The Perks of Having a Car Boot Sale

people market car boot sale

Are you moving home or simply running out of space? Do you have rooms and wardrobes stuffed full with unused items? Do you have numerous clothes that you’ve never wore but you don’t just want to give away for free?

Well, we here at Storage Vault know all about providing useful solutions, and what do we suggest? A good, old fashioned, car boot sale.

Rather than just chucking things out, think about the other options for getting rid off your unused things. You can even turn your trash into cash. Getting rid of stuff and making money – bonus!

As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And there’s no better example of this in action, than at a car boot sale.

A car boot sale is a great way to get rid of old stuff quickly and earn some extra cash while you’re at it. It’s also pretty fun — especially if the sun is shining!

Car boot sales are normally for your old things that just aren’t worth putting on ebay. Things that are too heavy for delivery or too cheap for it to be worth it.

Now, we aren’t saying that selling online doesn’t have its perks. It is a great option for higher priced, unused or unworn items. And if you aren’t a people person or don’t have the time to dedicate a full day, then it might be the best option for you.

But if you love the hustle and bustle of a market and get a kick out of haggling over things you were going to throw away anyway, get yourself to the nearest car boot sale and get stuck in!

First things first…

organise car boot sale market

Decide what to keep, store, sell or chuck

Work through everything you have and put each thing into one of four piles: Keep, store, sell or chuck.

  • Keep: Anything you want to keep.
  • Store: Anything you want to keep but won’t need until later.
  • Sell: Anything in good nick and fit for selling either online or at the car boot sale
  • Chuck: Anything you couldn’t even give away for free.

Be ruthless when you’re sorting and cut out as much rubbish as possible. Also make sure you are definitely ready to part with everything in the sell pile! – no one needs to see you cry as they walk away with the lamp that reminds you so much of your high school boyfriend’s auntys dog.

books market car boot sale

Things that sell well at a Car Boot Sale

Once you’ve decided what you want to sell, you need to figure out if it would be better to sell online or at the car boot sale. Are you willing to watch kid’s try on your grandma’s vintage coat at a car boot sale to only be offered a fiver?

Here are some things that sell well at the car boot sale that can help you decide.


Clothes are great sellers at car boot sales — the funkier the better. Dresses from the 1960s, flares from the ‘70s and neon anything from the ‘80s sell extremely well.

Make sure to present your clothes as best as possible. Iron them before hand and fold them neatly. Use a clothes rail for your best.

Another great idea is to bring a mirror so people can try on the items and see for themselves.

Oh, and here’s a tip you will thank me for! Check the pockets for valuable items or money! One time a £20,000 ring was left in a pocket of a jacket sold at an auction!

Perfume and cosmetics

Believe it or not, perfume sells amazing well at car boot sales — and the bottles don’t even have to be full!

As for make-up, only sell unused product as it’s a hygiene issue. Besides, most people won’t want a half used lipstick so just chuck it one in the bin!


Books can be amazing sellers at car boot sales, especially if the price is low. Consider separating them into pre-priced baskets and colour code the spines with stickers.

Again, if you think some of your books are specialist or more valuable, keep them separate and check their selling price online. Things like kids books, car theories and education books can sell for a high price if in good condition.


Collectables are hit and miss. Usually it depends on whether the right buyer stumbles across your stall.

Always check your item online to gauge what price you should sell it for and try not to budge too far during the haggling.

The good thing about selling at the car boot sale means they take it away that day and you don’t have to organise packaging it up for transmit.

Dealers will come earlier in the morning and try and get it off you cheap first thing but if you hold onto your best stuff, they’ll be back for it later in the day.


Furniture can and is often sold at car boot sales but there are a number of things you need to take into consideration:

The weather – what happens if it rains or the ground is muddy? Be prepared with waterproof sheets to place on the ground and cover your items in if the likely happens.

The size – If you bring a large piece of furniture how much room will you have left in your car to bring other items? You might sacrifice bringing a lot of sellable items for a large piece of furniture that you might not shift.

The buyers – how many people at that car boot sale are coming to buy furniture, or even have the money on them or the space in their car. Make sure you bring a card with details so if they are interested it getting it at a later time they have your details.

Okay, now you know what you want to sell, and what sells, it’s time to well… Sell!

people market car boot sale

Tips for the day

Now you’re ready for the day ahead, here are some useful tips to make the most out of it.

Be prepared and Get Equipped

Plan everything the night before. Organise the chaos. Label what needs labelled. Pack the car.

That’s easier said than done, though, so I’ve made you a checklist:

  • A table
  • Waterproof sheets
  • Any containers or baskets for your items
  • Plastic bags for your customers
  • Money with enough small change to keep you going
  • Warm clothing
  • Your A-Game


Everything is always more fun with a friend so find someone with an equally large collection of stuff and team up.

Buddying up means you can nip away for half an hour for a break and know that your stall’s being watched over. It’s also safer and more efficient to have someone there with you when the rush hits.

Choose your corner

Location, location, location. Get in early and stake out the nicest, flattest, driest and most accessible spot you can find.

Also make sure you have enough space between you and your neighbour so the customers can wedge themselves in and have a proper rummage.

Be early

When it comes to car boot sales, the early bird gets the worm, the best parking spot and just about everything else.

You really don’t want to pull up late and try to unpack your car with bargain vultures hanging over you. It causes total confusion and heaps loads of unnecessary stress on you.

Take pride

Take pride in your stall set up even if you think some of your items are junk. Set your stall up so that it attracts the most attention. Make it look appealing and exciting and stand out from the rest.

Pro tip time: Use bunting, bright table covers or balloons to catch passing eyes.

Keep your stall organised by creating themes or sections. For example, place books at one side, cosmetics in the middle and everything else at the other side.

Always display your most visual and most valuable items at the front to draw in the punters. but keep an eye on them!

Come rain, come shine

Okay, some of these tips are pretty obvious and this is probably the most obvious of all.

Be prepared for the weather. Rain, snow, sleet, hail and, very occasionally, shine.

Bring warm clothes and waterproof covers and know where things are to wrap up quickly when the rain hits.

And if you stumble onto a rare sunny Scottish morning, don’t forget the sunglasses and suncream though!

Charm and sell yourself

Customers like to be sold to so laugh, smile and compliment them during the selling.

Get talking to your customers and the more chat they get the more likely they are to get their cash out.

Be safe

A lot of car boot sale punters are out for a fun day and want to pick up a few cheap items. Some, however, are out for other reasons and know how to work new sellers.

Be careful that people don’t “accidentally” mix up prices or move things around when you are distracted. Unfortunately, stealing does happen at these kinds of events so be extra vigilant and keep your most valuable items nearby and your cash locked in your car along with other personal items.

Didn’t manage to sell everything?

If you still have some things left over, why not bring them to the charity shop?

If you’ve got anything left that you just couldn’t bear to part with when it came down to it, why not rent a storage unit and keep it for later.

Have any other tips? Let us know by following us on Facebook and Twitter and leaving us a comment.

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