How do Car Boot Sales Really Work?
I have a month each year with free weekends and no football commitments. June is the month and on a whim Josh and I decided to go do a car boot sale. It was literally on a whim, we decided to do it on a Sunday and packed everything up to take on the Saturday. We chose Hitchin outdoor market as we knew we would get an undercover spot with a table, and we knew Karl the computer game salesman who sells at the market every week. Karl also agreed to buy our old games, nintendo switch incomplete parts and an old donkey king game!
An early start
We were up at 4:30am and got the to the market for 5:30am to get a good pitch and set up out stall. The market manager gave us a really good location near to busy regular stalls which ensured a good number of customers and footfall (say the retailer, the key to good sales is customers looking at your stuff!). Our pitch cost us £10. And we were to be there from 6am to 2pm.
Tip 1 – Get there early to grab a well located pitch
We set up our stuff and we merchandised perfectly. We added price lables, but..
Tip 2 – Dont bother adding price lables as people will ask you anyways, even if there is a price!
Early doors watch out for the dealers and the thieves. I know its not a nice thing but its better to be aware. The dealers are other people at the car boot with their own stalls and they will be keen to get to you fist to find any bargains and barter you down on price. But also watch your stock carefully and watch every person who visits your stall. On my car boot day there were some very dodgy characters early on and I stood in front of my stall protecting my goods to ensure that nothing was stolen.
Tip 3 Switch your stock around and create interest
I had dresses hanging from the railing, blowing in the wind. There was a good selection of DVD’s that people loved browsing through. I had a few handbags on show that people liked having a look at. The best part of my stall which created so much interest was the box of squishies. An idea from Josh. He had bought a box from Amazon a few days before for £9 and was selling them for £1 or £2 each. It brought people over to the stall and created a buzz. And he made a profit. Good call Josh.
Make friends, chat, have fun.
Tip 4 Make friends with fellow stall holders
Our stall was near the computer stall so we had a great chat to Karl who also bought the Donkey Kong I had brought along for a huge £45! Our stall was next door to a lovely lady from Germany who was selling a bit of everything, makeup, jewellery, food, toys, a very busy stall with lots of customers whom came to us afterwards. We were there for 8 hours so we got chatting to so many people. Also very handy when I needed to disappear off for a wee or to grab a coffee as they kept an eye on the stall.
Tip 5 Sell yourself
Haha. I had a nice display with lots of copies of my book and sold quite a few copies! This also started conversations with customers about what I did and I actually picked up a local business whom wanted some social media advertising! I also met a man who’s daughter was a writer and whom has written some content for my site! It was a very fruitful day of picking up contacts as well as making money.
Tip 6 Take your own snacks
We failed on this one and manged to spend a bit of our profits on food. Josh has a bacon sarnie and hot chocolate. I had a couple of coffees. Do take your own snacks!
The Profits from the Day
We did well. A did share our taking with a few of the other stall holders and many told us we had a good day. We made a profit of £125. A big chunk made up with the Donkey Kong but also we sold lots of clothes, squishies, toys, 2 harry potter wands, DVD’s, books, handbags. Okay £125 for 8 hours work is not that great an hourly rate, but we had fun. We got to spend the day together and got rid of lots of clutter from our house.
Why not give it a chance, Hitchin market is a good one!!