Sunday, 10 May 2015

How to...

I've been trying to decide if this is a weird 'How to' post or if it could actually be useful to someone, to be honest I'm still undecided but I figured if you've never sold at a car boot sale before there might be something of use to you here!


So when I was a kid my mum and dad sold at car boot sales on a fairly regular basis, I dreaded it.  When you are five or six (I can't actually remember how old I was when I would go along) sitting around for three or four hours was mind numbingly dull, it wasn't until I was ready to sell some of my own toys that things started to get interesting.  Once I realised I could get cold hard cash for stuff I no longer used car boots sales became interesting and I started paying attention to how to sell.  I now do one or two big clear outs a year and sell at the afternoon car boot sale near us (there is a huge morning car boot very near us but on a Sunday getting up before six is not an option).

Your toolkit

One or two things to take with you to make selling a touch easier..
  • Carrier bags, if someone is buying armfuls of clothes from you make their life easier by offering them a bag.  I know it's a car boot sale but seriously customer service is still key!
  • Measuring tape, if you're selling curtains, bedlinen or furniture in particular it is really useful to take a measuring tape with you.  For example IKEA bedlinen is slightly bigger than standard UK bedlinen and not everyone works in centimetres so give your customers the chance to measure up!
  • Scissors
  • Sticky tape - emergency clothes rail repair, jigsaw box repair, you just never know when this will come in handy!
  • Anti-bac wipes, if like me you're going around the house chucking stuff in boxes ready to sell you might not always pay close attention to the condition of things it's a good idea to have anti-bac wipes with you to give your goods and chattels and once over.  People are far more inclined to buy stuff that looks cared for than stuff caked in dust, plus it's a good time filler for those quieter moments.
  • A hat. I've been caught out on this one waaaaay too many times, even if it looks overcast take a hat you don't know how the weather can turn and no one loves sun stroke.
  • Snacks and plenty of water, again duhhhh I've been caught out on this one as well!  You don't want to be hangry on the day and you don't want to eat into your profits buying over priced food and drink on site.

Hints and tips
  • Don't just sell any old toot, before you chuck an item in the 'to sell' pile ask yourself (and be objective here) would I buy this item myself in it's current condition?  If the answer is no then just throw it away (don't give it to charity if it's broken or too worn they get charged for throwing away the stuff they can't sell so you would be hindering not helping!)
  • What are the high value items? Clothes in good condition from well know high street shops always sell well in particular jeans, CDs and DVDs used to, trade is slowing but still worth a punt, jigsaw puzzles in good condition, toys and baby clothes!  Now I don't have many of these to sell myself but if you have loft full of toys and baby clothes get yourself to a car boot you'll make an absolute mint!  (Worth checking on ebay first if you're selling toys like Lego and Playmobil as you might get more money for them selling them online.)
  • Compliment your customers outfits/jewellery/shoes whatever, if they think that your styles align they're more likely to take a closer look at what you have on offer.
  • I wouldn't bother pricing things up to be honest it's a waste of your time and stickers, have a vague idea of what you want to sell things for, start high (but realistic) and be prepared to haggle.
  • By mid-afternoon you get a stream of people passing by but they've got stall blindness they have seen so many they've stopped looking properly and few like to approach a stall that doesn't have people looking at it, if you have someone with you get them to fake browse your stall picking things up and really paying attention to your items it will pique someone's interest and sure enough it attracts people over! (I know, I know this seems so manipulative but it does work!)
And finally....

So you've done three or four hours of selling, you've done pretty well and you've resisted the temptation to restock your car with bits and bobs from other sellers (hahahaha yeah right) but what do you do with the stuff left over?  If you're lucky enough to have storage chuck it in there wait a couple of weeks and do another car boot sale (perhaps after going around the house for another clear out?).  If that isn't an option then do consider donating to your favourite charity, I suspect charities are going to need all the support they can get in the next five years (significant look) but as I said before don't donate crap stuff, if it looks worn or is broken then just dump it.

Bonus photo?  This is me in 2008 when we left to go to the car boot sale that lovely March morning it was all clear skies and sunshine... and then the snow came, you'll see that snow does not deter a good car booter, the rummaging continued with vigour...

1 comment:

  1. Top tips lady, I'd still rather be on the buying side though, I love a good rummage!


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