16 Things About Car Boot Sales You Must Know
1. Small Acorns to Big Oak Trees
Many serious successful business people started out selling on car boot sales. At Least one International High street shop began life on a market stall. Let me tell you the story:
In 1884 a Polish Refugee started a market stall on Leeds Market.
His motto was:” Don’t ask the price! It’s a penny!”
He was quite successful and in 1894 he took a partner on, an ex-cashier from a local wholesaler.
The partners name was Thomas Spencer. They eventually opened their first shop 10 years later in a covered arcade.
Today Marks and Spencer have over 1000 stores spread all over the world and are a household name.
2. How to Make Money
There are 2 ways to make money selling things:
a. Sell a lot of things, very fast, at a low profit and low price.
b. Sell a few expensive things at high prices with a large profit margin.
3. The Best Products to Sell
What you sell is irrelevant. What people want is important. You may have the best product in the world but if no-one wants it, you will lose money. If people want the product, they will generally pay for it.
4. What Do People Want?
It is very difficult deciding what other people want to buy. The first Car boot I did – I bought black bin-liners of unwanted stuff from jumble sales. I paid 50p for a full bin liner – no matter what was in it and cleared the jumble saleroom for the organisers. I put sheets on the ground – emptied the sacks in heaps and charged 25p for anything and 50p for shoes. Many of the clothes were smelly and I gave the rubbish to a local rag charity.
5. Do Not Mix New Things With Junk
When deciding what to sell, you may well decide to empty that garage or loft and clear out some junk. Good idea. If however you have some new things to sell, put them on a separate table or sell them at a different time. If you mix them up, people will want the new things for “junk” prices. You may have a difficult time “negotiating the prices.
6. Be Prepared to Haggle
People buy on a car-boot to get things cheap so always have a fixed idea of your cheapest price in your head and DO NOT GO BELOW IT. In fact a good strategy is to start a bit higher than your acceptable price. E.g. if you want £5 for an item, start offering it at £7.
7. How to Discount
If someone pushes hard for a bargain, suggest they buy more things and give them a discounted price for the lot. Then you are both happy. Always add up the full prices first and then apply the discount. It looks more attractive to the buyer.
8. Smile and Say “Thank-You.”
Even to the annoying person who haggles and doesn’t buy. Be nice, they may well come back, and besides, you will feel happier yourself.
9. Do Not Unpack on Arrival
Some people will tell you that when you arrive, do not unpack, go for a wander and look around.
10. Unpack on Arrival
The reason is that the earliest people buying are dealers, shopkeepers etc looking for bargains in their specialist field. Personally, I have sold out in the first hour and gone home for a second load. If your goods are new and you cannot make a profit by selling to dealers, then maybe it is a good idea to wait for an hour or so before opening. You never know.
11. Do Not Leave Too Early
Many people work or come by bus and if you have packed up, they cannot buy from you. Many last-minute buyers are desperate.
12. Take Someone With You
There are thieves at most car-boots and an unattended stall is a gift from heaven for them. If you need to go to the toilet or get a coffee, it is not simple to pack everything away and then unpack again afterwards. Standing cross-legged or with your tongue hanging out for caffeine is not a pleasurable experience.
13. Tell Them the Price
If someone picks something up, tell them the price. Do not wait to be asked. You wait, they wait and nobody buys. After all, if they are too shy to ask, they will walk on to the next stall.
14. Be Prepared
Take clothing, snacks and a book to read. English weather is unpredictable and car-boot snacks are not always cheap. Besides, you are there to make money, not spend it.
15. Enjoy the Experience
Talk to your customers and have some fun. If you have a poor day and sell little, at least you have some good memories next time. If you have a good day, celebrate with some of those hard earned pennies.
16. What to Do With Unsold Items
You have had a good day and want to go home with an empty car. Ask some of the regular car-booters if they will give you £10 for the remainder of your items. It is surprising how many bargains are struck this way. You walk away with the money and a lot less junk and they have sourced a pile of saleable things cheap. Everyone is a winner.
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