Car Boot Sales – my top 10 tips!

Car boot season is now in full swing – the perfect opportunity to grab a bargain but sometimes it can be a bit stressful and disappointing… a little preparation can help! If you’re heading to a booty this weekend, you might find these tips helpful!

Me , Bert and my trusty trolley at Dunton Car Boot Sale

1. Know where you are going! Check the address the evening before. Check the weather forecast and also see if the boot sale has it’s own facebook page which you can check for updates, just in case the car boot gets cancelled.

2. The earlier the better in my opinion. Yes, the later you go, you’ll be more likely to get something cheaper than it was two hours earlier; but you’ll have missed out on all the good stuff! I like to arrive no later than 7am.

3. Things I like to bring:

  • A trolley
  • Some carrier bags
  • Pair of gloves – it can be cold first thing! (And prevents the trolley hurting my hand!)
  • Travel Cup filled with coffee
  • Breakfast bars
  • Bags of coins (20ps, 50ps and £1s) as well as some notes
  • A small messenger bag – to keep everything safe where I can see it!
  • The dogs – multi-tasking!
  • A friend – for company and an extra set of eyes! And hands…

4. Wear layers! It might be forecast warm weather but if you’re starting out early it is certain to be nippy! Get all your clothes ready the night before so you can just pop them on the next morning. And then as it warms up, strip accordingly!

Waterproof footwear is also a good idea. No one likes to walk around in damp trainers from the early morning dewy grass! I have a sturdy pair of boots which are perfect for gravel surfaces too.

Don’t worry about being fashion conscious, in fact the worse you look the more likely you are to grab a bargain – the sellers may take pity on you!

5. Don’t forget to SMELL the item you want to buy! Avoid buying something that smells of smoke or damp. Being outdoors, if you’ve not given it a proper sniff before you buy it, it won’t be until you get back in the car that you realise you’ve bought something that pongs – and at that point it’s too late to take it back. You might want to be discrete though to avoid offending the stall holder and looking like a right weirdo.

Make sure whatever you’re buying, that it smells okay!

6. Taking your own food and drink will save you spending £5 on a burger at 8am! You can be at a boot sale for a good few hours if it’s a good size, so you’re bound to get hungry – but don’t waste your money on over-priced food – it defeats the object of looking for a bargain!

I fill a travel cup with coffee and take some breakfast bars which are filling and easy to pop in your pocket.

7. Remember where you parked the car! Don’t rely on the cars parked near you or at the end of the aisle – they’re likely to have gone by the time you get back! Look for bigger fixtures such as a burger van / toilets / flags.

8. Look up! It’s so easy to look down at table / floor level, and forget to look a little higher – often people pop bits for sale on top of their cars if they’ve run out of space.

9. Don’t carry something that is too heavy! (So easily done) Ask if they can help you carry it to the car, or pay for it and then arrange to collect it later.

And once your hands and bags are full, do head back to the car to off-load and then you can start again!

10. Before you ask for the price, know in your head what you are happy to pay for it. If it’s too much, then don’t be frightened to offer a price you would like to pay. If they say no, thank them and walk away. They may come back with a counter-offer, or if you return later and it’s still there, they may be more likely to offer you a better price. And if you missed out, then it wasn’t meant to be. (This is what I tell myself to make myself feel better!)

Do let me know if you found this useful, (I hope you did!) and do share your best boot sale buys with me , because I’m nosey!

Becky x


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