Car boot sales are a great way to make some extra money, while also cleaning out the cupboard, closet and more! However, they can take quite a bit of time, as well as effort. And keep in mind that you may not make as much money selling an item at a sale as you would on eBay. Even so, car boot sales are fun and get you out of the house for a while. What’s not to like?
We’ve put together some tips to help you earn more and make your car boot sale a success. Let’s get started!
1). You’ll Need to Travel
The best car boot sales may not be in your local area and instead may be farther away. So, it pays to do a little research so you can figure out the amount of petrol it will cost to attend. So, it can be helpful to look at distances, seller fees (which may be as much as £10 a car), as well as start times.
You can do your research on sites such as Carbootjunction or Carboot. On these sites, you can learn about the distances from your home, fees, and more. You can also read reviews to find out which car boot sales are the best for you.
2). Get Up Early
Car boot sales don’t allow you to stay home and enjoy a long sleep-in. In fact, you’ll find there’s already a queue at most sales that starts around 6am! Those who are experienced car booters know it pays to be there early, especially if you want a great place to sell your stuff. We’ve heard that people prefer not to be on the other side of the field and would like to be closer to the toilets and the burger van. That sounds like a good plan, so plan to be up early and in the queue to get the best place.
3). Ask for Help
It’s usually a good idea to ask someone to come with you to help. For one thing, you can split the seller fee (though a better idea might be to share a percentage of your money earned from the sales). And you can safely leave your stuff to take a toilet break, and on the way back, it’s possible to see what others are selling. With two pairs of eyes your stuff will be safe, but you’ll both be able to take a gander at all the great items everyone else is selling, too.
4). Swarming “Locusts”
This is a nice name for those people who love to attend car boot sales in large groups. Instead of groups, think of them as mobs of people, or better yet, like a swarm of locusts. As you’re enjoying the morning, a large group of people will come to your car and go through everything you have on sale. You may not even have a chance to unpack everything, as the locusts will be determined to see what you have. A group like this is not only unwieldy, but some in the group may also find this a great time to make off without paying.
So, it’s good to be ready for these people before they descend on your items. It’s a good idea to keep your boot locked as you unpack. You and your helper will also need to watch out for thieves. Unfortunately, it’s better to be prepared and expect this type of behavior.
5). Come with Change
What happens if you make a sale and don’t have enough change on hand? It most cases sellers will agree to take less money for an item; however, this is a fast way to cut down on your earnings. Instead, be prepared with coins and small notes. This way, you’ll be ready when someone comes through and has only a £20 for an item that cost 50p.
6). Come with Bags
Another thing that car booters tend to forget are bags and protective wrapping for breakables they’re selling. It’s just good customer care to provide a bag when someone buys an item. And if it’s a breakable, having some bubble wrap on hand can help. Another option is layers of tissue paper to provide protection. Your customers will love you for it!
7). Do Haggle
You’ll probably have buyers that try to haggle on the prices you’re asking, and that’s OK! That’s part of the fun of selling at a car boot sale. But it also works the other way. If you’re selling an item that is worth more than someone’s willing to pay, then don’t lower your price. Stand by the price you’ve set. The person may walk away, thinking that you’ll soften up after they leave. In this case, you can bet they’ll come back again willing to pay the same price. However, stand your ground. If they really want the item, then they’ll pay your asking price.
8). Rain, Rain, Go Away
Be ready for rain when you hold a car boot sale. With our unpredictable weather, you just never know when some rain might turn up to dampen sales. So, be sure to bring an umbrella and perhaps consider plastic sheets to cover your sales tables. This keeps items from becoming ruined.
9). Sell Anything & Everything
Some people hesitate about selling certain items at a car boot sale. Those teddy bears with the stuffing coming out, or a game with a couple of pieces missing, and more may just be what a buyer’s looking for. You just never know. If you don’t sell certain items, they can be saved for the next sale, or perhaps donated to charity. You might even consider recycling them.
10). You May Not Make a Sale
Remember that you may not have much luck at certain sales. It’s possible you may not make any sales on a particular weekend. This happens and is just part of the car boot experience. Sometimes you’ll be lucky and make a lot of money, and other times you’ll make zero. Just know that this is normal and don’t let it make you avoid the fun and excitement of future car boot sales!