fbpx

MoneyMagpie

Join MoneyMagpie today!
Log in or Register.
Dec 10

Car boot sales: Turn your trash into cash

Reading Time: 7 mins

Not only is it a fun day out, a car boot sale’s also great way to make money from all your unwanted items, and you can pretty much sell anything you like! It’s the perfect opportunity to get rid of everything you no longer use and turn it into cash.

People are trying to save money wherever they can which means that car boot sales have had a great swell in popularity. Take advantage of this and get down to a car boot sale to start making some extra cash!

 

Step-by-step guide

Car boot sale

Step one: Dig deep

You’ll need to raid all your cupboards, drawers and boxes to see what you’ve got stashed away. It really is a great way to de-clutter your house, especially if you’re a hoarder, so check in the attic and trawl through the bedrooms to see if you’ve got any hidden gems. If you find that you don’t have that much to sell, consider sharing a pitch with a friend or neighbour. Just make sure you’re agreed on whether to split the profits or only take money for your own items.

If you’re a bit artsycraftsy then car boot sales are a great place to sell things that you’ve made. If you’re handy with a pair of knitting needles then selling scarves, hats and gloves is a great idea (see our how-to guide on making money from knitting for loads of ideas). The easiest homemade items to sell are cakes, sweets and jams. Have a look at our steps to cake-selling success for more info.

Homemade beauty products are also very popular, especially if what you’re creating is 100% natural. So why not put your kitchen to good use? Make money from soaps and scrubs as well as cakes and sweets to maximise your profits. Read our guide on how to make money from homemade beauty treatments to get you started.

The more adventurous among you might want to try making and selling your own perfumes. It’s actually easier to make than you might think – find out how you can do it here.

10 easy ways to make quick cash.

Step two: Find a place to sell

Use a search site like onlinecarbooty.com, Car Boot Junction or Your Booty to find your nearest car boot sale, or you can check the local papers. Once you’ve organised a place to sell make sure you arrive extra early to get the best pitch. It’s a good idea to phone ahead and get some advice from the organiser.

Step three: Do your homework

Visit your local car boot sales to see how other people sell their goods and what sells well. For bigger items you’re planning to sell look on eBay and Amazon.co.uk to see how much they cost there. This will give you a rough price guide. If you think an item may be collectable then it really is worth having a look at the collectors’ pages on these sites to see if you could sell it for more.

Step four: Be prepared

Bring along a table – a decorating or trestle table is perfect. If you don’t have a table, or need more than just one, see if you can borrow from a friend or double up with them. If you can, take along a chair or stool so you’re not on your feet all day. Also, remember to take lots of loose change and refreshments. You’ll need plenty of both!

Take lots of carrier bags and a few small boxes for buyers to take their goods home in. They may be put off by a larger item that they have to carry in their hands.

Make sure you’re prepared for all kinds of weather. Bring a plastic sheet to cover your table if it starts to rain, and make sure you’ve got something waterproof for yourself as well. Likewise if it’s set to be a hot day remember that you’ll be sitting out in the sun for a long time so take plenty of water and sun cream.

Step five: Keep the pricing really simple

Perhaps choose three amounts and label the smaller items the night before. For example you’ll have things that cost 50p, things that cost £1 and things that cost £5. It keeps it easy and straightforward for both buyers and yourself when trying to remember prices.

If you’ve got anything particularly special you might want to leave them unlabeled, then you can see if you can get a little bit more for them.

Remember, people love haggling and they love a bargain. It might be worthwhile marking items up slightly so that if people want to haggle you’ll feel more inclined to lower the price.

With an item that you know is worth quite a lot then it’s probably worth sticking to your guns, after all you can always sell it on eBay if nobody picks it up. On the other hand if it’s getting towards the end of the day and you just want rid of your things, then it’s a good idea to lower your prices and be more flexible with buyers.

Some dealers may make you an offer early in the day, however only accept it if you’re satisfied with the price they’re offering. If you’re not sure, or think you could get a bit more for it then tell them to come back later – if they’re serious about it then they won’t mind doing this.

Consider copying some supermarket tricks towards the end of the day to get rid of the last items. Try buy-one-get-one-free offers, or drop the price of everything to one pound. It should bring in the last few customers still searching for bargains. Be prepared for major haggling by the end of the day and remember that 20p for an item you no longer need or want is better than leaving it to clutter up your house!

Step six: Presentation

Position your most eye-catching and attractive items at the front of your display. Take the time to make things look as appealing as possible, and try to place similar items together.

Lay everything out on a clean, colourful cloth to attract attention. Items that are less likely to sell can be put into a box at a set price per item – for example 50p. People like a good rummage and if you put toys low down where kids can see them they may be more likely to sell.

If you’re selling clothes try to bring along a mirror with you. People will be much more inclined to buy clothes if they can see what they’ll look like.

Step seven: Get some help!

Rope in your children, partner or friend to help. An extra pair of hands is indispensable and makes the day much more enjoyable, plus it’ll mean that you can wander around to find bargains yourself!

 

Hot tips for success

car boot sales -

Best sellers

Perfume, smellies, plants, toys and children’s clothes always do well, so take as many of these along with you as you can. Homemade bread, cakes and biscuits always sell really well at car boot sales and they don’t take too much effort or money to make. They’ll draw buyers in and encourage them to have a look at your other items, so it’s well worth doing a spot of baking the night before.

Remember, your perfumes and toiletries don’t have to be unopened. As long as there’s a decent amount left and the packaging is in good condition you can still sell them at a reduced price.

Safety first

Keep expensive items near you at all times. Car boot sales can be magnets for thieves so be careful and always lock your boot after you’ve unloaded your items.

When you first arrive be aware of people trying to view the items before you’ve taken everything out of the car. This is a prime time for quick hands grabbing things without you noticing. Be firm and explain that you’re not ready to sell yet as you’re still setting up. This is where a friend or family member comes in really handy. One of you can unload the car box by box, and the other can stay at the pitch and set up the items.

Know the law

As a one-off car boot sales do not need to be declared as income. However, if it becomes regular, or you start selling items that aren’t your own personal property, it’s very likely that in legal terms you’d be considered a trader. Check out the general advice section on Your Booty to find out a bit more and read our full article on paying tax on extra earnings for more information.

 

Alternative ways to make cash from your trash

selling your junk on ebay

If the car boot sale doesn’t work out, or you simply don’t have the time, then you can always sell your things on eBay. You’ll need to register as a buyer and there’s a small fee to list items for sale. Read our full article on selling things on eBay here.

Another useful way of getting rid of unwanted items is to post an ad on Gumtree. It’s a free website and really easy to use – simply click on the ‘post an ad’ button to get started. You’ll need to fill in a few basic details (location, price, description etc) and then all you have to do is wait for people to get in touch!

Got an old phone lying about? Then make some easy money from it! Use a reputable comparison site such as Envirophone to get a great price for your obsolete handset.

Find out how to get involved in National Clear Your Clutter Day 2018

 

Want to make more cash? Then have a look at…

 

Fellowes

Comments

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
24 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jill
Jill
10 years ago

I have found that the best way to get a reasonably decent price for larger or more valuable items is to advertise them in the local paper. Usually items under £100 can be advertised free, and sometimes the advert will go in two or three editions of the same paper, and on to its website as well. There’s an added benefit in that people who might want the item don’t have to travel as far as if they’d spotted something they want on Ebay, or can pick it up and save themselves postage. The seller doesn’t need to go to… Read more »

Marty
Marty
10 years ago

For Wren: On the whole, you’re still better using Ebay or advertisng in a Free Ads paper. Most Car Boot sales attract folk who have an “under a fiver” mentality or 50p to a couple of pounds whatever it is you’re selling. Your stuff doesn’t sound like a pile it high and sell it cheap proposition !

Marty
Marty
10 years ago

Car Boot Gimmicks that Work: 1) Have a dog bowl full of water by your stall, pet owners then have no choice in being hauled over to your wares when Fido spots it and fancies a drink ! 2) Freebie sweets and soft drinks passed round for the kids is a surefire bet in luring mum , dad (and kids) over to peruse your stall. 3) Display Books neatly in a bookcase, with each title spine easily visible. Ditto videos, DVDS, cassettes etc. Random heaps tend not to move ; customers can be lazy and don’t particularly want to bend… Read more »

Tina
Tina
10 years ago

I have lots and lots of toys & stuff…we are relocating from the country shortly, have a small kid and dont have much weekends left to clear them in a car boot…is there any agency/helpers you can suggest so that i can atleast sell them for a least profit ( atleast)

helen
helen
10 years ago

I find it best to try to sell expensive clothes and jewellery through dress agencies. Its hard to get good prices for these at car boots. Ebay is hit and miss. homeware and other odds and ends sell at car boots . People will rarely pay over £10 for 1 item and usually want something for nothing.

Alison Ouchterlony
Alison Ouchterlony
10 years ago

Please tell Aron that I see 2 very common grammatical mistakes in his comment …. 1st Para, 4th line, he writes … “then they’re clearly not worth the price YOUR asking …” This should read YOU’RE, as he means YOU ARE, NOT, for example, your coat, hat etc. 2nd Para, 3rd line, he writes … “of IT’S original value” … This should read ITS, as when an apostrophe is applied, this signifies an omission – meaning IT IS. The ITS he requires here is like his, hers, theirs, etc., so NO apostrophe needed. Hope he gets my drift! Why is… Read more »

helen
helen
10 years ago

I like good grammar too. I didnt notice that this forum was an english lesson. How rude to criticise Arons minor mistakes in a thoughtful , useful entry.

Carly
Carly
10 years ago

Erm, Alison… “Why is English SO badly taught these days.” requires a question mark at the end, as it is a ‘question’!
Why can’t people who are SO bent on ‘grammatical correctness’, get it right themselves?! ;o)

Rachel
Rachel
10 years ago
Reply to  Carly

You are wrong about it’s. There should be an apostrophe because it is possessive, i.e. the value belongs to the item. So ner to you smarty pants.

Victoria
Victoria
10 years ago
Reply to  Rachel

Sorry to be pedantic Rachel but Alison is right in this case. Only ever use’ IT’S’ when it is short for ‘it is’ or ‘it has’. The possessive rule does not apply in this case. I learned this a few years ago from a reliable source and it has (or it’s) been very useful.
I’m interested in car boot sales, but even more interested in good grammar!

Aron
Aron
10 years ago

Car boot sales are full of people looking for a bargain, if you want a decent price for your stuff there…forget it! You can get rid of it for some sort of money but your best chance is on ebay. If the items didn’t sell before then they’re clearly not worth the price your asking for to someone else. The most I’ve ever made at a car boot from all my junk (including designer clothes) is £40. Whatever you paid originally it’s likely that the people you’ll find at a carboot will pay around 5% of it’s original value for… Read more »

Anthony Taylor
Anthony Taylor
11 years ago

It is very important to get yourself tax registered if you are buying at car boots and then reselling online for a profit.

Although you will have to pay tax on your profit, you can claim expenses for anything you use for your business – internet, laptop, petrol and in some cases, heating and electric.

Kind regards,
Anthony

Toni
Toni
12 years ago

I think this depends on the area in which you live.
Where we are people do not want to pay a decent price for a quality item.
You need to go along to a few and see if similar items to yours are selling for reasonable prices.
People seem to be willing to pay far more in Charity shops for lesser quality than they would at a car boot sale……human nature!
Have you tried dress agencies to sell your items? They take a small percentage of the price you require or may even buy the item outright.
Good Luck!

A Wren
A Wren
12 years ago

I am interested in selling at a car boot sale and have a lot of expensive items ie: designer clothes perfumes jewellery ect, will these things sell at a car boot sale as i would want a decent price for these things? i have tried ebay but it is so oversaturated with items very often my items dont sell,

Related Articles

Clear Your Clutter Campaign seen in

Send this to a friend