On Sunday we sold at a car boot fair in Kent. We buy weekly at car boot sales and probably sell at them 3-4 times a year. I remember my first car boot fair selling experience to this day! It was horrific. I didn’t think, following the horror that was, that I would ever do one again. But I do and I use the lessons I learned from that first horrible experience. I thought I would share them with you in case you had sworn off one following a nightmare first experience. Or you were thinking about doing one.
- Take a money tin or bag with a bit of change. A few 20p’s, 50p’s and £1 coins. A few fivers won’t go amiss either. Take some carrier bags with you. We can promise you the most hardened boot fairer seems to arrive at 6am with a £20 note and no carrier bag and expects you to facilitate their every whim. Be ready to rather than lose your temper with their idiocy! Take carrier bags and change
- Be prepared for the people that think it is ok to start going through the bags in your boot whilst you are unpacking. We recommend there being two of you if possible so that the boot can be guarded from invasion. Tell the rude people to move away whilst you try to unpack. Be confident. There will be plenty of customers over the next few hours. These are the dealers. They are trying to unsettle you so that they can get a bargain either from you or before one of the other dealers does. I am a vintage dealer but I have never been in someone’s boot. I am more likely to stand guard when I see a person (generally a woman) trying to unpack her car as the vultures descend. Keep them out of your space and don’t be rattled!
- You don’t need to price everything but do have an idea of a price for everything. What’s the least you will accept? Don’t quote eBay prices. If you want to get eBay prices sell the item on eBay. eBay prices are much higher than boot fair prices because of the fees, about 15%. You are highly unlikely to get those prices. Great if you do but if you are going to a boot fair to clear out the crap then sell for reasonable prices. Otherwise expect to come home with it all. Again, don’t be brow beaten to undersell. Other people will come along and buy it later (if you are selling for reasonable boot sale prices!). People will haggle so consider adding 20% to your asking price when someone asks how much. Boot fair prices will mean you do sell things but still set a minimum price.
- Try to enjoy it rather than panic about it. Weird people will haggle over 50p. I’d like to say be polite but I’m not! Just say no. I’ve told people I would rather give it to charity shop than sell it to them. I’ve refused to take someone’s money and made them leave with the item that they were wanting to pay 20pence for hoping that karma would kick them later! I’ve been told by a number of dealers that if it’s a china item they will smash it on the floor rather than sell it to the extreme haggler. I have never seen this done but it does sound entertaining! Use this as a people watching experience and laugh. If you can. Once you’ve vented about how rude and mean the great British public can be! Hold your ground! Enjoy.
- Genuinely the fun of a boot fair is all about your outlook. If you go into it prepared for rude idiots who want your stuff for nothing you won’t be surprised or phased when you meet them. And you will meet them. Don’t let them have your stuff for nothing. Make sure that you sell your stuff to someone else who is worthy! Don’t sell to idiots!
Let us know your funny car boot fair stories. And if you haven’t done one yet get out there and experience the true horror that is a rude mean buyer at a car boot. But do remember most of us buyers are polite, respectful and ready with a smile.
Love Wish Vintage xx
ps. drink lots of tea, it helps xx