MISS MONEYSAVER: Top tips on how to make money from the chaos of Britain’s booming car boot sales
- Trunk sales are more popular than ever according to the owners of Eboot Market
- Vendors can make £100 to £500 just by selling old rubbish like unwanted clothing
Spring means trunk sales, so it’s time to hunt down those awkward clothes, weird gifts, unwanted books, and bric-a-brac that clogs cupboards and turns clutter into cash.
And sales are more popular than ever, according to James Taroni and Andrew Walsh – the UK car boot kings who run Eboot Markets (eboot.co.uk) at seven locations in and around Birmingham.
“Our trade has tripled this year, which is a clear sign of the struggles people are having with the cost of living,” says James.
In the summer months, 20 thousand people come to the motorshoes. It’s a great day out for both buyers and sellers – I’ve seen families who have had a real liquidation in their home take home £500 worth of unwanted items a day.
“The added bonus is that it keeps things from going into a landfill.”
Spring means trunk sales, so it’s time to hunt down those unloved clothes, weird gifts, unwanted books and bric-a-brac that clogs cupboards.
Here are James’ tips for maximizing the money you can make in your trunk:
- Be there early for the best promotion – and the best sales. James says the majority of work is done in the first hour. A spot near a food or drink vendor usually guarantees a good turnout. And be aware that some trunk sales allow you to pre-book a quote.
- Don’t worry about having the smartest show. According to regular sellers, messier offerings attract more customers because this allows them to search.
- However, if you have a lot of clothes and accessories, it is useful to display them on a clothes rail. And take a tall mirror if you can fit it in the car. Portable rail with wheels costs £16 at Dunelm. Take a folding table or linoleum to put things on the floor. (Screwfix sells a 2x3m sheet for £7.99.
- Don’t waste time locating price stickers on items prior to arrival, not least because it shows you’re a novice. But make sure you have a good idea of what you want and how much you are willing to accept, as buyers love to haggle. If you want to sell at £10, say it’s £15 and then come up with a figure acceptable to both of you. If you have no idea of prices, look for websites such as Facebook’s Marketplace or Nextdoor.co.uk to give you an idea of how much items are selling.
- Take a cash float because in car shoes, cash is king. You will need a minimum of £20 in change which should be kept on hand at all times, preferably on a money belt for easy access. Also take food and a flask of tea or coffee. You don’t want to spend profits on expensive burgers or drinks from a truck.
- It’s amazing what sells when the trunk is sold and what doesn’t. I found that half-used scent bottles were snapped up right at the start of a recent sale, and a bunch of cordless phones sold out quickly, though I couldn’t prove they worked (they did).
Lego sets hold their value (but if you have a full set I would sell them online for a better price than what you usually get in the trunk)
Some people sell their homemade cakes and jams or fruits and vegetables grown in their garden quite well. Clothing and accessories (such as handbags, shoes, and scarves), toys, baby items, furniture, books, and jewelry are among the most popular items. How much you can earn per day varies depending on the market and what you sell, but you can make anywhere from £100 to £500 just by selling your old rubbish.
Lego sets hold their value (but if you have a full set I’d sell them online for a better price than what you usually get in the trunk). Even old instruction manuals or remote controls are required. Some people specialize in buying them from car boots and then selling them for more online.
‘James, one of our regulars, bought a set of encyclopedias for £5 in the trunk of our car, then sold them on eBay for £1,200,’ says James Taroni. Another guy selling vintage clothes with us has 17 million views on TikTok. For many people, this really helps them make ends meet.
Don’t forget, however, that if you trade in auto boots regularly, this is a taxable activity and you will need to pay tax on profits that exceed your benefits.