Tag Archives: Scotland

How to Car Boot Sale in Edinburgh

Pile of dollars

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

10. Snacks

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

For more information check out the Omni Greenside Car Boot Sale Facebook page. Addicted? Click here to see all car boot sales 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.

 

What car boot tips can you share?

Car Boot Sale Tips – Save to Travel

Pile of dollars

If you are planning to make space and making money these car boot sale tips will aid you to car boot sale success! I am a super saver, a stereotypical tight Scot who likes to save every penny and travel the world. For whatever reason you are selling your stuff, this article will outline what sells, what doesn’t, and what to take.

For a rundown of my first car boot sale experience read here. For tips on how to save to travel car boot style stay here…

The Highs Of Car Boot Sales

The people and rush. The nice lady behind us said it was addictive. We could see why. A wee boy was so chuffed at getting an Xbox game, made my day. The three Norwegian men collectively buying a soft porn calendar for £2. The wee elderly woman buying central heating cleaner for £3 after bartering me down from £5 then coming back at closing time to try and get the two other tubs for £1 each. We’re convinced she doesn’t even know what it is.

The Lows of Car Boot Sales

People really want things for cheap cheap cheap. I mean you say £2 for an item and they will try and get it for £1. Biggest sale was a TV for a fiver. A man came around asking how much for DVDs and games, he told me he sold his games for £3.50, if I didn’t shift them to go and see him at the end. I went for a wander and turns out his games are all individually priced, some at £8. People are friendly but you need to be sensible.

Car Boot Sale Packing Guide

  • Pasting table packed last (or hire)
  • Take clothes rails if you can (or hire), others had clothes horses
  • Lots of hangers
  • Plastic bags (now 5p in Scotland)
  • Use boxes as displays – this worked well for DVDs
  • Sellotope came in handy
  • Marker pen (wish I had this to write out DVD offer)
  • Bumbag/bag with float
  • Snacks/lunch
  • Chat – some customers just want a wee conversation

What sold?

  • DVDs – I went for £1 a film then 6 for £5 (no one went for this)
  • Xbox games – £5 or £3 depending on what/who
  • Clothes, Shelley sold more than me
  • Electronics (Ipod radio; photo frame; TV; Ipod doc)
  • Mirrors and pictures in frames (Shelley)

What didn’t sell?

  • TV Boxsets (but I’ll hang fire on that one) <– eventually sold to Magpie.com
  • Comedy DVDs
  • Clothes over £3
  • Shoes

Car Boot Sale Tips

I would definitely recommend doing it. We plan to go again in February just before I leave (we met a seller, girl going to Oz, who sold everything last February, she was disappointed in her sales today). We picked this weekend as it was the post payday weekend and end of summer, turns out October is a hot month.

Super Saving Articles

I’m a super saver! Here are more tips on how to save for travel, weddings, rainy days.

What tips do you have to help us save?

Two Nights on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

Skye Scotland

The Isle of Skye is one of Scotland’s most popular tourist destinations and it’s easy to see why when you experience the raw nature of Cuillin Mountains and the lochs which penetrate every nook and cranny of the island. It’s disheartening that the Inner Hebrides’ biggest island is only six hours away from Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, yet many Scots have yet to be enchanted by the West Coast of Scotland. Here is how Craig and I (Gemma), along with our good friends, Gordon and Jen G, spent two nights on the Isle of Skye.

Two Nights on the Isle of Skye Itinerary

Day 1 – Look it’s Skyewalker

The gang set off from Fife in the 1 litre Aygo, Craig in the driving seat and our friends Jen G and Gordon in the back. The drive was pretty non-descriptive until we reached the road to Glencoe (2 hours 50 mins), wow – this is what tourists see when they visit Scotland!

Glencoe | Skye Scotland

We stopped off at Fort William (Glencoe – Fort William 30 minutes) for a wander, which was a little underwhelming but a much-required stretch of the legs. Our second break stop was more impressive, Kyle of Lochalsh (1 hour 45 mins).

Kyle of Lochlash | Isle of Skye

Arriving on the Isle of Skye

Soon after that we reached our destination of Skyewalker hostel in the northwestern town of Portnalong. The owner, an ex-social worker from Glasgow who moved to get away from the city stress, advised us that a large travel group would be taking over the hostel, and asked if we would mind a double room upgrade, eh yes please!

We did it! Check out our review of HAGGiS Adventures Skye High 3 Day Tour

We enquired about local pubs, she advised us of one just five minutes away with a pool table or another ‘half an hour’ away which would have a fiddle band jam that night. We opted for music. The coolest thing about the hostel was the crystal maze conservatory, we had a drink there to celebrate our arrival and set off on the easy walk to the local town, Carbost (not to be confused with Colbost).

Skyewalker Hostel | Isle of Skye

The Old Inn of Carbost

Needless to say, the trip to The Old Inn did not take half an hour! It’s the way us ‘city people walk’ the hostel owner told us when we jokingly complained the next day. We arrived in darkness and panic – how were we to get back to Portnalong? It’s Skye, there are no lights! Gordon was more worried that we had missed the last order for burgers. Panic over, I jumped on a band member as he unpacked his instruments, and he offered us a lift home and we managed to get some grub.

Stargazing on Skye

Quite a few ciders later and lots of chats with local fishermen, our taxi driver stuck to his word and dropped us off at the Skyewalker and weren’t we thankful of the lack of street lighting, I have never seen stars above like it!

Our driver must have thought that we were tuned to the moon, stepping and stumbling out from his car cooing at the dark skies and twinkly lights. It was like a Disney movie! Craig and I lay on the ground and geeked out (well Craig did, big space fan, I listened). Craig says it’s his fondest memory of our relationship to date (never mind the month in South East Asia or the many mini-breaks!)

Scenery lovers: Read out guide to Scotland’s NC500, 500 miles of beaches, castles and distilleries!

Day 2 – Cruising about Skye

Skye’s transport links are terrible. Locals are currently protesting to get more funding to improve the increasingly less, the road less travelled. For example, buses from the Skyewalker only run three times per day Monday – Friday and even less (once) on a Saturday. They obviously take the day of rest very seriously as no buses run. This means you have three options.

Firstly, stay confined to the Carbost area which does offer some things to do in Skye, but limited. Here you’ll find the oldest whisky distillery, Talisker Distillery. Secondly, like us, bring a car. The downfall of that is someone has to be the designated driver, which means no sampling uisge beatha, the water of life! This was more of an issue on the Isle of Islay, which has at least eleven distilleries! Finally, let a tour do all the work for you. This is how we intend to see Skye again in the future – like a celeb who is driven around and dropped off at the important Skye attractions. Road trips are a great way to see Scotland since it is so small. Check out this guide to Scotland’s stunning scenery.

Skye | Scotland

Portree for Lunch

After shaking off last night’s booze, we drove to Portree (30 mins) for lunch. I had previously tried to get us accommodation in Skye’s largest town, Portree, but everything was fully booked or too expensive. I was glad it worked out that way, Skyewalker was ideal. Post lunch, we had a walk, filled the boot with bottles and drove to Dunvegan Castle, (32 mins), the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod. The fairy tower is said to be haunted and weirdly enough, I received a text from my Gran (who never texts) just as I purchased a postcard for her, oooo.

We did plan to return to Portree for drinks later that night but we weighed up the cost of taxis and decided to visit the hostel’s real local pub, Taigh Ailean, which was actually five minutes away. We ate fish and chips (authentic chippy fish and chips), played giant Jenga, and chatted to the locals. The stars were not in our favour that night. When we arrived back at the hostel to welcome the ‘tourists,’ who were the reason for our excellent free upgrade, I discovered they actually go to Edinburgh University. Oops!

Day 3 – The Storr and The Snore

On our final day, fresh air was required so we took an easy stroll up The Old Man of Storr (40 mins from Carbost). The coolest part of the hike was when it snowed (this was April!) After a quick jaunt up and down, we set off home to Fife. Craig drove angrily home behind slow cars and trucks as we snoozed.

Must read: The ultimate road trip packing list

The Old Man of Storr | Skye Scotland

Cost of Travelling Around Skye

  • Petrol: approximately £60 (split between four)
  • Hostel: dorms £17-19 (we ended up with a free upgrade and own bathroom!)
  • Time with pals: priceless!

Skye Scotland

Other Things to do in Skye

How did we miss it? Yes, Skye’s Fairy Pools! One of the highlights of every traveller’s trip is taking a dip in the Fairy Pools! Do you know what this means? We’ll just have to go back…

Our two nights on the Isle of Skye ignited a newfound appreciation for my home country and encouraged me to hike the 96 miles of the West Highland Way the following year.

Where is your favourite spot in Scotland?

Help! I need more advice on Scotland! Here is our travel guide
 

*we have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned in this post, just helpful tips for your trip to Skye

4. West Highland Way – Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse

Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse WHW sign

West Highland Way Day Four Low Down

Day 4: Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse (Glencoe): Bus Day
Miles: 12
Time: Got the bus! Day 4 Team – less than 4 hours
Weather: Dry
Accommodation: Glencoe Independent Hostel (£15 per person/taxi £15 each)

Let’s get to Buss’ness

After hobbling into Bridge of Orchy on Day 3 of The West Highland Way, I made the conscious decision to sit out on day 4 and leave the team (Helen and Lee) to march on.

As advised by the owner of Stance Cottage, I hopped on the Citylink bus, there was a small group outside The Bridge of Orchy Hotel next to the tables (I was told to wave the bus down). I met some walkers who often drive up to Bridge of Orchy, get the bus to Glencoe then walk back to the car (one to note).

The Thursday part-time hikers were on the bus, some of our friends we travelling to meet us at Glencoe to finish the West Highland Way with us.

Kingshouse, Glencoe

Julie had returned, healed and ready to go and Susan, Gemma T, Gem’s Mum and friend Linda were excited to join us on the West Highland Way route from Kingshouse. We were greeted by these fellas

Deer at Kingshouse, Glencoe West Highland Way

The Kingshouse Hotel was fully booked (we booked at the start of February for April), the alternative was to stay with the Glencoe Independent Hostel (review here) and hire a minivan taxi to collect us from Kingshouse and return us the following morning which worked well (taxi £15 each).

We had a hostel room to ourselves which was ideal and the hostel had a drying room for our outdoor gear which was magic.

Kingshouse West Highland Way

We dined at The Clachaig Inn, deciding on what to eat was a challenge, I went for the chilli.

Clachaig Inn Kingshouse West Highland Way

The hostel didn’t offer the best sleep unfortunately but the cereal/toast breakfast packs set us up for the day and I was rested enough to take on The Devil’s Staircase the next day with the WHW full squad.


  • Day by dayday 5
  • Packing list: here
  • Accommodation guide: here

What has been your best trip with friends?