I run the very popular Rusper Sussex Car Boot Sale and this is my guide to picking up a car boot sale bargain.
Week after week I see dealers strolling past, on their way back to thier cars with great collectables. There is a reason that the dealers snatch up everything early - it's becasue they are on a mission from the moment they wake up! When you read the stories in the press about joe-bloggs paying 50p for a ming vase tou can bet he was a dealer.
There a few simple rules to getting lucky at a car boot and here they are.
BE FOCUSSED AND POSITIVE.
If you're going to the boot sale in search of treasure - turn off all the other thoughts in your head. Forget the net curtains or hoover that you are in need of. Focus just on finding that treasure. Stay positive, as soon as you start thinking, 'this is all junk', your negative thoughts distract you from finding the valuable stuff. I know this is true because my brother can find gold rings and jewellery on stalls even after numerous dealers have rifled through them. He always stays positive.
KNOW WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR
Even the best dealers limit themselves to specialising in certain areas. A dealer in ceramics is unlikely to buy a piece of antique furniture and vice-versa. So pick a subject and read up on it. If you decide on ceramics, go to an auction on a veiwing day and handle the real pieces, get a feel for the items. Use the ebay completed listings to see what these items are fetching compared to auction prices. All collectables go in and out of vogue, up and down in price. Just because a Clarice Cliff piece fetched £200 a few months ago it doesn't mean it will do the same in the future. Know what an item is worth. Remember there are a lot of dealers at Car Boot Sales and they'll happily persuade you to part with big money for an item that is now out of vogue or even a fake. By specialising in a certain area you'll know what the money items are - and if you've done your research at auction you'll also now wether an item is genuine or fake.
Before running our own boot sale, which sadly ties me up - I never get chance to have a look at the stalls, I used to specialise in Ceramics. I learnt many of the makers marks and values, travelled to various auctions to research the pieces, and it worked - believe me.
The Simple Rules.
Stay focused - Be Positive - Be knowledgable - Get to the boot sale early.
Good luck treasure hunting at your local car boot sale.