How to: Boot Sale

Done correctly, a boot sale can be a great way to make some cash for stuff that would otherwise be cluttering up your home. Get it wrong and you’re out of bed at a ridiculous hour in the morning and spending more money on the entrance fee than you make.

Here is my top ten ‘how to’ list for a successful boot sale…

Boot Sale

1. Do your research- the time of day and the location will have a bearing on what kind of thing (clothes/nick nacks/toys/books/furniture) sells, so ask around and search online. Be sure to call in advance and check the sale is going ahead on your chosen date… I’ve turned up with a car full of stuff before, only to find it was called off!

2. Prepare a kit containing the following items:

  • Money purse – it’s not trendy, but a bum bag means you can keep an eye on your earnings
  • Change – both coins and notes (know how much was in your float to start with so you can see how much you make!)
  • Duster
  • Tape and scissors
  • String and clothes pegs
  • Paper or sticky labels and marker pens
  • Hangers
  • Plastic bags
  • Newspaper to wrap any fragile items
  • Snacks – boot sales are hard work!

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3. Bring a friend – it’s much more fun, you don’t need to take as much stuff and you have someone to keep an eye on things if you need to nip off

4. If you’re a bad negotiator, label your items in advance or think about the minimum price you’d want to take – be realistic!

5. Be vigilant- sadly not everyone is there to pay for things, so don’t turn your back on your stand

6. Borrow a wallpaper pasting table and a clothes rail so you can display everything to maximum effect, you might also want some old curtains or sheets to lay on the ground if it’s damp

7. If you’re worried about setting up, pick a sale where they give sellers time to set up before the buyers are allowed in

8. If you have lots of stuff, do a boot sale on a Saturday, that way if you don’t get rid of it all and you still have the energy, you can take the ready-loaded car straight to another on the Sunday

9. Think about your pricing strategy – can you offer items of clothing for £2 each of 3 for £5. Make it sound like a great deal and if someone seems interesting in that cat mug your granny got you for Christmas, try and sell them the cat tea towel and bookmark too!

10. Be strict with yourself, you’re there to sell, not to buy anything and you took the stuff out of your house for a reason, so don’t bring it back in – take anything decent you have left straight to the charity shop afterwards!

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