The chances are, when you’re moving to Australia you’ll go through your house and have a big declutter ready for your move abroad. You’ll end up with a huge pile of things that you don’t want to take to your new life in Australia. Sites like eBay, Gumtree and Facebook selling pages are all great ways to sell bigger items, but most people end up doing car boot sales to sell the bulk of their excess belongings.
If you’re moving to Australia soon and you want to make the best possible income from doing your regular Sunday car boot sale, read on because I love a good boot sale…
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The best way to maximise your car boot sale income when moving to Australia: Car boot sale tips and tricks
Get your things in good condition. Clean up anything that is dirty, iron any clothes that look like they will make some money and make sure all puzzles are complete. If your stuff looks tatty, people won’t stop at your stall.
Load the car the night before. Car boot sales start early and you want to be there on time.
Don’t bother pricing things, unless they are big items. You will only work out the value of things when people start coming to your stall. If you’ve spent time pre-labelling everything then you will have to take labels off when you realise people are only willing to pay £X for a DVD. Instead, it’s a good idea to group things of a similar price range together in boxes and label the whole box. So mark things like, ‘All soft toys 50p or three for £1’. It makes it easy for shoppers to see the value, plus it encourages them to buy more. If you need to change your pricing you only need to label one box, not each item. Big items, on the other hand, can be labelled (you probably won’t have many of these as most will sell better on eBay or Facebook). Label those and see how things go. If you don’t label them, you’ll get so many people asking for a price in the hope that you’re selling it cheaply, so it avoids those time-wasters. If you get lots of interest but people walk away then you could think about dropping the price after a while, or taking it out of the car boot sale and trying to sell via another route.
Take loads of small change. You don’t want lose out on sales because you’ve run out.
Don’t try to do a car boot sale with young kids around. It can get pretty busy when swarms of people come by and you don’t want to be worrying about your toddler running off. Plus they are bound to want to buy stuff from all of the toy stalls. And they will suddenly remember how much they love all of the things you’re trying to sell.
Be prepared for lots of people to descend on you while you’re trying to unpack. They are hoping to catch you off guard and grab stuff for a bargain price. Stick to your guns with prices as much as you can until the rush has died down and you have most of your things out. Also, during this rush beware that this is a stage when things can go missing from your stall so keep your eyes open at all times.
Take plenty of carrier bags for the people who buy lots of your things.
Know the value of things in advance – check out the price of the items online both new and second hand. You can bet that the people who are shopping at the car boot sales are also doing their research on their phones too.
Try not to buy more stuff or spend cash while doing the car boot sale. It is so easy to buy a bacon sandwich and coffee and a few extra bits and blow some of your profit. Don’t do it otherwise it’s just not worth your effort. Take a flask and food with you so all of your profit can go towards your move.
Have a range of places to display your goods. A fold-out table, a blanket laid on the floor and a clothes rail or two. You can create quite a large space around your vehicle so make the most of your selling platform.
Make your stall look tidy and try not to stack things on top of each other. Every item needs to be visible on your table.
Smile and chat to people – if you are welcoming it will make people more likely to look at your stall.
Set yourself a target. We had a £100 earning target for every car boot sale we did. We had a lot of things (maybe three car loads) so we kept doing car boot sales while we were hitting our target by restocking the gear each week with new items. When the week arrived that we hadn’t hit our target and we were running low on things of value to sell, we knew it was time to stop. When you’ve done a couple of sales and can see your profits have dropped, be prepared to get rid of the rest of your goods via another method, otherwise you’re just wasting your time. When this happens you have a few options…
- You could walk around and offer your entire stall to other sellers who look like regulars.
- You could find specific niche sellers and offer smaller batches of things (i.e. baby wear could be offered to a baby stall holder, DVDs to a DVD stall etc).
- If you can’t find anybody to take the rest of your stall off your hands, group your items together on your stall before you pack up and take photos of the sections while everything is laid out. So take one photo of all of your baby gear laid out on a blanket. Take one photo of all of your books. One of all of your household bits. One of any women’s clothes etc. Pack up these items into those groups and clearly label the boxes or bags with the group name. Then when you get home list them on eBay as niche car boot bundles e.g. ‘Car boot bundle of boy’s baby clothes aged 1 – 2 years. Good condition’ etc. List these to start at a reasonable price but so they’re still a bargain for somebody (i.e. £5.99/ £9.99/£19.99 etc, rather than 99p) – if each bundle sells for the listing price and no more then you’ve still made some extra cash. If any don’t get any bids, then you can take these to a charity shop or pop them on again for 99p and someone will usually buy them and collect from you with zero effort.
What gear do you need to do a car boot sale?
Car boot table
You will need some kind of trestle table or pasting table to show off your wares. You can pick them up cheaply on Amazon here.
A ground sheet means you can lay out some things on the floor and keep them clean and dry. Grab one from Amazon now.
Remember you live in the UK and it rains. Often. Bring a large tarpaulin that you can throw over your stall to keep your things dry during quick showers. Buy one here.
Don’t forget to pack yourself a flask of coffee and some snacks otherwise you will end up spending all of your money on food and drink. Buy one from Amazon.
The reality of doing a car boot sale
The reality is, that while car boot sales feel like a way to make some quick cash towards your move to Australia, they are pretty depressing and time-consuming. People can turn their nose up when you offer them a jigsaw that cost you £15 for just 10p! (I have no idea what these people are hoping for – 5p maybe and they’d take it?!) When you think about the hours involved in doing a car boot sale, it is a little crazy. My hubby and I did three car boot sales: 5am – 1pm x 3 mornings x two people = 48 hours of man time invested. We worked out that we earned £6.25 per hour for it each, not even counting the time involved in organsing the gear the night before, and the loading and unloading of the car. If I’d broken it down into eBay bundles from the start I could probably have earned half that for an awful lot less time and effort. Or if we’d done some extra work in our real life jobs and given the stuff away to charity we’d still have come off better and have helped out some charities in the process.
I kind of secretly enjoyed doing the car boot sales though. Plus I felt like we were getting something for our belongings rather than throwing things away. We boosted our moving budget by a few hundred pounds in the process too which definitely came in handy when we arrived.
Are you planning on doing any car boot sales? Do you have any car boot sale tips to share? If so please post them below!