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?