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The boot sale guide for sellers

The Boot Sale Guide For Sellers

1. Do Your Sums Beforehand

Planning and preparation is the key to any task and selling at a boot sale is no exception.

That’s why you should have all your prices worked out before you set off rather than make them up when you get there.

But DON’T price tag your items. Instead, write the prices in a little notebook that you can have to hand.

There are 2 reasons for this. Firstly, potential buyers may be put off by thinking the price on the ticket is the only price you will accept and that you are not prepared to haggle.

Now, I would imagine you are prepared to haggle but, even if you are not, encouraging the buyer to ask the price shows a genuine interest in the item.

Also, by price tagging an item, you may be undercutting yourself in the collectible market. Something that’s very easy to do with an item you don’t like and just want rid of.

But, remember, we are talking collectibles here and what is ugly and useless to you is beautiful and fascinating to somebody else. Thus, by price tagging an item, you are allowing the buyer to pay a lower price for something that they could well have paid more for because of its appeal to them.

You have to keep in your head at all times that somebody, somewhere will see the collectibility element in every item you are selling, even if you don’t.

2. Ready(ish) For Action!

Before you set off, plan for a quick set up. A simple mistake made by so many people is to put the table in FIRST. This is going to be a big problem for you when you get there as you need the table OUT FIRST! So, when you pack, put the table IN LAST.

And make sure you set off in plenty of time to arrive early.

The big tip here is LOOK SET UP EVEN IF YOU AREN’T SET UP. In other words, get your stall full within minutes of arriving, even if it’s with large bulky items, such as toys, that can later be moved to the floor to make way for the smaller delicate items.

Now I know that many fragile items such as pottery and glassware need to be wrapped carefully and, consequently unwrapped carefully. But by unwrapping these smaller items first you will appear to be getting nowhere fast and possibly look disorganised.

What’s more important is that you will attract buyers who are keen to catch you off guard and they will start to look through your stuff before you’ve unpacked it. Don’t be surprised if you find people looking through your things whilst they are still in your car and even ‘helping you to unpack’ by taking stuff out to get a closer look.

Now, not only is this frustrating, it also means that you are not able to give neither the seller nor the set up your full attention. Therefore, you are likely to sell something at a knock-down price just to get rid of the persistent buyer and what’s more, your set up will take even longer with the potential of attracting even more Nosey Parkers who are intent on invading your space.

Instead, have a set up plan such as:

  • Table out – 2 minutes
  • Toys and bulk onto table – 2 minutes
  • Books, magazines, etc onto table – 2 minutes
  • Breakables/small items onto table – 30-45 minutes 

This is a little basic, I know, but it is important to be organised and efficient.

You have to be in control at all times. If not, then sellers will sense that you could easily be intimidated and part with items way below their true worth.

3. Check Out The Competition

This is where it is always good to work with someone else because, whilst one of you looks after the stall, the other can take a walk around the other sellers to see what the competition is like.

You can find out if any of the sellers have items similar to you or are even just set up like you.

Are they attracting a crowd? If so, that’s good news because the crowd is sure to come to you.

And don’t worry if it takes a while for them to come to you. Everyone who goes to a boot sale will generally visit every stall at least once.

4. Interact With Your Buyers

When you have a group of people approaching, make contact with them. Talk to them, about the weather, about what they’ve bought elsewhere, about anything. Just to get them to stop and browse.

Striking up a conversation here is non-threatening or pressurised but gets them to stop and have a better look at your stall.

If you can, have a look at what they have bought elsewhere and try to find out what they paid. Make sure you tell them they got a good deal (even if, in the back of your mind, you think otherwise!) This will further endear them to you and reassure them that they have been paying fair prices and, more importantly, your prices will be as reasonable.

5. Haggling Gets Sales

Be prepared to haggle. Your prospective buyer will expect you to.

Remember you guide price and don’t go too low and give stuff away. On the other hand, don’t be greedy. If you’ve done your homework, you’ll know where any buyer’s interest in a particular item will come from.

For instance, is the item a real collectible? Or does it have a high novelty attraction? Two types of buyers seeing different things in your item.

And get this, it is very common for someone to pay a higher price for an item’s novelty value than a collector would pay for its collectible value ON THE DAY.

So remember the deal ON THE DAY is what counts and only you can make the decision to sell, even if occasionally the price isn’t quite what you wanted.

6. Do A Deal On Multiple Items

If you have more items similar to the ones your buyer is interested in then this is the time to introduce them.

Even if they are still in a box somewhere (although, being organised, you’ll know exactly where to find them!)

Now you can strike a bargain on two or more items and get those extra sales.

7. Job Lots Clear Space But Lose Revenue

Avoid selling items as job lots. Job lots can lose you money unless you are sure you just want rid of certain items.

If you have to do this, break the job lot down into smaller bundles. For instance, with a batch magazines, break down into smaller related bundles, such as a consecutive run of issues or ones with a similar theme such as fishing or home improvements. This way, you will get a little more money for your stock.

In the early days, I move several job lots and immediately realised that I had just parted with stock that could easily, over a little longer period , have made 10 times what I got for the job lot, perhaps more.

All you are doing is putting money into the pockets of other sellers because it really is only sellers who buy job lots purely to sell on.

8. It’s No Place For Valuables

Boot sales are not the place for real collectibles or antiques. You will never get a worthy offer.

Collectors (like me) and antique dealers are all over boot sales like a rash hunting out very cheap deals and gullible sellers to buy from. Don’t be one of them!

Check every item out that you are selling before you get there and if you have any incling that an item may be worth more than a few pounds, then don’t take it for sale.

There are numerous specialist auction houses that will value and sell collectibles for you so that the items have more chance of realising their true worth.

Online auction sites such as eBay and eBid are still good for selling collectibles.

9. When Not To Sell

If you are selling that day as well buying, DON’T put anything up for sale that you have just bought from another stall minutes before. This is a BIG NO! NO!

Selling something you have just bought from somebody else 2 stalls down not only hacks people off but you are blatantly saying that you ripped them off.

Word soon gets around and you could find yourself short of bargains in the fut

10. Until The Bitter End!

Don’t pack up early, even if there is hardly anyone around. And especially if other stalls have packed up and gone.

There will always be latecomers and they will still want to spend.

What’s more, they will have fewer stalls to spend at so there is still some good money to be made by going the full distance.

And you can always pack as you unpacked so that your stall can still look full until doors finally close. Then you can be packed and away within minutes!

Go Forth And Sell!

Hopefully you now have a few pointers to help you get the best from your boot sales and, more importantly, how to generate a real income from something you first thought was totally worthless.

Market your junk properly and it will no longer be junk. It will be a collectible to someone, somewhere!

Remember “One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure!”

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Автор: incorparate.ru