If you know what you are doing, a successful car boot sale can bring in a handsome profit. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of the secrets behind a successful car boot sale.
While local car boot sales can be convenient to the seller, they may not make the best return due to the lack of popularity. Researching into busier sites and reading reviews can make the difference between a successful day and a very successful day. We recommend using sites such as Car Boot Junction to find out relevant information you need to know before settling on a location to set up pitch.
It’s wise to take distance, comprehensive car boot insurance, petrol prices, start times and pitch prices into account when deciding which location to sell at.
The earlier the better
Any car boot enthusiast will tell you that getting to the location early enough is a crucial factor in having a success day, or not. By getting there early you can insure that you get a good pitch in a high traffic location and don’t miss out the influx of early morning bargain hunters. Don’t underestimate the competition. Many people will get there a couple hours before the car boot event opens, ready to get in front of the long queue of cars that will line up trying to secure a good pitch on the grounds.
An extra pair of hands
There are a lot of benefits to bringing a family member or friend along to help out at your car boot sale. Not only will you have an extra set of hands to help set up, serve customers, and keep an eye on the stock; you could also split the cost of the pitch (usually around £10), and both sell your items. This way you can showcase a variety of goods, making your stall more appealing to the crowds.
Brush up on your bartering skills
Most customers that attend car boot sales are seasoned barterers that are determined to pay less than the asking price – they are on the hunt for a great bargain. It is a good idea to brush up on your haggling skills if you have not held a pitch at a car boot sale in a while. Try to be flexible with your prices, however, stay polite and hold your ground if someone makes an offer you are not willing to accept. If they really want the item, they will come back for it later.
Set realistic prices
Car boot sales have been built around the notion of ‘picking up a bargain’. People attend them expecting to find second hand items at second hand prices. Therefore, it is very unlikely that you will make many sales with an asking price close to the original.
If you are unsure what to charge for your items, a general guideline to follow is selling for 10-15% of the original value. This can obviously differ depending on the quality of the item, however, don’t expect to get back similar to what you paid originally.
Spare change will be your best friend
Unless you have a wireless card machine, your car boot transactions will rely heavily on cash. By preparing a float of around £25 in varying denominations, you are ensuring you don’t miss out on potential sales due to not having enough change for £10 or £20 notes.
Equipment, equipment, equipment
Once you have decided what to sell, consider what equipment you will need to help present your stock in its best light. It is very unlikely that people will spend time rummaging through boxes of items or plastic sheets full of clothing. Instead, a collapsible table is favourable for displaying your items in a neat and organised fashion. For clothing, consider portable rails so people can easily browse your stock. Additionally, a large mirror can be a great way of inviting people to your stall, as they are able to see what potential purchases will look like on.
It also pays to be prepared by bringing extra equipment in case of poor weather. More often than not, a large transparent plastic sheet to cover your items will suffice. If customers can browse your items no matter the weather, you are likely to have a successful car boot sale.
A few weeks prior to the car boot sale, start collecting plastic bags. It is likely if a customer has bought more than one item that they will want a bag. Being able to provide bags for customers not only makes you appear more professional, but it also increases the likelihood of repeat custom.
By presenting yourself in an open and welcoming manner, people are more likely to feel invited to browse your items and consequently this can positively impact your number of sales.
However, it is important to not be overbearing. This may intimidate potential customers and put people off approaching your stall.
You win some, you lose some
Don’t let a bad day put you off for life. Even car boot veterans know that some days that is just the way the cookies crumbles. The best thing you can do is dust yourself off and try again.
The great thing about car boot sales is that whilst most have their regulars, there is a huge potential for varying influxes of customers ranging from families, visitors, bargain hunters, young and older couples, to name but a few. In short, there is a good chance of finding someone who sees your unwanted items as their next treasure.
Lastly, ensure you always walk away a winner by protecting yourself against insurance claims with specialist event insurance.