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Earn extra money at Boot Fairs

Marketing your Boot Fair stand can increase takings

Boot Fairs have become increasingly popular over the years and have proved a good outlet for people to sell off their unwanted items after a good spring clean around the house
As the popularity spread, many looked into the obvious market and some have even taken it up as a 'full time profession'.

The average boot fair nowadays seems to consist of the following types; the family clear out, the retired person running a little industry for a bit of extra cash, the 'white van' trader who usually deals in either house clearance or items from the Cash'n'Carry and the Dealers who use it to sell without the overheads of a shop etc.

We will assume we are a bit of a mixture of the above; clearing out items we don't want and maybe dabble a bit buying items from household sales at Auctions.

Whichever route we take, often a successful Boot Fair will be the result of the weather being good, the right people turning up and a bit of luck.
But there are things we can do to maximize.

Quality, not Quantity.

In the days I owned a Van, I would load the van to the hilt. Much of the stuff would be mine which I no longer needed and the rest a mixture of items I'd brought at Auctions and come accross on my travels around and about.
It was only when I sold the van and could only get about a third of the stuff in the back of the car I realised I was taking the same, quite often more, money than before.
This was a result of being more selective about what I'd taken and also accounted for using the knowledge I had picked up around and about on what did and din't sell.
At one time for instance I thought I'd get into mirrors - big mistake ! Not only are they a storage problem at home, but they're heavy, easily broken and a real weight to carry around. I've still got some now that I brought 5 years ago.

I knew it was getting better when, upon arriving at the Boot Fair in the car, I was encrouched upon by various persons, obvious collectors and dealers, asking the questions "Got any train set stuff", "Got any Mobile Phones", "Got any records" ? etc. In fact, only last weekend I sold £16 worth of stuff before I'd taken one box out of the car !
The good thing about this is that because they're first there and it's only 7am, they will pay the asking price, presuming of course you're not being silly about it.
Don't think 'blow, I had my stall all designed in my head and I've sold the main things' etc. Don't worry, take the money, you've already covered the cost of the Boot and there's a chance of an earlier finish for you !

On this particular day I had a mixture of my own stuff, my sons Playstation games and a few items I'd purchased a while back.
Where I think we are going right right is, that overall, we always try to look look like it was all ours and we were having a spring clean. A good mixture of household / family and niche stuff.

Pricing at Bootfairs

How many times have you gone up to a stall and asked "How much is this please ?", then the person has said "£5", and you've just moved on. Equally how many times HAVEN'T you asked how much something is because the stalls too busy, you're shy or you're frightened of getting into a hard sell.
I always, without fail, price every single item on the Stall. I see my Boot as a shop with no walls. The prospective customers can see what you're asking for and can barter if they want to. I believe this puts you in a more commanding position and also shows you haven't just chucked a load of stuff in the car and gone there - you've taken a bit of time out to prepare. If you stand there watching and listening, you'll know if something is over priced and can mark down accordingly. If you've under priced, that's a shame, but you've got what you thought it was worth.

On any item that's almost new, in good order and worth say over £5, go onto ebay home page and type it in. When you find the items, go to 'Completed Listings' and see what they've been selling at.
By doing this, the chances of you being sucked into a bad deal on your part are smaller and it gives you a good reply to anyone who may be trying it on. You can even write something on the item ticket like 'Least expensive price I've found on ebay - 2nd hand £7.50 Brand New £16.79 (inc postage) my price only £7.
You will be surprised how many people see these and actually say "That's a good price isn't it". They may not buy that item, but they will look at all the other stuff because they know you are at least trying.

Don't burn it - sell it!

The main thing is to use your skills and simply be nice to people. You see so many stall holders looking as if they'd rather not be there. One side of me says that's a shame, but the other says it plays into the hands of the stall holder who is there for a reason, wants to be there and treats people well.

Have a laugh with them, no need for any hard sell atall.

With half an hour to go, why not remove the items you'd rather save for another day and just put 'Everything half price'. People will look, you won't sell everything, but you'll make a few more pence to pay your electricity bill

The other thing is don't go to the same one all the time. You could have a really good day at one, then after that, take nothing. Try the village fairs, they're usually well advertised and draw in from a wide area.
Spend a bit of time walking around to see what everyone else has got and remember that for the next time you visit.


A smaller Stall than usual at the Ashford Sunday Bootfair

Summary /Top Tips

1. Pack your car with the table being first out.
2. Whilst unpacking your car, keep all the side doors locked
3. Make sure all the items you really want to sell are priced
4. Think 'associated', someone buys a tent, sell them the Gaz Stove as well
5. Look at what they've alread brought if you can. That will sort the Dealers out.
6. Chat to people, not necessarily about the goods. Too many Stall Holders just sit there
7. Look as if you want to be there!
8. Take a deposit whilst the sale is still 'hot'
9. With an hour to go, try calling out a bit that you'll accept offers (anything you don't want to sell 'cheap', put away!
10. Keep a log as you're selling to look at trends which will help you at the next one.



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What's the boot worth? How much do I want to take? What don't I mind not selling today? What do I simply want out the way? What can I chuck away because no ones going to buy it? Avoid trash.

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It's a bit like the property developer TV programmes. Don't buy to sell what you like - it's what people want that's important. If you've something everyone else has a lot of - it's because they don't sell, not the price



Buying to Sell

If you can get any old radio in reasonable condition at a Boot Fair for less than £10, it'll probably sell well on ebay. I brought 4 radios for £7 and got just under £80 back !