Thursday 11 June 2020

Car Boot Sales & Online Car Booting during the coronavirus pandemic in the UK

Sitting here in lockdown is an era of my life which like many, I will remember forever. Writing this Blog also helps leave a footprint for me to look back on in years to come, hopefully in better times. In this Blog I will be covering the evolution of our Online Car Boot Sale as well as discussing the future of real world car boot sales.

It is Thursday 11th of June 2020. I have been housebound for around 3 months. I can't remember the last car boot sale I went to! It is now that that time of year where you would normally find fields and car parks filled with paste tables and unwanted foot spa's! A car boot sale is not just a way to make a few quid or to find a bargain.. It's a day out too. During these unprecedented times, I realise just how precious a simple day out like that was. I can now also imagine what it is like for people with mobility/disability problems who don't have the luxury of going to a car boot sale when the world WAS normal. This was one of the reasons which drove me to set up OnlineCarBooty.Com The UK's BIGGEST Online Car Boot Sale.

Launched in 2013, Online Car Booty has been a great success but has recently been in desperate need of a spit and polish. This was a no brainer for me.. I had to use my time in lockdown to enhance the website. Online Car Booty has over 100,000 members at the time of this blog. It has seen over 8 million visitors. It is my responsibility to keep the site up to date, so I got to work..

The site originally had paste tables filled with items which you could scroll across. Nowadays, that format was a little outdated. With the rise in the number of visitors to the site now viewing it on a mobile device, it required a clearer way to view sellers items. I have therefore opted to eradicate the paste tables and have the items simply flood the sellers screen instead. This then gave me an opportunity to graphically change the aisles of sellers, so I have introduced cars with open boots which allow buyers to visit their stall with one click. Here's how things now look..

online car booty aisle of sellers

And here's how the stall items now display..

I've added many other new features and improvements to the site so head over there when you get a sec and check it out!

The future of Online Car Booty looks even brighter now. The update couldn't have come at a better time. People have been flooding to the website during lockdown to satisfy some kind of car boot fix. With the ease of lockdown growing closer, where do car boot sales go from here? Online Car Booty will always be just a click away, but are we going to be able to return to real booty's? and if so, how will it work?

In therory, social distancing in a field of car boot stalls sounds do-able! However, rammed entrances and huddles of people around popular stalls are a common occurrence at any sale. I would propose a few ideas which I believe could work..

Outdoor car boot sales only
Separate entrance and exit
Apply distancing rules at the entrance
Advise 2 persons per stall at any time
Suggest that sellers supply antibacterial hand gel on their stall

This is pretty much the same policies which supermarkets and other retail outlets are taking at the moment. There really isn't much else you can do apart from asking people to wear face masks. It's a crazy world we live in now and just picturing the above suggestions actually becoming a reality seems to take the fun out of booting.

I think we can expect indoor car boot sales to be held back for a while until the pandemic has calmed down. I don't think car boots will die off due to Covid 19, it could be quite the opposite. There are many people out of work at the moment and lots of small businesses have had to close. Where else to make a few quid than a car booty. After all, we've seen visitors to the Online Car Boot Sale significantly increase, so it's feasible that this will happen in the real world too. Depending on when you're reading this, you may know whether my predictions are right or wrong.

Well I'm all typed out here so I'll leave it at that. Please leave your comments below if you have anything to add. Take care and stay safe.

Saturday 24 September 2016

What to buy at car boot sales

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Buying items to sell on for a profit is easier said than done. Whether you're buying from a real car boot sale or buying from, this guide will help get you a head start on what to buy.

Firstly, be aware that your main hurdle is your competition. There will undoubtedly be others who are hunting for the same treasures as yourself. If you can't beat em.. join em! Keep a close eye on what regular buyers (dealers) are picking up. Most will specialise in a particular field, maybe antiques, musical instruments or electronics. However, some will dabble in anything which yields a good profit. If you're new to the game, this is where you should start.

Electronics are risky but if you can fix them up then you could make big money. Look for computer equipment, Hi-Fis and audio equipment such as DJ mixers etc.

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Clothing is easier to find but needs a good eye and you'll have to rummage through a lot of garments to find something profitable. Car boot sales are flooded with designer names and you could make some good money but be very aware of fakes.

Musical instruments can make HUGE money! They are a well sought after and some prior research will come in handy. Guitars are a quick turnover.. Look for names like Fender, Gibson and Yamaha etc. Check the neck is straight and that there's no cracks. Even a poorly branded or non branded guitar could be sold on for say £30 so if you see anything around this price, it's probably worth a shot!

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Bicycles are another easy sell but the money lies in either nearly new hi spec models or vintage/retro bikes. Old BMX and Raleigh racers bring big bucks. If you find an old Raleigh Chopper.. snap it up!

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Plush toys.. Car boots are inundated with these and can be bought for pennies but you need to pick the right stuff up! Original care bears are a good find. Look for TV, movie related characters.. if you're getting them for pennies then you can't really lose.

Right, this is just really a taster and I've deliberately not made it too specific! I've written an in-depth guide on what to look out for and buy at car boot sales.. It's literally a brain dump of everything I've learned in the last 20 years of very successful car booting. It will include makes and models so you can't go far wrong. Nothing like this exists on the Internet as no one is daft enough to share the information. This is why I must charge for my in-depth guide.. I'm asking just £9.99 and will probably the best investment you ever make as a buyer/seller! Simply send payment to my PayPal: and include the email you want this sending to. I will email you the guide within 24 hours of payment being received.
REMEMBER: Keep it to yourself!!!

And don't forget to check out our website..

Sunday 10 July 2016

More than just a Car Boot Sale - How to make some extra money!

As I'm sure you're aware, our Online Car Boot Sale.. is a great way to make money by selling your unwanted household items. It's quick and easy to use. But let's say you need a little extra cash.. Well we now have a NEW website which could be right up your street..

Let me just tell you how the site works for Shopkeepers first.. allows small high street businesses to offer Reward Points to their customers.. Just like Nectar Points at Sainsburys! Say you own a sandwich shop, you can ensure your customers will return more regularly buy scanning their mobile phone when they make a purchase to add their points. They can then save up and redeem their points for money off a future purchase. It works using QR codes. 'Subway' have a very similar system. To have something like this designed, developed and integrated can cost you thousands! We can offer you this for a one off payment of just £99 and you can start instantly. There's also no technical integration required.. You can scan customers phones with any smart phone or device which has a QR reader on it.. Available in any app store.

Ok, this is where YOU come in.. We are offering a whopping £30 cash back for referring a shop! Simply visit shops or businesses in your local area which you think will benefit from offering a Reward Points system to their customers and for every shop that signs up, we'll transfer you £30 via PayPal. You can generate your own personal Promo Code to offer the shop which will also give them £10 off. Register on the website here:

It doesn't stop there! Imagine if you get just 1 shop to sign up and that shopkeeper sets up his reward points system to thousands of customers.. Some of those customers are bound to have businesses of their own and may end up using your Promo Code if passed on by the original Shop Keeper.

You can also offer the promotion online via Facebook, Twitter or whatever means you so wish. With the right approach, you could make some good money from home. All we ask is that if you visit shops in person, please look smart and familiarise yourself with the website first. We also have a promotional video here.. and a Shop Keeper demonstration here..

Contact us if you require further information at where we will be happy to assist. Hope you can join us on this VERY unique and brand new venture.

Monday 14 March 2016

How to haggle at a car boot sale

I'm Mark from I have over 20 years experience in real world car booting. Some of this guide will apply to our Online Car Boot Sale as well as real world car boot sales. Surprisingly, some people still find it hard to haggle even online. Some people fear haggling either because of the fear of rejection or simply because they feel cheeky.

If you are the type of person who feels cheeky talking people down.. Get over it ! Ask yourself why you feel cheeky ? Most sellers at a car boot sale have adjusted their prices upwards so that they can be knocked down.. So see them as the cheeky ones ! Think of it as not trying to get something cheap, but simply negotiating a sale which is what is expected at a car boot. Don't fear rejection.. If they say "No" then you're the one in the driving seat still, after all you hold the cash ! Either buy the item or move on.. Think of it as their loss. It's surprising how many might call you back as you turn to leave.

Okay, let's say you come across a watch for £10.. You will usually already know straight away whether you are happy with it for that price.. Does it look nice ? Fit ok ? and is it working. If so, then you're in a win-win position.. You are happy with the watch anyway so anything off it is a bonus. As a rule of thumb, between £2-£5 I will ask for £1 off. Between £6 and £10 I will ask for £2 off. Therefore offer them £8. Some may think you could ask for more off, which of course you can.. But they are more likely to accept an offer like this without presenting you with a counter offer. I also believe in being fair and upholding a good reputation.. There's haggling and then being cheeky ! Cheeky may get you some stuff for less but decide whether that's the type of person you wish to be. Strong, forward hagglers will soon get noticed and if you attend a boot sale regularly, you don't want to annoy too many people. It's always best keeping a low profile at car boot sales.. Get in.. Get the item for the right price.. Then get out!

Also, imagine a situation where you've bought the aforementioned watch for a really cheeky £5 ! When you get back to the car, you realise the date isn't working on it.. Would you then dare go back and ask for a refund and if so, would they give you one after you've already probably insulted them and bought it at a price where you wouldn't expect it to be fully working. Of course, this is my personal opinion on this, some may disagree or use other techniques.. Please comment and add any of your own personal tips or advice to this blog.

Counter offers usually occur on more expensive items. Let's say a Laptop for £50. You offer £40, they are most likely going to make you a counter offer of £45. Have this already planned out in your head before making the initial offer. Decide beforehand that if they offer £45 will you accept it ? You can of course continue haggling and maybe offer them half way.. £47.50. This is very common and very easily done once you become experienced. It's more expensive items like this where real haggling like this comes in to play. If say you were prepared to pay £45 for the laptop before making your initial offer.. It's always worth starting at £40 so they'll hopefully meet you at £45. If you go straight in with an offer of £45, you'll probably end up at £47.50 ! It depends which way you wish to play it. It also depends on the seller. If you frequent the same car boot sale regularly then you'll learn what's best with certain sellers.. Dealers, regulars, newbies etc. As I say, on items under a tenner, its worth asking for a quick quid or two off.. It's not worth messing with too much.

Taking all of the above in to consideration, there's also side tactics you can use whilst haggling.. Firstly, How to ask for less.. "Will you take £8 for it ?" is most common and works well but sometimes it may be worth saying "Any chance of £8 since it's got a little scratch on it ?" or whatever the case may be. Point out defects if you feel it will help, or indeed make sure they notice that YOU'VE noticed the defects before you ask. Even if you're excited that you've found a little gem and it's already under priced.. Appear to be inspecting the item after they tell you the price.

BE CAREFUL: You never know what's going to happen at a car boot sale. Judgement is key when haggling and sometimes you also need to be aware of your surroundings. Picture this nightmare from my personal experience.. I came across a rare vintage computer I knew was worth around £300. It already had a price label on it for £10. Even if it was faulty, it would have sold for £50 or more as it had many accessories and games with it. Trying all the above, I started inspecting it and picking at defects before asking "Is £8 any good ?". My reply was "Sorry, that man at the end has just given me £20 for it". It was a buyer I knew.. A cheeky one at that ! He was renowned for jumping in like this and overpaying to take it out of your hands.

Okay, hopefully that gives you some guidance. It does work different in real life compared to online. You should never be afraid online.. No one can bite ya ! Anyway, if anyone has any further advice, like I say, please leave a comment. Happy booting !

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Online Car Booty VS Car Boot Sales

As a keen car booter and founder of I thought it would be of interest to point out some of the differences between an actual real world car boot sale and our online car boot sale. I will also discuss the pros and cons of each. I personally don't think you can beat the real thing.. The atmosphere, the excitement and anticipation of finding a bargain is second to none. This was my primary reason for creating a website which try's its very best to mimic this, attempting to retain a similar environment. Online Car Booty is the closest you'll find to the real thing.. It has a weekly start time of Sunday 3pm so that everyone gets in at the same time. It is also visually based around a car boot sale unlike other attempts out there.. We have paste tables!

I think the main 'pro' of an Online Car Boot Sale, is that if you pay a Seller through PayPal then you have more protection and rights to return an item if it is faulty. This however, doesn't mean returning faulty goods is not possible in the real world. However, returning items at real car boot sales can prove difficult for a few reasons.. Firstly, there is usually no proof of purchase and you will normally be dealing with the Seller without the help of a third party such as PayPal. A lot of faulty goods however, are not returned due to the plain and simple fact that the Buyer doesn't check them out until they arrive home. It then becomes a chore to have to return to the Car Boot Sale, maybe having to pay for re-entry and then trying to find the stall.

Speaking of getting lost at a car boot sale, another aspect we attempt to recreate at Online Car Booty is the randomness of finding an item or stall. We could easily add a SEARCH function to the sale but what's the point ? Doing this would eliminate the 'Hunt' which is where the fun is! It's worth noting that our virtual stalls are also set out in 'Aisles', again replicating a booty as best we can.

When I set up Online Car Booty I wasn't even aware of the next advantage of the site until I started receiving 'Thank you' emails.. Online Car Booty is absolutely ideal and easier to visit for the elderly and disabled. Many people struggle to get out to the real thing or indeed may struggle to find a car boot sale in their local area. Couple this with the fact that it NEVER rains at Online Car Booty and you will start to see why we are fast becoming the UK's No.1 choice.

As with many Buying/Selling sites, there is one big disadvantage over the 'Online' version and that is simply that you don't have the 'hands-on' experience. At a real car boot you can examine an item thoroughly from every angle. Bear in mind though and for reasons mentioned above.. At a real booty you NEED to thoroughly examine items for your safety. The one mistake I used to make a lot at real car boot sales was that I was that excited when I spotted something I was looking for, that I would rush to buy it and only give it a quick examination. Try not to do this! There are a lot of dishonest sellers out there and it's easy to miss the price label covering a crack in a vase or a spray painted LCD TV screen to hide the fact that the screen has cracked/leaked!

Finally, although we have a virtual burger van at Online Car Booty.. You simply can't beat a nice greasy overpriced quarter pounder with onions at 6 o'clock in the morning :-) Our burger van again adds a little authenticity to the car boot feel of things.

I would love to hear any other comparisons you can think of or indeed suggestions for the site. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you at

Saturday 28 November 2015

Car Boot Sales - Ultimate Survival Guide !


Hi, I'm Mark, I have over 20 years experience of wheeling and dealing at Car Boot Sales. I started in 2013 which is an online virtual car boot sale, ideal for when you can't get out to the real thing or simply can't get out of bed! Of course there's no substitute for the real thing and whether you're a Buyer, Seller or Both.. This Blog will give you a headstart on getting it right when you Go Booting !

Firstly and most importantly, make sure you ask around and find the best car boot venue for you.. There's indoor and outdoor, some have a bit of both. It's not all about which is the biggest or busiest one as that can sometimes be a negative. Imagine standing as a Seller with your bargain priced Xbox for sale. If the sale is so big, you can bet that there's an Xbox or two on every single aisle and somewhere there will be a cheaper one or it will have more bundled accessories. Choose a sale that's not too big, yet attracts the crowds. Visit to find a car boot sale near you.

Before you go, always keep a check on the weather, especially if you're going to sell. Some organisers will charge you at the gate which means once you've paid and then it tips down.. You're done for!

If you are going as a buyer, a lot of organisers will let you get in early for a higher admission price. In which case it's sometimes best to go as a Seller which may be around the same price. Remember, the earlier you get in to a car boot sale, the more chance you have of bagging the bargains. If a car boot had been running for even just an hour.. I myself wasn't interested.


Try to keep what you're selling as varied as possible and aim to have an item of intrinsic value to draw in the crowds. Cheaper items are best put in to 50p boxes under the table etc. Clothes should be ironed and if you have a portable clothes rail, you will achieve better prices. Taking along carrier bags and a float will save you so much heartache and ensure that you don't have to turn your back on the public as you hunt about for change or a spare box.. Remember, thieves exist at car boot sales !

Pack your car well, leaving the paste table till last so you can get it out first !!

Make sure you pack some sandwiches and a flask of coffee. You might not be hungry when you set off but standing in a field for 6 hours can give you an appetite and those onsite burger vans aren't cheap.

Don't arrive too early OR too late as you will get put in a poorly positioned spot which doesn't enjoy a busy footfall.

DO NOT reduce your prices before the public get in! Be aware that the people walking round as you are setting up are usually other Sellers who are looking for picking up under priced items to sell on their stall or online.

I always recommend putting price labels on items as some people are too shy to ask. Negotiate carefully and don't be silly.. If you want £3 for a foot spa, price it up at £4 and come down. If however, you have an item priced up at £10 and you're not entirely sure what it's worth.. If many people repeatedly enquire about it, try increasing the price on the next ask, It's also worth noting that if you were selling an Xbox for £10 and others are selling them for £30.. People may assume yours is faulty and not bother.

If you have the time, and a helper, have a look round the car boot yourself.. You might just see something you can sell for more on your own stall.

Towards the end of the sale, if your intention is to get rid of as much as possible, it is always worth setting up a 50p table for example and shout out "Everything on this table 50p!"

Keep your takings in a safe place and don't blow them all in McDonald's on the way home! Treat yourself with your hard earned money or pay off a bill.


Before you get to the car boot, already have in your head an idea of what you're looking for and you will subconsciously be tuned in to hunt these items out.

As I've already mention, if you want the bargains make sure you get in early. A lot of car boot sales will allow you to get in early as the Sellers are setting up for a few extra quid. For example, a local sale I used to visit regularly would charge: £8 Sellers (10am), 80p Buyers (From 11am), £5 Early Buyers (From 10am). It is usually well worth getting in early if you want first digs.

As you walk round, remember to check under tables and behind the stall. A cheeky peek in a Sellers car is always a good idea if they are still setting up, but don't be too cheeky !

There's various techniques and speeds when bargain hunting. I always prefer to whizz round a few times as the Sellers are setting up, after which I will then take a leisurely stroll round whilst rummaging through boxes and checking the going rate for items online. This brings me to my next tip..

Always make sure your phone is charged and check out what price items go for on Ebay. However, before buying, consider Ebay's fees and postage costs etc. If you are buying to sell back online, there are other solutions than just Ebay.. Our site is unique in that it displays full stalls in front of buyers. It is also a browsing site rather than a site where you would simply key in what you are looking for. Therefore, it's worth picking up items that simply look good or are in excellent condition to put on your virtual stall at Online Car Booty.

The most important aspect of buying from any car boot sale is of course.. Haggling! Always try to knock the Seller down on price unless of course it's only 50p or a £1. As a rule of thumb, try working on a 70% offer.. EG: An item is for sale for £10. Ask if they will take £7.. Usually they will say yes or maybe ask for £8. Fair enough you could be cheeky but sometimes it's not worth upsetting the Seller incase you get their back up. It also leads to a fair and happy sale keeping your reputation in tact!

Ok, Electrical goods.. Be very careful here and if you buy any, take extra precautions when powering them up. Some indoor car boot sales may have usable power points to test items. You can also try asking someone with a generator if they would check it for you. I invested in an 'inverter' which plugs in to your car cigarette lighter and gives you a 3 pin socket to plug electricals in to. My golden nugget of advice though, is to ask the Seller if it works and if you hear these words.. "As far as I know" Then it DOESN'T work!! Also, If an electrical item is seriously under priced then ask yourself why? However, you can take calculated gambles for instance, if an Xbox was £15 and came with 5 games and a controller.. Work out how much these accessories are worth as you could make your money back on those alone if the actual console it faulty.

Don't forget to try our Online Car Boot Sale...

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Friday 27 November 2015

Top 10 Recommended UK Couriers

As recommended by Mark Davies, Director at 'Online Car Booty'

The UK's No.1 Virtual Car Boot Sale

Okay, so you’ve sold an item on at the Online Car Boot Sale and now it’s time to book a parcel collection with a cheap courier who offers good service.. Which is the best courier for you ? The following list does not necessarily show which is better chronologically, it has been created to give you an overview of each company so you can select the best one for you or for what you’re sending at that time. Here’s my 10 top UK couriers.. 

COLLECT MY PARCEL are recommended by Online Car Booty throughout the site. Their Quick Quote feature is easy to use and you can be comparing prices from top couriers in seconds. Customer service is exceptional.

INTERPARCEL is my own personal preference. It is a courier comparison site that is quick and easy to use. Interparcel offers Instant quotes, multiple payment methods and provides all documents and labels required. Customer services have never put me wrong.

PARCEL FORCE is a well established and very reasonably priced courier, They have a range of delivery services available to get your parcel to its destination safely and within a timeframe that suits your needs.

PARCEL2GO is one of the best leading courier companies there is ! Their site features a Quick Quote where you can choose from a range of couriers. Looking for a faster way to send all your parcels? This could be what you’ve been looking for. Booking a large number of parcels for delivery can be a time-consuming task, Parcel2Go have a bulk delivery tool that works with popular selling platforms to help automate most of the work for you.

SHIPLY is a fantastic site where you can get cheap courier quotes and save up to 75% on standard rates. List the delivery required and couriers will approach you with quotes. They try to offer you their very best price in order to beat others to the job. I highly recommend this site when sending a very heavy item and wanting a cheaper quote.

P4D have a courier booking system which makes it quicker and easier for you to send a parcel or ship a pallet. As an official reseller, they offer you a wide range of delivery services from major couriers at discounted prices. Extended customer service support available late into the evening.

PARCEL MONKEY is fast becoming a front runner in the world of courier comparison. They offer a really simple and cheap way to book parcel delivery services within the UK. When you book with Parcel Monkey you choose which premium carrier (eg. City Link, Parcelforce, DHL etc) you'd like to collect and deliver your item. You pay for the service online and it will be collected from your home or work, then delivered. Simple!

COLLECT+ is a less expensive and no hassle option with thousands of parcel stores across the UK, CollectPlus is a convenient and easy to use parcel delivery and returns service. No more wasted Saturdays or lunchtime queues, just the freedom to get on with your day.

MY HERMES are possibly the cheapest option but make no mistake, My Hermes is a VERY reliable service. Delivery time is usually 2-3 days. Many local drop off points across the UK if required.

UPS offer a very reliable and professional delivery service. Prices are very competitive and from my own personal experience, they are one of the most reliable for adhering to collection times and for getting your parcel there safely.