How to do a Car Boot Sale

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If you've followed our feng shui tips for decluttering your home, you may have some unwanted items that can be sold at a car boot sale. It's a great way to make a little extra income.


Firstly you need to find out where your local car boot sales are. Keep an eye out for adverts in the local paper or posters. They are generally in the summer months but there is a growing trend for year-round sales. Often they are on Sundays and may start very early.

What to Sell

People sell and buy almost anything at a car boot sale! But popular items, that are easy to sell, include clothes in good condition, particularly children's clothes, children's toys, if they are not broken or incomplete, working electrical items, and CDs and DVDs, though you won't get much for these.

What to Bring

  • a trestle or picnic table to display items
  • a rug to lay out larger items on the ground
  • plastic sheeting in case of rain
  • lots of plastic bags and newspapers to wrap up fragile objects like china
  • take lots of change in a secure money belt or wallet
  • fold-up chairs so you don't have to stand all the time
  • drinks, a thermos, sandwiches and snacks, it may be a long day!

Best of all take a friend with you to help, so you have someone to chat to and keep an eye on the stall so you can get a break.

Arrive Early to Set Up

Most car boot sales begin early and people will arrive before opening time to set up, so ask the organisers what time to arrive. Some car boot sales are incredibly popular so arrive early to get a good pitch. You have to pay a small charge for your pitch, which may be £10 or £0. Normally you park your car and set up immediately in front of it. The general public arrives later and uses a separate car park.

How To Price Items

Some people prefer to put prices on items in advance. This saves time and means you are not put on the spot when someone asks 'how much?" so for the first-time seller it is recommended. If you have a lot of one type of item like book or CDs you can put them all in one box and charge the same price for everything, or offer a discount like three for a pound.

Be aware that the dealers often arrive early and may drive a hard bargain. You don't necessarily have to accept their offers, keep your nerve and hang on in the hope of a better price later! Be prepared for people haggling a lot, particularly at the end of the day, and you may even need to deal with the occasional awkward or rude customer. However it make sense to offer a discount rather than pack up and lug everything home again!