Written by: Toni Foot
Top tips for a successful car boot sale
It’s important to have a good clear out periodically, otherwise the clutter takes over, leaving you feeling crowded in your own home. A car boot sale is a great way to dispose of the things you no longer need whilst making a little money along the way. Try following these simple tips on how to car boot like a pro!
Set aside some time to go through your things, selecting things that you no longer want but could be of use to someone else. Look up your local car boot sales (you should be able to find a list of these online) and find out what time they begin. Be prepared as they usually start early in the morning! It is a good idea to check the weather forecast too – more people go to car boot sales when the rain stays away.
Prepare your items
It is well worth taking a little time to make sure your things are in saleable condition. If you have games or toys, check the parts are all together. Baby equipment might benefit from a quick wipe over and items that have been stored may need a dust. If your stall looks clean and organized you will attract more customers.
Pack the car carefully
You may be setting off early in the morning and may have children in tow. The last thing you want to be doing is trying to pack your car whilst blinking into the early sunshine! Remember that you will need your tables or mats out first so don’t pack them under everything.
Most people browse stalls at car boot sales from a distance. There will be a few seasoned bargain hunters willing to root through a box of promising looking items, but most people won’t be interested in anything they can’t see immediately. Lay out your things carefully so that everything can be seen.
Clothes in boxes don’t sell well
Hang up or lay out your clothes so that they can be seen without customers having to move things around. Baby clothes often sell very well if they are organized into clearly marked sizes. Ideally try to display clothes on a rail or hanger of some sort.
Don’t get hung up on prices
Don’t spend hours writing neat little price stickers for every little thing. If you have lots of similar items (like books or toys) then a sign stating ‘everything on this table £1’ could be a good idea. However, you may find that the prices you have in mind are not realistic once you see what else is on offer on other stands. You may also put potential buyers off if they glance at your stand and see lots of high prices.
Be prepared for enthusiasts!
If you are organized enough to get to a sale before it opens, watch out for the enthusiastic bargain hunters who will want to root through your car before you have unpacked it. These customers often want something specific and may ask if you have any mobiles or electronic items. It is a good idea to pack anything of value close to the top so that you can present these easily to interested parties.
Remember your float
If you want to get the best prices, be ready with some change. Some £1 and 50p coins are essential, along with a few £5 notes, just in case you have someone wanting change for a £20 note on your first sale of the day.
Try not to scare away customers by being too eager
Let them look at your things in their own time, perhaps engaging them in conversation before mentioning the gems you have on offer.
Don’t run off too quickly
Remember that although there will be plenty of people keen to snap up a bargain as soon as the cars open their boots, there will also be families looking to stroll around a sale after a quiet Sunday morning at home.
Don’t forget that if you don’t sell some of your items you can always try again another weekend, or you could donate some of them to your local charity shop to help support their causes.