Car boot sales are part of our heritage. The feeling of getting there early and grabbing a barging is wonderful and there are times when you may even find that your purchase is worth a great deal more than what you paid. You only have to watch the antiques programmes on television to see that people pick up things for a small amount of money and find that it’s worth sever times more. They are equally brilliant if you’ve decided that a good de-cluttering is needed and want to make some money from the things you no longer want. If you’re thinking of doing a car boot sale then here are some tips to help ensure the process goes as easy as possible.
The first thing that you need to sort is a helper for the day. Doing a car boot on your own is difficult. Not only will you struggle if people all flock to your stall at the same time (you won’t be able to serve them all and you may even end up having items stolen), you also won’t be able to go for a loo break, have a look at the other stalls or go and get a drink. As well as these practical reasons, you will also have much more fun with someone else there and enjoy the company on those moments when there’s no one at your stall.
Once you’ve sorted someone to go with, you then have to find all the things you want to sell. Get them all together and pack them up the night before in a logical way – all the clothes together, CDs, DVDs, toys etc ensuring that the table, table cloth and protective plastic cover are all at the top as you will need these first. Ensure that everything is sufficiently packaged and you have spare protective wrapping for anything fragile and that you have plenty of carrier bags as buyers are seldom prepared!
You also need to make sure that your fee for entering the car boot is the exact amount and at the ready as soon as you pole up and that you have a substantial float. £40 in a mix of coins and notes should be enough but you can guarantee that the first two customers will buy something at 50p and pay with a £20 note. The more change the better but you need to make sure you have somewhere really safe to put it. A bum bag works well. IF this is too heavy with all the change, just put a bit there and have more safe in the car which you can transfer as needed.
Have an idea of what you want each item to make. Some people price each individual item (done the night before) or they leave the pricing and use the lack of price as a conversation opener. Be prepared for people to haggle and as a result, inflate the price by around 25% to what you really want so that you can be haggled down but still get what you want at the end of it.
Prepare for rain! Goes without saying with the British weather but take a brolly (also good for sun shade) and plenty of cover for you stall to protect your items from getting wet. Take a good coat and plenty of layers, even if it’s supposed to be fairly mild as some sites can suffer from bitter wind.
It’s also a good idea to have a pen and paper. Not only are you able to keep a track of what you are selling and how much you take but you can also offer people a receipt for their purchases if they ask.
Don’t go expecting to sell everything and make a lot of money. Some sales you may find you sell everything and take a good amount of money but others you may be lucky if you even get your entrance fee back.
You also want to make sure you have a clean car, that you leave to early (unless you’ve got nothing left to sell!) and that you make yourself as approachable as possible. Don’t jump on people as soon as they approach, but equally you don’t want to be hiding behind a book. And one final tip, make sure your headlights are off and that your inside light is also switched off. The last thing you want when you go to leave is to find that you have a flat battery!