Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • mazz1953
    • By mazz1953 14th Aug 07, 9:06 AM
    • 181Posts
    • 232Thanks
    mazz1953
    Car boot sale advice - updated 2013
    • #1
    • 14th Aug 07, 9:06 AM
    Car boot sale advice - updated 2013 14th Aug 07 at 9:06 AM
    For what it's worth, here is my advice for the car boot sales, based on my years of experience.

    My advice to sellers.

    I have been going to car boot sales since they started and I think the best ones are on from April to September. I have done quite a few car boots myself and from experience I would like to offer the following general advice to sellers.

    Find out the weather forecast beforehand. The BBC website can give the local forecast a few days ahead.

    Try and previously visit a car boot sale as a browser, this will give you ideas about prices etc and what the atmosphere is like.

    Take a packed meal, as you will probably get hungry later and there the food vans are quite expensive.

    It is a good idea to have everything priced previously, forget about what the experts say on the TV programmes. If the stuff is not priced some people assume that it is quite expensive and pass on.

    Be aware that when you first pull in and start to unpack the car, buyers will rush you , they will try rummaging in your boxes and some will try to get in the back of the car, looking for bargains. This is usually referred to as getting mugged . This can be quite intimidating and you can get items damaged or stolen in the process, so try not to do the boot sale alone.

    Do take reasonable offers on items, but don't be bullied into give things away for a song.

    If you have any small items such as jewellery, display them where they can easily be watched. I have seen very respectable looking people steal off a stall, while the seller was serving another buyer.

    If you are selling items that come in pairs such as shoes, display only one and keep the other in the car, otherwise you might find these getting stolen while your attention is elsewhere.

    Let the buyers browse in peace, while keeping a discreet eye on them. Do not pounce on people and try the hard sell as soon as they pick up an item, it will only put them off. If they are interested they will approach you with any offers, queries etc.

    Take plenty of change in a bum bag, I used to take around £30 including 2x£5 notes. If someone gives a large note for a low priced item usually £1 or under, do not give them all your change, instead offer to put the item aside for a short while, till they obtain change, if they do not return by the allotted time, redisplay the item.

    Take plenty of carrier bags and newspapers to wrap-up fragile items.

    Do bear in mind, that you may have to queue for the toilets (and some of these can be really gross), so ease up on the liquids.

    Wear comfortable shoes, I wear a pair of trainers, Hush Puppies or Skips.

    Have a smile, be polite and thank the buyers, no matter how little they spend.

    Finally, it is a good idea to have had your dinner pre-cooked as you will probably be so shattered when you arrive home, that you just want the sofa or an armchair and not move for the next few hours.

    Above all, happy selling !!!

    My advice to buyers.

    Try to get to the car boot sale as early as you can, because that is when the best bargains are available. Take a leaf from the dealers books, they get there when the car boot opens. Some boot sales charge extra (usually about £1 per person) for early buyers, but I think it is worth paying this to get the best bargains.

    Wear a comfortable pair of shoes, I wear a pair of trainers, Hush Puppies or Skips.

    Try not to have too much liquids beforehand, or you might be find yourself queuing for the toilets and these are generally gross.

    Take plenty of small change with you, otherwise you might miss out on a bargain because of this. At a boot sale, I was able to get a really nice Royal Doulton china tea set for £3, because the potential buyer who picked it first, only had a £20 note and the stall holder was not willing to put the item aside.

    Take a large holdall or shopping bag or even a shopping trolley for your bargains, otherwise you end up with lots of carrier bags and you can easily forget to pick them up at the stalls you visit.

    Do not carry large handbags or purses with you. Leave all the credit cards, bank cards etc at home. Thieves and pickpockets target car boot sales. When I go to buy at the boot sales, I carry a small long-handled bag with my AA card, car keys etc, which I sling across my body. I then put my bum-bag with the change around my waist.

    If you buy a bulky or heavy item take it to the car right away. If this is not possible, ask the stall holder to keep it for collection later, but do remember to collect it. Make a note of the car, the aisle position and align this to an object a tree or the burger van, otherwise at a large boot sale, you might not easily find the stall again. Do not rely on remembering what the seller looks like as he or she may have temporary left the stall and someone else is in charge.

    If you buy any videos, cds or DVD, do check that the original disc is in the case. A couple of times I have got home only to discover that discs were missing or wrong.

    If you plan to spend a long time at the boot sale, eat something before arriving or bring sandwiches with you as you are probably going to get hungry later and the food there can be quite expensive and unhealthy.

    When you eventually arrive home, just make yourself a tea, coffee or whatever else you fancy (better still if someone else does so), sit in a nice comfortable armchair and relax and recover for the next few hours, while sorting out your bargains.

    Happy bargain hunting!!!

    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by mazz1953; 22-05-2008 at 8:53 AM. Reason: To add more advice
Page 1
    • soolin
    • By soolin 14th Aug 07, 9:20 AM
    • 60,477 Posts
    • 43,107 Thanks
    soolin
    • #2
    • 14th Aug 07, 9:20 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Aug 07, 9:20 AM
    I'll use this post as the basis for a sticky thread on car booting. Please feel free to add further posts offering advice and tips.
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    New to Forum? Guide
    • mazz1953
    • By mazz1953 14th Aug 07, 10:55 AM
    • 181 Posts
    • 232 Thanks
    mazz1953
    • #3
    • 14th Aug 07, 10:55 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Aug 07, 10:55 AM
    Thanks Soolin, I am sure this sticky will be much appreciated.
    • Wesker
    • By Wesker 17th Aug 07, 7:35 PM
    • 1,345 Posts
    • 7,196 Thanks
    Wesker
    • #4
    • 17th Aug 07, 7:35 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Aug 07, 7:35 PM
    Be aware that when you first pull in and start to unpack the car, buyers will rush you , they will try rummaging in your boxes and some will try to get in the back of the car, looking for bargains. This is usually referred to as getting mugged . This can be quite intimidating and you can get items damaged or stolen in the process, so try not to do the boot sale alone.
    Originally posted by mazz1953
    I agree with this, i usually call them vultures lol. When i park up at a boot fair, if there are a lot of people hanging around i usually stay in the car for 10 minutes or so until they have passed on to the next few stalls before i start unloading my stuff because i have had items go missing in the past
    It is a good idea to have someone with you if possible so they can keep an eye on the stall while you are unloading stuff.
    Also if you price stuff up before hand, always price it at a bit more than you are willing to accept as people always try to knock you down, so if you want to get say £5 for something price it up at £6 or £7 but be realistic. At the end of the day you dont want to be going home with as much stuff as you bought with you so you have to compromise
    • durham_girl
    • By durham_girl 18th Aug 07, 8:22 PM
    • 2,564 Posts
    • 2,654 Thanks
    durham_girl
    • #5
    • 18th Aug 07, 8:22 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Aug 07, 8:22 PM
    As the day goes on, I tend to knock the prices down aswell, I'd far rather have rid of it for cheap, than take it home again!
    30/7/10

    24/1/14
    • Snow Angel
    • By Snow Angel 20th Aug 07, 11:09 PM
    • 654 Posts
    • 967 Thanks
    Snow Angel
    • #6
    • 20th Aug 07, 11:09 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Aug 07, 11:09 PM
    Would anyone be kind enough to add some advice re: pricing for car boot items? It would be very much appreciated thank you
    • MoaningMyrtle
    • By MoaningMyrtle 20th Aug 07, 11:23 PM
    • 1,932 Posts
    • 3,019 Thanks
    MoaningMyrtle
    • #7
    • 20th Aug 07, 11:23 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Aug 07, 11:23 PM
    Great sticky, a piece if advice for seller is if you have any valuable/ collectable items, keep them in the front on the floor, until you are ready to get them out. This is what I do to deter the initial flurry of what can be quite intimidating buyers - I park up, get out, open the boot and then lock th car so they can't get in, I've had the vultures/muggers/traders open the car doors to see what I had whilst I was in the boot. Also, load the car with your table/clothes rail on top so it is first out of the car.

    Prices here for items are:

    Paperbacks 20p
    Hardbacks 50p - £1
    Clothes 50p - £1.00 (Coats £2.00-£3.00)
    Shoes £1.00 - £2.00
    Boots £3.00
    Small kitchen electricals £2.00 - £3.00
    DVDs £1.00
    CDs 50p
    Baby equipment variable on age and brand
    Furniture up to £10.00
    Costume Jewellery - up to £1.00
    Bags £1.00 - £2.00
    Watches £1.00 - £2.00
    Childrens clothes 50p - £1.00
    Toiletries - 50p
    Perfume - £2.00
    Bric a Brac 20p-50p-£1.00
    Last edited by MoaningMyrtle; 01-09-2012 at 9:15 AM. Reason: Changed prices to current rates (2012)
    A minute at the till, a lifetime on the bill.

    Nothing tastes as good as being slim feels.

    one life, live it!
    • Contains Mild Peril
    • By Contains Mild Peril 21st Aug 07, 12:00 PM
    • 4,053 Posts
    • 2,829 Thanks
    Contains Mild Peril
    • #8
    • 21st Aug 07, 12:00 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Aug 07, 12:00 PM
    Most of those prices are about right in my area too, but I think costume jewellery prices depend a lot on quality: though most are 50p-£1, some particularly nice pieces can be worth far more.
    Mazz, I agree with most of your advice, but I would add the following: take your own toilet roll or tissues in case you need to use the loo there, because they often run out, especially at busy sales.
    Whether buying or selling, take plenty to drink as well as food. This is especially important in warm weather and especially for pedestrian buyers: dehydration can make carrying shopping home exhausting.
    Take plenty of change in a bum bag, I used to take around £30 including 2x£5 notes. If someone gives a large note for a low priced item usually £1 or under, do not give them all your change, instead offer to put the item aside for a short while, till they obtain change, if they do not return by the allotted time, redisplay the item.
    I've lost sales this way, and wouldn't recommend it. Instead, make sure you have plenty of change. If you're selling a lot of cheapish items you will soon accumulate lots of £1 coins anyway, so your float should suffice in the meantime.
    Take a large holdall or shopping bag or even a shopping trolley for your bargains, otherwise you end up with lots of carrier bags and you can easily forget to pick them up at the stalls you visit.
    Definitely go with a trolley if you have one: it's much easier than trying to humph a big holdall around with you. Do keep an eye on it though, since customers might think it belongs to the stall you're browsing and try to buy it!
    I wouldn't necessarily put price labels on every item, but this does have the advantage that you can leave a companion in charge of the stall while you shop or use the toilets.
    It's also a good idea to take a transparent plastic sheet (e.g. a dust sheet from a £1 or DIY shop) to protect your stock without concealing it from view in the event of rainshowers.
    When buying, always pick an item up (or put your hand on it if it's a bulky item) and don't let go until you've concluded the deal (or decided against it). Never just point to an item and ask the price: there are buyers who will watch you do this then snatch it from under your nose and buy it. I know from bitter experience how frustrating it is to lose a bargain like that.
    The best bargains are usually to be had at the beginning and end of the sale: the best stuff at the start and the best prices at the end.
  • keelykat
    • #9
    • 28th Aug 07, 6:51 PM
    • #9
    • 28th Aug 07, 6:51 PM
    Hi, I wouldn't bother pricing things up. We never do, and i don't see many others doing it either apart from boxes of odd ends for 50p for example. Nobody seems put off by this, it gets people asking how much something is and then haggling.

    Maybe this is just the area we carboot in, i don't know.

    We take a small bottle of the gel hand wash (that doesnt need water) to clean hands and a loo roll, for the porta loo's!

    We take a flask of tea, for when it's nippy first thing, and then a packed lunch to nibble on through out the day/morning.

    Because we are a couple, it's easy for one to nip to the loo/have a wonder around/keep an eye out when it gets busy etc. (my dad is usually next to us selling from his car too lol).

    Don't under sell youself, but don't put a silly high price on things either.

    Most of all-be friendly, don't jump in and scare people off and enjoy the day!

    keely.
    Mommy to Elliot (5) and Lewis (born xmas eve 11!)
  • Pandora_Peroxide
    I've had a sort out and want to do my first car boot. Have seen the guide prices earlier in this thread and they were about what I thought. However any ideas what I should ask for the following - all excellent condition:

    Philips 14" portable TV with remote
    Working laptop running Windows XP
    Quiksilver shopper bag
    Half a dozen Jaqueline Wilson books immaculate as only read once
    Almost new girls Adidas trainers
    Hoodies/jumpers all Gap, Adidas, Reebok
    Dolls pram Mamas and Papas brand
    dolls jet plane for Barbie and the like

    Also, with books and clothes am I best to chuck them in boxes and put a note on with the price so people rummage hrough?
  • alex£
    Be aware that when you first pull in and start to unpack the car, buyers will rush you , they will try rummaging in your boxes and some will try to get in the back of the car, looking for bargains. This is usually referred to as getting mugged .


    I have taken to covering my stock up with a blanket and not opening up and displaying my stock until the public are let in. Personally, I can't stand overly aggressive dealers- manners cost nothing, but rudeness can result in a sore nose!
    Love like you've not been hurt, dance like no one is looking, look at money saving expert every day!
  • jrgodfrey
    Car boot scam
    I have seen a big Black car arrive at a boot fair, Three or four guys jumped out and went all over the place buying a load of rubbish for about £1 a time and paying with £20 notes, after about 45 minutes they left in a hurry with pockets full of change and leaving behind a trail of FAKE £20 NOTES. You have been warned!!
    • jeferey
    • By jeferey 4th Sep 07, 8:40 AM
    • 4,295 Posts
    • 56,108 Thanks
    jeferey
    Pandora query
    Hi Pandora - I would definitely not sell the laptop at a carboot - you will never get what it is worth, most buyers are after a bargain - put it on eBay.

    For the last two years I've been putting the higher value / quality stuff on eBay and car booting the (dross) rest!!

    You will get a much better total return that way.
    If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try - oh bu99er that just cheat
    • lilmissmup
    • By lilmissmup 9th Sep 07, 12:10 PM
    • 6,814 Posts
    • 8,723 Thanks
    lilmissmup
    Does anyone buy videos @ Car boots anymore? I have a whol box full of them from freecycle and various places. Do you think they would sell at 25p each? Some good films there.

    I haven't done my first car boot yet, looking to do one before end of this month though.
    Now a SAHM trying to earn some spare pennies each month
  • keelykat
    Does anyone buy videos @ Car boots anymore? I have a whol box full of them from freecycle and various places. Do you think they would sell at 25p each? Some good films there.

    I haven't done my first car boot yet, looking to do one before end of this month though.
    Originally posted by lilmissmup
    My dad sold quite a lot for 50p each, but it varies each week who is there and is willing to pay for them

    Good luck!

    keely.
    Mommy to Elliot (5) and Lewis (born xmas eve 11!)
  • sara1980
    i've just got back from my first ever car boot, just sold bits from the house that we don't want....clothes, ps2/xbox/pc games, toys, bedding etc, made £71.00 after taking out the fee for the pitch, not a brilliant amount, but £71 more than had whan went out this morning. (it will pay the petrol for my trip to blackpool (I have leisure vouchers for entry to PB) and some spends as well
    I was told that it was alot slower than usual today as well. But this is the last one they are doing there this year wanted to go back & try & get rid more of my stuff
  • sara1980
    today all they were after was perfumes, cameras & vinyl records if that is any help to anyone.
  • mrsjb
    Some advice please?!
    Hi new to the site and also to car boot sales. Doing my first one on Sunday as an incentive for the kids to get rid of the copious amounts of stuff they calim makes it impossible to keep their large(!) bedrooms vaguely tidy!

    Kind of ok with flogging their stuff for whatever we can however I have a huge amount of vinyl lps and 12 inch singles and some evening dresses in fantastic condition which I don't really know where to start with? Any advice? The dresses were all quite pricey but I don't want alot for them just kind of some ideas really?
    • boogiesherbs
    • By boogiesherbs 14th Sep 07, 11:31 PM
    • 197 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    boogiesherbs
    Me and my partner did a car boot last week, and we as well had the people jumping on us as soon as we arrived. Yelling for mobile phones, ipods, jewellery,psp's (as if I would sell a psp on a car boot?!)

    We managed to shift a lot of stuff and made £160 which I thought was really good as all we had really was dvd's and clothes. I got rid of all of my clothes for roughly £1-£2 each. A lot of the clothes were good names whistles, miss sixty, ted baker. I had miss sixty jeans that I was selling for a £1 and one person said it was expensive. I have changed sizes so the clothes were usless , (all the good stuff etc new with tags ( mistakes!)I had sold beforehand on ebay), so I was glad to get something for them than to take them back home. Also, It dosen't matter what the label is your not going to get much more for it. ( unless obvioulsy you are selling lots of jimmy choos size 4 which if you are please let me know!.....)


    My advice is, even if you are trying to raise cash quickly for a holiday etc, only sell something that you really don't want. There is always something that you like but think you will get a lot for, the majority of times that never works, and you end up selling something that you liked for bext to nothing.

    If you are a one off car booter like me (i.e once every couple of years, unless you want to end up taking everything back home you will have to be prepared to let things go very very cheaply.
    • mossy
    • By mossy 19th Sep 07, 9:51 AM
    • 1,133 Posts
    • 8,158 Thanks
    mossy
    I may have missed this advice somewhere else but does anyone know a good way of finding out what boot sales are local to you. The free paper in my area doesn't seem to list them??

    Thanks
    DFB Christmas 2018 - #123 - £540/£1930 28%

    Emergency Fund Savings - #148 - £0/£1000 0%
    #083 SPC6 £63 - SPC7 £90 - SPC8 £63 - SPC9 £54 - SPC10 £26 - SP11
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,164Posts Today

6,184Users online

Martin's Twitter