Thursday, April 25, 2013

Car Boot Sale Etiquette

If you have never been to a car boot sale you probably have a lot of questions about what happens at these strange affairs, the answer to all of these is "nothing to be afraid of".I will try and cover what is expected or not so , if you are going for the first time you are prepared and know what to expect.


How much do things cost ?

This varies from seller, everyone sets their own prices this can be anything from free and upwards, yes I did say free I have frequently come across people with a little box of free to a good home items.

Will items be labelled with prices ?

Yes and no some people will diligently stick stickers on every item, others you will need to ask. Please don't be afraid to ask , it by no means obligates you to buy an item, if the price is not to your liking then just say "Thank you" and move on no one will think any the less of you , or try the next tip.

Are prices set in stone ?

You will find a small minority of people will not budge from the stated price, but most are very open to negotiation especially toward the end of the car boot sale when they really do not want to pack items up and take them home, I speak from experience selling at car boot sales too.

How do I haggle ?

So you have asked the price and it is more than you were wanting to spend, that lovely pair of jeans is £1.50, you only wanted to spend a pound, just politely ask the seller "would you accept £1.00" for them, if the answers yes everyone is happy, if the answer is "no" then decide are you willing to pay £1.50 after all, if so then politely "I will take them please" or if you are not willing to spend that much then politely "Thank you anyway" and move on to better bargains.
If you are wanting to buy multiple items use this as a bargaining tool instead of £1.00 each will they take £2.50 for three, the worst that can happen is they say no, if they were in your position they would do the same.

Is it ok to pick things up and examine them ?

Yes indeedy whether it is a 10p mug or a £20.00 painting it is your money and you want an item that is fit for the purpose you require it for, no one expects you to pay for an item you have inspected from the other side of the field, sellers expect you to examine items before purchase.
If clothes are in a big pile, have a rummage , you may find the best bargains at the bottom, just be respectful of other peoples belongings , if clothes are neatly folded look through them by all means , but leave them as you found them it is only polite.
A lady once commented to me at a car boot sale after I had looked through her stall that it was lovely to come across someone who put the clothes back folded as they found them and she couldn't believe the rudeness of other people just throwing them down in a pile, neither could I.
As with life treat other people the way you would want to be treated yourself.

If I change my mind and want to buy something I passed up earlier can I do this ?

If it is still there go for it , I have been back to stalls where I have decided its worth the higher price and said I will take it after all, you get what you want seller makes a sale everyone is happy.
Our current garden chairs were a bargain we went back for , an hour after seeing them on the way back to the car they were still there, we offered the lady the same lower price again, so she would not have to take them home, she accepted and we have lovely garden chairs, don't be afraid to be cheeky and ask, as long as you are polite with it this will sometimes swing things in your favour.

Car boot sales are sociable events , most people buying and selling are there not just for the buying and selling, but for the social side of it, be friendly, smile and chat, some people even have stories about what they are selling.
They are a social event as a family too, get some exercise and chat on the way round, the things we see as a family can become talking points of peoples like and dislikes, seeing interesting items not seen before, what are they for ? what does it do ?

I hope I have dispelled any myths , and if you have not been to a car boot sale before,I hope this has given you the information for you to go confidently forward bargain hunting

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