Car boots: a trader’s dream or nightmare? Part Two (Click Here for part 1)
Following on from Part One where we looked at why you should consider car boots, we now look at what sells.
What sells at car boots?
• Candles – foreigners and holiday makers love the Colony candles. Not only are they popular in other cultures, they make great presents to take home. Smaller items fit in suitcases! Light a couple on the stall (keep away from children) and let the smell entice the customers over.
• Stationery – birthday cards, wrapping paper, notebooks and pens are great sellers all year round.
• Handbags and purses – perfect Christmas presents, impulse purchases or spousal gifts. Car boots are one of the rare times you will get the whole family out together so buying presents for a family member becomes easier when they are with you! If a wife points out a handbag to her husband, he is likely to buy it to save headaches later looking for a present!
• Jewellery – again, a man will find it easy to have his wife next to him saying I love that and is likely to buy it there and then. Get some nice gift boxes or bags and really sell the present angle.
• Clothes – branded and ex catalogue stock sell really well as people are familiar with the names and quality. Set up your stands with clear divisions between sizes to make it easier for people to browse. Plus sizes sell well at car boots.
• Seasonal stock – Xmas, Easter, Hallowe’en and Valentine’s Day stock all sells incredibly quickly each year.
Where are the car boots?
Your local papers will have details of all the car boots for the week. For example in Dorset, we have many during the week:
Farmer Palmers – Tuesdays May to Oct. Great in the height of the summer season as local campsite nearby.
Ashley Heath – Sundays, March – Dec. Huge car boot. Good near Christmas and holiday season, but can get too big in the summer and when it is hot people will not buy as they struggle round the 2 fields.
Alice in Wonderland – Thursdays and Saturdays, March to Nov. Lovely little car boot, growing in size each week. No real competition and lovely friendly atmosphere. Owners will carry large things to the car for the customers which people love. They also come round with change during the day for sellers and cold drinks for sale so you don’t need to leave your pitch.
Hurn Airport – Sunday, Jan – Dec. This is run by the same people as Alice in Wonderland. It is near a campsite and popular busy road so lots of customers. Nice flat ground.
Canford Arena –Sunday afternoon, March to Dec. This afternoon car boot is popular with families who don’t want to get up at the crack of dawn. Huge area and well laid out.
Poole Stadium – Sundays, all year round. Concrete ground is ideal for any season! A big car park, nice toilets and refreshments makes this incredibly popular with customers.
Wimborne Market – Saturdays, all year round. Nice concrete ground with shelter, or indoor pitches available. Lots of regular stalls here which attracts a lot of regular customers. Hotels used to run coach trips here which brought in a lot of custom but slowed down in recent years.
By Karl Baxter