15 May 2011

Boot sale madness - crazy times

As you'll know if you regularly read my blog or follow me on twitter, I went a bit clear-out crazy recently.  I had two blogsales going on, plus I was gearing up to do a boot sale with my friends.

The boot sale was a hilarious experience, but not one I'm sure I'd want to repeat!  After the clearing out was done and you guys had bought what you wanted, the leftovers were labelled and packed up ready to go.


We met up at 6am (this was a Sunday by the way!) and loaded up a van and a car with all our stuff.  I had cups of tea and bacon sandwiches at the ready to wake us up and prepare us for the torture which lay ahead...

When we arrived, people started coming up to the car before we'd even stopped!  They were asking if we had things like mobile phones, gold and perfume.  Clearly these people are pros and want to grab the best bargains as soon as people arrive and I assume they sell them on somewhere.  We plucked up the courage to get out of the car and started unloading the van just as it started to rain.  We'd brought some umbrellas with us, so we put them up and got on with it.

A new group of people started to swarm who weren't after anything particular, they just wanted to be the first to see what we had - they were trying to raid the stuff before we'd even unpacked it!  It was all getting a bit much as there were people waving things in my face asking how much and all crowding round - it would have been very easy for someone to steal something at this point and we probably did lose a few bits as we had lots of small things like jewellery.  We decided to tell people that things weren't for sale yet so that we could have some room to breathe and unpack - this is where the first hilarious quote of the day came from when Heather told the crowd to "f**k back" from the van!  The way it came out was so funny, it's become a new catchphrase!


Once things were unpacked it was so much easier for shoppers to look at what we had and for us to sell it.  We'd labelled our stuff with different coloured stickers, so if I sold something with a red sticker, I knew it was Zara's and would pass her the money.  This worked really well and there was lots of shouting "how much for your green dress?" and the reply usually being "a paaaand" - we turned into right little cockney market traders for the day, doing a bit of wheeling and dealing and buy one get one free.


Clothes sold really well, but we had to have really low prices - nobody wanted to pay more than £2 even for something brand new with the tags on - but we knew this when we went.  Anything I had which I knew was worth a lot more on eBay was left at home.  We took my old clothes rails and lots of spare hangers to display our clothes.  I'd really recommend this as it's so much easier for buyers to see what you have.  The only trouble was if the wind blew too hard they fell over!


We sold lots of jewellery, shoes and handbags too.  I even had a box of half used products like mousse, hairspray, body lotion etc and people were buying those for 50p each - not bad for stuff hanging around my bathroom unloved.  I also sold the fake J'adore perfume that the bf was scammed with on eBay for £2!

Elliott spotted a lady in sequinned hat and suggested she might like to buy a sequinned jumper to go with it, and she did!  Good selling skills there!

Books, cds and dvds didn't sell too well - we sold some but had lots left over too.


That's me modelling some of the stock to entice the customers... I can't say it was all that successful!

Trying to get our stuff laid out in the rain and whilst under siege was a pretty low point of the day and it made me pleased there were four of us - I wouldn't want to do a boot sale with less than that I think.  Also getting robbed was a shame, but something I think you have to expect it in that environment.  At one point another shopper pointed out that a man had stolen something from us, another time my friend noticed something she was selling was gone but none of us had sold it.  Also, I saw a woman wearing a cardigan of mine so I asked her if she was trying it on and whether she wanted to buy it and she told me it was hers and she'd come to the boot sale wearing it!  It was a leopard print cardigan which blatantly didn't go with the other clothes she was wearing and I could clearly tell it was mine because of the distinctive buttons and the bobbling (the reason I was getting rid of it).  I couldn't believe her cheek, I'd have only charged £1 for it anyway!

There were some good points though, and we all had a laugh and made some extra cash.  Heather had brought a big double buggy to sell for her Mum and I managed to get my foot caught on it and landed flat on my face in front of so many people!  Luckily I found it funny and didn't get hurt - once I laughed, everyone else joined in and laughed at me too.  Haggling with the customers was funny too, some people were so cheeky!  One man agreed to do a dance for us to get some money off what he was buying, although he didn't actually do the dance in the end.  One of my favourite quotes from the day is when Heather unpacked a Belgian beer glass and Zara's brother asked her if she was selling a bong!

At the end of the day we started dropping prices.  I really didn't want to take anything home, so I started giving things away for free and then we packed up what was left and took it to a charity shop.  We were all pleased with the money we made -  I think I made the most as I had the most stuff to sell (I'm a shopping addict and a hoarder) and I came away with more than £200.  Our pitch fee was only £12, which between all of us was nothing really.

Getting out of the place was a nightmare - we should probably have left earlier.  There was a massive queue to get out, and our car got separated from our van by a nasty old man directing the traffic.  He wouldn't let us go with the van even though we asked and he said it was because they had a horse and we didn't!  He was clearly nuts and was wearing an orange Sainsbury's fleece which he must have bought at the bootsale, and a crazy blue hat.  Once we eventually wound round the long way he'd sent us 20 minutes later, we came back out in the same place where he'd told us we couldn't go unless we had a horse!  We were so angry and he just found it funny!

I realised afterwards that we were so busy selling we didn't really have a chance to have a look around - I heard there was a Mac stall somewhere.  I didn't see it, but I assume it would only have been selling fakes, not sure though.  I think I would do it again, but I'll never have as much to sell as I did that day.  I'm going to try and be more restrained with my shopping from now on and only buy things I actually need or really really love - there was so much stuff I sold that I'd only worn or used once if at all - I hate to think how much it all cost me originally.  In fact, I'm not going to think about that, far too depressing!

Do you buy or sell at boot sales?

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13 comments:

  1. I only buy at boot sales these days. When i was younger it's really good to get rid of toys and that, but like you said it's such a hassle just trying to get out of your car without people hounding you! x

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  2. Wow, sounds like a fun and slightly crazy day! Sounds quite scary with the people crowding you before you even unpacked. Glad you had such a successful day though! :) xxx

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  3. I've actually just come back from one myself! Buying mind you not selling, I hadn't been to one in years but thought I'd give it a go. I came back with some good bargains!

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  4. wow that sounds like mayhem! me and my mum used to do boot sales when i was younger selling my toys and clothes and people really do go crazy over the stupidest things, I remember two women fighting over a pair of my old shoes once! I haven't been in years and I really want to go again but it would definitely just be for a mooch around ths time! :) x

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  5. Love boots sales! Anything ferra paaaand!

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  6. Ahahaha sounds absolutely crazy! I quite fancy selling some of my gear in one of these boot sales! xo

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  7. There are two boot sales near (ish) my parents.

    One is near the city and the other is in the country. The near the city one gets all the immigrants and gypsys who walk the 15 mile to the boot sale and you see them carrying stuff home in prams and in baskets on their heads and stuff (down the side of the motorway).

    We used to go to the shit one but it is so annoying!! You can sell something for 10p and the gypsys will still try to get it for less. And the whole thing is one giant lost in translation event where people are going "how mush its it" "50p" "I no no yeees no" "50p" "I no no" "50p" *gypsy guy buts in* "il give you 1p" "no its 50p" "I no no..."

    Then we started going to the posh one because it was next to my rowing club but it is ridiculous (we arent posh in anyway despite the rowing honest, I only got in to make their equal opportunities quota right :p). Everyone carries their dog around and wears barbour jackets. And they dont have food vans, just jacket potatos and danish pastrys. No joke. Its fairly mental. But its fun pretending to be posh. We arent trampy enough for the trampy one but are def too trampy for the posh one. Even if we carry the dog.

    Anyway im waffling. We went there for a year or so but then the gypsys and immigrants started coming from town again. Im not even kidding its like 40 miles (at least) away down the country roads. I can understand the gypsys, they have caravans to travel in but how do they other people get there!?

    Then the posh one started making rules that were clearly only there to stop gypsys. No caravans or vans allowed to park in the carpark. No new stuff allowed to be sold. Nothing fake allowed. it was so outrageous. But they did kind of ruin it.

    anyway that was a waffle sorry.

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  8. Thanks for your comments everyone. I'm fairly new to the world of boot sales - my eyes have been truly opened!

    @Georgia - thanks for sharing that hun. I had no idea people walked that far for a boot sale, that's mental! Considering the one I did was on a farm and it started at 6am, I did wonder how some of the people got there or how far they'd come, but I'd never have guessed they might have walked for miles!

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  9. We've done a couple of car boot sales over the past month in one of the church grounds in the village, it was great fun and thankfully we didn't have the kind of madness you had unloading your stuff and having people steal stuff, that's desperate! It's great doing a clearout of the house and making a few bob from it and also feel like Del Boy while you haggle with the customers hehe

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  10. I can't believe some people are so cheeky they would steal from a boot sale that's so tight! I've done a boot sale once before, we didn't get half as much interest as it sounds like you did though! I think a key point is getting a good pitch in the middle somewhere, we were right on the outside!

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  11. Gem i literally choked with laughter when i read this - i was laughing so much i couldn't breathe enough to tell my boyfriend what i was laughing at!!! Especially when your friend said "F**k back"!!!

    Ahhh car boot sales, clearly not for the faint hearted xxx

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  12. Haha this was so funny to read sounds like a slightly crazy/funny day! Can't believe the cheek of some people though eee!! xx

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