Fundraising Idea: Car Boot Sale

Car boot sales are a great way to raise money, even if you aren’t a hoarder you can ask your friends and family to do a clear out and donate their unwanted items to you to help you raise money. Autumn is a great times to hold a car boot sale before the winter rain sets in and it gets too cold!

Lucy Allcock raised over £300 by doing a car boot sale

Why do a car boot sale?

A lot of past volunteers have found this a great way to get their fundraising started, it takes minimal preparation and can raise quite a lot of money in one day. In the past volunteers have raised between £100 and £320 from one car boot sale, if you have a lot of stuff to get rid of you could easily make £400 -£500 by doing a couple of boot sales!

Where can you do one?

Lots of websites advertise different car boot sales, try having a look at Your Car Booty and Car Boot Junction who list boot sales across the UK, otherwise pick up your local newspaper or google ‘car boot sales’ near you.


Have a clear out of all of your stuff, from clothes to furniture. In my house the garage, shed or loft are normally great places start! If you’re not much of a hoarder then contacting your friends and family members and see if they have anything you could sell is a great idea. Ask people through Facebook and Twitter, you could also put up an advert in your local shop. You can sell pretty much anything at boot sales including clothing, books, jewellery, CDs, DVDs, games, furniture, kitchen items etc. Some car boot sales will also let you sell cakes or other food items (make sure you check first), this can be a great fundraising boosting activity and may attract people to your stall too!

If you are a student and it is your final year at university then a great way to get some donations for your sale, is to contact your friends and say you will collect their unwanted items from them, you would surprised what people have accumulated over three or four years at university and what is about to be thrown in the bin.

What do I need to do to prepare?

  • Check to see whether the place you are holding you car boot sale offers a lower pitch price for stalls raising money for charity
  • Work out the prices for your items and either place stickers on them or have signs, for example ‘All books £1’.
  • Make posters to advertise the fact that you are raising money for charity, if people try to haggle down prices too low you can remind them you are raising money for charity and hopefully they will go with the higher price!
  • Go to the bank and get lots of coins, the majority of your items will only be 50p – a couple of pounds, so you will need lots of change.
  • Pack your car with all your items the night before, generally car boot sales start pretty early in the morning and you don’t want to have to pack your car then.
  • Check whether the place you are holding your car boot sale provides tables, if not you will need to remember to pack one or take a mat to put on the floor so you can display the items.
  • Take some plastic bags in case people buy a couple of items from your stall.

On the day…

Remember to set your alarm! Take some breakfast and a flask of hot coffee/tea/chocolate and wrap up warm, you will probably be standing outside for a couple of hours! Make sure you advertise as much as possible that you are raising money for charity, post a photo on Facebook or Twitter of the stall – it might encourage people to visit.

Tip 1: Be aware that whilst setting up your stall you will probably be approached by lots of people wanting to buy stuff at a cheap price that they will then sell on at their stall for a higher price, so don’t give all of your stuff away too early. This can also be quite chaotic, try and get a friend or family member to help you out on the day, especially for the first couple of hours.

Tip 2:Don’t be afraid to say no when people haggle with you if you think they are offering you a ridiculously low price.

Finally… Good Luck!

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