Mrs B's Car Boot How To...

Mrs. B’s (not so secret) dirty habit, the all British car boot sale, is a painful addiction since they normally start at the crack of dawn on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Surfacing at 6 am, bleary eyed and ever so slightly delicate from the previous evenings jollities I need a good strong cup of Rosie Lee and a doorstep of toast smothered in home made gooseberry and elderflower jam before the adrenalin (and sugar rush) kick in.

What am I going to find this morning? Could this be the lucky day when I find that elusive Ercol day bed I dream of owning? The odds are good as finding rocking horse dung but if I don’t get going I’ll never find out.

A splash of ice cold water to face, comfy converse on feet and I’m off.

The first rule of car boot club is get there early, before it opens. Get in that queue and do a good bit of rubber-necking to check out the sellers ahead of the stampede. Most casual visitors to car boots think that they are solely full of tat but that’s because they’ve missed everything. All the good stuff goes in the first half hour!

Here are a few more hints and tips for car booting virgins:

  1. Check the local paper for listings but best of all ask local people, as most car boots aren’t at all well advertised, if at all.
  2. Bring plenty of bags, as large as possible, since you never know what you might be carrying home! Shoulder bags and rucksacks are particularly useful as they leave your hands free for rummaging.
  3. Don’t be afraid of getting stuck in. Always look under seller’s tables and give any boxes a damn good rummage. 
  4. If you’re going to have difficulty carrying an item around while you check out the other cars, pay for the item and ask the seller to put it aside for you – they never mind but make sure you pay, as you don’t want to return to find your treasure sold to someone else.
  5. Change, change, change. There’s nothing worse then finding that perfect item and but loosing it because the seller can’t change a note. Also, by having the right amount in your hand you’re much more likely to get a cheeky offer accepted.
  6. Haggle! It’s part of the fun and no seller expects you to pay their first price.
  7. If you are making a day of it take sunscreen, water and all weather gear. It might be cold and wet at 6 and baking by 10.
  8. Don’t do flip flops. Most car boots are held in fields and cowpats are not nice around your toes.
  9. Expect portaloos - bring your own loo roll.

Here are a few local car boots to check out:

  • Newport Football Club: every Sunday morning 7am.
  • Calbourne cricket club every Friday 4.30 pm
  • Wooton Car Boot, Lushington Hill, Saturdays 8am

Go on and give it a go! You may find that dream 50’s picture hat, an 80’s Walkman, or the next wow factor item on the Antiques Road Show but don’t forget to let us know.

Happy hunting booters!

Mrs B

27 April 2016

By Mrs B in The locals' blogs