TOP TIPS for SELLERS
- KNOW THE SITE!
Why not visit the site as a customer first? Get a feel for the site, are there many stalls selling what I want to sell? How much are they charging? Ask around, chat to people, you’ll soon gat to hear all the gossip about the site! It is also a good idea to locate the toilets for when the tea or coffee starts to filter through!
- THE WEATHER!
While it is worth watching the forecast, it is worth remembering that it is not always accurate. Also the very fact that we are well established means that buyers turn up whatever the weather! Often sellers can do better if stall numbers are down as there is less competition for the pounds in peoples pockets. If a shower is forecast use the prospect to your advantage – umbrella retailers just love rainy days! It is always worth packing a plastic sheet if the forecast is doubtful so your goods can be protected from a light shower.
- BRING A FRIEND/PARTNER TO HELP!
This allows you to take a walk around, fetch food and drink or when the coffee has filtered through to visit the toilet! Many of our sellers share a stall with a friend, this not only halves the price but also adds to the diversity of goods for sale.
- THE CAR!
It is worth remembering that your car makes a statement to the buyers. Ask yourself a question – Would I buy with confidence from someone who turned up outside my house driving my car? It does not always mean that your car has to be new or a Rolls Royce, however if it is filthy, both inside and out, it may give the wrong impression to the people that you hope are going to hand over money for your goods. The professionals that stalk the boot sale early in the morning get very excited depending on condition of the vehicle that pulls onto the selling area, if they spy a dirty ‘rust-bucket’ they assume that they will be able to buy anything they want at rock-bottom prices (much lower than you would be willing to accept).
- LOADING THE CAR!
When packing the car the night before don’t forget to leave room for the pasting table or picnic table! It is advisable that this is left until last as it will be the first thing you’ll need. A collapsible chair is always useful to ease tired legs towards the end of the morning! Remember it may well be dark when you leave for the boot sale in the morning so don’t be tempted to say “Sod it! I’ll finish loading in the morning!” If you have loaded the car and still have goods to take why not ask a friend/partner to help out?
The weather can be unpredictable! Even in the height of summer it can be cold, so be prepared; always pack a jumper or rain coat, you may not need it but it’s best to be prepared!
Don’t forget that children can get very bored, bring colouring books, crayons, favourite toys etc to keep them occupied.
- ARRIVE EARLY!
Before the day it’s worth finding out what time the site opens.
- ARRIVING AT THE SITE
On arrival you will be shown where to park, you may be surprised to find buyers already intent on bargain hunting. Don’t forget YOU ARE IN CHARGE! If you feel that you need some breathing space simply tell them that you are going to take a look around before unpacking, take a walk around and return to unpack. Be firm, but not rude.
- YOUR GOODS!
In selling terms there is little difference between your stall and a large supermarket. You wouldn’t fill your trolley with dirty damaged goods so what makes you think that buyers at a car boot sale are going to? Ask yourself “Would I buy it?” if the answer is ‘NO’: CLEAN IT, MEND IT or BIN IT! You’d be surprised the difference in saleability a bit of elbow grease makes. Make sure fragile items are well wrapped.
Of all the enquiries I get about boot sales, the most frequent has to be “What do I charge for what I’m selling?” The answer is “How long is a piece of string?”. I’m afraid it’s up to you to decide. It is however worth putting price stickers on items either individually or in a group, however expect customers to offer less than the ‘ticket’ price. Be careful when offering a discounted price too early in the day, if the buyer is very interested he or she may well return or another buyer might snap it up in the meantime. Towards the end of the sale you could offer greater discounts on your price or be prepared to take the item home and try again in the future. Remember that it needs someone to come through the gate who wants what you are selling in order to make a sale, that person may be on holiday and back next week!
- YOUR STALL
As with the large supermarket, presentation of your stall is important. A clean tablecloth with items neatly arranged creates a good impression and attracts buyers. It is worth putting some (non-breakable) items into a ‘rummage box’ where buyers can dig in, this always helps to attract crowds.
- ENJOY YOURSELF!
It can be a fun morning with the added bonus of making some money. You’ll find that folk are friendly and wander round chatting to stall holders. It costs nothing to smile and you’ll find that it encourages customers to your stall. Because we are in the beautiful countryside of North Hertfordshire you’ll find it can make a pleasant change from your busy weekdays.
Unfortunately there are light fingered customers everywhere these days. If you have small items of value it is advisable not to put them at the front of your table where they could present a thief with a real bargain. It may be worth putting the item somewhere where the prospective buyer has to ask to see it, on the roof of the car where it is in view but out of easy reach.
NB ITEMS PROHIBITED FOR SALE AT OUR BOOT SALES see also PROHIBITED GOODS PETS. We believe that prospective owners of pets should be vetted as there are too many unwanted and abandoned animals already. PRESCRIPTION/OVER THE COUNTER MEDICINES. MINI MOTORBIKES. We don’t allow the sale of mini-motorbikes/quad bikes. FIREWORKS FOAM-FILLED FURNITURE. We do not allow the sale of foam-filled furniture, this is in accordance with the fireproofing regulations. We also do not allow the sale of firearms (NB. THIS NOW INCLUDES AIR-GUNS & BB GUNS). Counterfeit and Pirated DVD’s/Videos/Computer software KNIVES (except those used in a kitchen to over-16’s)If you are concerned at something you may have seen for sale at one of our sales or wish for guidance on something you want to sell please notify us.