Sunday, 8 April 2012

Bootsale Bargains - Selling

Morning all.  It's 6am and I'm publishing a blog nice and early to show you how 'up and at em' you have to be if you want to get in on the 'boot sale experience'.

By the time you are reading this post, my Mum and I will be opening up pasting tables on a dew dampened field in the middle of nowhere whilst fevered dealers poke about in the boot of our car with torches!

Yes that's right, today we are selling our junk a.k.a. 'Other Peoples Treasure' at Dunton Boot sale.  

I doubt very much I will have the time to get a good mooch round so probably wont be posting my usual boot sale bargains pictures so I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you my guide to buying at boot sales.

1) Most bootsales start at 6am and sellers usually arrive at any time from 5.30 onwards.  Unless you are an antique dealer or looking for something specific like records, mobile phones or similar then I would personally aim to arrive between 6.30 and 7am if you are wanting to mooch for a good bargain like I do.

2) Take a sturdy trolley.  Often I have taken just a bag, only to find that I discover lots of rather heavy or cumbersome items and am too far away from my car to quickly nip back and put them in.  This does of course depend on the size of boot sale you visit.  Dunton (my boot sale of choice) is massive and can take up to 4 hours to walk if you do it meticulously!!

3) Take tissues.  No only does the early morning cold make my nose run like a tap but as the morning progresses even the cleanest of portaloos run out of loo roll!

 4) Take plenty of change but limit yourself to a certain amount of money in your purse.  Not only is it easy to go overboard, but there are lots of pick pockets at boot sales. I have a totally separate purse and leave all my bank cards and similar bits and bobs at home.

5) Haggling - do you or don't you?  This for me depends on two things.  a) the item and b) the seller.  If the seller is obviously a dealer (trust me you can spot them) o is shirty and a little bit rude then I will always haggle.  If however the seller is lovely, genuine and chatty and their item is in my opinion of a good quality and price then I will give them what they ask for something.  Don't however be afraid to haggle, people can always say no and it is expected.

6) Park somewhere towards the middle of the bootsale area so that if your trolley is over flowing once you are half way round you can dump your bargains in the car and start again.  Similarly, take note of the seller closest to your car.  I look for big vans in bright colours or stalls with flags so I can find the car again!

7) Rummage and be meticulous.  You never know what you will find at boot sales so dont just walk down the centre of each row and scan from a distance.  The best bargains I have found are often on a table and tucked away or in a rummage box on the floor.  I walk up one side of a row and down the other side, so it takes me twice as long to look around but I never miss a stall.

8) If your going to a sale with a friend,make sure you know what sort of things you are each looking for.  Quite often I have missed something and my Mum has pointed it out.

9) Be open minded.  I look for all sorts of things.  Here my list although it is far from everything: Kids clothes, toys, clothes for me, baskets and boxes for display, fabric and vintage tray cloths, buttons, lace & trim, broken jewellery, beads, brooches, shelving units for display, bits of furniture to do up and also new things for the home (there are often lots of market traders at boot sales too).  You never know what your going to find so don't go with only one thing in mind or your likely to come home disappointed.

10) Last but not least, save some pennies for a bacon buttie!  Always overpriced (this one was £3.50) but so worth it.

** it should be noted that this was a scheduled post (obviously) and due to the foul British weather we did not in fact go today :-( I didn't even bother going for a mooch.  But as it's a bank holiday the bootsales will still be open tomorrow so as long as the weather cheers up I might see you there!


  1. I'd love to have a rummage but I just can't get up early enough!! I so need one of those bacon butties right now!!! Happy Easter :) x

  2. Some great tips! I've only ever done one bootsale which was with my parents when my Grandma downsized. We were getting rid of a lot of antique type stuff which the dealers were very interested in, and I hated that they were opening up our car and going through the stuff before we'd even got it out, and haggling with us while we were stressed trying to get everything ready. We couldn't possibly keep track of everything and I'm sure lots of it never made it to the table.

    I do read about all the bargains that people pick up at bootsales though, so I must give it another go sometime!

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