We all have too much stuff. Collected over the years, gathering dust in the attic, or at the back of the wardrobe. Items of clothing, books, CDs; all of this seemingly worthless junk is actually a goldmine waiting to be cracked! Whether you just want to clear up some space, or if you are setting off an adventure of a lifetime and need some extra cash, Car Boot Sales are the thing for you. If you have never been to Car Boot Sales before then not to worry, this is the ultimate guide for you! Here is our Guide to Car Boot Sales.
Guide to Car Boot Sales: Turn Trash into Cash
Before you Go
The first part of our Guide to Car Boot Sales is all about what to do before you set off. Before we get this show on the road, there are a few things that you will need to get in order.
Organise to Set Up Quick
When you first arrive at the site of the Car Boot sale, it is going to be all guns blazing for the first 20 minutes. No exaggeration, people will literally swarm you and your table. It doesn’t matter if you are set up or not, the crowds will start picking and poking at your possessions, all desperate to discover a hidden gem.
To help with the stress, get your items organised into categories before you hit the road. Sort your clothes into categories and get an idea of how you will display your jewellery etc. By doing this, you will be able to get setup in no time and start making cash!
Start to think about how much you will sell the items for at the Car Boot Sale, and maybe make some banners with these prices on it. This way you can avoid annoying, repetitive questions, or even arguments about the price of items. It also means you will be on the same page as your partner in crime, so there will be no confusion about mixed prices.
It is going to be an early one. Typically, car boot sales start around 7/8am, meaning you will need to arrive about an hour before this to get a good spot in the queue. It is usually first come first serve for a table, however as long as you get there half an hour before it starts, you should get in.
What to Bring
Definitely the most important thing to pack for the day. Do not try to do Car Boot Sales alone, especially if it is your first time. It will be an incredibly stressful experience if you do not have someone else to help you deal with customers, sort out the items, bring out new items and keep an eye on everything else all at once.
With a partner you can actually enjoy the experience and even have a bit of fun! Plus it means you don’t need to hold your bladder the entire time..
A good bumbag is essential for all of your valuables, such as phone, keys and wallet. It is also excellent for dealing with the money you will be handling without worrying about pickpockets. Invest in a good bumbag and you will find the day a lot easier!
Plenty of Change
Sorting this out the day before your sale is so important! We suggest taking around £30 worth of small change, ranging from 20p to £2. It will obviously depend on what you are going to sell your items for, for example if your cheapest item is £1 then you won’t need anything smaller than that. If you are selling for 20p, then you will need 10p to £2 coins to deal with the change.
Water and Food
You don’t want to be forking over the hard earned cash you just made to buy overpriced food at the local food truck. Bring a pack lunch, snacks and a water bottle to fill up! It is going to be a long day if you are tired, hungry and thirsty.
Presentation Pieces – Coat Hangers and Shoeboxes
Presentation is very important when it comes to making your stuff stand out. For long items, such as dresses and jackets, coat hangers will make it much easier to show them off. Pack as many as you can and try to grab a rail, if there are any.
Another useful prop are old shoe boxes. You can use these to prop up items and raise them above the rest. This will help your objects stand out more, meaning they will be more likely to sell.
Your Own Tables
An additional cost of the day is going to be the rental of tables and rails.. unless you pack your own! Save an extra £10 and pack two of your own tables. Maximise your profits!
Throughout all of the sales we have been to, we have NEVER experienced any form of security issue, or even felt uncomfortable or at risk of one. In general, your fellow sellers will be friendly, welcoming and interested in what you are doing there. Of course there is nothing wrong with being prepared! Here are some tips to avoid any incidents.
Keep all Valuables on You
Do not leave anything valuable on the tables, in your car or on the floor. It is going to be very busy, especially when setting up, so there is a chance things could go missing. Keep them in your bumbag or under your car seat, out of view.
Keep Car Locked
Get your boot open and lock all of the doors. This means nobody can sneak around the back and pinch something from your car. It is also just a weight off your mind, as there will be one less thing you need t keep an eye on.
Work as a Team
The best part of being a team is you will have twice as many eyes. One person can deal with customers while the other keeps an eye out for thieves. It also means one of you can do a toilet run, or check out the sweet stall while the other mans the table.
Here are just a few more tips that we learned through experience, which will make your day go by even easier.
Learn when to Barter
When it comes to bartering the price, some people will jump on it and have a real bit of banter, others will simply walk away. Learn to read the customer and price appropriately. Don’t blow a sale by naming too high a price!
What is Popular?
The items we alway got asked about while setting up were as follows
In that order of popularity.
If you have any of these, make sure you get them to the front of your stand and set a high price on them, as chances are they will fly off the table.
When Does it Finish?
This of course will vary from market to market, however they always tend to start to die down about an hour before closing time. Other marketeers will start to pack up about this time, leaving only the odd straggler wandering around.
Reduce Prices to Clear
If it really is all or nothing (like it was for us), then start to reduce the price of your items about halfway through the day. This will encourage people who were put off before to revisit your stall and perhaps buy it this time.
Don’t be shy about it either. Get shouting about your reduction to clear and you will be sure to draw a crowd!
Other than the hustle and bustle of the market, the rest is a breeze. Relax and enjoy yourself, make some new friends and earn some dosh! Over the two markets we attended, we earned about £150 from junk that would be sitting in our rooms, gathering dust. Plus we earned that from about 10 hours work; not a bad wage!
So get out there and start clearing out the junk, and of course let us know how your first market experience goes. If you enjoyed this article then make sure you check out our other Money Saving Tips. Also catch up with us on our Social Medias and say hi!
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