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 Nowadays, that format was a little outdated.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.