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Roll up! Boot fair first timer - Any tips?

(23 Posts)
Toots Tue 16-May-06 14:55:17

Some things to sell - check

Some change - check

What else do I need to know?

motherinferior Tue 16-May-06 14:57:18

Where and when a boot fair might be taking place?

Toots Tue 16-May-06 16:57:47

Very droll Have booked a spot at one on Saturday at a church down the road.

Hattie05 Tue 16-May-06 16:59:58

Organise you car carefully, making it as quick as poss to set up. Put the pasting table in last so it can come out fast.

This is important as you tend to get a swarm of people surround your car upon arrival trying to grab all the bargains and i had a lot of stuff that went walkies, as people were helping themselves whilst we were trying to set up.

You may be lucky and find your boot fair is organised enough not to let buyers in straight away.

Good luck!

Toots Tue 16-May-06 21:38:37

Sheesh! Hoping for a more decorous crowd than that Hattie. Good point though, think they're providing table but should check.

Anyone else? I'll put prices on everything, should I go a bit over what I'd take to build that in?

Try and put everything out at once or hold things back?

twocatsonthebed Tue 16-May-06 21:50:11

put everything out at once - there's no accounting for what people do and don't like!

Bring tons of change and wear a moneybelt - then you don't have to turn your back on the stall.

Discount hugely at the end, then you don't have to take it away...

Thermos flask or drinks always good, as the tea and coffee from the van is always vile.

threelittlebabies Tue 16-May-06 22:04:03

Take carrier bags for people to put stuff they buy in- when we did a boot sale people seemed agahast that we didn't have any bags!

threelittlebabies Tue 16-May-06 22:09:10

or aghast even

Skribble Tue 16-May-06 23:47:26

Check if table provided,

If taking own then make sure it will support the goods as basic pasting tables are famous for collapsing 1hr into sale.

Take float relevent to the prices you want to charge. You won't need coppers if you aren't going to charge 99p. Similarly a pile 1p and 2ps are no use if everything is 50p and £1, which is more usual for car booters.

Take folding seats as perching on the back of the car is not comfy.

Remember bottles of water if there is the sligtest hint of sun or warmth.

Some clear polythene or at least bin bags are handy to cover stock if there is rain.

I used a parasol on a tall pole, position the base behind the table in the centre and it keeps yopu and any stock in the middle dry(ish). I put stuff like books in the middle. Makes your stall stand out a bit too.

Take a friend, I had DH but they are useless and get fed up and want to go to Mcdonalds for a bacon McMuffin, better with a freind that you can actually talk to for a few hours, handy to let you go to the loo or for more food.

If you are on your own get chatting with neighbouring stall holders, once the vulture rush slows down they will be happy to cover you for 5m.

Find out the best time to arrive, often booters are in hours before the official time. Even if you have booked you want a good spot.

Take an box with sellotape, paper, pens, stickers, polybags, packed lunch, flask, list of suggested prices for more expensive items (for yours and friends reference), headache tablets, water, basic first aid kit (ie plasters), loo roll/ hankies, hand wash, tampax (groan nothing worse)

Skribble Tue 16-May-06 23:49:09

Oh and polythene/ tarpe/ binbags if outdoors and planning to put stock on the ground in front of or beside the stall.

Sturdy shoes as carboots can get very wet and muddy even just with the morning dew.

Toots Wed 17-May-06 10:03:55

Twocats, threebabies and Skribble that is fantastic. More to this than meets the eye. Skribble I would like to take YOU with me (Don't worry - not serious).

Do you put a price on everything beforehand?

threelittlebabies Wed 17-May-06 16:42:53

I usually don't put prices on, and sometimes make them up on the spot! This may not be advised though Second Skribble's suggestion to take folding chairs to sit in, just make sure the "vultures" don't try to buy them! We once had wrapped breakables in some old tea towels, and a woman was peering into the box, I told her I don't think you want my dirty tea towels! She looked most miffed when I took said box from her! Best sale I did we made £460!! Will never do another like that though, I am sure. Good luck with your sale

Clary Wed 17-May-06 17:11:28

Don’t forget your pasting table to lay it out on.
Have a price in mind (I find it helps to write it down) but be prepared for people to haggle like mad. I wouldn't price things up, I think it's not worth the trouble (and it is a big PITA, that's why I don't do NCT sales any more)
I had a semi-valuable puppet at one fair and determined not to let it go for less than £20. In the end someone did buy it. You need to know if you just want to get rid, or are happy to take it home again unsold.
Keep an eye on your cash.
Clothes only sell well if the right season IME and only if the right size as well lol (eg: “Oh, no, that’s 12-18mo, he’s only 6mo old....”). Try to display them eg on rail or even clothes airer but expect to get very little for them.
What sells well round my way: Old china, baby equipment (pushchair, bed rail, swim nappies), toys esp if big (scooter, funky footprints) old records.
What doesn’t sell: clothes, picture frames, kitchen bits unless very cheap.
I get quite pro-active and shout out about my wares/acost passing people with babies etc but some prefer not to.
Yes, second the need for plaggy bags, also newspaper if any breakables.
Take some nice healthy snacks, (fruit, crackers etc) if you’re anything like me.
I like to keep a list of what I've sold and for how much as I go along so I can see if it all tallies up but then I freely admit I am a bit anal

Skribble Wed 17-May-06 22:39:50

Agree careful Dh doesn't sell your chairs when you have nipped off for a pee.

I was trading at one market and after losing the battle with my gazebo at 7am in the dark I had left in in a heap beside me. I sold it for £20, it wasn't broken but it was getting a bit wobbly but the guy thought he had got a bargain as it was one of the pop up ones and had cost about £70. I was just glad to see the back of it TBH.

Start off with your prices high first thing when the vultures are swooping, if they are desperate to pay a fiver for something, you can bet your life they will be selling it later on there stall for a tenner. Lots of the early vultures are traders and are out to stock up for the day, plus your chancers and daft old guys with nothing better to do on a sunday morning (that will be my FIL).

It really does help to have 2 people on your stall, when unloading one can serve and faff about arranging the stuff while the other guards the back of the car and passes it out.

I found soft toys didn't sell well, but agree baby equipment does, seems to be loads of pregnant woman wandering about at boot sales. In fact it is where I bought most of my baby stuff.

Baby and toddler clothes sell better than adult stuff.

Toots Thu 18-May-06 06:58:46

£460 2lb that's some haul. I'd like to clear £50 but am just doing it for the experience. Normally take everything to the charity shop but feeling cluttered but skint at mo.

Interesting about the clothes Clary. Was hoping to sell quite a few adult items - am taking a rail. Oh well, give it a shot. Prices high for vultures, OK.

Will be on my own but have access from 9 and no buyers 'til 10 so should be doable.

Toots Thu 18-May-06 06:59:56

Sorry, 3lb not 2.

Laura032004 Thu 18-May-06 07:40:59

Sun tan lotion and hat for you

If you've got a fair amount of stuff, you should clear £50 easily - if you get the people. Is it a regular one? Could you do two in one w/e? I sometimes do an early Sun morning one, and then one later in the afternoon.

Organise your stuff at home - an hour goes v.quickly. If taking baby clothes get some banana boxes, and organise by size or people won't bother to look.

If you hang stuff on a rail, and it's decent, people will look through it. If it's clothes on a rug on the floor, you probably won't get more than 20/50p an item for them.

Agree not to bother with pricing up stuff. Could somebody come and take over from you for half an hour so you get a break - you get a bad headache if it's sunny (paracetamol?).

Cloth / double duvet to cover table up. I look at nice looking stalls.

Hope it goes well for you

Skribble Thu 18-May-06 09:09:45

Good idea to seperate babyclothes as it gets a bit much trawling through piles of them and never knowing the sizes. Greta that you have a rail big difference if you can hang stuff up. You probably will have buyers before 10 but not so bad if it is controled.

I was at one were the guy set out his tables next to me but nothing else, he then locked the car and went off, he came back every 10mins with a pile of videos and eventually set up his second hand video stall all this before 9am.

Toots Thu 18-May-06 12:05:44

Thanks Laura, will take cloth and get boxes for sorted baby clothes.

It will be a one off. Anything not sold will go straight to charity shop. Am really getting in the mood now. Will have to sneak stuff past DH he's terrible. Always finding stuff back in the house that I know I put in the bin. Luckily he is at work so won't even be able to come and buy anything.

Toots Fri 19-May-06 20:47:40

My mum is helping me, I'm really chuffed. She's been round today ironing baby clothes - what a star. She's been being very serious and sensible about the float too which is good as I am frivolous and get excited so need a grown up helping. Have had day off today and been sorting things out for hours scrabbling round in the loft. What is it with DH and bags? He's got empty holdalls, rucksacks, record bags everywhere. Very eeyore he is. Anyway. Thanks for all your excellent advice. Will report back tomorrow. Looks like lots of fairs and stuff going on locally so not sure how much trade there'll be.

expatinscotland Fri 19-May-06 20:49:52

Bring a clothes drying rack to hang your clothes on.

Laura032004 Sat 20-May-06 08:44:57

Fingers crossed for nice weather for you

Toots Thu 25-May-06 11:06:29

Well what an experience.

Cleared £49 (after tenner for pitch). Met lovely people, horrible people and two weirdos (look lady, I STILL haven't got any mobile phones, now please don't ask me a FOURTH time). Felt much more emotional than taking stuff to the charity shop which I just forget about instantly. Have thought several times about whether I was wrong to sell DD2s dungarees that she maybe could have got more wear out of. Also was exhausted rest of Saturday and all of Sunday.

Would have been all over the place without all your help, so thanks to all who posted.

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