To car boot or not to car boot

Rogate Car Boot Sales by Sue Lowry

I have just participated in my very first car boot sale – not knowing quite what to expect or what it was all about.  I have to admit, I enjoyed it too – possibly more as a buyer than as a seller which, as anyone who knows me will tell you, is totally in character.

Rogate Car Boot Sales by Sue Lowry

Together with a couple of friends who had basically slimmed down several sizes and wanted to offload their entire wardrobe, we set out our store, so to speak – and the car boot sale we chose was Rogate – just outside Petersfield, on the Hampshire/West Sussex border.  Several things were quite evident immediately.  I was outclassed by the veteran car-booters and should have prepared more.  Think competititive school jumble sale and then some.

Rogate Car Boot Sales by Sue Lowry

The savvy car booters surrounded us on arrival, demanding to know what we were selling and eager to get first dibs.  Kid’s clothes and toys, photographic equipment, CDs and LPs were much in demand. As we didn’t have these, they soon melted away to encircle another new arrival.  All however were cheerful and friendly.

Rogate Car Boot Sales by Sue Lowry

Layout wise – there was the “pile it high and delve” car booters and the “thoughtful, well laid out” car booters – the latter were the ones which attracted me.  When looking around, I saw that many were actually businesses using it as an alternative avenue of sales.

Rogate Car Boot Sales by Sue Lowry

Two or three wallpaper tables pulled together, covered with a table cloth with items laid out beautifully, priced individually seemed to be the order of the day. These aficionados had also thoughtfully brought sun umbrellas to help with the sun on the day we visited, flasks of coffee, water and sandwiches – sitting in camping chairs, reading books or chatting on the mobile.  It’s very much a social thing.

Rogate Car Boot Sales by Sue Lowry

Talking to a few of them – they tend to go to two or three sales a week and hone in on those that specialise in what they are selling be it vintage, books, prints, plants, clothes, jewellery etc. They also sell on eBay or Etsy (for the more craft orientated) but for them, discourse with their customers is what its all about – they love to chat, they love to sell, they clearly love what they do.

Rogate Car Boot Sales by Sue Lowry

I have to say, car booting is probably not for me as a seller but I will definitely visit a few as a prospective buyer in the future.  It’s great fun, everyone is very helpful and cheerful and you never know, you may find a collectible or two if you search hard enough.

Rogate Car Boot Sales by Sue Lowry

All three of us sold enough goods to cover our entrance fee and more.

Rogate Car Boot Sales by Sue Lowry

In summary, for any other newbie car-booters:  Get there early for the best pitches / lay your wares out clearly / mark everything clearly / be happy to bargain / take lots of change / bring plastic bags for your customers / have the patter and be happy to chatter!  Bring everything you need to keep comfortable and its always good to have two people around otherwise you are glued to your stall (and that’s no fun!)

Rogate Car Boot Sales by Sue Lowry

Most of all – go and have fun.  More information, prices and dates, check out

Contributor & Photographer:  Sue Lowry

Follow A3Traveller on Twitter: @A3Traveller and Sue Lowry on Google +, YouTube, Linkedin, Flickr and Pinterest. I also operate another blog for my company, Magellan PR – They can be followed on Twitter: @MagellanPR, on Google+, on YouTube, on Pinterest and on Facebook.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Beachbums1 says:

    Great advice ~ shoppers definitely appreciate the priced items. Looked like some fun things to buy…I particularly like the St. B’s Bay Hotel soap dish.

    1. a3traveller says:

      There were several things that I quite liked too but my bossy friends had FORBIDDEN me to buy anything! My focus, they said, was on selling!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.