Car boot sale tips

Following on from our de-cluttering blog, we’re looking at how you can make some cash from your unwanted clutter by selling at a car boot sale.

Car Boot sales pop up all over the country and vary in size, audience and types of goods sold. To help you get the most bang for your buck we’ve listed our top car boot sale tips.

Tips for Car Boot Sales


1.    Do your research – Before you decide which sale to sell at. Make sure you visit a few to get a sense of what items are selling and the kind of buyers attracted.  Sites such as CarBootJunction list sales all over the country. Also make sure that you don’t have any hidden treasures by doing a quick search on second hand sale sites or ebay to get an idea of what an item might be worth.

2.    It’s all about presentation – make sure that you have everything on display so that you can maximise chances of grabbing a buyer’s attention. But don’t crowd your table. Group the items you are selling into categories – toys, CDs, books etc. If you’re selling clothes consider a hanging rail or putting bundles of baby clothes into clear freezer bags and selling as a set or a bundle per age group.

3.    Take plenty of change – You don’t want to put people off because you’re unable to provide them with the right amount of change. Car Boot sales are generally cash only so make sure you have change to tide you over.  Make sure you keep your cash on you, bum bags may not look stylish but they prevent opportunists from running off with your takings.

4.    To price or not to price - This depends on how you want to go about selling and how much stuff you have. If you’re happy to haggle with each buyer and don’t want the faff of having to pre price everything it makes sense to have a sign asking people to make you a sensible offer. If, on the other hand, you have an idea of how much you want for certain items, price them up in advance. Just remember to go in higher and be prepared to haggle the price down.

5.    Be prepared to get mobbed – At least initially. The start of a car boot sale is crazy with people often rummaging through your items before you’ve taken them out of the car. Don’t get flustered and potentially end up giving away something for a low price. If you’re not ready to sell, politely ask buyers to wait a few minutes and only unpack one box at a time. It’s also a good idea to have at least one extra set of hands & to keep your car locked whilst unpacking  to make sure people aren’t helping themselves to your stuff.

6.    Check the weather forecast– And if there is even a small chance of rain, take a waterproof sheet so you can cover up your stall quickly if the heavens open. A clear one is a good idea as car-booters aren’t a fair weather bunch and will keep browsing as soon as they’ve got their umbrellas up.

7.    Take supplies – Car boot sales can be hit and miss in terms of the numbers of visitors. Weather, other local events and time of year can all affect the turn out. Make sure you have plenty of food, tea, coffee and a good book to keep you amused in the quieter periods. Even better bring along a friend for company and you can split the pitch fee.

8.    Smile – It sounds a bit silly to say but remember to smile. People won’t want to approach your stall if you have a face like thunder.  Be polite, friendly and inviting. Even if the trade is slow, the weather is bad and you’ve been up since 5am!

9.    Don’t spend your profits – Remember the aim is to clear clutter and make cash, so if you do go for a browse around other stalls, think about leaving your wallet in the car. Profit margins at car boot sales can vary massively and you don’t want to head home having spent more than you’ve made.

10.    Go for gold – Or silver, or bronze. At the end of the day, assuming you don’t want to take things home with you, it’s all about pricing to sell. Drop things down to £1 or 50p, offer BOGOF deals or bundle items up. Channel the inner market trader in you and shout from the roof tops to attract buyers to your stall and ensure you go home with more cash and less clutter.

Have you sold at any car boots recently? We’d love to hear your tips for car boot sales, pop a comment on our Facebook Page