A car boot sale is a type of outdoor market where people sell their unwanted goods from the back of their cars. It is a popular way of making some extra cash, clearing out clutter, or finding some hidden treasures.
Car boot sales are usually held on weekends or public holidays, and attract hundreds or even thousands of buyers and sellers.
One of the largest and most well-known car boot sales in the south of England is Ashley Heath Car Boot Sale. It is located near Ringwood, Hampshire, on the edge of the New Forest.
It has been running for over 30 years and has a loyal following of regulars and newcomers. The car boot sale is open every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday from March to October, from 7am to 1pm.
The admission fee is £1 per person for buyers and £10 per car for sellers. There is plenty of free parking available on site, as well as toilets, refreshments, and entertainment for children.
How to plan ahead
- Check the weather forecast before you go. If it is rainy or windy, the car boot sale might be cancelled or have fewer stalls.
- Decide on your budget and stick to it. You don’t want to overspend or regret your purchases later.
- Make a list of items that you are looking for or interested in. This will help you focus your search and avoid getting distracted by other things.
- Research the market value of the items that you want to buy. You can use online platforms like eBay or Gumtree to get an idea of how much they are worth.
- Arrive early to get the best deals and the widest selection. The car boot sale opens at 7am, but some sellers might start setting up earlier.
What to bring
- Bring enough cash with you, as most sellers won’t accept cards or cheques. You might also need some change for the admission fee and parking.
- Bring a reusable bag or a trolley to carry your purchases. You don’t want to end up with too many things to hold or drop.
- Bring a tape measure, a magnifying glass, or a flashlight if you need to check the size, quality, or authenticity of the items that you are buying.
- Bring some snacks and drinks to keep yourself hydrated and energized. There are some refreshment stalls at the car boot sale, but they might be busy or expensive.
- Bring a friend or a family member to help you carry your items, give you a second opinion, or keep you company.
How to negotiate
- Be polite and friendly with the sellers. A smile and a compliment can go a long way in getting a good deal.
- Don’t be afraid to haggle, but don’t be too aggressive or rude. Remember that the sellers are trying to make some money too.
- Start with a lower offer than what you are willing to pay, but not too low that it might offend the seller. You can then work your way up until you reach a fair price.
- Be prepared to walk away if you can’t agree on a price. You might find a better deal elsewhere, or the seller might change their mind and call you back.
- Don’t show too much interest or excitement in an item that you want to buy. The seller might sense that you are eager and raise the price.
How to spot a bargain
- Look for items that are in good condition, have original packaging, or have a brand name. These are usually more valuable and desirable than items that are damaged, missing parts, or generic.
- Look for items that are rare, vintage, or collectible. These are usually more valuable and desirable than items that are common, modern, or mass-produced.
- Look for items that have potential or can be repurposed. You might find something that can be fixed, cleaned, painted, or transformed into something else.
- Look for items that suit your taste, style, or needs. You might find something that matches your decor, fits your wardrobe, or solves your problem.
How to avoid scams
- Be careful of items that are too good to be true. They might be fake, stolen, or faulty.
- Be careful of sellers who are too pushy or too vague. They might be trying to pressure you into buying something that you don’t want or need, or hiding something that you should know.
- Be careful of sellers who ask for more money after you have agreed on a price. They might be trying to rip you off or scam you.
- Be careful of sellers who ask you to follow them to another location or pay them later. They might be trying to lure you into a trap or disappear with your money.
- Be careful of your belongings and your safety. Keep your cash and valuables close to you, and avoid going to isolated or dark areas.
Ashley Heath Car Boot Sale is a great place to buy and sell a variety of items, from clothes and books to antiques and collectibles. It is one of the largest and most well-known car boot sales in the south of England, and attracts many visitors every week.
By following the tips and tricks in this article, you can have a successful and enjoyable day at the car boot sale, whether you are a buyer or a seller.