I’m a car-boot expert, here’s 10 tricks to help you bag a bargain – and making hundreds from your own items

A FINANCE expert has shared her top tips for bagging a bargain at a car boot sale – and for making hundreds off your own items too.

To help turn your pennies into pounds, Andrea Knowles, personal finance expert at vouchers.co.uk has shared her top tips for getting a steal – either for your own benefit or to resell for a profit online. 

Here are 10 ways to get the best deals and making money from your items…

1. Always browse eBay before buying an item to better your haggling technique

Before buying any item that could create a tidy profit, always give the eBay app a quick search for a similar item before buying. 

This will help you work out whether it’s a real steal as you could find it online for cheaper, which you could then use to haggle.

Or if you find the item being sold online for a lot more and, therefore, likely to make you a huge profit, keep this information to yourself whilst you purchase the item or even haggle more. 

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Also, if you’re cautious that someone could grab the item whilst you’re browsing eBay on your phone, ask your friend or family member to hold it for you whilst you carry out the online search. 

You could even use the excuse of having to reply to an important text so that the seller isn’t aware of what you’re really up to. 

2. Try and set up next to other attractive stalls

If you get to choose where you can pitch, try and get yourself a spot next to an attractive looking stall as they’ll bring in more customers. 

To make your stall attractive, you should always put your clothes on a clothes rail to make it easier for potential buyers to browse. 

If you’re selling clothing, accessories or jewellery, also make sure to bring a mirror so the person can see themselves before buying. And, of course, bring a tablecloth for your table to make your display stand out. 

3. Order your items from least to most expensive

Whilst you should never price label your items as it signals that you’re a car boot selling newbie, there’s a secret strategy that can help you haggle better with car boot buyers. 

Display your items in sections based on value with your 50p items at one end and your higher-priced items at the other.

4. Never buy Lego or electronics at a car boot 

Never purchase something that can’t be tested at the car boot, such as an electronic product that needs to be plugged in or a LEGO set. 

Whilst the seller will naturally tell you that the electronic item works, or that the full LEGO set is there – you won’t know the real answer until you get back home and by then, it’s too late to do anything about it. 

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5. Bring plenty of change to be extra quid’s in

Cash is king when it comes to a car boot but even more so when it comes to coins. 

Whilst you should bring notes for potential big purchases, coins are more beneficial for two reasons. 

Firstly, they allow you to get a better deal. 

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Whilst a seller may offer you something for £10, if you ‘only’ have £6 in coins, then you’re more likely to get it for this price as it seems like a fair compromise.

Secondly, if you are selling, you may run out of change due to customers bringing larger notes and, therefore, requiring change. 

6. Always arrive before the opening time

Although the entrance fee to a car boot sale becomes cheaper as the day goes on, you should always arrive and queue up before the ‘doors’ are open if you want to bag the best bargains and also if you want to get the best pitch.

Whilst this may cost you £2 or £3 more than it would have if you entered three hours later, the best money-making items will have been purchased by then, costing you money more if your priority is to buy items for a profit. 

7. Consider coming back later in the day for a second round of bargains 

If you are browsing, another peak time to visit a car boot sale for a profit is near the end. 

As the momentum of the seller’s sales will have slowed down, they may be more open to lower offers than they were earlier in the morning, especially if they’re not regular car booters and want to get rid of everything before they head home. 

8. Always take a tape measure

Unfortunately, once you buy an item from a car boot, it’s a done deal and can’t be refunded.

With this in mind, you should always take a tape measure with you, especially if you’re planning on buying a piece of furniture. 

If you’re looking for a specific item, make sure to measure the dimensions of the space in which you’d put a piece of furniture before you go.

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9. Bring a backpack for hands-free rummaging

Now that shops charge for carrier bags, it’s understandable that car boot sellers may not provide free carrier bags for purchased items as this could cost them a lot. 

For example, if they had 20 buyers in one day and gave each of them a 20p carrier bag for free, that’s a £4 loss. 

Bringing your own, or even a backpack, will not only save them some money but it’ll also avoid you having to do the awkward thing of carrying items around in your hands and then those items being mistaken by another seller as one of their items. 

10. Place your toys in prime position

If you’re selling soft animals and toys, always place them in a prime position that allows small children to spot them easily. 

By being in their eye-line, they’re more likely to ask their parent to purchase the item and, of course, the parent may consider it given that it’s a bargain.

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