With a house move on our horizon, Peter and I have been getting a pile together of things to give away or sell. Somewhere along the way I decided we should try selling it at a car boot sale. As the English equivalent of a flea market, a car boot sale is basically a field or local parking lot where people can drive up and sell directly out of their cars.
We selected a car boot sale near our house that started at 10:30am on Sunday morning, sellers arrive at 10am. We’d been to this sale before and knew it was on the smaller side and pretty calm. Probably the best place for novice sellers like us.
At about 9:30am, we loaded the back of car to the brim and set off. Along the way we talked about our pricing strategy — we’d organize our table so that the cheaper items were on one side and the more expensive items were on the other. We also decided we’d be happy if we broke even on our selling costs (£10) or sold 10% of what we brought. I also brought a pen and paper so we could write down everything we sold and for what price.
Peter and I pulled into the car boot sale field at 10am exactly and saw a large number of cars set up for selling and buyers parked up already. We asked if we were late and the attendant told us not to worry, everyone else was early. With nervous giggles we drove forward into our spot, acknowledging that we may not have as much setup time as we’d expected.
As it turns out, our expectations of a sleepy Sunday car boot sale were dashed within seconds of us pulling up. Peter hadn’t even turned off the engine when swarms of buyers descended upon us, peering into the back of the car and asking whether we had jewelry, perfume, and electronics. We fought the crowds to get out of the car and move around to the back, fielding questions as we went. The second we opened the boot, the flood gates broke. Hands reached out from every direction to rifle through the back of our car. Peter and I simultaneously tried to watch our stuff, get our table out so we could set up, and make up prices for things on the fly.
The next 40 minutes were an absolute blur of haggling over prices and moving stock faster than we could think. When we finally had a chance to breathe and assess the situation, it was 10:41 (10 minutes after the official start time) and we had already sold about 75% of what we’d come with. We were stunned and delighted!
At that point, I took a few pictures to remember the day by.
Sales continued but slowly petered out and by 11:30am we decided to pack up our unsold items. We drove off with our car boot significantly lighter and our pockets heavier. As I said to Peter on our way out, it was the most efficient hour and a half of selling we’ll ever know!