Welcome to the big carboot guide. Whenever I have hauls of carboot finds, people always ask me how I find such lovely things! People seem to think that I go to carboots and automatically find these incredible things lying around.. I don't. It takes alot of effort to find stuff that you will like and for really cheap, So I've decided to write my top tips on carbooting. For people asking, carboot sales are basically like jumble sales/flea markets, whatever you want to call them, but you sit in the boot of your car and have a table outside. That's where the name comes from.. obviously. I've been going every Sunday (almost) ever since I was little as a family thing, as I live up North where there are lots of field and stuff.
1. TIME ISN'T EVERYTHING.
Big secret .. I arrive at carboot at around 8:30am - 9:00am. I literally do not know how some people can get there for 6:30am! I don't think anything could get me out of bed at that time! We go quite late cause we always take ages rounding everyone up and then theres the 15 minute car journey. Don't assume that just because you set off late you'll not get any of the bargains! Okay, so I probably do miss alot of stuff because I'm late, but usually when I go late, I get loads of things I want anyway, so 'I'm not fussed. Time is not everything, but I recommend no later than 9:30am!
2. LOOK AT EVERY STALL.
Okay so I probably look at 95% of the stalls properly down each aisle, I'm only human, I don't want to completely thoroughly check everything, but I do want to take my time. My mum and I are the slowest people in the world to look around a carboot, but you have to be thorough, at the same time being quite quick as if it is a big carboot, you just want to get it over and done with!
I got a pair of those slippers for £1. They are so cute!
3. MAKE SURE YOU REALLY WANT IT.
The biggest trap everyone falls into at a carboot is thinking that because something is so cheap.. it must come in handy some day? It's only 10p, why not?
There is a reason people are selling things so cheap sometimes.. it's called clutter. You don't want to be having your own carboot in a months time with all the random stuff you've bought from a carboot that you never used! Think about whether you genuinely need the item or not.
4. WRITE A LIST
Okay I don't actually do this, I have a mental list, because I am disorganised. But I think if you write a list of things you're looking for.. nail varnish, moisturiser, new shoes, floral dresses, then it makes things a hell of a lot easier when trying to spot things you want. Sure, you aren't gonna always find the stuff, it's a carboot, not primark! But it does help, and I've gone to carboots with certain stuff in mind and it helped!
5. BE POLITE.
I really hate rude people, and you get a few mardy bums (this means moody) at carboots sometimes. Generally though, Being from Yorkshire, people are relatively friendly and very chatty so it is a nice environment. But I think if you aren't polite.. it just makes the mood of the carboot all sad and it kindof dampens the mood of people around you. ALSO, a pet peeve of mine is if something is expensive at a carboot, don't make it obvious you think that's a crazy price, this is someone elses stall! They may have paid alot for that, so if you're gonna bitch about the price, don't do it in front of them. It's not only rude, but veeeery awkward! I have also been very friendly to sellers and had them give me things for free or discounted, so manners do go a long way :)
6. ASK FOR PRICES ON STUFF.
Little bit of a secret for you.. I HATE asking for prices. If I go into a shop like topshop.. I can't ask a sales assistant for help. I'm very shy when it comes to total strangers. I used to be the same at carboots and I used to ask my mum to ask for me (still occasionally do, not gonna lie!) buuut, I have learnt to do it myself and it is embarrassing to admit but it can be quite hard to ask cause its just a little awkward! But if you don't ask.. then you may be missing out on something being really cheap, because not everything is labelled!
7. DON'T BE FORCED INTO BUYING SOMETHING.
I had the worse case of this at the most recent carboot. was terrible! Some people who sell stuff are very good at pushing you to say yes.. as Brits, I reckon we are just too polite to be like 'no, fuck off', and admittedly, I too just say okay if it shuts someone else up! A guy was trying to sell me some really nice pocket watches but I just didn't want to spend the money and he was just going ON AND ON. I stood there for a bit and when he sortof turned away, I quickly walked off so he couldn't carry on trying to convince me anymore haha. It was terribly awkward, but DO NOT BE PRESSURED. It is YOUR money! They can't put a gun to your head, just ignore their tactics and keep asking yourself the same questions 'Do I want it' and 'Is it worth it'?
8. JUST KEEP GOING!
This sounds really selfish and not appreciative of how amazing carboots are and how lucky I am to go.. but carboots can be the most tiresome thing in the world. Even when I go shopping it can be testing and I just want to go home and go back to sleep (especially as carboot days mean I've had around 4 hours sleep!). Just keep at it, the ones I go to are crazy long and take around an 2 hours to finish, when you're carrying bags full of stuff and not had a chance to stop and sit down.. its horrible. My tip is to just get through it and not give up.. because I ALWAYS FINISH A CARBOOT. Otherwise you may keep thinking 'what if there was something amazing on that last row?' and most of the time, the last row always has SOMETHING I like on it!
9. DRESS COMFORTABLY
I literally look like the biggest tramp at carboots.. leggings, flannel shirts, long tops, sweats.. I don't make the effort.. why the hell would i? No one exactly cares, we're not exactly going out anywhere nice, I want to be comfortable as like I said it can be tiring going around a carboot and I want to be comfy! I also do not do my hair and makeup because I am not exactly going to start chatting up some of the 60 year olds on the stalls am I? I think a laid back approach is definitely the best! It also means it takes me 2 minutes to get ready in the morning and I get those precious minutes of sleep in! OH and weather wise, always dress for thew weather. If it seem cold ALWAYS WEAR A VEST UNDERNEATH because once you've been going around for a while it starts getting HOT.
10. RUMMAGE RUMMAGE RUMMAGE!
Don't just dismiss that pile of clothes cause you cba to look through it. I don't always rummage cause yes, again, I get quite tired, but most of my best bargains are from those 50p piles of clothes!
11. LOOK AT THE SELLER.
This could possibly be the only tip on nthe list that isn't super duper obvious when thinking about tips. If the seller is a young girl (or guy!) selling clothes, 90% of the time they will have some really nice things, primark and topshop etc. If it is someone old, alot of the times you can bank on them having GENUINE good vintage stuff going cheap, especially st michael stuff! This doesn't always work, but I always rummage best when I look at the seller and see what stuffs actually on show. If I reckon their clothes will really interest me then I have a thorough look.
I don't haggle. And I think I've done it twice in my entire carboot life. I find it awkward, but I definitely think it is a great way of making a saving on things that are around £3-4! Try and haggle 50p-£1 lower, as that's usually pretty acceptable. Oh and don't haggle on things that are already cheap.. that's just weird.
13. EVERYTHING MUST GO
At the end of a carboot, alot of sellers just wanna get rid of stuff and do a 'everything 10p' or 'fill a plastic bag for 50p' tactic. I see this alot as I'm there quite late and this is a great reason for no going too early to a carboot. But remember to not give in just cause things are cheap, but take a look. I got a 10p new eyelash curler and a 10p topshop cardi from a stall trying to get rid of stuff, so there can be some good bargains.
14. REPEAT OFFENDERS
I recognise quite a few people each week at carboots and that is because alot of sellers come back each week and sell. These people usually sell job lots of stuff and it can be a great way of getting things brand new that you could get from the high street at really low prices!
This is where I got my two vintage gold charmbracelets from. The guy was selling some amazing things for cheap!
• Don't be pressured into going low. Haggling is haggling but don't lower the price unless you really want to!
• Do the 'everything 10p' tactic near the end if you really cannot be bothered to take stuff home. It really helps get rid of last minute decluttering!
• Some people are just rude.. ignore it. You aren't going to please everyone with your prices but thats just life.
• Think about if you could get anything you are selling for a better price via ebay. You may really hate a pair of shoes you've had for years, but it may be the big thing thats wanted on ebay that month so just have a look around. Those shoes could be £1 at the bootsale but make around £25 on ebay!
• When buying things you want to put on ebay, KNOW YOUR MARKET. I tend to buy vintage, topshop, primark, or something along the lines of. Think about how much profit it will make you.. if something is being sold for £3 and you don't think it will make over a fiver, it definitely is NOT worth it!
• Ebay likes topshop, so if there is something topshop it usually will make a profit, so look out for labels, not just the style of top! Same for brands such as primark, zara, lipsy, asos etc.
Where are the carboots located that you go to?
I live up North in South Yorkshire and I go to ones around derbyshire.
How many carboots do you visit on Sunday?
The main one I go to usually, then sometimes we will visit the small one across from my grandmas house on the way to my grandmas after we've been carbooting. Occasionally if we aren't too tired and the first one was crap, we will go to ANOTHER one that is slightly bigger than the small. This one is on concrete, not a field, so if it gets a little rainy we go to this one cause it won't be cancelled like the others.
How often do you go?
Every Sunday if I can. I go with my family and my dad is the driver and doesn't even look around the carboot really so it's up to him and his schedule, but it's a family tradition really so we go usually every Sunday!
How do you find out about them?
Well I've been going since I was little so I've always known they were there and I think it's just a very popular place to have them, especially as Derbyshire has ALOT of fields! My family are pretty good with keeping up with them too.
How big are the carboots?
The main one I go to has about 12 rows and they are around 25 cars long. It is pretty massive and like I said it takes around 2 hours to finish.
How much do you spend?
USUALLY £15 or £10. The most I've spent (except for big purchases and stuff) is around £18. I would recommend taking about £20 with you or a tenner if you want to try and not spend alot.
How much stuff do you buy for yourself and ebay?
I'm not sure, I think I spend more on stuff to sell on ebay, alot of stuff for myself is cheap and I don't buy loads. Alot of the stuff you seen on my haul posts for myself are only 1/3 of what I've bought, I don't always show you the things I put on ebay.
Does it bother you that you are buying peoples old clothes?
It doesn't bother me really. At all. Give it a good wash and you're good to go! The things I buy from carboots don't smell, and are usually in good condition. Majority of the people who are selling stuff have washed it beforehand or it's unworn in their wardrobes so is clean anyway!
Do you regret anything you've bought?
Ohh yes. I have SO much clutter in my room and house, it's ridiculous. I try to get rid of stuff but that is a big danger of carbooting, you end up getting TOO much stuff you don't even want or need!
I hope this helped and ANY carboot questions, just comment below and check back as I will try and reply to all the questions in the comments! I definitely recommend carboots, and yes, not all of them are great. But look at the pictures I took, alot of the stalls aren't inviting.. you have to have a proper rummage. If that fails then you know, lesson learnt and try a better place. I don't claim to be an expert so sorry if you disagree with anything I've said and if you have something better to say, please leave a comment letting me know :)
That's it folks. Got a few outfits I need to show you soon and of course I'm off to the carboot tomorrow. If you find anything good please let me know, I'd love to see what you guys get and how cheap they were!