Our top ten tips for buying

Car boot sales can be incredible for finding hidden gems. There are multiple examples of items being bought at car boot sales and then being sold at auction for a significantly higher price.

Here Are Our Tips For Buying At Car Boot Sales:

1. The Early Bird. Remember that the early bird catches the worm! Car booters are up notoriously early, so to ensure that you get the pick of the best on each stall, get there as soon as you can. There’s always the opportunity to catch up on a bit of sleep after you’ve captured a few bargains!

2. Haggle. Us Brits are often shy of haggling, and negotiating prices down in the high street shops of the UK won’t get you very far these days. However, a car boot sale is one place where you will definitely enjoy some success in haggling. Be polite and respectful, but work hard to make sure you get a deal that you’re happy with.

3. Network. If you are a regular at car boot sales – or at one in particular, it might be a good idea to take along a business card. If you can make some contacts who could give you first refusal on their items then that could give you the opportunity of finding some hidden gems before anybody else. Plus, it’s always good to make friends with similar interests!

4. Etiquette. There are a number of unwritten rules of car boot sales. There may be a scrummage for some stalls in particular, so be careful to not become over-zealous in your approach. Always be polite in your haggling, and take care when inspecting items for sale. No seller will take kindly to in-depth poking and prodding of their items.

5. Don’t Be Shy. If you see an item that you think you might want, ask as many questions as you feel necessary. The seller will no doubt have a better understanding of the backstory of an item, so you can get all the information you need from them rather than making assumptions.

6. Take Change. The chances are that many of the items on sale will be relatively cheap, so make sure you have plenty of small change with you. A car boot sale is not somewhere you’re likely to find a card machine.

7. Have A Plan. Whether you are going to a car boot sale to find valuable items at a bargain for resale, or whether you are going to get some decorative items for your home, it’s always good to have a plan. If you know what kind of items you’re searching for then you can refine your focus. At the same time, don’t have blinkers on – you never know what you might stumble across unexpectedly.

8. Look Carefully. Some of the more valuable and interesting items may well be hidden away under tables or in boxes. Make sure you’ve had a proper scan of the whole area before walking away so you don’t miss out on something great. Something that the seller thinks is valuable might not be what you consider to be valuable, so always ask ‘is there more?’.

9. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize. Whilst it might be tempting to leave your purchase with the seller for safe-keeping, it’s always better to keep your hands on the item you’ve bought. The seller may decide to leave early, or they could also sell your item to another bidder at a higher price. Even if they give you your money back, you’ve lost the item that you wanted. At the same time, be careful of pickpockets in the crowds when carrying your items around.

10. Enjoy! The most important thing about buying at a car boot is to enjoy yourself. You will always make some good and some bad decisions – so just go with it and enjoy the ride!

Thatcham Car boot Sale
Thatcham Car boot Sale