Grabbing a Car Boot Bargain
Buying at car boot sales can be great fun. Here are our top 12 tips to help you bag a bargain:
1. Wrap up well in winter. It can be numbingly cold first thing in the morning and you will need to keep warm to concentrate on the rummaging.
2. Take plenty of small change. Cash is king but displaying a handfull of notes is not a good way to drive prices down.
3. Carry a torch and a magnifying glass. Covered car boot sales can be quite dim and you may need to check backstamps or condition.
4. Take bags and wrapping material if you intend to buy glass or ceramics to avoid breaking items.
5. Take a phone so that you can check an item's value online (away from the stall of course, you will not want to alert a seller that an item is of great interest).
6. Get there early! Check the time that local boot sales open for sellers. It will often be much earlier than you think and a good strategy is to get there at the same time as the sellers. You wont be alone, as that is the time when most dealers are active, snapping up interesting items and crowding the newly arrived sellers as they attempt to unload.
7. Be thorough, check out boxes on the ground and dont rush past stalls or you may miss a gem.
8. Take note of stalls that are run by regulars. They may well have items of interest but you are less likely to get a bargain buy than from someone wanting to have a clearout.
9. Unless you are very sure of a buy, handle it first as your fingers can often feel defects that the eye cannot see. Any faults can be a lever to drive down price.
10. Haggle. Find out the seller's price, then ask for the seller's very best price and test a lower price if there is a hint of flexibility. But be polite and explain why a low price is essential e.g. condition, yesterday's antique, or even "that's too rich for me, would you take a fiver?"
11. Dont put down an object while you haggle unless you want someone else to pick it up.
12. Get there late! As an alternative to getting to the car boot early, getting there late can also be fruitful as long as you leave enough time to look around before sellers begin to pack up. Sellers often have unrealistic expectations of price when they arrive but, after seeing numerous buyers walk away from a high priced item, they are often keen to shift their remaining stock later in the day. A cheeky offer can often succeed at this point