilst some just walk off.
*Take a fold up seat as you will be there for a few hours.
*A collapsible clothes rail is handy if you are selling clothes but people seem happy enough to rummage. Clothes were my biggest seller this morning.
*Also take some food and drink unless you don't mind spending some of your hard earnt profits on the hot-dog stall that you keep getting delicious whiffs from.
*Be prepared for the odd balls....This morning a man bought some bats off me (as in bat and ball bats, not flying bats) and a book which was priced at 40p. As he handed the money over, he rubbed the spine and looked at me accusingly. he said "Not new though is it?"...I was speechless!
*Some people price things up but I don't bother. I make it up as I go along and then reduce things depending on how desperate I am to get rid of things.
*Keep your money on you at all times either in an across the body bag or a bum bag.
*Have a bit of a laugh with people! They will linger more at your stall and probably buy!
We made just short of fifty pounds this morning which I was quite happy with as really it was just a load of old tat that my husband would have just put in the bin. One of my customers bought quite a few old kids clothes and I joked she would be needing a new wardrobe to put them all in but a friend of hers said that she sends them to an orphanage back home to help them out. This gave me the feel good factor knowing that something good was coming from selling my unwanted bits and pieces.
I know car booting is not for everyone but me and my daughter had quite a giggle and made some money in the process. Needless to say we came back with quite a bit and have put it away for the next one. Just don't tell the husband!
I am fascinated by car boot sales - always have been.
I've participated on the 'sellers' side of the stalls a handful of times, though the vast majority of my visits have been as a buyer.
Not that I disagree with getting up at 5am come rain or shine, carting an overloaded car full down to a local field to have strangers root through my goodies and then offer ludicrously low prices for perfectly good stuff (well actually I do disagree with that!), but I feel that a well written e.bay advert does the job just as well (if not better), achieves a better price and gives me the freedom to just wander down to the post office with an armful of parcels at my own leisure!
The majority of the reviews here are praising (or indeed cursing) car boot sales from a sellers point of view, but I'd rather focus on what treasure troves they are for a keen-eyed buyer!
Anyone can make money buying at car boot sales and selling at auction, online or even direct to collectors at specialist antique fairs. All you have to do is pick a category you have a remote interest in and research.
Read all you can on your chosen subject, look at auction archives, check current prices on e.bay, join forums with other collectors - don't let it take over your life, of course, but keep a keen interest and every time you see something that falls into your field either buy it, or go home and research it* so you know for next time. Within a few months you'll find yourself barely needing to research as your 'collectors eye' develops.
*better still, if you have a smart-phone you can usually do basic research there and then!
I have been collecting watches for over a decade and working in the jewellery sector for three or four years, so my obvious focus when i first started checking out car boot sales were those areas.
On my first few visits I came up with all sorts of antique silver - from Wedgwood pendants to an 1870's solid silver fruit bowl (£1.75 that one cost me. The scrap silver value alone was into three figures!).
Silver is a GREAT one to look out for at car boots.
Not all silver is hallmarked - legally speaking only pieces of jewellery above 7.78 grams need an assay mark to be displayed. Because of that, quite a lot of smaller silver jewellery is either blank or stamped with a simple '925' (the metal purity). In my experience a lot of sellers miss this, and often throw real silver jewellery in with cheap costume pieces.
It doesn't take much to tell silver from the steel and plated metals used in costume jewellery - costume will almost always look clean and shiny whereas silver tarnishes very easily, often appearing dirty, almost black sometimes.
The only white metal which fades the same way is pewter, a soft and low value metal, so it's worth taking an eyeglass and polishing cloth to sort the two.
A polishing cloth impregnated with a material not unlike 'Silvo' costs a couple of quid, and a few seconds of vigorous rubbing on a corner of what you've found will buff real silver to a gleaming finish where pewter will stay a dull grey. An eyeglass, or Loupe, can be bought for the same sort of cash, £3-£5 for a decent one, so invest in one both of these if you can and you'll soon be digging out valuable pieces of jewellery with either no discernible markings or ones other folk have missed...and you'll look like a professional while doing it!
A magnet is also a must - precious metals are totally non-magnetic, so if it leaps off the table onto your magnet it's time to peel it off and move along.
Gold is a bit more difficult - I can count the number of gold items I've found on one hand, and most of those have been watches where any hallmarks are hidden inside the case.
Any gold above 1 gram must legally be hallmarked, so not a lot of chance of finding an unstamped treasure as you can with silver sadly.
Luckily, there are still a few out there. 9ct gold often just has a '375' stamp and 18ct a '750' mark, so as with the silver '925' sometimes they just slip the sellers attention and end up with the costume jewellery. Then there are the odd pieces such as 10ct (American) and the very odd 8ct (German) which has a '333' stamp. Only a handful of people will recognise that for what it is, so eyes peeled for anything from our Saxon cousins - I once found an 8ct ring at a car boot sale (thrown in with a box of toys!) with an eagle on the front that traced back to a WW2 'Luftwaffe' division!
If you're lucky enough to find a fully assayed piece of jewellery it's well worth checking the details, and it's easy enough for anyone with good eyes (or an eyeglass) and an internet connection to do.
An assay mark is comprised of a makers mark (usually two initials), a metal type/purity, a city-specific mark and a date letter. All are important and all can seriously add to the value of a piece of jewellery.
For example, the Chester hallmark which is made up of three wheatsheaves and a sword is quite sought after. Chester assay office closed down around 1965, so anything from there is quite highly prized by collectors as Chester are no longer stamping jewellery - what's out there now is all there will ever be!
Makers marks are harder to research, but quite often a google search will give all the info you could want. Example, a silver thimble marked with a C.H. is a Charles Horner piece and worth a £20 note!
Date letters are again easy to work out once you have sussed the city. It's a letter of the alphabet in one of a dozen different shaped surrounds - just match the style of both to one of the lists available online and you'll be able to date your jewellery accurately from the 1700's to modern day.
Of course, I'm always on the lookout for watches - broken or working, well known names or unknowns, Timex to Rolex!
I've had one or two decent finds since I tend to know what I'm looking for, but I think this is a market long since saturated - dealers from other stalls tend to do the rounds snaffling up all the watches as cheaply as possible before most of the real buyers have even turned up.
Still, if you're lucky enough to find some on a stall then eyes open for anything Swiss. Regardless of condition, a nice Swiss made watch will usually be worth a few quid in spare parts even if it isn't running. If it is running, better still! I've had battered watches bought for a pound sail through the £100 mark on e.bay so never write an untidy watch off!
Here's a good tip - watch boxes and paraphernalia. Collectors will pay £100 and up for a genuine Rolex BOX. No watch, just a bit of wood and leather. Same with other watch boxes (Omega, Tag Heuer, Breitling...), so if you see anything with a watch name on going cheap - buy it!
Now, the tough stuff.
If you're feeling brave, or just a glutton for punishment, glass and porcelain are ALWAYS on show at car boot sales in abundance. Personally I have no idea what is valuable or not, and it's not something I've ever fancied delving into. However, while I don't know much about it I do know what I like, so I've picked up a few bits and bobs on my travels and it's nice when the odd one turns out to have a value.
Old bottle are quite nice - carved milk bottles and beer bottle especially. I have bought those for as little as ten pence each and they make lovely decorations around the kitchen even if they have little value. Again, though, the odd one will surprise you and be worth a nice chunk of change, so there is lots for a keen e.bayer to look out for.
Again with art.
I have never been to a car boot sale without seeing dozens and dozens of framed pictures in every style and every shape and size imaginable. The internet abounds with stories of ordinary folk who have spent a couple of pound coins on something that caught their eye at a car boot sale and are now moving to the Maldives off the proceeds...but sadly I don't have that keen an eye for art. At all.
Once again, I know what I like! Anything military, anything mechanical such as trains and automobile scenes (races especially) always grab me, and as long as I like it, it isn't the end of the world if it turns out to be worthless - I won't mind living with it.
I currently have some lovely copper engravings of WW2 planes which cost me more than they are worth but look great in the hallway!
I know there are some book lovers on here.
I have a friend who makes a reasonable living buying and selling rare hardbacks and first editions. His main source? Car boot sales! Once again, if it's something you enjoy and don't mind spending a few hours researching, it can be very rewarding digging out that gem which everyone else has passed over. I am constantly amazed by the things he turns up, and when he proudly announces that the dog-eared hardback under his arm is about to pay a months mortgage!
Vinyl? As above!
Most is worthless - pennies per LP - but the odd one, maybe 1 in 1000, makes all the digging through boxes worthwhile! Look for the old picture discs, they usually pull a few pounds on our fave auction site!!
If there is one tip for a casual car-booter looking to make a few quid it is this;
Buy something unusual!
Run of the mill mass produced pieces will invariably have a fairly low set value and rarely, if ever, top it. Find something unusual - either so old there are very few still around, or so specialised that very few were even made - and you might be bowled over by its value. Get two collectors bidding against each other on something that doesn't often come up for sale and the sky is the limit - 'value' goes out of the window, it's worth whatever the guy is willing to pay!
That's enough waffle. Tomorrow is Sunday and it's looking like another sunny one, so get thee to bed nice and early and report back with your treasures tomorrow lunchtime!
Send me a DooYoo Mail for my address - that's where watches are sent to in case you didn't know!
I used to love rummaging through a good car boot sale and did so regularly when I lived in England, but now I am living in Bonny Scotland I find that these wonderful inventions no longer seem to be in fashion. I do not know wether it is because the Scot, doesn't throw out old stuff or whether they just give their junk to charities instead but as far as carbooting is concerned they are few and far to be found. Which is a great pity as I really enjoyed the good old fashioned mooch.
In Farnborough Englandshire there was a car boot sale every Sunday in the underground carpark opposite the council offices, this started as quite a small event growing in size to a reasonably large venue taking in the outer carpark and the upper floors too. Now it is quite the car boot venue to go too. I loved having a lazy sunday at the carboot and often found the odd special find there. It would range from a nice new vase to something for the kids or even something quite unexpected but great. I would mooch through all the old brickabrack and books while hubby would go in search of old cameras and other things like binoculars, as he could never have enough.
We loved nothing better than rummaging, through market stalls and meeting people there we had know all our lives. It was therefore a shock to the system to find Scotland pretty much carboot free.
What no more mooching! Where will we go for our bargain hunt? Our answer is the local auction on a Friday in Dingwall, which happens quite often it would seem. The canny Scot would bring his bits and pieces to flog as prise possesions at the local auction rooms in a hope to get a better price for his cast offs. Clever huh.
At my last auction we found more bins for Gerry and there was a lovely selection of meat platters I really had my eye on only to be outbidded. So not such a success as previous carboots.
So please Scotland give us a good venue for a really good car boot sale and lets have a good old fashioned mooching day out.
What's a Bootsale?
It is what it says, a sale from the boot of your car, in America it would be referred to as a garage sale. All sort of things are sold at bootsales, from brick a brac, to electronics, clothes (some people even sell or advertise larger objects - these are often just printed on a sheet of paper and left on the table for people to see and enquire further) When you do a bootsale there is a fee to have a pitch / stall. This can vary from around £8 for school bootsales, to up to around £15 for bigger ones. The location of these are usually a school carpark/playground, an empty field, anywhere were the local council has spare land a bootsale can be sprouted up normally.
Some people frown upon bootsales, however buying something from a bootsale is the sale as off Ebay, genuine people who simply are getting rid of items they no longer need. Sometimes you look at the price and think
As a Seller
When I was younger I'd hop along with mum & dad whilst they did a car boot sale, I'd sit in the boot and my job would be to mind the money tin (then help count change). Some places and some people do it differently, but with us, we are very regimented if we do a car bootsale. We pack the car the night before, making sure to pack the table last on top, so that it's ready to come out first in the morning. A flask is made for the morning, some snacks pack and off we set out at 4am. Yes you heard me right, the reason being is that for the layout of our particular bootsale we like to be specific spot (this resulting in having to leave early to get first in the queue.) Once you get your pitch, it can sometimes be a bad dash to get all your stuff unloaded, some are better organized than other and allow you enough time, but before you know it you have people peeping through your window, and at some points physically taking stuff out of your boat for you!
As a buyer
Some buyers are more dedicated at this than others, as I said some people are out buying the same time the sellers get there at open doors. Personally we normally hang fire between 8 & 9am. Obviously the earlier you go, sometimes the better stuff is there, but then again, if you leave it later on, and it's been a very 'slack' morning then sellers may be more flexible on pricing. Now early doors on a Sunday is not a pretty sight, let alone when it's cold & damp; this just needs to be embraced with a big coat on, hair slicked back and you UGG's or Wellies thrown on.
Personally I think a Bootsale is brill, a little bit of a buzz when you think you've found a bargain amongst the mist. You may come away with rubbish, or some good stuff; the great thing is that theres no specific category of stuff, there's just everything - an electric mix of items all mixed together, trying to be displayed in some form of pattern. Most of the time I personally look for bargains which can be sold on, other times you find that something you've been looking for for ages, or better still you find something you can up-make into something. Either way I enjoy both doing them and going to them.
Its the worst carboot I've ever been to...All the junk stuffs are damn expensive,not organised properly,the entrance fee to buyers is too much...more like a market than a carboot,very rare to find items for £1 or 50p.sellers get damn angry if bargained,much much more better to buy brand new stuff than buying this junks here costing more,there are much better carboots elsewhere where you can get real bargain...I'd never go to this filthy worst carboot ever again..however sellers can benefit they can sell more expensive and still find customers,I went there just 5 mins early @ 11am yet I was forced to pay £2...
I know some people find it pretty boring and pointless to spend their time wandering around a field with loads of peoples' junk on it for hours on end when they could be doing better things but I find that it can be quite fun actually. And you can make some money out of it as well. Some people get rid of things for crazily cheap prices on car boot sales, especially if the item they've brought with them is big and bulky and going to take up a lot of space to get back home. My Grandad managed to buy a collection of plates and cups and things like that for £3 and sold them for £300 once. He got really good at finding bargains that he could resell. I managed to get some paintings cheaply (50p each actually) when I was about 8 that I bought just because I liked them that I sold for £20 each a few years ago. I think it's pretty cool to be able to get hold of things cheaply like that and sell them on for such a big profit. That sort of thing doesnt happen every day of course and you do have to look hard some times but in the end I think it's worth while when you can get profits. Of course anything worth any money is likely to be snatched up by dealers in minutes so you've got to get through the crowds to get anything cheap
A good car boot with plenty of sellers and good selections of good.However, a word of warning: AVOID the snacks being sold by Chinese guy here.We bought some not realising until after eating them they are HALF A YEAR out of date. We have now all been V SICK, and not happy about this at all.They were V cheap, but do not be tempted. As the saying goes "If it's too good to be true..."Sally
I have just come back from the 2nd car boot sale I have ever done in my life.
I made around £50 after taking out the change and the charity donation of £6 that they ask for at my local car boot.
Tips for success:
-Dont try to sell anything thats expensive, most people are looking for items that are around £1 and will even bargin pennies with you!
-Arrive early to get a good pitch. I would have probably sold more today but got there too late.
-Any good items you have will go with the early bird hunters who watch you unpack your car. They are usally polite enough but can give you bad offers so stick to your places and tell them that that is the price as its early.
-Have lots of cheap jewellery, kids love rummaging through little boxes of bracelets and sell them for 10p each.
-Kids toys dont seem to go at all unless they are a label like Bob the Builder. None of my childhood games sold today.
-Take lots of change and carrier bags.
-Clothes sell best if they are in good condition and hanging up.
-Display the table nicely and keep rearranging things if people make a mess of things.
-Take your own food unless you want a hot dog for breakfast and want to pay £5.
-Check all your electrical items work before going to the sale.
-Smile at customers and if they look interested in something tell them the price and stand up. You dont sell much if your sitting down.
I enjoy selling at carboot sales but wouldnt like to do it every weekend as it can be a bit slow and you have to get up very early! Try and go to one that runs regularly so there will definately be customers, and check the weather forcast!
Car boots are a great way to find bargains! However if you are a seller it is a very early start! About 5:00 - 6:00 am if you want to get a good pitch and make sure you have lots to sell! Even if you're a buyer I'd get there early if you want some of the best buys! But make sure you watch the weather forecast cause you never know if it's going to rain or shine!
entry costs between 20p - one pound, the earlier you get there, the best buys you get! I have bought DVDs for either 50p or a pound. All the DVDs I've bought they are some good films, and I haven't hated one yet!
I have bought clothes from 20p to two pounds! I have bought designer clothes from one - two pounds.
The other Friday I bought a brand new pair of ankle boots for two pounds!
I have seen the 'real' designer bags from 20 pounds, but sadly I couldn't afford them when I saw them and they were my favorite labels.
Make sure you eat and drink before you go buying cause some of the food isn't that nice and gives you an icky stomach and makes you feel ill. But drinks are OK, and have whatever you fancy whether it's a soft drink or an early cup of coffee or tea. Don't forget to have a break with your kit kat! (if they sell them!) But they sell some chocolate bars like twix, mars, snickers, dairy milks. the list kinda goes on.
This is a great way to make money, especially if you haven't got a job, just been fired or trying to make extra money for that holiday, wedding or big party! But as I said before that they are early starts, and if you want to get a good pitch that what it means! But if you take the car it will cost you between 5 to ten pounds, but if you take a van it will cost you a bit extra.
The best way to make money is that you sell items at a fair price, for example if you are selling brand new stuff selling quite expensive, but used stuff sell cheaper, but when it gets towards the end of the day and you haven't sold much, try to reduce stuff down. I will warn you that you do get people that will try to price you down so they may want something for one pound instead of two but it's your choice how much you sell it for! But make sure you watch the store at all times, cause you can get quite a few thieves at car boots, not a great thing but me been a seller I have quite a few things stolen. You can make up 50-100 pounds in one day! Pretty good money!
Whether you're a buyer or seller (I've been both) it's worth the early start and you save money, and earn some good money! So it's a worth a try!
Speaking as a seller at car boot sales, I'd say they're great. Of course, it depends on the kind of person you are and why you're there, but my hubby and I love them.
We actually started out by going there to buy stuff. We wanted old things (not antiques, but just stuff that was better made and was more what we wanted but you can't buy in the shops any more).
So then, when we moved house from a large place to a smaller one, we had a LOT of stuff to get rid of. Naturally, our first thought was to take it to a car boot sale.
We had a wide range of household stuff - bric-a-brac, furniture, tools, craft stuff, etc. so I guess it appealed to most folk and we did far better than we expected, making almost £100. But, then, we had an awful lot of stuff.
It was disconcerting to get all the dealers right at the start, asking if we had jewellery, records, lego, etc. After that, it got a little less hectic and we had time to display our goods.
We enjoyed the informal atmosphere. It was great to talk to people and find out what they were going to do with the stuff they bought from us. We had some great conversations. You don't get that in the shops in town.
Really, it is like you'd expect from a market years ago where you'd have new and old stuff that folk would buy. It's very laid back and the atmosphere is friendly.
It is true what they say, one mans rubbish is another mans treasure. I did a car boot not so long ago to get rid of a load of stuff I had accumulated, and neede dto get rid before I moved house.
I thought I'd try to sell it before throwing it away, if I made the £10 fee back I was happy. I made about £60.
I had everything all in categories so it was easy to get out, because the scavengers dont wait, theyre there routing through the car before you even unpack. In fact theyre there asking if you have certain stuff before you even stop the car.
I am undecided if its best to have everything all priced up, some people haggle regardless but some people, if they dont see a price they wont ask, so you could potentially loose a sale.
Carrier bags and change are a must, as are snacks. Having someone there is a help so it allows you time to have a wander!
Its hard though sometimes, you do get people who want things for nothing! If you go with no expectations then everything else is a bonus!
Our homes are often filled with items which we no longer have a need for. What do we do with them? Put them in the loft or cupboard? Sell them on ebay? Give them to charity? Well you may well choose one of these options however there is another option...car boot sales!
I love going to car boot sales and I also love selling at them. Basically a car boot sale is like a mini market where everyone and anyone brings their unwanted items to sell to others who may well need or want that item. Certain venues may offer regular, weekly car boot sales where as others may be once a year.
Here is my advice on preparing for a car boot sale if selling.
-Go online to www.carbootjunction.co.uk. This site will tell you if there are any car boot sales in your local area. There will be contact details for who is running the car boot sale and it is best to phone and double check that the day you wish to go will be open.
-Once you have decided where you will be car booting, have a clearout and put together a collection of unwanted items. Box them up and pack up the car. Some car boot sales may offer tables for hire but generally you will need your own. A sturdy pasting table should be sufficient. If taking toys or bigger items, it is best to take an old sheet for the ground if outside.
-Dress for the occassion. Some car boot sales will be held inside and others out. Check the weather report and determine the best clothes to where.
-Most car boot sales start really early and you will need to be there early to secure your spot. Get to bed early and make sure you are first in the queue.
-Don't go alone. If you need the loo..who will watch your table? It is best to go with a relative or friend.
-Take food! The food at some car boot sales can be really bad and expensive so pack a lunch and refreshments!
-Change. Ensure you have a collection of loose coins for giving out change and somewhere secure to put them. If you don't have change, you may lose the sale.
-Setting up your table. The table shouldn't be overly cluttered and should be as presentable as possible. I personally put larger or more expensive items at the back and cheaper, smaller items at the front. Be careful not to set breakables in harms way.
-Watch your table. Please be on the look out for thiefs as often you can become engrossed with someone and their buddy is nicking stuff from your table. It does happen and you can be left out of pocket!
-Prices. Be realistic, don't put stupidly expensive or cheap prices and don't pricemark. People seem put off by this. Be prepared to haggle and start your price a bit dearer making out the buyer is getting a better deal!
-Bags. It is best to have some plastic carrier bags handy incase buyers do not have any.
Generally do your best and try and sell what you can. You will be surprised how much you can make on a good day. Oh and smile :)
Now onto advice for buyers!
-Take change! I know it should be the responsibility of the seller to have change but at the start of the day, many won't have it.
-Look for damages. How often have you bought something and got it home only to discover it is broke or doesn't work? Electricals is a tricky thing unless you can see them working so be on the look out.
-Haggle! Like I said in the sellers advice, often sellers start prices high and if they really want to get rid of the item, they will reduce their prices. Be reasonable and don't be cheeky!
-Cleanliness. This is a big one for me. When I was pregnant, I would search for toys and clothes for my son. If the seller looked dirty or the clothes looked manky then I would avoid like the plague.
I don't go to car boot sales as often as I would like. I was fond of doing them with my sister until she had her last baby..now there is no room in the car for little old me and I don't personally drive. I enjoyed collecting bits and pieces that I no longer needed and also took some of my makeup to car boot sales to sell and always done well. Sometimes getting better prices than on ebay and with no fees or postage. Well I say no fees but there will be a pitch fee of between £5.00 and £15.00 on average.
We have done an indoor car boot in Lanark which was ideal being shielded from the weather. The customers were ok but some can be rude and expect everything for nothing. I usually ended up spending more money that I make up there. Generally, we would have to be up there for 7.30am for the buyers coming in at 8.00am.
I have also done an outdoor one in Wishaw next to the market which involved 8.00am - 2.00pm. Ok in good weather but if it rains you have no chance of selling and your stuff can get ruined.
The most popular car boot sale I have sold at was in Blochairn in Glasgow. In summer, cars queue up from 11pm the night before for an early start. We went at 5.30am once and were told it was full. This is an indoor and outdoor Sunday car boot sale and is extremely busy. You do get good trade if you know where to posistion yourself. The best parts are the corners as you get more space and recognised.
My brother in law would drop us off and he would go home with the kids. Me and my sister would set up a table each. I end up with all my stuff rearranged as my sister is a perfectionist and I am just messy! Be aware that buyers rummage through your boxes when you are trying to set up..this irritates me so badly!
I do quite well at most car boots depending on what I am selling. I give reasonable prices and always give discounts if buying a few things. I feel if your are friendly and your items are displayed decent enough then you will get customers.
My sister goes to car boot sales to buy every Saturday and Sunday. I have went a few times recently but used to go on a regular basis. I normally take a set amount of money and hunt for DVDs (check for copies and scratches), unused beauty items and good condition toys. I have picked up some cracker bargains. If I see some expensive makeup sitting with a man selling, I go up and end up with a bargain as the man doesn't realise his wife paid a fortune! I would never leave hubby in charge of my table if there were expensive makeup items.. I am not daft lol :)
My sister picks up really good stuff most weeks and seems to get better bargains when its Spring time. Winter is never usually as good except after Christmas when everyones sellling those unwanted smelly gift sets at knock down prices! My sister has often picked up expensive makeup at 50p and put it on ebay making £20.00 a pop! Profit!
Car boots sales are good. You just need to watch out for the thief brigade and those who want everything for buttons. Be firm and don't give in to harrassment. Oh and I did mention before to keep breakables out of harms way. Now I don't mean children. I mean old ladies who cannot control their mobility scooters as I discovered last year. The lady in question couldn't stop it and it kept going forward and knocked a table of ornaments down and she still kept going. I personally have never laughed as much in all my life but I felt sorry for the car booter!
My next car boot adventure will be tomorrow as my nephews school is holding a one off one run by my lovely car boot mad sister! My brother in law is coming at 8.30am to collect my boxes which I have dutifully filled with toys, dvds and makeup and I shall make my way down on the bus. I hope to make quite a bit as my laptop is in terrible nick and some pennies towards a new one would be ideal. Wish me luck :)
This is information/advice for any newcomer to the A3/Guildford Carboot.
Today i attended it for the first time as heard about it so much.
When you drive off the A3 onto the slip up to the entrance where the Organiser/owner is directing the cars....there is a 'fork' in the road..where he stands, you bear to his LEFT for SELLERS...........RIGHT for buyers in order to park.
As i approached this man, waving his arms and shouting at me to hurry up, i slowed down to speak to him that i was selling and needed to know where to go... he got right irate because i almost stopped..(but i didnt know which way to go!!!! However, i do understand about not holding up traffic and keeping the flow going. By this time i just drove past (the way he was directing me... and ended up in the Buyers carpark.
I feel that he should have put a sign up on the post, so drivers can see ahead of entrance at a glance of which way to go.... thereby not slowing/stopping.
So new booters, beware of this confusion. This incident marred my day today... and i shall not be selling there again.... besides, most of the buyers seem to be business/marketers/traders....... i had load of kids things.... in good condition.... but only had 1 child at the table. This is not a particularly 'family' carboot, in my opinion.
Hope this review has helped you.
If you've never been to a bootsale before then you have to try them. They're not for everyone but i am a big fan.
They usually run from easter time for a few months until the weather changes. Each weekend is weather permitted. Bootsales differ to what day they are on so best to have a browse through your local paper. Most are early around 6am Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays until around lunch time or until all the buyers are gone.
Bootsales usually charge a small entry fee for buyers and sellers pay £5-£10 per car or more for larger vechicles, prices vary. Usually you don't have to book.
Tips for a successfull seller:
* Arrive early so you are at the front of the field. You don't want sellers to have no money left by the time they get to your stall.
* Bring a friend to help or have a pitch next to yours. Selling can get busy and two pair of eyes are better then one and one of you's is bound to need the loo.
* Bring toilet roll and anibacterial hand gel. You know what them porta loos are like.
* Bring some change.
* Check notes. There's a lot of dodgy notes around and it's easy to get rid of them at bootsales.
* Bring a packed lunch and drinks. You don't want to be spending all of your profits on refreshments.
* Try not to browse the bootsale yourself. You don't want to take home more tat than you came with.
* Bring carrier bags for customers.
* Make your stall look presentable and tidy on a table so everything can be seen.
* Not best to label items with prices, this way they communicate with you and you can haggle.
* Dont accept offers too early on, leave them until later.
* Smile! :-)
You can buy almost anything at bootsales, from clothes and CDs to cars and fruit at silly prices. I often find a few bargains which i can then auction online and make a profit.
My regular bootsale starts at 10am for buyers. I think this is a better time then really early as more people are awake so it will be busier. At this bootsale and probably with a lot more it clearly states on entry 'No selling of pirate dvds or fraudulent items'. There is probably at least one person on each aisle doing this so be aware.
So overall i love bootsales. I've been looking forward to this time of year coming round again, sad i know but you never know what you might find.