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10 Tips For Car Boot Sale Success

Despite being extremely young and youthful, I am somewhat of a car boot sale veteran. Being buried alive by miscellaneous knick-knacks in the back of the car is something of a nostalgic Saturday morning ritual to me. And so, since I have become quite the boot sale oracle over the years, I thought I would share some of my wisdom in case any of you lot are looking to make a few pennies.

Here are my 10 tips for car boot sale success...

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price up big items
Bigger items, like furniture or larger electricals, whilst money-makers, can sometimes put people off because they usually think they will be out of their price range. 

Popping a price sticker on your bigger items can entice people and encourage them to haggle a little. You want your big pieces gone, so make selling them a priority.

price higher to allow for haggling
Whether you're sticking stickers on everything or being a little more improvisational, make sure you're pricing your goods a little higher to allow for some good old-fashioned haggling. People are always going to try and haggle, so make them think that a lower price was their idea and not yours!

We tend to add a few pounds to bigger items and about 50p for smaller items. 

Always keep a reserve price in your head and don't feel pressured to go below it. If someone suggests a price that you aren't happy with, you don't have to agree on it. Meet them in the middle. Ask them to meet your original price. If they walk away, they walk away.

You're there to make yourself some money and that should be a priority. 

Can't find what they're looking for? Offer them alternatives. Or, if they're looking at something in particular, offer them related items. 

Oh, you like the backpack? Have you seen our camping gear? 

We've sold out of ~this particular children's book~ but we do have ~this children's book~ on offer? 

all about the aesthetics 
You're sat in a field eating a sandwich from foil, so I'm not expecting miracles but keeping a stall functional and looking interesting to the eye is a sure fire way to get people interested.

Have some things set out clearly but also have some items, like clothes or books, in a pile so people can rummage. Rummagers flock to car boots and if they see piles of your stuff, they're going to dive right in. However, make a sign letting people know what sizes you have on offer alongside the price range of the clothes to make it even more enticing.

Your stall also needs to be accessible and mobility friendly. Make sure you don't have any plastic tubs awkwardly stuck out at the front of your stall because these can go unnoticed by passers by. 

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find out what sells and push them to the big space
Car boot sales vary, of course, but there tends to be certain things that sell well. In our experience, clothes, usually bearing an 'Everything this price' sign, sell quite well alongside bigger items like sun loungers and miscellaneous homewares. Soft toys also tend to sell well because people buy them for their dogs and costume jewellery always entices people to the stall. 

Books won't ever go for much so don't take books along that you want more than 20p-£1 for. 

pop similar items on bulk buy deals 
If you've got a selection of similar items with you, consider popping them on a bulk deal. For example, the other weekend we did bulk deals on mugs and glassware. 

Bulk buys are something I want to implement more at our next boot sale because I think they may work in our favour, particularly where things like DVDs and CDs and books are concerned.  

Call upon your teenage experience in retail, if applicable. A smile and some eye contact, if you can, goes a long way when it comes to sales. Engage in conversation and offer customers a bag. 

Of course, this isn't obligatory. However, I've found having a little natter with people makes them hang around the stall for longer and thus gives them more chance of spotting something. 

tempting price reductions in the last half hour 
It's the last half an hour. You're probably tired. You don't fancy carting everything home again. It's time to start slashing prices!

Pull out your neon card and get making price reduction signs. Everything in this box £1! Chest of drawers now £5 down from £8! If there are prospective buyers in the vicinity, feel free to attempt some market-seller style chants. But, in general, people know they're in for some bargains as the late morning / afternoon goes on.  

take stock...of your stock
Every now and again, sift through your car boot stock to see whether you want to haul it to the field for the 300th time. If you've been taking an item to sales for a year to several years for it to be met with no interest, it's time to donate it. 

I recently sifted through our inventory, that was now taking over the garage, and donated 11 bags to the British Heart Foundation. They offer a service where you can give them a call and they'll come and collect all of your donations away which is extremely useful.

Aaaand those are my 10 tips for car boot sale success! If you're after some more sage advice, have a look through my older posts. If you liked this post, let me know and feel free to share it with people that may be in need of some advice!



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