CarBooty! – Tips & Recommendations

Those that follow me on Instagram are probably aware by now that most weekends I go to carboot sales where I like to try and find some great Disney bargains; and it seems to have become a semi-regular feature on a Sunday now that I post a picture of whatever I have found that day. Some days its a lot, some days its not; and of course, there are occasions when I find nothing at all! I thought I’d start sharing them here on my blog too, in a new category aptly named CarBooty! 😛

Anyway, quite a few people that follow my car boot sale haul posts have asked me for tips and tricks for finding things at them; and also for information about which ones I go to so I thought I’d do a blog post about it 🙂

I’ll start of by telling you about some of the sales I go to regularly/semi-regularly. I live in the South West of England so all the ones I go to are in this sort of area. I’m sure there are lots of other great ones all over the country though and if you google car boot sales in your area, I’m sure you’ll find some to try going to.

The main one that I go to is the Cheddar Carboot at Winchester Farm in Cheddar, Somerset. It is on all year round (Sunday’s only) and costs £1 per car to go in (as buyers). Its great because its not just stalls in a field; it has proper facilities there including actual toilets (not just port-a-loos!), a great cafe for yummy breakfasts (as well as a couple of other food stalls for drinks and snacks, and an ice cream van) and an indoor/undercover area so that even if its raining, it can still go ahead. The one thing that I do find with this Carboot though is that there are A LOT of “professional” stall holders, and by that, I mean people that have a regular stall and sell stuff for more expensively than regular stalls of people just clearing out their own stuff. This also means that you have to get there super early to get the good things because the “dealers” are all there at the crack of dawn and already buying up stuff cheap to then put on their own stalls later on in the morning for 3 times the price. My mum and I usually get there from anywhere between 6:30am to 7:30am and there are already dealers walking round with bags of Disney plush etc that they have bought to sell on. Very annoying! Having said that however, there is a “professional” stall that’s always in the indoor area and they sell a lot of Disney plush and yes they are more expensive than if you’d got them off a regular stall but they do make sure they are clean and in good condition and will often take an offer on the price too. I have bought from them a few times so they are always worth checking out. We go most weekends when the weather is good (and by that, I mean not raining and not freezing) but its definitely worth going to it if the weather forecast is particularly brilliant because that usually means there will be hundreds and hundreds of stalls!

There is also one a bit later in the morning on a Sunday (and also Bank Holiday Monday’s) at Puxton Park which we do tend to go to as its quite local to us, but to be honest, its never that great. Buyers can arrive from 11:30am and entrace is £1 per car, or you can arrive earlier but then you have to pay £2 and its rarely worth it. This one is just in a field so its only on if the ground is dry. There is a (expensive!) food van and port-a-loo’s, and be warned that the ground is really uneven so if you have troubles with walking like I do, you need to be really careful. We have been probably 8 times this year and although I have got the odd thing there, its not much as there are usually not many stalls. It was pretty good and busy last weekend as the weather was particularly nice so again, if the forecast is very good, its worth checking out. If its cloudy or overcast though, chances are it will be very small.

Some others that we occasionally go to include one on Saturday afternoons at the BASC Ground in Burnham but its often mainly made up of professional stalls, I rarely find anything decent there; and the Clifton Carboot Sale in Bristol on Sunday’s, where I have found the odd decent item. I was also recommended the Whitchurch Carboot Sale in Bristol recently which is on Saturdays and Bank Holiday Monday’s and we went for the first time last weekend. Entrace there is only 50p and they had a nice big disabled parking area which was good for us. We arrived at 11:00am which is when buyers are allowed to arrive from and there were hardly any stalls at first but all of a sudden, there were hundreds! There were a few professional stalls but it was mainly just regular stalls and I got quite a few things at great prices. However, what I didn’t like about this one was the rudeness of other buyers!! People often do push a little bit at carboots to get to stalls etc but at Cheddar, most people are generally still polite and will move to allow others to look as well etc. However, it was awful at Whitchurch, like a mosh pit!!! Bearing in mind I walk with a stick and have visible bandages on etc, a woman actually placed two hands on me and pushed me out her way to get to a stall! I came away quite shaken, but I think I will try going again one time as at least I will be prepared and know what its like next time.

So those are the sales I go to most frequently so I hope if any of you live nearby, you are able to get to them too and find some great bargains. Speaking of finding great bargains, here are some tips that may help you out:

  • Rummage! If there is a pile of cuddly toys, make sure you look underneath them all, even if most the ones on top don’t look very Disney/character like. I have found some of my best plush by digging underneath piles of rubbish ones! The same goes for plastic tubs of toys, piles of bags, bin bags of toys and plush etc. Look through it all!
  • Don’t look too excited! If you spot something from a distance, try and walk calmly to it and don’t get super excited when you pick it up as the seller will notice and will often then ask a higher price. Act like you don’t know what it is but just thought it was cute 😛
  • Barter! Unless someone says something is a really awesome price like 50p anyway, make sure you barter on the price. Sellers often expect it too so they will tell you £3 when actually they’d be happy to accept £2 etc so make them an offer. Most of the time you’ll get it!
  • Ask for a deal! If you want more than one item from a stall and the items are already priced or you wanted 10 items out of a 20p box for example, ask the seller how much they would do for all the things you want. You’ll often get them at a better price that way.

One thing I also wanted to say for anyone who is selling is, if someone asks the price of something, don’t tell them how much it cost you new, even if it is still new with the tags etc. The fact is, you are at a car boot sale and people don’t want to pay new prices. You aren’t a store, people can’t return things if they are faulty etc so the chances of them being willing to pay the “new” price for it is very slim. Also, don’t tell them how much you could get for it if you sold it on eBay! They don’t care! If you want that price for it, sell it on eBay! 9 times out of 10, if you start telling a buyer how much it was new or how much you could get for it on eBay, they will walk away before you have finished talking.

So that’s it! Hope some of that info helps you all and I hope you can all get out to some carboot sales this weekend and find some bargains! Check out some pics below from my Instagram account of some of the things I have found at sales in the last few weeks to get a taste of what awesome things you could be finding!


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