CAR boot sales are a great way to make extra cash or bag a bargain.
With inflation hitting 6.2 per cent and households facing the biggest fall in living standards on record, we are all having to become more resourceful when it comes to our finances.
So Holly Mead has asked two experts to share their car boot tips to help you save cash.
Follow their advice to help you ease the squeeze.
5 Tips for Sellers
GET THERE EARLY: Load up the car the night before so you are not tempted to bale out when the alarm clock goes off.
You will be able to set off earlier if you are ready to go, which means you can bag the best spot at the site.
Kate McCabe, a 42-year-old car boot sale veteran, says: “Take some spare change, bags, blankets, a table to display your items, and bubble-wrap or newspaper if you’re selling anything breakable.”
The full-time mother of one, from Norfolk, can make up to £250 from a single sale.
SEPARATE TRASH FROM TREASURE: Before the sale, check to see if you could make more on eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
Buyers are often looking for brand names to sell on but you might be able to make even more cash selling them online.
Do not waste time putting price labels on each item.
Kate says: “You can save time by grouping similarly priced goods together with a sign saying, ‘Everything for £1’, for example.”
Do not dismiss an item simply because you do not like it.
Kate says: “You’ll be amazed at what sells, even if you think it’s rubbish. Just take it.”
MAKE IT CHEAP ’N’ CHEERFUL: How your stall looks could make people more likely to browse . . . but that does not necessarily mean being slick and professional.
Kate reckons looking like an amateur could work to your advantage, explaining: “Buyers might think you’ve got a cheaper stall and they can get a bargain.”
Lay out clothes on a blanket rather than hanging them on a rail, she says.
Keep a stash of bags ready for buyers.
BE FRIENDLY: People buy from people, the saying goes, so strike up a conversation with anyone browsing your stall, or ask if they are looking for something in particular.
Kate says: “If you chat to people, they’re more compelled to buy from you.
“If you create a buzz around your stall, people will come over for fear of missing out on a bargain.”
Don’t be afraid to haggle. Being flexible on prices means you are more likely to sell your goods.
But you should have an idea of the lowest you are willing to go.
DON’T FORGET LEFTOVERS: If do not manage to sell everything, you can always try again on a different day or at another car boot sale.
If you do not want to take your goods back home, though, you could donate them.
“Whatever’s left, if it’s decent, take it to a charity shop,” says Kate.
Consider alternatives such as eBay, Depop and Vinted too.
5 Tips for Buyers
DON’T LEAVE IT TOO LATE: It’s not just sellers who need to get to car boot sales early — buyers who turn up late will miss out on the best bargains.
So find out what time the sale starts and get there for the opening.
Ellie Macsymons, expert at netvouchercodes.co.uk, says: “You could also wait until the end of the event for another look around.
“Sellers flog off items extremely cheaply at this point, just to get rid of them.”
ASK FOR A DISCOUNT: Don’t assume the seller is offering you the best price. Many people feel shy about haggling, but it’s all part of the fun.
So be polite and ask for a lower price — the worst the seller can do is say no.
One of Ellie’s best ever bargains was a pair of £50 Converse trainers, which she got for £2 by haggling down the price from a tenner.
She says: “They were practically new. I just gave them a wash and bought new laces for 50p. In store they would have cost upwards of £50.”
She suggests asking for a discount if you’re buying multiple items too.
After all, the seller is saving time by getting rid of several things at once.
BRING SPARE CHANGE: Sellers won’t appreciate you giving them a £20 note to buy a 50p item.
If you don’t have spare change, it will be even harder to haggle down items.
Ellie says: “Car boot sales are a great place to spend all that loose change that’s been lying around in your car or pockets.
“You’ll also be doing a favour for the sellers, who often get handed notes for items that cost a quid.”
QUALITY NOT QUANTITY: There’s no refund policy at a car boot sale — once you buy an item, it’s yours.
Ellie says: “Make sure there are no hidden faults on the item you’re buying. Spotting a defect before you purchase could give you an opportunity to ask for a discount.”
On clothing, look out for rips, missing buttons and broken zips. If you’re buying CDs or DVDs, check the disc for scratches.
It’s important to be realistic, too — if you’re buying something for a few pence, you might be willing to accept that it’s in less than perfect condition.
SELL IT ON: You may be able to re-sell items you buy at a profit. Have your phone to hand and search websites such as Facebook Marketplace and eBay.
Look at completed listings to get an idea of what items sold for.
Always set yourself a budget at a boot sale. Even if you are spending just 50p at a time, it can soon add up.
And remember, it’s only a bargain if you wanted the item anyway.