It has its origin in Britain but it has exploded in popularity across Kenya.
Indeed, few side hustles can beat a car boot sale business in terms of ease of starting and convenience.
As a result, car boot vendors are everywhere… Nanyuki, Nakuru, Karatina, Kisii, Muranga, Embu, Isiolo, Nyeri, Mweiga, Meru, Kakamega….you name it.
And most of them make hefty cash.
The good news is that you can also join the bandwagon and start minting money.
To give you a headstart, let’s break down how you can start a Classical Car Boot Sale trade…
1. Prepare your car
You dear car is your display shop. Polish it up if need be.
Don’t forget that the boot needs to look smart and organized so make some modifications where necessary.
If you don’t own a car, plan on acquiring a car with a significant boot. You can check individuals selling cars within your budget online or offline.
Online forums like Cars under shs.500000 have plenty of used Japanese cars on sale. New cars are also an option though you have to dig deeper into your pocket.
Additionally, check the car’s insurance policy and confirm that your comprehensive insurance (or otherwise) is up-to-date.
2. Identify a product to sell
This is one of the most pivotal stages. If you get your choice of merchandise right, you’ll soon be ‘in the money’. Flunk here and your chances of succeeding become pretty slim.
Take time and do your research. You should focus on finding a market gap that you easily fill. Even if it means paying an expert to analyze the market for you, just do it as it will save you from massive losses.
3. Secure a supply source
Now search for a reliable supplier of your favored product(s) and make a deal. He/she can even be sending the items to you via courier and pay later.
You can even be scouring other Car boot sales for bargains then sell them onwards later at a different spot to make neat profits.
4. Locate strategic sales spots
Like other traffic dependent businesses, you will hardly any money if you don’t site yourself strategically. Make visits to potential sales points preferably where the masses pass and try to single out a couple of points you can be operating from.
You can draw up a list of probable spots in several towns and come up with a schedule which allows you to tour different centers at different times.
5. Stand out On the Day
Be sure to always stand out.
For instance, you can paste beautifully designed advertising posters on your Toyota NZE, Mazda Demio, or Impreza WRX in a way that makes you easily noticeable.
In addition, be polite and keep promises to your clients.
Still there, keep researching and adding sought-after products to your offerings as part of your diversification plan.
In addition, be reasonable as exorbitant prices are a huge turn off in this sensitive market.
Finally, offer free carrier bags (or surprise gifts) if your margins allow.
The cost of running a car boot sale
There is not much to pay for a car boot sale. No annual licenses, rent, salaries (unless your business has expanded and affords it) and such other suffocating costs.
The only mandatory fees are the parking and market fees charged by the county government.
Potential Products for a Car Boot Sale
Some of the hottest selling items in Kenya include:
- Groceries and fruits.
- Chicken products.
- Electronics such as phones and earphones.
- Fashion accessories.
- Ready foods (you might need a certificate from the health department).
You can also use your Toyota, Subaru, or even Suzuki car boot to make cash selling seasonal items like success cards and valentine day gifts.
The downside to car boot sales
I will now take you through some of the potential pitfalls of this type of trade:
- Nagging bargainers: some buyers are forceful bargainers and will haggle on everything (even on shs.100 items)! This can really test your patience but from my experience, you eventually learn how to treat these purchasers and make them pay the price you want.
- Unpredictable weather: Be prepared to go home hungry if it pours!
- Cut-throat competition: If you don’t stand out, you can easily be swallowed by competing sellers. Some even ‘steal’ your regular spots on the days you don’t come and can confuse your repeat customers.
Wrapping it up
Since car boot sales are easy to start and may need very little capital (but for the car), car owners can easily generate some handsome cash on the sides.
You need to research potential market gaps, be strategic, and professional. Importantly, brand yourself uniquely to help you stand out.
It can be a lucrative venture if you do everything right.