Car Boot Sales: Turn your Trash into Cash

Not only a fun day out for the whole family, car boot selling is a great opportunity to sell all your unwanted items. The fantastic thing about car boot sales is that you can sell pretty much anything you like. It's the perfect way to grab everything you no longer use or want and turn it into cash.

The credit crunch has meant that we all need to save money wherever we can and this means that car boot sales are now more popular than ever. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of this boost and get down to a car boot sale to make some extra cash with your trash!

Our step-by-step guide

Step one: Find those items

Start raiding all those cupboards, drawers and boxes that haven't seen the light of day for a while. Check the attic and kids rooms to see what you can sell. Get everyone involved in finding items, and if you don't have many items consider sharing a pitch with a neighbour or friend (but agree to either split the profits or only take money for your own items).

Step two: Find a place to sell

Use a search site like Carbootjunction or Your Booty to find your nearest car boot sale or check the local papers. Once you've organised a place to sell make sure you arrive extra early to get the best pitch. It's a good idea to phone ahead and get some advice from the organiser.

Step three: Do your homework

Visit your local car boot sales to see how other people sell their goods and what sells well. For bigger items you're planning to sell look on eBay and Amazon to see how much they cost there. This will give you get a rough price guide for yourself. If you think an item may be a collectable do look on these sites to see if your item matches any of their collectables.

Step four: Be prepared

Bring along a table - a decorating table is perfect. If you don't have one, or need more than one, see if you can borrow one from a friend. Also, remember to take lots of loose change and refreshments. You'll need plenty of both!

Take lots of carrier bags and a few small boxes for buyers to take their goods home in. They may be put off by a larger item that they have to carry in their hands.

Bring a plastic sheet to cover your table if it starts to rain.

Step five: Keep the pricing really simple

Perhaps choose three amounts and label the smaller items the night before. For example you'll have things that cost 50p, things that cost £1 and things that cost £5. It keeps it easy and straightforward for both buyers and yourself when trying to remember prices. You may want to leave bigger items without labels and see how much you can get for them.

Remember that people love to haggle. Be prepared to either stick to your guns if you know the item is worth more, or be flexible if it's towards the end of the day and you just need to get rid of it.

Dealers may make you an offer early in the day BUT only do this if you are happy with the price they offer. Tell them to come back later - if they are serious they won't mind doing this.

Consider copying some supermarket tricks towards the end of the day to get rid of the last items. Try buy-one-get-one-free offers, or dropping the price of everything to one pound. It should bring in the last few customers still searching for bargains. Be prepared for major haggling by the end of the day and remember that 20p for an item you no longer need or want is better than leaving it to clutter up your house!

Step six: Presentation

Place your most eye-catching and attractive items in front. Take the time to make things look as appealing as possible and try to put items in some kind of order or theme i.e. kitchen items, music, toys, decorative pieces.

Use a clean, colourful cloth on the table to attract the buyers' attention.

Items that are less likely to sell can be put into a box at a set price per item - for example 50p per item. People like a good rummage and if you put toys low down where kids can see them they may be more likely to sell.

If you're selling clothes try to bring along a mirror with you. People will be much more inclined to bring something they can try on.

Step seven: Get some staff

Rope in your children, husband or friend to help. An extra pair of hands is indispensable and makes the day much more enjoyable, plus it'll mean that you can take toilet breaks!