In my teens my parents would regularly clear out unwanted household items at Car Boot Sales, this was my first introduction to the great British institution of standing in a field, with your car, selling your wares from a pasting table, along with many other like minded people on a (hopefully) sunny weekend morning. The best part about helping them to sell, was that I was able to wander off for a look around the other stalls, pocket money in hand, hunting for CD’s or Vinyl to add to my record collection. I also loved to find clothing bargains and building up a wardrobe on a budget. One particular favourite was a soft black velvet blazer that I wore and washed for many years, through school, Uni, and in to adult life, until it was threadbare.
AS A THRIFTER
I met my husband Nic in the late 90’s and we shared a love of two things, music and car boots. Our weekends together, back then as they do now, centre around a rummage at our local car boot sales. Again, hunting for the music we loved, cheap clothes, retro video games, board games and cheap home furnishings. When our daughter was born clothing, equipment and toys for her, became a new focus to our weekly hunt. She was almost completely kitted out in second hand, and still to this day, as a teenager herself, she loves nothing better than a day of thrifting.
There is a certain thrill in the hunt. Mostly you have no idea what you’re looking for until you find it, sometimes there are certain items you are hoping to find, but you are rarely disappointed. In many ways it’s guilt free. A way to scratch the retail therapy itch whilst saving money and giving those ‘new to you’ items a new lease of life.
AS A RESELLER
With the introduction of the internet around the time Nic and I met, we soon discovered the new buying and selling website, ebay. At first we’d use it to find collectibles to complete our collections, but it wasn’t long before we realised that our joy in finding a bargain (a rare Vinyl Record, an obscure CD, or a sought after game) could be translated in to making a profit by selling them on again, to another collector, somewhere out there in the world, on ebay.
Not only was this a game changer, it was a life changer, as a few years later, having dabbled in buying from car boot sales to sell, as a hobby, we decided to throw ourselves in to it completely. We gave notice on our respective jobs and created a business partnership in rehoming and reselling thrifted items which is still going strong to this day.
Each weekend during boot sale season you will find us in a field hunting for treasures we hope our customers will love as much as us, and our passion for car booting is as strong as it always was.
AS A SELLER
From time to time we decide to have a clear out ourselves and the Car Boot Sale is the perfect place to quickly sell on and rehome our own unwanted items. Although there is a pitch fee to sell, this is quickly recouped. On the days we choose to sell we get the best of both worlds. Not only can we make a bit of extra money for ourselves but we can still take a look around the other stalls and make some purchases too. We usually take a flask of tea and something to eat with us, but there are always the fast food vans to treat ourselves to chips if it’s a chilly day or we’re particularly peckish.
We keep our prices low in order to sell as much as possible. Anything we don’t sell we tend to box up and donate to a charity shop the next day. We try to avoid any waste as best we can.
I’ve lived and loved a lifestyle of reusing and rehoming second hand items for more than two decades and the thrill never wears off.
With a focus on the environment and an unease surrounding the environmental and social impacts of fast fashion production, the trend to buy second hand and vintage has never been more prevalent. In recent years we’ve seen car boot sales evolving to become more vintage or flea market inspired. I’ve certainly noticed an increase in asking prices and stalls are looking more curated than ever before. However, there are still many opportunities to have a rummage, and to find a bargain or a hidden gem or two.
I personally embrace the trend and actively encourage more people to shop, use, and wear second hand. Also to consider selling on unwanted items rather than sending them to landfill. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure!