My wife and I both are often going to car boot sales, either as sellers or as buyers. When we look around we are always on the lookout for things we might need, just plain want or items that have resale value. These are some tips for if you are visiting a car boot sale in the goal of making some extra money for it. Be sure to check out what to buy at car boot sales to sell on eBay if you are looking for some inspiration.
Nearly all of us have one and we can seem like a nation of zombies at times with the way a lot of people are glued to the screen. But a mobile phone is a good thing to have when visiting a car boot sale.
I use my smartphone to do any quick searches on eBay, via the app, to see what kind of money I can get for an item to judge on if it is worth buying it. You will also see when sellers have done similar in order to price their items. Sometimes you will see that it isn't worth it but by the same token you can see that it can be well worth buying for resale on eBay or elsewhere.
Some places you will find do not have good signal so you might not be able to use this method.
Too good to be true
Sometimes at car boots you can find the old saying ‘too good to be true'.
This is especially true when it comes to certain items like used LEGO, jigsaws, electronics, and other such items that you cannot easily see are complete or work. The seller will always be certain that it works or that all the pieces are there. Unless there is a photograph to back them up always judge these with a pinch of salt.
My wife and I ended up falling into this sort of thing when we bought a LEGO set from a car boot seller who seemed really trust worthy and even was saying how they had it out the day before to make sure everything was there. We got it home and I assembled it, so we could take photos for eBay, but several parts could not be made. We really ended up kicking ourselves over it. Luckily we still made a profit on eBay.
Change can be so fiddly some at times but at a car boot sale this what you should be bringing.
Not everyone that is selling at a car boot sale will have come totally prepared or has already had a few of the “here is a £20 note for a £1 item” people arrive at their stall. I have seen it several times where a seller has had to say they cannot accept a twenty pound note as an earlier customer/s had devastated their float with the larger notes. By bringing a larger amount of change you are not only making sure you are getting what you want but that you are helping the sellers as well.
If you do not have change then it is so easy to go into a convenience shop or petrol station to either ask to change a note or use the note to buy a cheap pack of gum or a newspaper.
Even before the charge for plastic bags you would get sellers that wouldn't offer you a bag for anything you bought, now that there is a charge for them do not expect sellers to be handing out bags for free.
Bringing your own means that you avoid having to do the awkward carrying of most items. You do not need many, one or two re-useable bags, you can even use a backpack, which leaves your hands free for rummaging!
Bringing your own drinks to a car boot can really save your wallet or purse. Although there will always be food and drink for sale at car boot sale, they are not good value for money.
Sometimes however there will be a stall that is selling drink packs that will make it good value but never count on it.
Do not be afraid of asking a seller for a lower price or to do a deal.
At the end of the day most sellers are willing to haggle, do a deal or reduce an item if it results in a sale for them. Some sellers will have had their prices for some items slightly up just for people to haggle them down a little, something my wife and I often do. Other will be just trying to get rid of items and so will accept a reduced price or doing a deal.
There will always be some people that will point blank refuse your offer for whatever reason but do not be disheartened by this, after all ‘if you do not ask you do not know'.
The car park
Escaping from a car boot sale can at times be a not very fun game of hide and seek. It is almost as if they do not want you to leave.
Everyone will prefer a different method of remembering where their car is such as counting how many lanes they have pasted before they entered and having something on the aerial for them to spot (seen all sorts like scarves, actual toppers to cans!)
Always keep in mind though that the car park will change as people leave and come in but also that they will start to make new lanes so that more people can park depending on how busy the car boot sale is. This managed to throw us once, we ended up spending 10 minutes trying to find the car.
I hope that you find these tips useful as we head into car boot season.