Car Boot Tips
Find a boot sale with a good ratio of buyers to sellers
You might think that a big boot sale is the best but just remember that you will have more competition. Big booties are great for buyers but they are not always the best for sellers. So big is not always best!
You need a steady flow of buyers coming past your stall for about two hours. Boot sales typically last for 2 – 3 hours and tend to ease off.
Arrive early to bag a good pitch
Don’t allow yourself to be squeezed into too small a space by the marshal’s directing traffic, nor side-lined into a low footfall part of the site.
Pack the night before
In order to get an early start it’s always a good idea to sort out your items for sale and load your car the night before. It’s a mistake to leave it until the morning of the event: everything always takes far longer than you expect.
Bring a good supply of loose change and carrier bags
You can easily lose a sale by not having sufficient change or a bag to hand out… Don’t expect the buyers to come equipped; that’s your job.
Use your space wisely to optimise your earnings. Try to have a table in front of your car, with two small ‘returning tables’ at right-angles back to your car. This creates ‘traffic interrupt’ i.e. stops the steady flow of buyers past your stand, persuading people to linger awhile.
The ‘golden hour’
The best haggling will usually take place during the very first hour of the car boot, when the trade dealers are out and about.
Traders have deeper pockets and have a better understanding of the real value of decent stock, compared to the general Joe Public who follow on, so don’t pass up a decent early offer in the hope that you will get offered more later in the day.
Don’t price-label your stock
It’s not usually a good idea to price-label your stock except in the case of food items.
If you have price stickers on all your items people are less likely to engage with you to strike a deal. Most likely they will think that is your final price, and will quietly walk on by.
Leaving your stock un-priced also allows you to mentally evaluate the customer standing in front of you on the spur of the moment, allowing price flexibility.
Bring some food and drink
Coming prepared with some pre-made sandwiches and a drink saves time visiting the burger van. But please remember that they are also trying to earn a living, so why not treat yourself to a bacon butty to celebrate all the money that you have made?
Bring a waterproof sheet
It is England, after all! A simple plastic sheet thrown over your table when showers appear will save your stock from ruin.
Please remember to check all items are fit and safe for sale!
Good luck if you are heading off to a car boot sale this weekend.