Last weekend there was a big annual car boot sale on the field near our house. Our boys love a car boot sale, so I allowed myself to be nagged/dragged into taking part. I knew it would be a struggle for Cal, so I had to agree (we have some comfy folding chairs for her, so thought she’d survive!).
We moved house at Easter, and had a huge clear out before we moved. We sold some things on Ebay, gave some away via Gumtree, and took a lot to the British Heart Foundation. So much, in fact, that they keep writing to tell us how much they have made from our stuff. Several amounts adding up to over £300!
Yet once we moved, we found we still had excess items to get rid of. How did that happen?! Well, in our defence, the house we are in is rented furnished and equipped with quite a lot, so some of our things were surplus and we had nowhere to put them (except the loft). We don’t want to move on again quickly, so the theory was to get rid of things rather than leave them sitting in the loft for years. It is a bit of a dilemma, as when we move again eventually, we don’t want to replace everything, but we thought we’d get rid of some things anyway.
Hugo also decided, due in part to storage space when he wanted a double bed, that he would part with all of his Action Man toys, including huge tanks and other vehicles. So, our car boot stall was born!
At this point, we turned to some other bloggers for advice about doing car boot sales with kids. I’d only ever done one in my life before, about a hundred years ago!
So, here are some of their words of wisdom,
(just in case you are as mad as us and find yourself contemplating a boot sale with kids!)
Claire at Big Family Big Fun: Make sure you take plenty of drinks, snacks (maybe a picnic), sunblock/hat/sunglasses & pocket tissues with you. And don’t label everything. People will be put off by non-negotiable prices.
Elizabeth at The Homemakers Journal: My tips would be: display your items on a wallpapering table, and if you have a clothes rack for the clothes to hang on, all the better (they are under a tenner in Argos). I would put toys on the table, clothes on the rack.
Helena at The Queen Of Collage: If you look like you are friendly/approachable and enjoying it people will be interested.
Helen at My Crazy Family Story: When you get there don’t let the other buyers buy your things they will be trying to rummage before you have emptied the car be patient you will get a better price for it from the public otherwise your things will end up on their stalls for a higher price.
Emma at Bubbablue and Me is an absolute pro at Car Boot sales. She has posts on her blog about car boot sales as a seller and a buyer. I especially like the section on what sells well and what doesn’t.
Laura at Autumn’s Mummy recently wrote about taking a baby to a boot fair, so if you have really little ones, you might want to see this. I’m not sure which would be harder actually, a baby or children old enough to run off and cause chaos elsewhere!
Nadine at Then I Became Mum: Take some plastic/paper bags. Stops people being put off buying more than one item if they can’t carry them.
How about those fabulous tips?
We used almost all of them! We didn’t have a clothes rail, so used a clothes horse (which blew over quite a few times as it was very windy!). I also put children’s’ clothes in Ziploc bags and labelled them with size and brand. So many people said what a good idea this was as they were browsing. Nobody bought them though!!
I did price label everything, as I find it off-putting to not know how much things are at a boot sale. We also had so much stuff, and I wanted the kids to be able to help sell, so didn’t want them shouting “Dad, how much is this?” every five minutes.
In reality, this was wishful thinking! The boys got bored very quickly, especially Toby, who ran off to play with some friends who arrived, and left his mum worrying that he was running too close to everyone’s stalls who had glassware and china! Hugo was more interested as he was making loads of money from his Action Man toys. He then went off and spent most of it on other stalls! I think what sells well depends on the demographic to be honest. As this sale was a one-off, it was mostly attended by locals from the surrounding villages rather than regular car boot sale shoppers.
We got quite fed up towards the end, as it got very windy and cold. We were probably some of the first to pack up. Such lightweights! There seemed to be a lot of things left over, but never mind. Cal was happy to keep a lot of things, and some will go on Ebay. We made about £50 – not sure if that is good or bad? But I think if I’m honest I’d rather stay home in the warm and list things online!
Roll up, roll up, come and buy our random tat!
What do you do with your unwanted items? Do you sell them online, take them to a charity shop, or would you have a car boot sale? We’d love to hear your success stories, whatever you do!
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