I earn £1,000s a month selling bargains at car boot sales – my secret for finding rare items | The Sun

WE all get a rush when we find a rare item for cheap – but there might be ways to find more this winter as costs soar.

From finding a rare handbag to bargain vintage clothes, one car boot sale expert has plenty of advice to help you.

Becky Chorlton, 24 and founder of Becky's Bazaar, was a regular car boot sale visitor when she was a student.

Now she makes thousands every month by selling vintage and high-value items for cheap, and is an expert on finding cheap steals.

For instance, last year she found a Red Bull biker jacket worth over £250 for just £50.

She told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk about her top tips for finding bargains this winter.

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You can also find her on TikTok (@beckysbazaar) where she shares most of her tips and more on where she gets her stock from.

Plan ahead

She said: "It’s always wise to plan before you go – research key information such as when it opens and join the Facebook group so you can see if it’s been called off due to factors such as weather.

"Don’t forget to bring cash and lots of bags – you need a way to carry all your bargains and reusing old bags is the way forwards!"

If you're not sure where the nearest sale could be, there's a Facebook group called CarBoot Sale Finder UK that might be useful.

Of course, it's important not to get swept up in the excitement of finding a bargain.

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Remember, it's only a good deal if you wanted the item in the first place.

And if you're on the lookout for something specific, it's worth doing some research on prices before you set up.

Keep an open mind

You never know what will be sold at a car boot sale – so don't get your hopes up about finding a specific product.

Becky said: "The joy of shopping second-hand is finding unique pieces you love, so learn to look for the potential in items you may not like at first glance."

But do remember there's no refund policy at a car boot sale – once you buy, it's yours.

On clothing, check for rips, missing buttons and working zips.

And if you're buying CDs or DVDs, have a look at the disc to check for scratches.

It's important to be realistic, too – if you're buying something for a few pence, you might be willing to accept that it's in less-than-perfect condition.

Do your research and dig around

A lot of car boot sales operate during the summer, but you might find items for other seasons for much less.

"‘Rummage high and low when you’re looking around. All the treasures are usually hidden in boxes and places where everybody else is too lazy to look in, so get digging!

"If you spot the perfect winter coat in July, secure it while you can.

"Items out of season are usually cheaper and more readily available."

Don't just head to the most popular charity shop either – find smaller ones you've never been to before. You never know what you might find.

And remember – an item is only rare if there aren't many in circulation.

Becky said: "For example, there were no Red Bull jackets in blue and red on eBay or any other second-hand selling website.

"This means demand and therefore the price for that item will be high."

So if an item has caught your eye, have a quick look online before you buy to see if the item you’ve found is being sold online.

If it’s hard to find or non-existent, it's probably quite rare.

Other tips

There's always more you could do to get the best out of your trip.

Go early

Sellers get up at the crack of dawn to get the best spots at a car boot sale – but buyers should consider doing the same thing.

If you turn up late, it's likely you'll have missed all the best bargains.

Find out what time the sale starts and get there early.

Be prepared to haggle

Haggling is all part of the fun at car boot sales – don't assume the seller is offering you the best price straight away.

Some people are shy about quibbling on the price, but it's a good way to get money off and if you're polite, you shouldn't worry about offending anyone.

Bring lots of loose change

Car boot sellers aren't shops and you shouldn't turn up expecting to be able to tap your contactless debit card to make a purchase.

They also won't appreciate you giving them a £20 note to buy something for 50p.

It's a lot harder to haggle down a price if you're brandishing a £10 note too.

Sell it on

A car boot sale, isn't just an opportunity to pick up bargains for yourself – you might be able to sell items on at a profit.

Sellers tend to undervalue their items, so it's worth rummaging for hidden gems.

Have your phone to hand and search websites such as Facebook Marketplace and eBay to see what items are selling for if you suspect you've spotted a potential profit.

On eBay, you can search completed listings to get a better idea of what items sold for – although it's important to remember that sales may fall through after an auction is complete.

But it's worth remembering that anything extra you earn can be taxed.

You can earn up to £1,000 without paying tax thanks to the trading allowance.

According to HMRC, the odd jobs you can claim for tax free include money made at car boot sales, online selling or auction, so you should be okay if you sell on.

It could also include money made from food delivery or by charging other people for using your equipment or tools.

Once you earn more than £1,000 a year, you need to complete a self-assessment tax return and start paying tax on your extra earnings.

How much that is will depend on how much you already earn.

Set a budget

It's easy to get carried away when you're on a bargain-hunting spree, but remember it's only a deal if you needed that item anyway.

Even if you're only spending a pound or two at a time, the costs can add up over the course of the day.

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Consider whether you actually need the item and if you'll actually use it – don't let yourself get pressured into a purchase.

It's not just shoppers who need to put their best foot forward at a car boot sale – we've rounded up the best tips to make cash for sellers too.

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