Monday, 27 May 2013
Out with the old
I love a good Car Boot Sale and today was the first of the season for me. I think Car Boot Sales and second hand markets are a bit like Marmite- you either love or hate them! I know a few people who can't think of anything worse than trawling around a field or hall looking through someone else's junk - Ha! Well I think the prospect of being captivated by something and getting it at a bargain price is just magic.
Preparing to sell at a car boot can be a bit of a mission but it's worth it when you're counting your cash at the end of the day. The clearing out process is quite enjoyable for me. I put a bit of music on, drag all the vacuum bags full of clothes from under the bed and the loft, tip them all out and get sorting. Below are a few tips from me and how I make the process as pain-free (and in my case look forward to spending some of that cash for your pre-loved wares):
OK - so this bit is the worst bit. Once you have broken the back of this, most of the hard work is done.
1. Store all your clothes in vacuum sealed bags if you can. This stops the moths from feasting on your lovely clothes and helps to keep them fresh.
2. When putting clothes away, it goes without saying that they must be clean. You wouldn't want to buy dirty clothes so don't sell dirty clothes.
3. Pack any delicate or beaded items in acid free tissue paper as it helps to protect them.
Note: below is a bad example of storing and displaying your goods!
The lead up
Any former Brownies or Girl Guides will know what is coming next...Be Prepared!
1. Make sure you have a float and plenty of change. There's nothing more embarrassing than making a sale and not having any change.
2. Ensure you have a safe place to keep your takings. Do not keep them in your purse, or you won't know what you started with or be able to know how much profit you made.
3. If you're selling clothes and shoes make sure you take a clothes rail and/or a sheet/tarp so you can display things. If people can't see them, they won't buy them!
4. Pricing- now this one has me split down the middle. I personally don't price any of my items, I find it works better to engage in conversation and take offers. You can only say no, or meet them in the middle. A bit of banter adds to the fun! On the other hand, if you are sure you have a price in mind for each item and you don't want to budge, then feel free to get the price gun or stickers out.
5. If you are taking your own car then make plenty of room for your items. I bag all mine up by type so I know what I have and can get to them quickly to set up. If you're packing the car in advance, cover everything up once it's in to stop any potential thieves. This may sound a bit scary but it's worth doing in my book.
On the day
1. Take carrier bags. It's surprising how many people can be deterred from buying if they can't carry their purchases. I store up supermarket bags and re-use these.
2. Take a flask of coffee, suncream, raincoat, and anything else you might need on a day out. In the UK we can get a day of all seasons so expect anything!
3. Make conversation with your pitch neighbours and the punters. A smile goes along way and it puts people at ease. Us Brits aren't natural hagglers, so make it easy and fun with some chat.
4. Say thank you! OK, this may sound really obvious but just because you are selling second hand goods doesn't mean pleasantries and manners disappear. If you take someones cash for your unwanted things, it's just polite to say thank-you!
The sale is over and you have a pocket full of cash - YAY!!
1. Pack any unsold items away neatly (and by type if you are like me!)so they are ready for next time. This will save you time and make sure things don't get damaged.
2. Decide what you are going to do with you're takings after a sit down with a cup of tea!
You can find listings of where car boots are held in your local paper or on school websites as a lot of PTA's use them as a way to generate income from the pitch fees. You can also scout them out on websites such as Car Boot Junction
Good Luck with your next Car Boot!