Car boot sales & locations


Dismay as Cheltenham racecourse car boot market to be scaled back

The Glouchestershire Echo reports that stall holders at Cheltenham’s car boot market have voiced dismay after it was announced it would close on three weekends of the month.
The weekly event, at the racecourse, attracts hundreds of people who come along to pick up bargains and peruse an Aladdin’s cave of first and second-hand goods.
But after organisers said racecourse bosses had cancelled their current rent agreement, it looks set to take place on a once-a-month basis.
Dean Morgan, 48, from Bamfurlong Lane, in Staverton, has run a stall selling car entertainment systems for the past eight years.
He said: “It’s very disappointing that the market is not going to take place weekly anymore.
“There’s no other market of that size in Cheltenham. On a good day I could make up to £2,000.
“I am scratching my head about where I’m going to go instead. There are markets in Gloucester which we might try but there not likely to be as good.
“It’s a shame because there is a really good atmosphere at the racecourse.
“A lot of the traders know each other and pitch in the same place every week.
“I don’t know why we are not being allowed to go there.
“It is almost as if under the new racecourse management, they feel a car boot market lowers the tone because it’s such a prestigious venue.”
The market will run as normal until the end of May, with stall holders welcome to set up from 6am on Sundays, opening to customers between 9am and 2pm.
Then its next opening dates will be June 8, July 6, August 3 and 17, and October 19.
A new market will be opening in Pershore on the dates when the Cheltenham market will not be running.
Bill Kimberley, who runs the car boot market every week, said the schedule change was due to the number of corporate events taking place at the racecourse.
“It is a shame because it’s a big thing,” he said.
“It has probably been running for the last 10 years.
“We get several hundred people every week and probably as many as 1,000 on some occasions.
“But the racecourse has got new management and they say they have got targets in terms of the corporate side of things and the amount of events they hold there.”
However, Mr Kimberley said he was hopeful in future it would be possible to hammer out a new agreement to resurrect the car boot on a weekly basis.
“At least we haven’t lost it altogether,” he added. “We want to make sure people know it is still opening on certain dates.
“There may be scope for sorting out a new agreement to keep it at the racecourse down the line.”
Racecourse bosses were unavailable to comment on the matter

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The UK has 'Car Boot Sales', what do others have?: 
  • France - Brocante / vide-grenier (empty your attic) / Troc et Puces (exchanges)
  • Australia - Swap Meet
  • USA - Garage Sale
  • Wales - Arwerthiant / Sêl Cist Ceir
  • Ibiza - rastrillo
  • Greece - Flohmarkt / Παζάρι
  • Netherlands - kofferbakmarkt(trunk barge = barge-boot)
  • Italy - 'sofitte in piazza'(= cash in the attic) also 'mercato delle pulci' = flea market; 'mercato dell'usato' = car boot
  • Finland - kirpputori
  • Denmark - Loppemarked/kraemmermarked
  • Sweden - bakluckeloppis / bakluckan / loppemarknad
  • Norway - Loppemarked / loppis

Car Boot Sales: facts & figures

Each year 1.5 billion pounds are spent at Car Boot Sales in the UK.
One million people visit Car Boot Sales every weekend during the season.
Average spend £9.61 per visit.
Most profitable boots London (£83), Wales (£80) per boot full

Tips for buying / selling:
  • get up early!
  • always bargain
  • check all the boxes
  • check for damage
  • beware of electrical items unless seen working


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  • Take plenty of change and plastic bags
  • Use a bum-bag to keep money safe
  • take warm clothing
  • clearly display your items - make book and video titles easily seen
  • put a tablecloth / sheet on your table
  • price up the bigger items beforehand
  • take some stationery: pens, pencils & stickers
  • be honest, helpful and remain polite
  • on arrival, walk round for 10 mins, then set up your pitch, otherwise you will be overwhelmed.
  • selling for a charity? If so consider using the GiftAid form to donate your takings - this may increase the amount by 25%
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