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Essential guides and top tips:
How to get the best out of a car boot sale

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February 21, 2014
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Whether it’s a high-end fashion steal or a piece of vintage kitsch, no one can resist a bargain, and car boot sales are a brilliant way to cash in on the junk you have hanging around the house that may well be someone else’s idea of treasure.

Adrian Flux Insurance Services provides specialist van and truck insurance, including policies for people who use their vans for hobbies such as angling, surfing, astronomy, mountaineering, paramotoring, mountain biking and…car booting!

Flux’s personal use van insurance policy includes up to £1,500 cover for your sporting or leisure equipment and a host of other benefits thanks to a tailor-made policy just for you.

And perhaps you could raise the cash for your premium with Adrian Flux’s top car boot tips for sellers…

How to cash-in at car boot sales:

  1. Find the perfect boot sale for the things you have to sell by checking out carbootjunction or yourbooty. If you have time, visit the boot sales and work out the best place for your pitch – it’s a good move to set up your stall close to the entrance and near food stalls.
  2. Pack your items the night before the sale, in small boxes if possible so they’re easy to transport from the car to your table. If you’ve got a lot of booty to shift, take some waterproof sheets to lay items out on.
  3. Arrive early so you are first in the queue for the best pitches and consider taking a friend so you can both sell simultaneously and you’ve got someone to man the stall if you need to go to the toilet or want a quick browse. You can also split the cost of the stall, maximising your profit.
  4. Set up your table and then unpack one box at a time, locking your car in between unpacking sessions. If you don’t, people (known in the trade as ‘boot divers’!) will swarm all over your car, which is annoying and confusing.
  5. Consider having themed areas on your stall rather than a jumble of junk. Either have areas where everything costs a certain amount of money – such as a £1 box, a £2 clothes rail and so forth – or put objects together, such as books, household items and nick-nacks.
  6. Keep your most expensive, desirable items in eyeshot at all times with your cheaper items in boxes on the floor or on ground sheets. Not everyone who comes to a car boot sale intends to pay for what they come away with.
  7. Dealers tend to be the first customers to arrive but don’t feel forced to sell too cheaply – if they really want what you’re selling, they’ll come back, and people tend to spend more money later in the morning.
  8. Make sure you have lots of change and a secure container with a lid for the money you take – wear a money belt if you can.
  9. Many buyers come to car boot sales badly prepared, so spend the weeks before your sale collecting plastic bags so that customers can take away their purchases.
  10. Take snacks, drinks and lunch so that you’re not tempted to blow any cash you make on the food stalls.
  11. Unless your children are old enough to be helpful, consider leaving them at home – it’s hard enough to keep an eye on your customers, your stock and your money box without having to add a couple of fractious toddlers into the mix. If your children are old enough, consider giving them their own area of the stall to man – children are often natural salespeople.
  12. People want to feel they’ve got a bargain, so start your pricing slightly higher than you’d be willing to sell for so that people feel they’ve been able to barter you down to a price they feel is a steal. Don’t be rude to people who offer you ridiculously low prices – haggling is all part of the car boot experience.
  13. Move your stock around the stall throughout the morning – people often walk along the same aisles more than once and might have missed what you have to offer the first time they passed.
  14. If the point of your car boot sale selling was to declutter your house and create some space, consider lowering your prices dramatically as the sale ends. A great tip if you don’t want to have boxes of junk hanging around your house is to post a message on Freecycle or Gumtree offering your leftovers free to a good home. They’ll be gone in a matter of hours!
  15. Be prepared for a wait before you can leave the site – take a book to read or enjoy the opportunity to browse around other people’s stalls for some last minute bargains!


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