My first London car boot sale

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y alarm clock pinged at the ungodly hour of 6am on a Saturday morning. My friends and family will laugh at this- everyone knows I love my weekend lie ins. But, for this particular Saturday, I was going to my very first car boot sale to sell. The night before, I had turned my room and wardrobe upside down to sort out the things I no longer needed, packing them up into bags, all ready to go at the crack of dawn.

I was heading to the Princess May School in Stoke Newington, named one of Timeout’s top London car boot sale spots, to hawk off my wares. Consistently named as a car boot sale gem for vintage finds and knick knacks in East London, it costs £10 for a walk in pitch- or if you’re a shopper, £3 before 9am and 50p after to enter.

I met my friend Stephane- fun fact, he was the very first friend I made at uni– outside the school gates and paid the fee for our pitch. Before we could even start unpacking our bags, professional car booters were surrounding us, ready to pounce for first dibs on anything valuable. It was really bizarre but also a little thrilling? I sold an old Zoe Karssen sweatshirt before I had even reached the bottom of my bag- which goes to show, it pays to be an early bird at these things!

I drank bucket loads of tea, ‘replenished’ our stock, and met some interesting characters. There was one older gentleman who kept offering me £1 for a pair of boots and on his fourth try within the hour, I gave in purely because his toothless smile and cheeky determination made me laugh. A man’s got to have a pair of women’s black cowboy boots, right?

The early morning crowd were professional car booters or fashion buyers scouting for pieces followed by keen car boot sale fans. By mid morning, it was brimming with East London fashionistas before finally tailing off towards 2 o’ clock with Dalston locals just casually browsing through.

By the time it wrapped up, I had made some nice pocket money for the week ahead and had successfully cleared through yet more ‘stuff’ from the house. Winner, winner! And a chicken dinner for my selling efforts.

London Car Boot Address

There’s also a Sunday sale, but according to Stephane, Saturdays are the best and busiest.

I’m really glad I gave it a go- selling stuff at a car boot sale has really opened up my eyes to alternative ways to get rid of ‘stuff’ that accumulates at home. I’m converted!

You can check The London Car Boot Co website to find your nearest one; maybe you’ll even see me there again one day shilling my stuff for £1!

Author: Angela Shek

just a clueless mama in East London

14 thoughts on “My first London car boot sale”

  1. Oh this is useful to know about! I usually end up sending stuff to the charity shop on a work lunch break but with a big holiday this year it might be fun to try a car boot to sell some of the better branded stuff and give away the rest. How did you go about pricing it up?


  2. Oh I love doing a car boot sale, it feels so good getting rid of stuff you don’t want/need and making some money out of it. It always amazes me what people are after though! I’ve sold some stuff that I never thought I would and was only going to chuck, but then actual decent stuff doesn’t even get glanced at!

    Hannah xx


  3. I love a car boot but the husband despises them! Also I suspect they’re infinitely less cool in a small Devonish town than in hip and happening London (I’m sorry for the ‘hip and happening’ there, it just slipped out).
    They’re pretty good fun and generally cheery, that first bit though, where they swarm – a bit scary.
    M x


  4. I didn’t price anything more than £10- for example I had an unused pair of wellies priced for a tenner but it was bargained down to £8. I found anything more than that and it put people off. Then smaller items like a t shirt was £5 and then by the end of the day, I was selling off bits for £1 or £5 for three items.

    I’m converted! I really didn’t expect much, but this week’s travel card was all paid for thanks to my old clothes!


  5. I LOVE getting rid of things and decluttering at the moment- and yes, agree about what sells and what doesn’t! The things that I didn’t expect to sell went early and the stuff I thought would go quick went for cheap by the end of the day.


  6. I’ve only ever done one car boot – many moons ago back in Norfolk! We met some real characters and made a nice bit of dosh. I’d love to do another … need a car first though!


  7. The swarm! I was warned about that, but it was definitely super weird being in the middle of it all. At one point I was still untying a bag and someone was trying to rummage through it! I was definitely not in the hip and happening category either- I practically gave away my wellies from Joules 😦


  8. I always thought a car was necessary and this was the first time I heard you could just do a walk in and pay for a space in the car park- it was good fun! A car would have been handy when the weather dipped though!


  9. I remember going to a car boot sale as a kid and my mum bought me a necklace. It is a found memory! I am so overdue a clear out, you are inspiring me!


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