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car boot sales

I'm no stranger to a car boot sale. However my move to London led to the discovery of something pretty magical - the 10.30pm kick off. Nottingham needs to catch up, seriously.

We headed down to the Capital Carboot in Pimlico, which is one of the best I've visited.  It's partly indoors, offers hot food and drinks (not from a van, novel!) and has a nice mix of traders/vintage/antique sellers as well as normal people just getting rid of their stuff. It's open every Sunday besides Christmas, Easter and New Year from 10.15 (early bird entry, £5) or 11.30am (£1 entry).

Here's what we discovered.

car boot sales
car boot sales
car boot sales
car boot sales
car boot sales
car boot sales
car boot sales
car boot sales


If you're a car boot sale newbie here's a few things to bare in mind

- Remember to bring along plenty of change (most boot sales are in 'out of the way' locations without easy access to cash points and almost always charge 50p or so for entrance).

- Most sellers will have plastic carrier bags, but it's always nicer to have a big tote or rucksack to chuck all your purchases in so you leave your hands free for rummaging.

- It's a bit like the TK Maxx concept, you need to have a good old rummage to find the gems. Don't be afraid to get down and dirty.

- Always haggle. If someone is asking for £10 and you're happy to pay £7, start at £5 and it's a pretty safe bet you'll compromise somewhere in the middle. 

- If a seller's being stubborn on price, walk away. Nine times out of ten they'll call you back and make another offer. If not, evaluate how much you want it and make your decision, but never feel pressured into anything.

- People with big vans and large, well organised stands tend to be traders. They are less likely to lower their prices, often overcharge for items and can be pretty intimidating. I'd avoid.

- Be wary of fakes. You can often pick up designer dupes, but make sure you know exactly what you're paying for, some sellers or traders may try and pass them off as the real thing.

- An area I've found you can get some amazing bargains is beauty, but ensure you purchase sealed items wherever possible. If you do get anything used, ensure it's something you can sterilise at home. As a rule I'd never buy anything that goes near my eyes or lips, unless it's sealed.

- Car boot sales can be very hit and miss, one week you might scamper home with a pile of amazing buys, other weeks you literally might not find anything. Patience is a virtue.

If you're based outside of London, carbootjunction.com lets you search for local sales, based on cities or postcodes.

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