How to have your best car boot sale ever!

How your family can make and save money by doing a car boot sale!


Spring is here, and with the gradual easing of lockdown regulations it will soon be time for car boot sales again. 

And what car boot sales they will be!

Many people have taken time during lockdown to do some major decluttering of their homes. The problem is that there has been nowhere to get rid of that clutter. Until now!

So why don’t you and your family plan to do a car boot sale once they are up and running again? Not only are they fun ways to get rid of all that clutter, but you can also make a nice bit of money as well. Whether you decide to spend it, or save money for something special is up to you. 

But being able to get rid of all your stuff and come away with money in your pocket can only be a good thing, right? Win-win!

If you’re new to car booting it can all seem a bit daunting. So here are Ten Top Tips to make it all run smoothly:

Find the best sale for you

It is worth doing a bit of research to find which are the most popular car boot sales in your area. Also check whether there are any that are particularly well-known for certain types of goods. You need to go to where your target market is waiting!

Organise your stock

You will save yourself a lot of time and frustration on the day if you know what you have to sell and where it is. So group items into categories and put them in different labelled boxes, for example toys, DVDs and CDs, books, household items, bags, jewellery etc. Don’t risk losing a sale just because it takes you too long to find something.

Decide on your pricing

Before your car boot sale, decide on the kind of prices you want to charge. This will depend on whether your main aim is to make money or get rid of stuff. Ideally you will do both, but you need to think it through in advance. Price things too high, and you might put buyers off, but if you price too low you could be losing potential money. 

Once you’ve decided, it may be worth putting notices or stickers with your starting price on: this can make buyers feel more comfortable, and also help you to stay on track during the sale. 

Pack the car the night before

You will usually need to make an early start to get a good pitch at the sale, so you won’t have time to waste packing the car in the morning. Pack logically; remember that you will need tables or rugs to put your goods on, so these need to go into the car last so that they can come out first.

Get there early

You can never be too early for a car boot sale! Whatever the advertised time for sellers to arrive, get there beforehand. The worst that can happen is you have to wait to be let in. But you will usually find that even if you arrive on time, the experienced sellers are already in there setting up, and you could end up getting a pitch further away from the main footfall. 

Don’t feel hassled

The other advantage of getting there early is that you have time to set up your stall and make it look as attractive and appealing as possible. Many keen car boot buyers come early, so you want to be ready and waiting for them. 

You may find that as you’re unpacking the car you are besieged by other car booters, wanting to rifle through your stuff and offering to buy things. Only sell if you really want to, and at a price you are happy with: you are perfectly entitled to ask them to come back later if you prefer.

Consider your comfort

It is important to take what you need to make yourself comfortable during the sale. The good old British weather is very variable. It may be pretty chilly first thing, then become baking hot by mid-morning. So you need to take suitable clothing, as well as something to sit on, and refreshments to last you for the duration of the sale.

UX – User experience

UX is a key success factor for website owners. Do users enjoy being on the website and do they find it easy and pleasant to use. But the concept also translates into face to face interactions. You need to make your customers feel welcome and ensure that they enjoy browsing your stall. They are likely to buy more if they do. So smile and greet them then leave them to browse. If they make you an offer on something you need to make a snap decision whether or not to accept, but be friendly and polite whatever you decide to do, so that it is pleasant for everyone.

Cash and bags

Many a car booter has come unstuck by running out of these two essential items. You need to have lots and lots of change. You can almost guarantee that your first customer will buy a 50p item and pay with a £10 note! Also remember that you will need cash to pay the entrance charge, which usually varies depending on the type of car you have. It’s a good idea to have a money belt or pouch to keep your cash close to you during the sale. 

Carrier bags are also like gold dust during car boot sales. Being able to provide a buyer with a bag for their goods could make the difference between them choosing whether or not to buy several items from you.

Know when to call it a day

Most car boot sales end before the official closing time. You can generally feel a change in mood when it’s time to pack up. Take your cue from the experienced car booters; once they start packing up you might as well too. It really isn’t worth hanging on till the bitter end, just for the chance of one or two more sales. 

By all means take your time packing up. For example, you may want to sort the stuff into what you are going to throw away on the way home, and what could go to a charity shop or be put aside for another car boot sale. Also do make sure you take any litter away with you to make things easier for the car boot organisers.


We hope that the above tips help you to have a successful car boot sale. Remember to check back here soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from Simple Fast Loans.