Car Boot Sale Tips

If your house is full of unwanted clutter, it’s a good time to think about going to a car boot sale. I have done a couple in my time, and found it extremely rewarding and interesting, to my surprise. Just prepare yourself for an early start! We decided to take a look at what you involve yourself with when doing one, with our car boot sale tips. 

Car Boot Sale Tips – What To Take To The Sale

You will probably pack your car pretty full. First off, of course, take everything you wish to sell. Organise your stock before you set off, as the reaction when you arrive may surprise you. People crowd round seeking an early morning bargain. Many an early customer will be prowling around your car before you even set up, looking to snare a bargain before anyone else. There will be no relaxing period to set up, from my experience. After the initial rush, that is when you give yourself more time to reassess your stall. Also take a table on which to present your stock. I used to use a large foldaway pasting table. Take some carrier bags in case customers don’t have one, and don’t forget to bring enough fluids and food for the day. You may struggle to get time away, especially if you are selling on your own. 

Other Necessities

Change! You need to arrive prepared for transactions, and that means starting the day with plenty of spare change. You cannot predict how many customers will want to pay with notes, so you do not want to lose business or have to lower prices because you don’t have the correct change. Take a good £20 of change with you if possible. Sort your change, for quick transactions. Keep your takings secure and within sight at all times. As for other necessities, if you are selling clothes, it certainly helps to have a clothes rail. If the weather forecast is not good, prepare to have a cover for your stall too, should the rain start falling. The last thing you want is for your stock to be destroyed!

Prep Work

I have already mentioned much of the preparation you must do for a car boot sale, but there are a couple of extra things to mention. Firstly, it may be wide to book your spot before the event, and check the procedure for doing so. Many car boots can be very popular. do not assume you can just turn up on the day and pay your way in. Expect to pay between £5 and £15 for a car. Car boot junction has all the information you need to know when it comes to car boot sales near you. Think ahead and thus pack everything in reverse order. So the table should be packed last, so that you can take it out first on arrival. Be prepared to haggle before the table is even standing up. So have a clear idea before you arrive of what you are prepared to sell for. more on this below. Just pack your car the night before, prepare for a squeeze and get that alarm call set!

Car Boot Sale Tips – Tactics and Etiquette

If you have not been to a car boot sale before, it may surprise you in many respects. If you do not work in retail, you will have to learn on the job! The key is to accept that your goods will be regularly handled during the day. People are looking for a bargain, so will rarely buy immediately without trying to haggle a price down. Thus you have to decide what you are prepared to sell items for, be prepared for people to walk away, and do not be a soft touch. Perhaps your starting prices should be inflated to take into account the discounts you will then have to apply. Remember though that whilst many of your items will be unique, many will not be. So you compete with other stalls too. Thus price realistically. The key is that collectively your stock makes you a nice pot of money. Individual items are unlikely to fetch much, as that is not what car boots tend to be about. 

Car Boot Sale Tips – Display

If you have a lot of stock, do not feel compelled to display everything all the time. It is ok to hold some stuff back. The key is to have a varied selection of items on sale, and as you sell items, replace them from your boot with something new. To deal with what can be a frantic day, it may be best to do a car boot with someone else. It takes the stress out of the day as they can get very busy. Four eyes are better at spotting any unscrupulous behaviour. Also, Keep your car locked when you’re not unloading or packing up. 


As already mentioned, don’t expect to sell things at high prices. People look for a bargain, always. Sellers tend to sell most items for around 50p – £2.  The key is to phase your pricing too. Decide as the day goes on whether you are prepared to return home with any stock, or if you are hell-bent on selling everything. If it is the latter, you need to periodically reduce prices as the day progresses. Decide if it is better to get any amount of money for particular items rather than be stuck with it. Price labels are a good idea so that you do not spend all day answering questions, and always have a figure in mind of how much you want to make. Always remember to deduct costs for the day. That includes the pitch, petrol, food and drink, and even your time.