Last updated in September 2020
From the life of a Car Boot Seller is the second instalment of my new side hustle series where I interview people who have successfully set up a side hustle. If you are interested in being interviewed and have a successful side hustle, please reach out to me.
From the Life of a Car Boot Seller introduces you to my mother who earns money from selling at car boot sales.
Table of Contents
From the life of a car boot seller
Please describe yourself.
I am a sixty-year-old mother of two children. In my full-time job, I am a call centre agent. However, I did not earn enough money. Therefore, I decided to become a car boot seller to make ends meet. By now, I have been doing this for three years, whenever there is a car boot sale near me.
What do you sell?
Amongst other goods, I sell clothes, DVDs, and household items. I source these items from friends, family members and other people who do not need these items anymore. Often, people are too attached to their stuff to throw it away but still do not want it anymore.
How did you start selling on car boot sales?
I started selling my own belongings that I did not need anymore. When friends and family members heard about this, they gave me more stuff and it snowballed from there.
My first car boot sale was many, many years ago but I did not do this professionally then. Though having the experience already helped me in the beginning.
What does an ordinary working day look like for you?
When I go to sell on a car boot sale, I set my alarm for 3 am. I already put the items I am planning to sell in my car the day before. In the morning, I pick up my mother and we drive to the car boot sale. Most car boot sales start at 6 am.
During the day, my mother and I sell what we can. My mother is in her 80s and quite happy to help me as it gets her out of the house. When we are there, we also enjoy having a look at the items of the other sellers and have a casual chat with them. We usually finish around 4 pm. Then, it is time to pack our belongings and put them back into storage for next time.
What was your biggest challenge as a car boot seller?
There are no big challenges. Rain and cold can be an issue but there is a regular car boot sale nearby that is held inside. Sometimes, it is hard to sell because of a lack of customers. In this case, I just pack my stuff and go home.
How can people get started with car boot selling?
It makes sense to have a car but a bike with a trailer also works. The best way to start is with selling your own items that you do not need anymore. A good idea is also to go to a car boot sale and talk to other sellers.
You will need to know what sells where, where you have to sign-up, what time they start, what the fee is and how much the other seller make. Alternatively, you can often find some of this information online.
Furthermore, you will need space to store the items you want to sell. This could be a garage or a basement, if not too damp. Often, the boxes can also be stored under beds or on top of wardrobes.
Do you have any tips for new car boot sellers?
It is important to think about the layout of your sales area. You also need to think about how much you want for each item, bearing in mind that people often want to haggle. Learning about sales conversation is also important so you can verbally sell your items.
Finally, honesty is crucial. Nobody likes being liked to and it will negatively impact your reputation.
Where can people find you?
I have no online presence but you can find me on local car boot sales in Germany. If you have any questions, please reach out to my daughter, Jennifer.
From the life of a car boot seller summary
The main takeaway from From the Life of a Car Boot Seller is that you need friends or family members who are happy to get rid of some stuff. Otherwise, it may be difficult to obtain goods for a price low enough to make a profit.
Other than that there are few requirements to start selling on car boot sales. It is a good way for people who are not tech savvy to earn some extra cash offline.
You may also be interested in the other parts of this series:
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