Author Topic: Car boot sales  (Read 1689 times)

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perpetua

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Car boot sales
« on: June 14, 2014, 03:44:59 AM »
Are they a thing in America? It's always struck me as odd that the garage sale seems to be a bigger concept in a country that's so geared towards customer service, since the customers actually have to make an effort to drive around and find them.

Here, car boot sales can be huge.  They're usually held on Sunday mornings, but sometimes Saturdays. There are big ones in fields and smaller ones in town car parks, school grounds, etc. Sellers load up their cars and take their goods to the one place to sell and there can be hundreds of sellers at a time, which is great for the buyers. Sellers pay a fee to the organisers for the pitch (usually between 5 and 10 pounds) and there's usually a nominal fee for buyers of about 50p. Sometimes there's an early bird fee - if you pay the higher fee, you can go in at an earlier time (when there's still more stuff to buy), so it might be "1 before 7am" when all the sellers are still setting up. It's really common for buyers to hover around a car that's just arrived to see what's in there as it's being unloaded.

There are often food sellers on site - burger vans and the like. The culture is "turn up early, root through the stuff, haggle a lot, get it as cheap as you can" - if someone's offering something for 10, it's usual to offer 5 then agree somewhere in the middle.  Sales usually last a few hours - say 7am until 1pm - but most people in search of serious bargains will be there during the first hour or two. Sellers usually start discounting after a couple of hours because they don't want to take it all home again and may even start packing up early. They very rarely last until their stated end time.

I love a car boot sale. I've furnished entire houses for peanuts through buying stuff there. I like that it's all in one place; I'm not sure if I could be bothered to drive around to lots of different houses. You see the very occasional garage sale here but they haven't really caught on like the boot sale has.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 03:48:47 AM by perpetua »

Please pass the Calgon

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Re: Car boot sales
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2014, 05:18:53 AM »
I'm in central CA and have never seen a car boot sale. The closest thing we have might be the churches and their annual rummage sales, or maybe the flea market (there are 4-5 in our county, typically open from 7am to 3pm on Saturdays).

I think most in our area prefer yard/garage sales because the homes have plenty of space in front and they don't need to cart their stuff around. There is a permit that must be obtained from the city but there's no fee for that, or wasn't last time I had one. For a small fee you can publish your sale for 2-3 days in the local newspaper...diehard yard salers will scout that and determine the best route to take in the AM.

Dazi

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Re: Car boot sales
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2014, 05:20:39 AM »
Yes there are.   I haven't seen too many where I live now.  The ones I have seen are usually geared toward fundraising.   They are often held at churches or schools.

There is also a similar concept that Americans seem to love and that is the Flea Market.  ;) I can also say though part of garage saling fun is the hunt.
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Luci

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Re: Car boot sales
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2014, 09:23:19 AM »
We call them 'flea markets'. Our campground had two a year, and the first Saturday of the month we have one at the county fair grounds. It is the same stuff one finds at garage/yard sales, but sellers bring the items in their vehicles, handled like I've seen it done on BBC. Often, flea markets include things people buy in bulk at a factory closeout to sell as well as rummage. I've seen boxes of fuses, socks, misprinted mugs and t-shirts, even sugical supply things!

PS Our campground has 2000 lots, so plenty of fleas, and we live 2 blocks from the county fair grounds. I'm in northern Illinois.

perpetua

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Re: Car boot sales
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2014, 09:28:28 AM »
Yes, that sounds pretty similar.

Flea markets here are usually indoor affairs and while you'd bring your stuff to sell in your car you'd take it indoors and set it up on a table in a hall. Car boot sales are always outdoor (although some might be undercover somehow, depending on the venue - maybe in a multistorey car park) and you set your table up at the end of your car (hence 'car boot sale', because all the stuff comes out of the boot).

Some of them are pretty huge. When I lived back home there used to be one at the racecourse and it was absolutely massive and took up the whole venue, plus the car parks too. There must have been thousands of pitches; it'd take you all morning to walk around it.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Car boot sales
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2014, 09:51:41 AM »
Yes that sounds like a flea market to me.  Here in MD all of the flea markets I can think of are outdoors or have some kind of covered pavilion.

kherbert05

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Re: Car boot sales
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2014, 10:03:58 AM »
In some flea markets, like the one down the street from me you have to rent a booth and buyers have to pay an admission fee.
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perpetua

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Re: Car boot sales
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2014, 10:41:11 AM »
Yes that sounds like a flea market to me.  Here in MD all of the flea markets I can think of are outdoors or have some kind of covered pavilion.

Interesting. A flea market here looks more like this:



And here's a car boot sale:


PastryGoddess

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Re: Car boot sales
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2014, 04:14:38 PM »
::) at myself

So the covered pavilions I'm thinking of are actually the buildings.  I don't often go to flea markets,but when I do it's usually in the summer months.  So I pretty much stay outside.

Here are three near me.  I've been to the first two, but not the third
http://www.patapscomarket.com/
http://northpointfleamarket.com/
http://www.columbiaflea.nova-antiques.com/

jedikaiti

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Re: Car boot sales
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2014, 04:28:29 PM »
Yes that sounds like a flea market to me.  Here in MD all of the flea markets I can think of are outdoors or have some kind of covered pavilion.

Interesting. A flea market here looks more like this:



And here's a car boot sale:



There's a flea market near me that looks more like pic #2 - it's got some structures that people/businesses can rent longer-term, and some spaces with storage sheds for folks who want to sell for a longer period but don't need a whole space to keep everything, and some other spots available for people who want to just bring their yard sale stuff.

The term "boot sale" to me conjures an image of some guy selling stuff out the back of a car parked in an alley, and you know all of it probably "fell off a truck". I know that's not what a boot sale really is, but it is the first thing that pops to mind for a boot sale in the US. <G>
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Thipu1

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Re: Car boot sales
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2014, 04:56:53 PM »
I know about boot sales but they're rare where I live.  That's probably because we don't have many places where they can be held.  The ones we've seen have mostly been themed such as comics, tools or electronic parts. 


shhh its me

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Re: Car boot sales
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2014, 06:24:47 PM »
  I would said that flea market/swap mets can cover the equivalent of a boot sale and but can be talking about something with more permanent sellers too.  Rummage sales also can =boot sales but may mean an organization selling items donated to them to raise funds.


lowspark

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Re: Car boot sales
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2014, 08:59:39 AM »
Are they a thing in America? It's always struck me as odd that the garage sale seems to be a bigger concept in a country that's so geared towards customer service, since the customers actually have to make an effort to drive around and find them.

That strikes me as funny!  ;D  Yes, we are very customer service oriented.
However, we are also "live in our cars" oriented. So driving around on a Saturday morning is pretty normal. The idea is that you're driving someplace, you see a sign for a garage sale, and you decide to stop, on the spur of the moment. As opposed to making a plan to actually go to a sale.

Now, of course, the vast majority of garage sailors (as I call them, me included) make plans to go sailing in advance. But you know, sometimes, I am on the way somewhere else, see a sign and stop.

There are definitely community garage sales where lots of households gather in one spot, usually a large parking lot, and set up shop. No admission is charged and there's no fee to participate (AFAIK) so that's sort of like a car boot sale.

Those look more like this:

lowspark

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Re: Car boot sales
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2014, 09:15:06 AM »
  I would said that flea market/swap mets can cover the equivalent of a boot sale and but can be talking about something with more permanent sellers too.  Rummage sales also can =boot sales but may mean an organization selling items donated to them to raise funds.

Yeah, I think of flea markets as having permanent sellers as opposed to people just showing up to sell one time only. The advantage of a flea market is that it's in the same location, every weekend (or every Saturday or whatever), either year-round or during specific months. The advantage of garage sales is you don't have to cart your stuff anywhere, which could be a real issue if you're selling large furniture items, and neither sellers nor buyers are charged a fee.

bloo

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Re: Car boot sales
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2014, 09:38:34 AM »
I also think there are different types of flea markets. I've seen some indoors, under pavilions and also similar to the Pic#2 in Perpetua's post.

One I went to a couple years ago about an hour south of me was one that was geared toward the hunting and fishing crowd but you could find all kinds of stuff. It looked like Perpetua's car boot sale picture. DH bought DS a nice bird gun there.

Men and women were walking around with guns and ammo they'd purchased *while* drinking beer. There were plenty of law enforcement as well.

It was surreal.