Tips for Car Boot Sales and Boot Fairs

Your First Boot Fair - What To Expect

So you've finally got round to having that clear out. Perhaps you've cleared out the loft of all the bric-a-brac. Or your kids have outgrown many of their toys and you need to make room for the next lot. Maybe you are fed up of falling over all the tools you seem to have hoarded in the garage and have had a good sort out. Whatever the reason, you have made that decision to sell your surplus bits and bobs at your local car boot sale.

What can you expect when you get there?

Well before we leave on that first trip lets do a bit of prep work. No doubt you have already found the car boot fair you want to sell at, right here on CarBootJunction. If not, click here to find a car boot sale near you. Make a note of the telephone number for the operator and give them a call the day before the event to make sure it's still on. Check the weather forecast as well. Unless it's an indoor car boot sale, which are few and far between, there is little point showing up if it's raining cats and dogs.

While most carboot sales have refreshment stalls these days we do recommend taking a few drinks and maybe a snack or two, especially if you are on a budget and/or have kids with you. Take some sunscreen to, as it's all too easy to get burnt on a sunny day. If you have dogs and plan on taking them check that they are allowed on site, and if so take some water for them.

Now recheck the start time. Unless it says "Strictly" or "No admission before..." then as a rule turn up at least an hour before the advertised seller start time. There is always a bit of competition for the best pitches and this means the regulars will be early. While you may not be bothered about the best pitch, it also means the regular buyers will be early, and they are the ones with the most money to spend, so you want to be set up in plenty of time for them to arrive.

When you pack the car make sure that the wallpaper table or whatever you are using to display your stuff is on top and/or easily accessible. This is the first thing you need to take out. Don't think of it as a table, think of it as a barrier, as your first line of defence, as your Hadrian's Wall if you will! If it's a busy boot regular buyers will be waiting for newbies like you at the end of the row. You won't see them at first. You'll think you are driving into a quiet sanctuary of outdoor retail bliss. But from the time it takes you to park and take your keys out of your ignition you'll have to fight your way to the boot.

Don't panic! That's a good sign as long as you manage it properly. Take out the table, close the boot and any car doors, and set up the table BEFORE you take any goods out of the car. By doing it this way you don't have to worry about dealing with questions, watching out for sticky fingers, hunting for change and setting up the table all at the same time. It's your stall. You set the rules of engagement.

Most sales are done within the first hour of setting up, but it does vary from boot to boot and you can hope for a steady trickle of interest and sales throughout the boot sale. With an increasing number of afternoon sales, some sellers will try and take double advantage of this rise and fall by attending two or more sales in the same day.

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