Monday, 4 May 2015

Our Bank Holiday Weekend and Car Boot Sale Tips

I love looking round car boot sales because you never know what you might find. I'm not so keen on doing a boot sale but it is by far the easiest way to get rid of small odds and ends.
That's why, after spending several weeks sorting cupboards and packing boxes, we loaded up the car  on Friday afternoon and headed off before 7am on Saturday. We went  to Melton near Woodbridge where they have a boot sale on the first Saturday of each month from May to September.
The morning was a bit grey but not too cold and  we were home by12.45 and  £123  better off.
When we got back  the leftover stuff stayed in the car and Col spent Sunday morning loading the big trailer with a ton of useful (?) things from his workshop and I found some bits from the shed that could be got rid of and lots of our country books off the shelves so this morning off we went again. This time a bit closer - just to our local boot sale. It started slowly but thankfully got busier and most of the workshop clear out stuff was sold. We were home again by 1.15 and this time took another £177!.
But the most exciting thing was when a lady bought some of our books, then looked at us and asked if I was Sue from Frugal in Suffolk Blog. We had a good chat - and it was lovely to meet someone who reads my ramblings.
When we got home each day there were campsite toilets to clean and eggs to collect and sort so all in all not a lot got done over our Bank Holiday weekend - because the rest of the time has been spent watching some very fascinating snooker finals.
Although I looked round both car boot sales I didn't really see anything very exciting so came home with these on Saturday - a Lakeland pudding steamer for £1.50 and three small frames for making cross stitch fridge magnets - all 3 for 50p.
This morning I spent £3 on 3 packs of Bic razors and 6 new tea-towels.
Col was very good and didn't spend a cent at either sale.

Our Boot sale leftovers will go to a charity shop if they are decent, on the fire if they are burnable, back in the cupboard or in the bin. Col is hoping to do a yard/barn sale here of books, smallholding and shed things if/when we move.

I know a lot of people might be considering using this way of making a bit of cash from unwanted items, so here are my tips for a successful day if you have never done it before.

  • Suss out the boot sale you want to go to, find out the best time to arrive
  • You'll probably need to get up early to have the best chance of selling to the dealers who are always there first.
  • Pack everything the night before.
  • Don't try and do  the boot sale on your own it's much easier with 2 people.
  • Unless you don't mind wasting some of your takings on food and drink  take a flask or two and plenty to eat, more than you would normally eat! - it's a long morning.
  • Wear something warm - it can be pretty chilly at 6am or before.
  • We usually take some work gloves for unpacking tables etc.
  • Know what you would like to get for your treasures/trash, it probably won't be as much as you want!
  • Some people label everything with prices, others label nothing. I like to label some items to give people an idea of what prices we are charging.
  • Take plenty of change, we usually take £40 float made up of £5 notes and pound and 50p coins. Then we sell things for multiples of 50p. Keep your money somewhere safe.
  • Expect dealers to flock around when you are unpacking. Just open one car door at a time. You could try telling them that it's just household rubbish and you've got nothing they would want.(Some places are worse than others for people grabbing stuff- we are lucky round here, it's not a big problem)
  • Keep your eyes open and look at everyone who comes to the table otherwise you mind find things walking away!
  • If you've got anything valuable to sell leave it in the car until you have unpacked everything else.
  • Everyone wants something for nothing and will haggle. Decide if you want to sell things cheap to get rid of it or if you are prepared to do several car boot sales until you get a higher price.
  • If you want to sell stuff then people need to see it. For instance lots of people just leave books  piled in boxes on the ground which is no good for a bad back bending down to sort through them.
  • I often see people putting things on a cloth on the ground in front of the table but if punters can't get to the table to pick things up they are less likely to buy.
  • Be friendly but try not to keep pointing everything out to potential purchasers - it puts me off if I have to listen instead of looking and thinking.
  • Don't go round and buy more stuff! Remember you are selling NOT buying!(Whoops!)
  • When you get home collapse in a heap for an hour to recover - after putting the kettle on of course.
  • Vow never to do another car boot sale again or that might just be us!

Hope this helps you make your fortune!

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