9 Tips To Doing A Super Successful Car Boot

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There is no greater way to set yourself up for a weekend of accomplishment and productivity then getting  yo’ ass out of bed at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning, piling yourself (and your belongings) into your car and hitting a car boot to make all the dollar dollar dollar.

Or, y’know, pound sterling because this is the United Kingdom.

Chris and I hold an annual summer car boot – saving stuff up throughout the year – and I won’t lie, I think we’ve just about cracked it.

We then spend the money we’ve made on boring, grown-up house things. This time around we bought some salad tongs and a new mattress for the spare bed AND a striped cushion cover and can you all stop being mega jelo of my super glam life now plz?

Anyway, here’s my tips to a) actually making more than about £12.60 and b) ENJOYING IT.

1. Make sure you’ve researched the car boot you’re going to head to. If it’s close enough maybe do a little market research and head there and suss out whether it’s a decent size one with lots of people. The bigger you can get, the better. It might be worth setting off extra early on the big day and driving half an hour if it means you’re getting to one of the biggest and best ones in the county. More people = more buyers = you selling more things. HUZZAH.

2. Be flexible with your date and ALWAYS hold out for a sunny day. I once did a car boot at the end of the summer and it rained on and off all morning, I made about £2. Abso not the one. Nuh uh.

Have a few dates in mind and keep a check on the weather. If it’s looking like hey sweet diggity twenty degrees and sunshine then go, go, go. This is when all the crowds come out to play.

3. Make sure you head to the bank the day before to set yourself up with a float. Ideally you’ll need a couple of five-pound notes, maybe £10 worth of pound coins and then a few 50ps thrown in for good measure.

You do actually have to go to whoever you bank with for this and not just any old bank because they have to take it out of your account by card. What a kafuffle.

4. Take plastic bags, and lots of them. Because, well, not every person who comes to the car boot at 7am is awake enough to remember to pick up a tote bag for any hypothetical buys, and it’s nice to be a helpful little seller.

5. Bring seating with you. Even if it’s a turned over box. When you’re on your feet for five or six hours you will 100% start eyeing up chairs for sale on other stalls and wondering if hang on, maybe you should just spend all the money you’ve made on some new chairs because YOU CAN’T FEEL YOUR FEET FFS.

6. Aim to get to the car boot no later than 6.30am (if it’s a morning one anyway, I know there is the odd weird one that starts at like midday). This is when all the serious buyers are out, and any later and you’ll have missed possible sales.

7. Be cut throat when deciding what to sell. If it hasn’t been worn in a few months, I chuck it in the ‘to go’ pile, the same with homeware and ornaments that I don’t love or doesn’t mean anything to me. I’m pretty reckless tbh because the more space I make in my wardrobe, the more new cuties I can welcome into it, right?

Just don’t do a ‘I haven’t worn this roll neck in forever, I must not really like it’ thing that I do. Like um OK hun it’s July, obvs you haven’t worn that roll neck. DO NOT SELL, YOU WILL REGRET.

8. Keep prices low. Like, really low. I tend to sell all clothes for £1, bags for £2 and shoes for £3 and I accept all kinds of awful offers because y’know what? I don’t want to bring that clutter home.

I once spied a dress I almost liked on a stall next to mine, but the seller said she wouldn’t take less than £7 for it. UM WHAT? If you’ve got anything you want proper money for, you’d be better off keeping it separate and selling on eBay.

I reckon I do pretty well money-wise at car boots because I put everything super low, which makes people more likely to impulse buy and then hello, I’ve come home with almost everything sold.

9. And then once you’ve decided on prices, make sure you put prices on everything. I tend to take paper, felt tips and sellotape with me and then put ‘clothes £1’ and ‘bags £2’ etc either on the car or the table with items on it. We also take stickers to individually price things as we go.

I’m awkward, I hate asking how much things cost, so I’ve reasoned that other people must feel the same. If things are clearly marked then it makes me more likely to buy.

 

What other tips have you got for making mad money at a car boot?

 

  • Chloe

    Make sure you take snacks and drinks as you may not have time to eat breakfast before you leave home. I suggest a thermos of tea/coffee (yup granny chic) mahoosive bottle of water and some cereal bars/nuts/fruit etc

    There is usually a ‘dirty burger’ van lurking at the end of the field at a car boot, but I personally can’t stomach greasy fried food before 12pm. Also there are better things to spend my mornings takings on!

    *Oh and take sunscreen/sunglasses. You will fry if it’s a glorious day and there is no shade in the middle of a field.

    • Oh man YES to the sun screen, I was supposed to include that but forgot 🙈 I wore a long sleeved dress with a high-ish neck so was covered but Chris roasted! x

  • Michelle

    Hahaha great post! I love a good car boot sale! I haven’t done one for ages because I can’t part with some of my things for £1-2. So now I sell on depop. But it’s really good when you’re doing a massive clear out!

    http://Www.virgosandkisses.com

  • I haven’t yet done a car boot sale! Which is crazy because we have SO much crap, it would be such a great way to make a few extra bob. I think we will have to plan one for one of these weekends, I actually think it would be so much fun on a sunny morning! Thank you for the tips gal 🙂 Immy x

    http://www.immymay.com

  • Gillett_jess

    Here’s a tip.. if there is more than one of you at your stall – get one of you to pretend to look through your items ! This attracts other car booters to come have a look… more people at the stand the better create a buzz !!

  • I feel as though I really should do a car boot, but it seems like selling things for £1 when I probably bought them for much more would be sacrilege! However, I guess them currently sitting in my house not doing ANYTHING is equally worse as then they’re not helping anyone! Alice xxx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

  • Erm, probs not get accidentally drunk the night before your skating club’s fundraising car boot, leave your phone in the living room and wake up to your team mate patiently sitting in their car outside having rung your phone for the past 30 minutes? Haha!

    Get your boyfriend to speed make a pot of coffee at 7am and put it in a flask and bring gloves! I ended up so cold I picked the pair of gloves off the table I planned to sell and just wore them. Also the food is pretty terrible at the car boot near me, the roll and sausage I had to try and balance out all the red wine in my belly was bleh so pack sandwiches. Safe to say I’m hopeless at car boot but I was more than happy to sell anything and everything for a pound so I could get home to my bed. But next time I’ll do it better haha!

  • My dad, my sister and I used to always do a car boot sale, we loved it. I really must try and do one again, so much easier than trying to sell things on eBay haha x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

  • I love this, we are terrible at just throwing stuff out to get rid when we could make a dollar! (£ sterling!) I need to have a clothing cull as now I am pregnant nothing fits and most of it isn’t mum appropriate for when he arrives!

    I may try and go through our kitchen too! I am sure we have salad drainers, spiralisers galore that is no longer necessary!

    Georgina Clarke Blog

  • Sophie

    I just watched your vlog on this, looks like so much fun! I feel like such a kid when I go to a car boot sale, only issue is I usually end up taking home more than I actually went with, which really just defeats the point.. I’m also not such a huge fan of the early, early start but maybe I’ll venture out and take part in one soon. Even just to fulfill my childhood dream of owning my own shop haha x
    http://www.sophieblxck.com

  • I did car boots with my Mam one summer & my biggest tips are to bring snacks and DON’T buy more stuff at the car boot, which is what my mother did!! xx

    Beautylymin| Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct Giveaway

  • I’ve been tempted to do a car boot for ages now, and this post has inspired me to start taking action!

    Claudia xx
    http://www.claudiawright.com

  • Jasmin

    What did you find sold the best? We made £100 at ours, but it seems you have some talent 😉

    • oh wow, £100 is still pretty bloody decent! Trust me, we had a LOT of stuff. Just clothes really – and shoes and bags, rather than things like books and bric a brac. x

  • Amy

    A decent clothes rail or at least a few bricks to anchor it down when the wind picks up or just if you’re on a really uneven grass field like ours is.
    Also try not to get distracted and accept low offers from the people that gather round you as soon as you pull up.

    • This was me 100% and then afterwards I was like FFS why have I sold all the good stuff for like 50p. It can be so overwhelming for the first half an hour!

  • Beg/borrow/steal (okay, not that one) or as a last resort buy a folding decorators table and a clothes rail. People love to see things spread out or hung up and a riffle through a clothes rail is often irresistible and shows off your best stuff too. Just not on windy days. Then they are the spawn of satan.
    I used to regularly shift junk at our local carboot because we lived 10 mins away from a good one, but in Huddersfield where I live now there are no decent local ones even though I’ve been looking for ages. Tempted to pop over to fiance’s family place in Anglesey one weekend just to car boot stuff!!

  • I so need to do a car boot sale soon – we have so much stuff that we need to shift. It’s just the whole 6.30 thing that puts me off…. x
    Sophie Cliff

  • I’ve always wanted to do a car boot sale but unfortunately we don’t have a car!! Maybe one day, they look like so much fun!

  • Nat

    I have zero tips to share about really other than don’t go on your own unless you don’t want loo breaks, or food and drink. I know people who have gone on their own and an hour in have text me saying, “Hey could you come and rescue me before I piss myself?” Oh the joys!

    I might do a car boot soon to get rid of some stuff… But I feel like I’d be giving things away at £1-£3… I’d want to sell dresses at £5. 😛

    https://theremightbecoffee.wordpress.com/

  • This is really helpful… and hilarious

  • Thank you so much for these tips! Saving this post for future reference. My parents are hoping to send me and my boyfriend off to a car boot sale to get rid of loads of stuff, as long as we don’t come back with other peoples ‘junk’ as they call it, I prefer ‘treasure’ maybe 😛 I haven’t had any luck selling on ebay before, I hate it! I use depop and have managed to make money back from some decent clothes. I’ll probs try selling my too small black milk leggings on there and anything I can be bothered to hold onto for a bit. Do you gradually build up boxes of things you want to take to the car boot with you? I just have no where to put that kind of stuff :/


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