Logbook Loans: Top Tips for Car Booting Success!

Summer is fast approaching and this means that you need to find fun things to do with the family that don’t cost the earth. Well, here’s one suggestion that will not only cost you next to nothing but could also make you a nice little pile of quick cash: a car boot sale!

It really is true that you can get rid of a lot of stuff at a car boot sale, and also make quite a bit of money in the process. But you have to do it right, otherwise you could end up bringing all your stuff home again and being very disappointed.

Follow our Top Tips for Car Booting Success:

  1. Research where to hold your sale. There are literally hundreds of car boot sales all over the country. It is worth being prepared to travel that little bit further to a larger, successful car boot sale where you are likely to sell more goods. So look online, ask around, and perhaps even visit one or two sales before you plunge in yourself.
  2. Get organised. If you want to do really well at a car boot sale you need to know your stock. So get the whole family to have a massive clear out so that you have plenty to sell. But then organise it so that you know where things are. Don’t just throw everything into random boxes but try and group things together so that you have separate boxes for distinct sections on your stall – toys, household items, bags, books etc.
  3. Pack the car the night before. This is a must. You will need to get to the car boot sale early (see next tip) and you will not have time to waste in the morning. So pack the night before. Remember that you will need some kind of tables to put your goods on – these are normally not provided. But make sure you put these on top of everything else so that you can put them up first and then put goods on them as you unpack at the sale.
  4. Make yourself comfortable. Also remember to take everything you need to be comfortable during the sale. Something to sit on, something to eat and drink, and whatever you need to cope with the weather – either a warm or waterproof jacket or suncream and a hat! Remember also that the weather can change considerably during the course of a car boot sale: it can often be very cold first thing in the morning but quite warm and sunny by the end.
  5. Remember to take cash. Yes the aim is to make money but you will need to take some with you as well. You will need to pay an entrance charge, which usually varies depending on the type of car you have. Also make sure that you have a cash box of some kind to keep the money you make during the sale. This needs to start off with plenty of change in it, as it is very easy to run short, particularly when you start off and are likely to have a flurry of interest. Bring some carrier bags too, as these can be really helpful to buyers and perhaps encourage them to buy more.
  6. Get there early. Check the times carefully. There will be one time for buyers but an earlier time when sellers can arrive. This is usually an hour or so before it opens to the public: get there at the beginning of this time. This will ensure that you get a prime slot and also have a bit of time to get prepared before things get busy. If you arrive part way into the sale, not only will you get a slot with less footfall but you will have lost a lot of keen buyers who tend to come early.
  7. Be wary of trade sellers. As you are unpacking your car you are likely to get a small posse of other sellers milling around to see what you have got. Some of these will be traders or expert car booters who specialise in a particular type of goods such as electrical items or denim. They may try to buy things from you cheaply and – because you feel hassled – you will agree; only later to find that very same item at a vast markup on their stall. So be firm and refuse all sales until you are ready to sell, and if someone is particularly interested in an item then charge them a healthy price for it.
  8. Decide your pricing strategy. Perhaps that sounds very grand for a car boot sale but you need to have an idea in your head of what you will charge or you run the risk of underselling yourself. It is a good idea to start out asking a bit more than you will actually take for each item, leaving room for negotiation: the buyer will then feel they have got a good deal but you know you haven’t actually lost out either. So be clear about your pricing and perhaps the kids could make signs to put on things: it can often make people feel more comfortable to browse if there are clear prices there and they don’t have to ask. Also decide whether your main priority is to make money or shift goods: if you don’t want to take anything back with you then towards the end of the sale you can start reducing prices or offering BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free) just to attract new interest and make more sales.
  9. Be friendly and polite. When people are browsing your stall you should acknowledge them with a smile so that they feel welcome and able to ask questions if needed. But then give them space to browse without making them feel under pressure to buy anything. If they try to knock you down on price you will need to make snap decisions as to whether you prefer to get rid of the item or hold out for a higher price (but risk not selling): this is the dilemma of every car booter! But always be polite. One strategy you might want to try is refusing to reduce the price but offering another item for free (ie one you want to get rid of!) if they do pay the asking price.
  10. Know when to pack up. As the car boot sale progresses take a look around and you can usually tell who the really experienced car booters are. You can take your cue from them as to when to start packing up. It’s tempting to hang on till the bitter end, but a car boot sale can be a very long drawn out process, particularly if you have had an early start. So it’s a good idea to start the packing up process once those around you are doing so. Take your time and be organised. You may want to sort the stuff into what you are going to take to a charity shop, what is going to be thrown away and what you might put away for another car boot sale if you have enjoyed this one. Also remember to take all your litter with you so that you don’t cause problems for anyone else.


Then all that remains is to count your earnings! Remember to deduct however much you had in there as a float, and also your entrance charge. But hopefully you will be delighted at the result of your morning’s work: lots of clutter gone and some lovely quick cash in return. A win win situation!


Check back here soon for more tips and advice from Logbook Loans.