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GET THE BEST OF BOOT SALES

GET THE BEST OF BOOT SALES

Emerald Street correspondent (and self-confessed thriftoholic) Zoë Pearson shares her tips on car-boot sale success

Rummaging is often the most satisfying form of shopping: think of the fun you’ve had in sample sales and vintage shops. The car-boot sale is an extreme form of rummaging, with both cooler finds and cheaper prices. Found in car parks and out-of-town fields, they can be dark and dingy or cold and chaotic but in among the discarded breadmakers and foot spas, you can discover a real treasure. Read Zoë’s tips and come home happy.

BE AN EARLY BIRD

Forget your Sunday morning lie-in (and, probably, your Saturday night drinks), as most car-boot sales open at 9am, if not earlier. For the pick of what’s on sale, get there quickly. That gorgeous blue typewriter? Hurry, it will be gone by 9.10am. On the plus side, you’ll be finished in time for brunch.

MAKE A WISH LIST

Have a wish list in your head of what you’re looking for. It’s all about recognition – if you know what you’re looking for, it’ll be easier to spot it in among all the clutter. Be open-minded though. Often, I go to a sale to buy china and come home with an old camera. That’s just part of the fun.

HOW TO BARTER

It’s easier to haggle if you start with some friendly chat (it’s a long morning for sellers so they tend to appreciate it). Before asking the price, decide how much you’re prepared to pay for an item. If you want to pay less, just ask nicely. You’ll be surprised how often people say yes.

SELLING YOUR STUFF

Want to sell at a car-boot sale? Be there at 7am to get a spot. Bring warm clothes, a flask of tea, loose change, a table and your biggest smile. Watch out for pre-opening 'swoopers’. These are professional sellers who’ll try to buy your stuff for cheap. They can be intimidating – but stand your ground and they soon back off.

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