Have lots of junk, need the space, and could do with a bit of extra cash? Cat boot sales (or garage sales in America) may be the answer. My partner in dime, Shelley and I have successfully car boot sales in Edinburgh, turning out crap into kerching. Here’s my tips for to get the best out of your early rise.
The Process Of Car Boot Sales
1. Arrive early to the car boot sale
(like 06:30am early)
In September, we met in Leith, decanted my products into Shelley’s larger car and were in the queue at the Omni Centre car park (where the indoor car boot sale takes place) at the top of Leith Walk for 06:40am.
Today we learned that they actually start letting cars in from 6am, I stayed at Shelley’s last night to cut out the decanting which meant we were in line for 06:30am, giving us the opportunity to get a decent space.
You pay your £15 to the organisers, they ask you to fill out your car details and address and to read a sign with instructions.
2. Choose a car park space
You want lights! There is a very dark end of the car park (right of where you drive in), because of the lack of lighting it feels cold, shoppers agreed.
This time we chose a space next to a pillar. The positive more space for our clothes rack. The negative – we could only access our stuff from the boot and the passenger’s side. We were told off for trying to rearrange the pasting table. Oops!
3. Go for a coffee
You now have an hour and a half to kill as no one is allowed to open their boot until 08:30am. If you need to hire tables and clothes racks, join the queue (rather you that me!) There is a well-known coffee shop at the top of Leith Walk for those who have a table etc.
4. The alarm
An alarm goes off at 08:30am. At this point (and only at this point) you can set up your pitch. I advise that you pack what you need first (table, clothes racks etc) as you will want them out first (for more tips see here). We pre-hung our clothes and tied them together with hair bobbles which was effective. DVDs were in boxes already and jewellery etc was placed on the table.
5. Beat away the poachers with a verbal stick
As you unpack people will try to rummage in your bags, peer in your boot, ask if you have mobiles phones, games, real jewellery etc. This can be daunting, just ask them to come back later.
6. Sell sell sell (for cheap cheap cheap)
People love the chat (we do too). I met a returning shopper who told me to get my own website for our travels (and here I am), he finally haggled me down to £1.50 for Gary Tank Commander box set (I was trying for £4 last time). Now I am being serious when I say, you want a £1, they want 50p. However some things do sell for more but not much. Today we sold clothes for £1 at the beginning then 50p at the end. There were a few pieces I was precious over (Levis jacket, Coast dress) so they came home. Shelley sold a coat for £10 but Uggs for £25, she wanted £30.
7. Car boot sale float
Lots of change is advisable. I took £13 in £1s, 50ps, 20ps, 10ps and 5ps and that was suffice
8. Keep your eye on the game
Know where you stuff is and watch your bag, we keep our in the boot (with the boot door open). A shopper asked me for my tie die T from Thailand, I was wearing it! She jokingly said but everything is £1. This is not the first time someone has tried to take the shirt literally off my back, it happened in Vietnam too!
9. Plastic bags
Have a few, the shoppers tend to bring their own and I reckon they will do more so now the 5p charge law is in place
There is nowhere to eat unless you want to buy sweets from someone’s stall. Build your immune system up by eating your sandwiches with your money dirty hands (like me at 10:30am, it was lunchtime according to my stomach).
11. And the alarm goes again at 1pm
This is when mayhem breaks loose. Cars begin to reverse, shoppers still want to buy, the organisers begin cleaning up. We kicked back and ended up making a win. A man asked how much we wanted for what was left on our racks. Dubious at first, I swiftly protected our bags but turns out he was decent. He let us keep the desirable and he took the dregs and gave us a fiver each (equivalent of 50p at item).
12. Count your car boot sale earnings
I made £104 minus the £7.50 (£15 between us) entry and £13 float, leaving me with £83.80. Although less than last time, we did pretty much shift everything which was my aim and would make Shelley’s partner, John ecstatic (it wasn’t getting in the garage again). Shelley made £79 minus £10 float.
Attending a couple of car boot sales definitely helped Craig and I save for our long term travel trip around the Americas and Europe. It meant storing fewer belongings we wouldn’t want to go back to while making a bit of dollar.
Car Boot Sale in Edinburgh
Super Saving Tips
Saving money? I can help you. I’m a super saver, yes the stereotypical tight Scot! Browse the following articles for more tips.
- Top 5 Saving Tips
- The 5 S’s of Saving
- Best Credit Cards for Travel – For Brits!
- Cheeky Cheap Gift Guide
What car boot tips can you share?