15 Top Tips for Car Boot Sale Bargain Hunters

Flea market on Place du Jeu de Balle in Brussels

The penny-pinching team at PromotionalCodes.org.uk has come up with 15 tips to help you make the most of your money when you’re hunting for a bargain at your local car boot sale.

1 Judge the weather

A popular location for car boot sales is fields, which can be very muddy on a rainy day. To combat this, make sure you wear appropriate footwear or go when it’s sunny.

2 Bag a bargain by haggling

Although sellers have set prices, no trader wants to take all their items home with them at the end of the day. To successfully haggle, make sure you are realistic about what price you want to pay. Don’t take the number too low as you don’t want to cause offence.

3 Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount

As well as haggling, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount when buying multiple products from one stall.

4 Set a budget

If the car boot sale you attend has many tempting options it can be easy to over spend without even realising it. Set yourself a budget and this will ensure that you don’t go over-board with the purchases.

5 Have an idea of what you’re looking for

An important thing to remember when visiting a car boot sale is that it isn’t a bargain if you didn’t need it in the first place.

Grey plant pot and plant

Pic: Susie White

6 Take batteries with you

When buying items that require batteries, it’s important to check the product still works before parting with your cash.

7 Take a tape measure

If you fall in love with a piece of furniture you can measure it there and then to ensure you don’t miss out on a great purchase.

8 Be kind to sellers and fellow buyers

Car boot sales are a great way to make friends, and it’s important not to get competitive if somebody else wants an item you have your eye on.

9 Make sure you keep your purse closed and don’t flash large sums of money

Unfortunately, pickpockets go to car boot sales too and will not hesitate at the chance to grab the £20 dangling out of your wallet.

Purse full of British money on a stainless steel background.

Pic: iStockphoto

10 Allow sellers time to set up their table and wares

Even though it may be tempting, avoid diving into seller’s boots to rummage through items. They will appreciate being given time to set up and might even be more likely to give you a bargain.

11 Go with a friend

Not only will it be more fun, but also very helpful when lifting large and heavy items back to the car.

12 Make a note of the car number plate

Writing down a seller’s car details is vital if you pay for an item that you intend to collect later. It can be very easy to forget which car you bought the item from in a busy car boot sale.

13 Find the majority of bargains towards the end of the boot sale

Towards the end sellers will be getting desperate to get rid of items they don’t want clogging up their attics. The perfect time to bag a bargain.

14 Don’t be shy

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about any item you may want, the seller should be knowledgeable about the piece’s backstory.

Front cover of Jackie Magazine with David Cassidy on cover

15 Look carefully

Some of the more valuable and fascinating items might be hidden away at the back of the boot or under a table.

Garden rake


Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!