Top Tips for Selling at Car Boot Sales

When I first started my blog I often used to post about my car boot sale bargains that I would find early on Sunday mornings. I haven’t had a chance to do much boot sale bargain hunting lately, but a couple of weeks ago I did run my own stall at a local boot fair and made a tidy profit!

I made over £160, simply by selling unwanted stuff and old clothes that I had collected over time. You may think you have nothing worth selling, but trust me, people buy anything! So clear out your wardrobe, shelves and cupboards, and start collecting bits and pieces you don’t need or want any more!

I thought I’d share with you some of my top tips for selling at car boot sales…

Top Tips for Selling at Car Boot Sales

Top Car Boot Sale Selling Tips

Women’s clothes and cosmetics sell especially well, so don’t throw your unwanted stuff away. With clothes a rule I have is; if I haven’t worn it in the last 12 months, then it goes straight into the car boot sale pile! Although if it’s especially nice then I sometimes try eBay first (I made £400+ selling branded and fancier stuff on eBay recently!), but all my old bits and Primark stuff goes to the car boot sale. Homewares always sell well at boot sales too! Old mugs, mismatched crockery, unwanted gifts and oddments always seem to grab interest.

eBay is quite hard work and more stressful in comparison to car booting. I also find it a bit more hit and miss too as you can’t predict how much you’re going to make, and going to the Post Office is just the most annoying tedious task. Car boot sales are pretty simple really; just chuck everything in some boxes and fill up your car!

The stall at my local car boot sale costs £8 to run and is a surprisingly enjoyable day! Just in case you’re reading this from outside of the UK and you aren’t sure what a car boot sale is; it’s basically a small event that usually happens every Sunday in a muddy field. People pack their cars up with unwanted goods, and then display them on tables in rows. They then sell everything for very cheap prices.. and you can pretty much sell anything!

car boot sale

So here are my top tips for selling at car boot sales:

  • Pre-Visit – Before you go to your car boot sale as a seller, always visit it as a buyer first. Check how busy it is, how big it is, and what time it really starts. My local advertises as opening at 1pm, but sellers and buyers get there for 9am!
  • Be Early – Don’t turn up late; get there before the advertised opening time. You don’t want to be stressed with people wanting to buy things from you as you’re still setting up.
  • Setting Up – Make sure you take at least one folding table with you to display all your homeware goods on. And if you’re selling clothes then also take a couple of clothes rails and plenty of hangers. I use the hanging rails to hang up some of the nicer clothes and dresses. Then I put down a canvas sheet or large throw on the grass (you don’t want muddy clothes!) and throw all my other clothes on there. People love a rummage! Display your nice homeware items on the table, and stuff like handbags, shoes etc can go on the floor under the table. The more desirable and expensive items should be kept somewhere you can see them, and also where potential buyers can see them.
  • Food & Drink – Take a drink and some snacks with you. Although don’t drink too much unless you want to use a portable toilet in the middle of a field! Most car boot sales will also have some burger vans available for hot food and drinks too if you don’t want to take your own.
  • Stationery – You’ll probably find it useful to take with you some sticky labels, sellotape, scissors, pens etc too so you can label things and put signs up.
  • Carrier Bags – If you have a collection of old plastic carrier bags at home, take them with you and if someone is buying a few things from  you, offer them a bag to carry their stuff in.
  • Car – Take the biggest car you can and pack it full the night before, as you won’t have time in the morning!
  • Weather – Check the weather forecast the day before. Although these aren’t always accurate, you can get an idea of whether it will be worth your while, car boots are busier in the sunshine. If your local car boot has a Facebook page, check that on the morning too, as if they cancel last minute for any reason they should announce it on there.
  • Money – Take all the small change you have with you to use as a float. People will need change, and if you don’t have any, they won’t buy from you. Also.. keep all your money on you at all times! Don’t leave it in the car or on the side. I keep mine in a small over the shoulder bag with a secure zip and a smaller zip pocket inside to keep notes in.
  • Boot Divers – You will most likely encounter people trying to peek in the boot of your car as soon as you pull in. You can ask them to wait until you’re set up before they start touching stuff. It can be very stressful trying to set up when people are picking everything up and asking you things, but just stay calm and try to get there early!
  • Stay Safe – It’s not usually an issue, but keep an eye out for people trying to steal stuff. You might be surprised to know that people steal from a car boot sale, but I’ve had a couple of little things taken from me in the past and it’s just a bit annoying. Make sure people know you’re watching them.
  • Friendly Face – Always be polite to buyers, even if they are being a pain in the bum! And remember to smile! Even if you’ve been up since 5am and its raining…
  • Labelling – Some sellers don’t like to put prices on their items because it may put people off. However, I always label a few of my main items. E.g Everything in this box ’50p’ etc can get people interested.
  • Pricing – This is totally up to you how you want to price things. Some people go for an overall price (e.g. most things 50p or £1) and some people like to price everything differently or just make up the prices as they go along. I sell my things pretty cheap, because I would rather they sold for 50p than not sell at all and have to lug them home. Some buyers may try and haggle, but if you’ve come to your lowest price, tell them you can’t go lower, but some people try to push their luck! I personally price along these lines:

– Clothes – Tops 50p each, dresses £2.50 each, skirts £1 each.

– Shoes – £1 for flats, £3 for heels.

– Make up – 50p each.

– Toiletries – £1 each.

– Bags – £1 each.

  • Home Time – Usually all the sellers will begin to pack up at the same time, once things have quietened down. Expect to be there for around 4-5 hours though! Once you’ve packed all your things back up, you can take all your left over stuff down to the charity shop, or if you’ve got the space to store it, why not save it for your next car boot!

If you have any other tips then leave a comment and let me know!

2 Comments

  1. August 5, 2018 / 9:59 pm

    I haven’t been to a car boot sale for about 20 years, but used to love them. I now have quite a lot of stuff to get rid of so you’ve inspired me to get looking for one again

  2. Kim
    August 21, 2018 / 9:53 pm

    I haven’t been to a carboot sale since last May, when our local one closed. I have quite a bit to get rid of and will look at selling at a car boot sale – thanks for the tips. 🙂

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