I remember doing a car boot sale years ago and bringing home around £250 for a few hours’ standing in a field flogging my second-hand stuff to anyone who wanted it. It was a lot of fun and was certainly worth my while. Fast-forward a few years and I think I made around £40 the next time I tried it.
So, can you still make money getting rid of unwanted clothes, books, CDs and the like at car boot sales? Or has the bottom dropped out of the, er, boot?
Wherever you live, chances are you have a field or two near you, or maybe a church hall, or market, or some other similar location, that is packed out with cars every Sunday morning during the summer. This shows there is still plenty of interest in car booting. But if you’re going to pack up your stuff in your car and get up early to try and sell as much as you can, it makes sense to know how to do it.
Don’t visit the same car boot sale every week
Keep things fresh. Find at least two nearby if you are going to go more than once, and alternate between them. You stand more chance of reaching new buyers by doing this.
Forget about pricing everything
This can be tempting, and it may work if you have a box of books with a sign saying 20p per book. You might also offer six for £1 if you’re doing this, to encourage people to buy more. But don’t worry about pricing anything else. Haggling is part of car booting anyway, and leaving out the pricing ahead of time means you save time getting ready. People are also more likely to be tempted to buy something if it doesn’t have a price and they need to ask to find out what you want for it.
Remember it is often better to sell for a low price than not at all
There might be some items you want a certain amount for, but if that is the case, you may want to set those aside to sell on auction websites instead. With everything else, you must decide ahead of time whether you want to go home with them or not. If you’re doing your first boot fair and you have two or three others planned at other locations, don’t worry about selling at too low a price. You’ll want the items to sell at other car boot fairs, and you may end up getting more money there. However, if you’ve tried flogging things at a few fairs already, be prepared to take a low price to get rid of them.
While there are pitch fees to pay, these aren’t usually too steep. You can save cash by taking a packed lunch (or breakfast, or both) with you, and a flask of tea and some cold drinks too. That means you’ll make as big a profit as possible without needing to spend any before you get home.