Monday 10 September 2012

Buying & Selling at Carboots - The Dos and Don'ts

I've always loved a good car-boot sale; for as long as I can remember my mum and aunty have been spending their Sunday mornings down at various local car-boot fairs, snapping up some serious bargains and bartering for the best price. I have picked up some great tips over the years and now see myself as quite the esteemed bargain hunter!

Yesterday me and Andrew got ourselves down to Wetherby car-boot sale to try and flog some of our old unloved items and we ended up making ourselves just over £150, not bad for a morning's work. Because of this I thought I'd do a little post, outlining the dos and don'ts for both buying and selling at car-boot sales.

My stall at Wetherby Car-boot sale on Sunday


Do get there early. It makes logical sense that if there's something there worth having, it'll go early.
Do take plenty of small change. Most items are normally around the 50p/£1 mark so sellers won't always have change for a £20 note.
Do haggle. Sellers expect it so they aren't afraid to negotiate on cost. If you don't ask, you don't get. 

Don't buy something just because it's cheap. It's a good idea to have an idea what you are looking for before you go, you don't want to come home with a ton of clutter you never use because it only cost you 50p.
Don't be close minded. So that shelf isn't the colour you want it? Paint it. That skirt isn't the length you want it? Take it up. You need to see the bigger picture. 
Don't believe everything people say. Sometimes sellers will lie to make an item seem more appealing. They may tell you it's brand new or it's worth a lot more than it is. Trust your instincts, they're usually right. 


Do get there early. Similar to my buying tip but the earlier you get there, the better location you'll have, and therefore the higher the footfall. 
Do have a float. I tend to take around £10 in change and a couple of £5 notes. If you don't have change for a £10 note, there's a good chance you'll miss out on sales.
Do have a price in mind. Everyone knows that at a car-boot sale you barter, so if you want £1 for an item, ask for £2. If you want £10, ask for £12. You get my drift.

Don't be intimidated. Seasoned buyers can drive a seriously hard bargain but don't let them knock you down too far. Have a price in your head and stick to it.
Don't limit what you take. You might look at something and think 'No one will want this' but it could be just what someone else is looking for and thinking 'No one will have one'. And chances are it's normally the first thing to go. 
Don't leave anything unattended. It sounds obvious but I've lost track of the times I've had items stolen off my stall. This goes for money as well, it's best to have it in a little bag which you have on you at all times. (And please, no bum bags). 

So those are my top tips for getting the most out of your car-booting experience, whether you are attending as a buyer or a seller. Happy bargain hunting you lovely lot!


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