I talked about selling at a car boot sale for ages. Procrastination wasn’t the word, but evenutally I gathered myself, gathered the things I wanted to sell and gathered the energy to manage to do it and I definitely learned some stuff along the way.
Now, I was not a total rookie (I’d sold at a car boot a few years ago), but I had never sold kids clothes before, and considering just how many items of outgrown clothes my children have, I was determined to be organised. I had used vacum bags to keep everything stored away so it wasn’t until I got them all down from above the cupboard that I actually realised how much there was. I put aside some fond favourites of thiers, the odd t-shirt or pretty dress, that I intend to make into a blanket for them when they are older, but then I got to work sorting through what was left.
I know the fun of car boots is that the buyers (unlike me) actually like rooting around to see what little gems they can discover but honestly, when I went to recce my local boot sale I despaired a little at the absolute tat some people think they’ll be able to sell. It’s not like I work for a marketing company but I think a little effort and some visual merchandising can help you sell your stuff. So this is what I think is important if you want to make a little cash by selling your kids stuff once they’ve outgrown it:
Categorise your items
I made sure to organise them into age categories (which took forever, to be fair) then I separated them into tshirts, dresses, coats, trousers, sleepwear etc (seems like a lot of work but it definitely meant that my buyers could see exactly what was on offer), then I repacked them into the containers and printed signs which were colour coded in blue and pink with size/age marked on them. I used IKEA Skubb storage drawer containers (that I had in the house anyway) and used them to keep things tidy. I sellotaped the signs to each box. Also make sure to only include fresh, bright colourful clothing – anything with stains, discolouration or damage doesn’t go on the stall – you want people to like the look and come over to browse.
Invest in a decent table
Am I the only one that panics when I see someone’s stuff crammed onto a fragile wallpaper table, that is beginning to bend in the middle? I worry that Granny’s old clock or Aunty Jane’s hair curlers will end up on the ground. So I managed to get two tables, the steel ones with plastic tops, with folding legs – one taller and one lower, which I put in front and a rail for coats, snowsuits and the prettier dresses that I wanted to catch people’s eye.
Pray for a good spot
I managed to get a good spot, which is half the battle I think. Good weather is also extremely helpful and of course it can’t be guaranteed in our NI climate but we were so lucky (someone must have the child of Prague out the back door!) as it was a glorious afternoon which brought buyers out of the house for definite.
Expect some pushy people
Sometimes, right at the start of a car boot sale, before you’ve even unpacked that box of John Grisham novels, you’ll find several people jostling and shoving to actually get to your stuff and almost forcing you to sell. They’re vultures, and very intimidating sometimes. Stand your ground. Tell them to come back when you’ve set up. Nine times out of ten it’s another car boot seller who is going to rip you off and sell your stuff for a profit.
Be reasonable about prices and haggling
I’m awful at maths. I mean truly awful. The last time I did a car boot a woman asked me how much for the two perfume sets I was selling. My reply? “You can have them for a fiver each or I’ll do you a deal – two for a tenner.” Her withering look and my husband’s giggles made me want the earth to literally swallow me whole. But I got over it. Be prepared to part with items for 50p, £1, £2 or £3 max. Unless it’s something substanial like an electronic device or a large mirror etc. But if it’s kids clothes, I was selling tshirts for 50p, dresses, trousers, jumpers for £1. I had to remind myself that that’s the aim – make money by getting rid of ALL of it.
Do I want piles of unuseable clothes cluttering up my house? No, I’d rather sell them to someone who needs them and use the money to buy my kids something else, a toy or two, or even some new clothes, or perhaps a little bottle of wine for me for my hard effort. See? Everyone
wines, erms…wins. 🙂