Thursday, April 10

Boot Sale Buyer and Seller Tips- The ThriftMyStyle Way!

Hi everyone!!  I hope you are all enjoying the week so far- for us mums it's Easter school holidays and my youngest is enjoying a well deserved break, where as I'm working on and off over these two weeks!

I thought I would revisit a post from last year as it's not long now for the boot sale season to be fully up and running and I for one can't wait!! These pictures are from a popular Saturday boot sale not far from where I live and is held at Chigwell Rise in Essex. As our shed is again fit to burst this Spring I don't think it will be long before we're having our next sale to clear out more accumulated clutter!

About this time last year hubby decided to do one with a selection of vintage items, antiques and general household items that we no longer wanted and I decided to go along to be an early bird to catch some goodies. This was the view from our window queuing to get in at 5 am on Saturday morning, so cold yet so lovely to see the mist and dawn rising over the fields so early:


Once he had paid the pitch money to get in (£12) he started to set up while I decided to wander around and wait for people to start setting up and selling. As you can tell from the frost, it was freezing cold and I was glad I had my layers of a tee, sweatshirt, scarf, gloves, boots, socks and parka on, with my hood glued to my head for the first couple of hours!! First tip of the day, make sure you wear layers- as the morning proceeds, you will start to lose them but they will be well needed the earlier you start. Second tip-if you are doing a boot sale then it's also a good idea to bring a thermos flask of tea or coffee and some home made sandwiches to keep you going for the duration as you won't want to end up spending your hard earned cash on food at the site.


I haven't been to a boot sale so early for years, so it was glorious to see the dawn rise and take pictures of the red sky beckoning a new day ahead:


Another useful tip is to make sure you take a fair amount of change and some carrier bags with you- no one will be too happy to be greeted with a £10 or £20 note at 6:30 in the morning and having your own bags will save time to dash on to the next eagerly sought after bargain too! So by about 6:45 a lot of stalls were set up and buyers were descending on sellers like their lives depended on it-what a frenzy!! I didn't know whether to elbow my way in or wait my turn and a crucial tip here-definitely do both to get those all important early bird bargains!!

The boot sale is held in two adjoining fields so it was good to cross over every so often to catch new sellers setting up. Make a point of checking them out as soon as possible as you may miss out if you carry on looking at stalls that are already well set up. Another tip-if it is very early don't always buy on the first price that a seller says (unless your heart is set on the item of course) as in a couple of hours they may well be welcome to a bit of haggling. Also when we actually do a boot sale we never mark up prices on our items-buyers as I well know love to not only get a bargain but haggle too, plus it gives you the opportunity to have a chat with them.


Just because items are cheap does not necessarily mean they should be bought for the sake of it-in the heat of the moment it is tempting to buy up everything you see because of the low prices but you do still need to be selective about the labels and items you choose. If you do see something that you are in two minds over, then do buy it-going back for it means it won't be there later!! Also just because something has a designer label in it does not always make it a must buy and constitute good value for money-it's only worth buying if it's going to mix in successfully with the rest of your own wardrobe and be worn regularly.


Don't be afraid to have a go at haggling yourself either- if you're reasonable in the offers you make and are polite and friendly it's odds on you will get that item for cheaper but if not, at least you asked! Don't be put off by something if it is a bit dirty or has some loose stitching-this is an ideal way to haggle and it's not hard to do some cleaning or a repair job on your chosen item when you get home.


 By mid morning the layers of scarves, hats and gloves were gone-it's amazing what a difference a few hours makes!! As you can see the sunshine there was positively glorious by midday, even if parts of the field were still waterlogged-another tip, make sure you wear your walking boots or wellies if the weather has been previously rainy, the fields can still be squelchy and muddy even if the skies are blue! If you're not in a hurry another invaluable tip is to go around the boot sale again- buyers have a habit of not putting everything out initially and a disregarded stall first time around may reap you a bargain buy on your next visit.

When I look around I tend to look at clothes and accessories- another good tip is to check out mens wear stalls as I've found really good buys such as belts and tees that can easily be unisex items. I love looking out for handbags too, boot sales are great for finding good quality leather handbags-both designer and vintage for really reasonable prices.


We packed up shortly after midday and headed to our local supermarket to stock up on some fresh crusty rolls, sausages and pure orange juice for a home made brunch for when we got home. Boot sales can be expensive for eating out and you don't always get quality food for the money, so we just had cups of tea and some fresh donuts there and ate at home. 

You can use google to find local boot sales near to you as well as checking out your local paper too- I would certainly recommend them whether you are a seller or a buyer and getting there early regardless will inevitably set you up for a good morning of bargain hunting-you can be back home again for around 1 pm to enjoy your afternoon, so what's not to love?!!

Have a great weekend whatever you get upto-I'll be checking out my local paper this week to see what ones have started up this year in my area. Do you have you any plans to visit a boot sale this season?

9 comments:

NET-A-DRESSER said...

Great tips here.....I'm sure we are in need of a major clear out soon. And I would love to do a boot sale. But I think I will be a fair weather booter, so will have to watch the weather forcast's for a hot, dry, weekend!xx

Style At Every Age said...

I love doing a bootfair, we have one planned for 20th April, oh gosh that's Easter Sunday and next weekend, I'd better do some more sorting out. I always take plenty of change and lots of bags, buyers never come prepared do they? x

Vix said...

Great tips! We've been to the first Thursday one of the year today, how I've missed them.
We haven't done one for a couple of years. Having a campervan makes a massive difference, not only does it attract the punters but we can have toast and fresh coffee, too! xxx

Shanika said...

I do love a bootfair! good tips

Shanika | shanika-says.blogspot.com | Rants, Reviews and Revelations

Style Eyes said...

Thanks for these tips. I definitely need to get myself out of bed one weekend to attend a bootsale. Particularly need to remember that just because something is cheap I don't have to buy it.

Michelle Lee said...

Great tips for sellers and buyers Sharon! We have a great boot sale by us every Sunday so you and your fab purchases have inspired me to get myself along to one pronto!
Hope you have had a fab weekend and have a lovely weekend xx

Sharon S said...

Hi ladies! Thank you so much for your lovely comments and if any if you do a boot sale or get some bargains I'll be looking forward to seeing them!! xx

CousCousandCorkWedges said...

We've only been back on the UK for 8mths & already our attic is full! LOL! We plan to do one once the weather warms up a bit & there are a fair few around to choose from! xx

Clairejustine oxox said...

Great post Sharon, we use to go years and years ago when it was dark with touches, haha brings back lots of memory's. I don't get to go much now cos hubby works weekends :( plus I spend to much money hehe...Way to get the best bargain :)

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