Frequently Asked Questions
Please look through our Frequently Asked Questions before contacting us. After running the boot sale for over 20 years, we are very used to hearing the same questions again and again. It is highly unlikely that your question is not answered on our FAQ page.
Please read our terms & conditions prior to booking.
All bookings are fixed. We do not offer a refund or transfer under any circumstances. As it mentions in our terms we’d suggest you check your diary, the weather, etc etc before booking.
The vast majority of people bring a ʻpastingʼ or decorating table, you can buy these in B&Q/Homebase etc for around £17-£30. Rails can be bought cheaply in Ikea or Argos, though we wouldnʼt advise going to the extra expense of a rail for a one off boot sale.
Tables are not included in the pitch fee. However we have limited table & rail hire (£7) available from the gate on the day. Please see ‘table hire’ in our FAQ’s for full details.
No! The whole point of Battersea and what makes us different is that you really do not need to arrive any earlier than your allocated time slot. We do not have queues for spaces! You do not need to queue for a space, you have already reserved and paid for it, and we guarantee itʼs availability for you. It is really a totally pointless idea to arrive early, it wastes your time, it wastes our time, it causes traffic issues because there is nowhere to park and most importantly, you have nothing to gain by doing so.
No one is let onsite before their allocated time. You choose your time to arrive and you pay accordingly, therefore we do not allow anyone onsite early, not even a few minutes early. It would be unfair on those who pay a premium for early entry pitches if we did so.
If you are unfamiliar with the area and arrive early by mistake, we would ask you to park away from the immediate area, perhaps go for a coffee and return at or after your allocated time slot. There is little very parking availability in the immediate vicinity which is what originally drove us to a introduce booking system. The council do not look favourably on sellers parked in the area ʻwaitingʼ for their time slot to come around. This is deemed ʻqueueingʼ and has a negative impact us.
Yes, that is no problem as long as it is the same size as the car you booked (registered with). Please text or email us with your name, booking reference and new vehicle details.
Often customers book a small car and then decide to borrow a friend’s estate car so they get more space. Changing a vehicle in this way is not always possible. It is clearly stated in our terms that you have paid for the registered vehicle to enter the site on Sunday. We have to monitor very carefully the sizes of vehicles being booked in and adjust availability accordingly to ensure we can guarantee everyone gets a space. Therefore, once we have sold out, we cannot accomodate larger vehicles than those we have allowed for.
If you need to change your registered vehicle please do so before you book.
deemed ʻqueueingʼ and has a negative impact us.
Everyone arriving on foot is charged to enter the boot sale, either as a buyer or a seller.
Unfortunately, we cannot allow anyone free entry to meet a seller onsite.
We have a variety of regular professional food traders at Battersea and do not allow anyone else to sell food or drinks. Anyone reported to be selling food or drinks onsite will be asked to remove such items from sale and/or asked leave and will not be offered a refund. This includes homemade cakes.
Foodstuffs to be taken away for consumption such as jars of jam or chutney, and tinned food products ARE acceptable.
NO form of drink sale is allowed.
Yes. If you wait until Saturday to book it is doubtful there will still be space available. Just fill in the booking form with the type of car you plan to hire ie; ‘VW Golf’ and enter ‘HIRE’ in to the registration number box on the form. When you get your car, email us with the full details and your booking reference number and the details will be added to the booking for you.
Please note that if a customer books an unknown hire car we will reserve enough space for a Golf/Fiesta or similar standard small car. If you plan to hire a larger car we need to know before we sell out so we can ensure we allocate enough space for it.
It is advisable to ensure you will definitely be able to get hire a car since pitches are non refundable.
Generally speaking, if the weather is fine we prefer for sellers not to use gazebos, as they can be a trip hazzard.
However, if the forecast is rainy we guarantee to provide enough space for any seller who wishes to bring a gazebo, though you may have to place the gazebo partially over your car.
A transparent plastic sheet to cover over is a cheap and effective alternative as buyers can still see what you have for sale whilst it is protected from rain. Transparent plastic sheets are available in most DIY stores for around £4-£5. We often have stock of these available to buy from the gate at £3 each.
Many first time sellers choose to come to Battersea and the feedback we receive is excellent. First timers tell us they find Battersea to be friendly and less daunting than other boot sales, mostly due to our calm ‘no queue’ entry system and friendly helpful staff. The opportunity to book a pitch only a week in advance and set up in peace before any buyers are onsite is also helpful to many.
First time sellers at Battersea often tell us what they made – the average we’re told about is £200 – £500, with many taking much more. This is no coincidence. There are other boot sales out there of course, but very few of them get such a high footfall as Battersea.
We’re very often asked if we have any tips for first timers so here are some hints, tips and general information you might find helpful as a first time seller. There’s lots here, but we’ve tried to cover all the things we’re asked most often and the things that people tell us they’re a little nervous about.
Our bookings launch at 8am every Monday to book a pitch for the coming Sunday.
What sells, what doesn’t? Try to bring a wide selection of goods – if you’re sorting out your wardrobe you might as well go through the whole house, including the shed, garage, kids room, kitchen and even your jewellery box and the bathroom! Sellers who make the most money on their first car boot tend to bring a wide selection of unwanted household items including some high priced items such as the odd designer handbag or shoes, jewellery, or furniture.
Here’s a few ideas to get you started…
New and even half used bottles of perfume and other beauty/make-up/bathroom paraphernalia can be surprisingly popular, especially if still in gift boxes.
CDs, DVDs & books won’t make you a fortune. Bring some, just don’t bring a car full. Videos? Harsh, but bin them.
Kitchen equipment: saucepans, baking dishes, crockery, that juicer/breadmaker you’ve never used!
New or even used (but originally expensive) candles sell well. Empty hampers & baskets are very popular.
Those unloved bottles of Chardonnay and unwanted gifts of Champagne on your wine rack will sell (caution; this must be a genuine ‘unwanted personal belongings’ sale – not a car load brought back from Calais!)
Second hand ‘high street’ clothes are ten a penny, so be realistic if you want to sell them – you’re not going to get £7 for a second hand Primark jacket that cost you £15, or £1 for a £3 t-shirt.
Second hand Levi’s, or any jeans will sell. Of course anything ‘vintage’ will fly off the stall!
Got a jewellery box full of unfashionable things you never wear anymore? Gold and silver are currently at their highest price for many years. We have plenty of gold dealers all competing with each other so you’ll get a fair price.
All metal is high priced at the moment so literally ‘any old iron’ will sell – brass & copper, as well as more valuable metals.
Baby clothes are in plentiful supply at boot sales – they’ll sell, but at very low prices, and often in bundles, unless they’re sought after labels.
Small (or large if you can get them in the car/on the roof) pieces of furniture sell really well – book cases, chest of drawers, bedside tables, shelves, cots, buggies, coffeee tables.
Sort out the shed – garden tools sell very well, the old flymo, garden furniture, teracotta pots, even house or garden plants you don’t want anymore.
Old bikes, toys, laptops, phones and electrical goods are good sellers too.
Large toys: dolls houses, dolls prams, kids kitchens, wendy houses & bikes sell very well, especially in the lead up to Christmas – just clean them up.
Duvet covers and sheets you’re fed up with. Cushions, blankets and throws sell well, as do most household essentials.
Everything CAN sell, at the right price. Many people are on the look out for household items and gifts that they can’t afford to buy new.
How much effort you put in to this is up to you. Chuck it all in a box for 50p if that suits you, or run an iron over some of your best items, put them on hangers. A damp cloth wiped over some items makes a huge difference to how they look and can make a sale too. Baby wipes are brilliant for quickly cleaning dusty things.
Higher priced things sell too – we have regular dealers who specialise in most things: designer clothes, gold/silver, art, phones, watches, costume jewellery, computers, handbags, electrical goods, trainers, jeans, furniture, general collectables, and of course, antiques. So generally speaking you’ll get fair prices as long as you’re realistic.
Pre Christmas boot sales – September onwards many people are on the look out for anything that could be given as a gift. So if you’re sorting out the kids toys make sure all the bits are there, clean up that old bike (baby wipes are great for quick clean ups)
Bagged up bundles of Lego, Duplo or playmobil are great sellers.
Sort out the gift sets, beauty hampers and candles you were given last year and never used. Give everything a wipe over so it looks fresh – this will help you get a decent price.
Old record players, music systems, speakers, large saucepans, extra sets of plates etc are all sought after in the run up to Christmas. People are often on the look out for extra’s to tie them over having guests to stay too – fold up chairs, air beds, extra bedding, duvets, fold away beds etc.
We can’t advise individually on pricing (though we’re often asked to) As a general rule of thumb – be realistic – you will not get half the retail price for anything at all. If what you’re selling is particularly high end, or brand new with tags/box/packaging you might just about reach half price, but it’s unlikely. Second hand clothes do not fetch high prices – unless as above, they’re designer and in very good condition. You don’t need to sell everything for 50p though. Try to think what you’d be happy to pay for something second hand, what would be a bargain to you?
Looking at online auction sites to find prices is unrealistic and unreliable – for every Primark dress that sold for £5 there are 2000 more Primark dresses that didn’t sell at all, even at 99p. Don’t be fooled in to believing you could make more online – it’s actually very unlikley and is a hell of a lot more work, time consuming, costly and risky!
Try some prices out. Early buyers/dealers have a good idea of going prices. If several people walk away or make you a much lower offer, maybe you’re a little high. You don’t need to panic sell though – there are plenty more buyers coming in at 1.30pm. Early buyers will often come back to make another offer.
Pricing is a gamble – ask a low price and you’ll sell it for sure. Ask a higher price and there’s a chance you might not sell it at all. Keep in the front of your mind that you want rid of all this stuff!
Gold or silver jewellery. If you’re not sure just ask a dealer to make you an offer. Once you have an offer, if you’re not sure whether to accept it, just refuse and then use it as a guide. There are plenty of gold dealers in competition at Battersea so they tend to be pretty fair.
Some people don’t like the fact that a ‘dealer’ might sell something on and make a profit. So what?! You want to sell it, so don’t overly concern yourself with what happens to it afterwards. It makes no difference to you as long as you feel happy with the price you got. Our sellers take excellent and often fast money from dealers if they have the right attitude towards the sale.
Clothes. Sometimes a handfull of well displayed clothes will sell better and make more money than boxes and boxes of them scattered across a table or on the ground. When buyers see clothes not displayed nicely they automatically expect them to be cheap – really cheap, give away bundles of 3 for £1 or even less. If you want nice prices, make your things look like they’re worth it. 2nd hand high street clothes (even in excellent condition) do not fetch high prices and we advise against bringing only clothes – try to bring a variety of stuff to sell.
You don’t have to use price stickers but I believe they help. Some regular sellers always price, others never price, so it’s not essential. We all buy things we don’t really need just because they have a cheap price ticket on them don’t we? The same principle applies at car boot sales, so I always advise pricing if you have time and can be bothered. Even if you don’t price everything, do have a think and try to get an idea in mind of how much you intend to ask.
ON THE DAY
First of all, if you need anything our staff are around and you can ask them for help. They will guide you when parking – you’re not left alone to park on arrival. Occasionally cars need to reverse or manoeuvre into a tight space. Just listen to our steward’s guidance – they’ve been doing this for a long time, they know you can’t see out of your rear view mirror and they will guide you safely if you listen to them. That’s their job!
You don’t need to get there early! Who wants to get up early on a Sunday morning? We don’t! that’s why we operate a civilised afternoon boot sale with a unique time slotted entry system. Just roll up at your time slot, you’ll be onsite and setting up within minutes. No queues, no risk, no wasted time and money, no sitting in a queue with your engine running!
Bring a float, it’ll help you make early sales. About £20-£30 in a combination of £1 coins and £5 notes should be enough. No need to bring small change unless you plan to sell lots of things for less than £1.
Bring a bumbag or cross body bag – you really need to keep your money on you. It’s easy to become distracted and put money down on the table or forget to lock the car. We park cars close together to stop buyers from walking in between them but your takings are not safe on your car seat!
Bring plenty of old carrier bags, buyers do expect a bag. Tie a bag to your wing mirror to contain your own rubbish (and cigarette ends too) please.
If you’re bringing a table, load it into the car last so you can access it on arrival without emptying everything out to get to it. We have some table hire available at the gate if you prefer to hire a table.
If the weather is uncertain try to bring a clear plastic sheet. You can buy them in B&Q/Homebase or we sell large plastic sheets for £2 at the gate. You can cover over in a shower but buyers can still see your goods so you will still take money.
Have some prices in mind. You don’t have to price everything but try to have a think about what you’re going to ask. You may lose early sales if you’re very indecisive.
Like everywhere in London, we sadly have our fair share of thieves. Be aware.
Try not to get out more stuff than you can keep an eye on and keep very valuable items together and right at the back of your table where you can keep a close eye.
Displaying jewellery? tie it all together on a long loop of ribbon or string and hold onto it. Dealers will literally swarm over jewellery! If you tie it together everyone can look, but it will (hopefully) stop any light fingered person wandering off with something.
Selling shoes? Get one out, leave the other in the car. No one will steal one shoe.
If you’ve got lots of small things around the same price put them all in a box or basket with one price on – ‘Everything £1’ for example.
Expensive handbags or large items? Put them on the roof of your car. They can be clearly seen but if anyone wants a closer look you can keep a close eye.
If a buyer wants to take something away to try it on/show someone else, ask them to pay for it and make an agreement to give them a refund if they return it within 15 minutes. Do not let anyone walk off with your goods without paying, regardless of the reason (to try it on, show someone else, get their money etc) – it sounds obvious but a surprising number of people do this and lose items in the process.
We don’t advise you save or hold things for people who say they will come back later, unless they’re prepared to pay you straight away. It’s a common ploy and often the buyer never returns, or returns at the end of the day (when you could have sold the item several times over) and starts haggling on the price. If they really want it, they’ll pay you for it straight away. Then you can keep it in your car until they want to collect it.
Please be very careful when accepting £20 or £50 notes, especially for a cheap item. Check all notes for the silver strip and watermark. If you are at all unsure just ask the buyer if they’ll come with you to the gate where our staff will be more than happy to test a note for you. An honest person shouldn’t be offended by this. We also sell fake note tester pens at the gate for £2 each – a very worthwhile investment.
Before you book a pitch, please do read our terms. Despite our best attempts to encourage customers to read the terms some people still tick the box but don’t actually read them. It really is in your best interests to know about our cancellation policy etc.
Don’t forget your stuff belongs to you! Don’t be bullied into getting it out of the car before you’re ready or accepting a much lower price than you wanted for it. Equally, remember you’re there to sell! If you suddenly become sentimental about things or unrealistic with your prices you’ll be disappointed. We often have sellers who sell out completely – but they stay lighthearted and flexible and stick to their aim which is to get rid of clutter and make a few quid, not the other way around!
On arrival, cars on standard time slots can often be overwhelmed and surrounded by buyers. Don’t panic! It is your choice whether to get your goods out straight away or not. Don’t feel you need to rush to get out everything that the buyers are asking for, or are trying to grab from your boot. If you do that you will most likely ‘lose’ some items in the scrum. Of course, if you feel you can handle it, go for it. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed simply say “I’m not setting up yet, please come back”. They will come back! If this prospect makes you feel very nervous then we’d recommend you book one of our premium pitches. This will give you some time set up your pitch before any buyers are onsite.
We don’t want to come over all ‘health & safety’ but… If it’s a sunny day bring a hat or brolly, water and sunblock. Unloading a car and then standing on one spot in full sun for 5 or 6 hours is much more tiring than many people imagine!
If it’s winter, layer up. Trust me, one thick jumper and a coat is not going to keep you warm enough while you’re standing still for hours on a freezing day! Several thin layers and a scarf under a coat will be much more effective. Wear boots or bring some cardboard to stand on.
Most important of all… have fun! You’ll meet some real characters at Battersea – our customers come from far and wide. Most sellers leave at the end of the day feeling exhausted but in good spirits having had a good laugh. They always say they had fun, made some decent cash and most importantly got rid of all that ‘stuff’! Chat to the stall holders next to you – it’s handy to have someone to keep an eye out for you if you’re alone and need to pop to the loo or to get a cup of tea. You’ll find our staff are friendly and helpful and the vast majority of stall holders and customers are friendly too.
I hope this has been helpful. If you’re one of those people who is always talking about doing a boot sale and thinking about doing a boot sale and talking about the fact that you’re thinking about doing a boot sale – go for it! In 18 years operating Battersea boot sale I’ve never heard anyone say they regret it, but most people say they wish they’d done it years ago and will come back every 6 months to keep their life a bit more clutter free.
Make loads of cash, and enjoy!
Copyright Batterseaboot 2018. If we see any part of our website reproduced in full or part without permission we will take legal action.
We take payment security very seriously.
We do not view or store your payment card details on our own website because we could not possibly afford the high security measures needed to ensure the safety of them. For the same reason we do not accept bookings or payments via email. Although cheap, it is far from secure to transmit payment information via email.
We use WorldPay, one of the most well known payment gateways in the world, to take payments for us. This means you’re redirected away to a secure payment gateway page to enter your card details.
We no longer accept payments by Paypal as we were victims of paypal fraud ourselves, so deemed this unreliable.
Using the Worldpay system means that we cannot ‘take’ your payment. You need to complete payment yourself. If payment fails for any reason (incomplete or denied) we do not and cannot attempt to try the payment again. You need to start over.
Each booking attempt is given a unique ‘order number’ this is shown on all emails we send you and in your account. Check your spam folders if you don’t receive an email from us. You can also login to your BatterseaBoot account to check your order went through, or contact us and we’ll check for you.
It is essential that you add the car you intend to bring to the boot sale to your account before you book a pitch. You do not have to be the owner of the car – we do not make any dvla checks etc, but we need the make and model so we can ensure we reserve a space large enough to acommodate your vehicle.
Login to your account by clicking ‘login’ at the bottom of any page.
Click on ‘account information’ which is at the top of the page. This will bring up the form you filled in when you first registered.
Edit your car (or any other) information.
Please do this before you book a pitch.
If you have already booked a pitch and later need to change the vehicle, please be aware that we cannot always acommodate. Each week many sellers book using their own small car and then decide to borrow a friends larger car. We are happy to accept these changes while we still have pitches available but we cannot acommodate changes to larger cars after we have sold out.
The boot sale booking system is very carefully managed and availabilty of pitches is adjusted and reduced according to the size of cars booking in. We have a limited space available for our use so we have to be certain that the cars we are booking will fit onsite. This is why it is essential we have full car details when you book a space. Battersea is in very high demand and we have to optimise the space available to us to fit as many sellers in as possible. When we say we are fully booked – we do mean that the site is completely full to capacity. We cannot accept larger cars than those booked. To put it simply, if we did, it would result in someone else not getting the space that they have already paid for.
We offer a pitch guarantee and 100% we always honour it. If a number of sellers each week bring larger cars than the car they booked this has a knock on effect on our ability to honour our pitch guarantee. We will always do our best to help, but we cannot gurantee we will be able to accept a change to the car booked. As it states in our terms – your payment is for your ‘registered car’ to enter the site. Please make sure your account is up to date.
We often get asked this question! We state on our walk-in sellers information that you may bring one large bag or case for £10 but very often people call or email to ask ‘how large can the bag be’? The short answer is; we do not measure bags – if you want to bring the largest bag or case you can find – go for it!
We are trying to get across the point that a walk in pitch is a strictly limited space. Therefore there is no point in turning up with a ton of goods to sell in several boxes, bags or cases as it will not fit on the pitch. Similarly, a walk in pitch is not large enough to be shared between two sellers.
Of course, if you do want to bring more goods you are welcome to buy more than one pitch.
Add the number of pitches you want to your cart. During checkout you will be asked for the details of both cars. Those cars will then be saved on your account and you can then chose (via a drop down menu) which one you plan to use each time you book.
Please note that if you and a friend(s) wish to set up pitch next to each other you must book the same time slot and arrive at the gate together. We are unable to wait for friends to arrive later or reserve spaces for people wishing to be together but arriving separately. Please arrange with your friends to meet up offsite and drive in together. Once onsite tell our parking staff that you are together and they will ensure (to the best of their ability and within logisitical possibility) that you are placed together.
The only time this is not possible is when sellers arrive very much later than their time slot or very close to our cut off time of 12.30pm when we are almost full and sometimes cannot accommodate.
Battersea is floodlit for us during the darker winter months. Huge flood lights come on as it begins to get dark so that sellers can still see to pack up.
We have never changed our opening times, they remain the same throughout the year.
We do hire out some tables & rails, they are available from the buyers entrance gate and cost £7 each, plus a returnable £20 deposit against loss or damage (cash only)
We don’t pre book tables, they’re first come, first served. This means we cannot guarantee there will always be enough for everyone who wants them.
For walk in sellers who want to hire a table, it is advisable to hire one on arrival, if you wait until you come in at 1pm they will most likely be all gone. Speak to our gate staff on arrival, they will take payment and save a table for you to collect when you come in at 1pm.
Alternatively you can buy a folding pasting table in Homebase/B&Q for around £17-£30.
We don’t have many official rules at Battersea, we tend to rely upon common sense and hope our customers will too. If you’re unsure about anything please feel free to send us an email or text or give us a call and we’ll happily clarify anything for you. Most questions are covered in our FAQ’s.
We operate a friendly, safe boot sale which has an excellent reputation. We have managed this by applying the very few rules below. These rules will not be relevent to the vast majority of ‘normal’ people and are published here for the sake of the occassional trouble maker who will insist ”it didn’t say that on your website”!
We reserve the right to refuse a pitch to any seller behaving in a threatening or aggressive manner towards our staff or customers. They will not be refunded and will be removed from the site. We have a close relationship with the local beat police and encourage their attendance at the boot sale.
Battersea has a good reputation, we do not tolerate trouble or illegal sales. We have a zero tolerance policy of anyone caught stealing and the police will always be called.
We reserve the right to refuse entry to a buying customer for any reason which we do not have to give. This is generally reserved for buyers holding up the queue by arguing with gate staff about paying in ʻcopperʼ – a tedious time waster for all concerned. We do not accept payment in copper coinage mostly due to the delay it causes to other queueing customers whilst we count and check it. We will happily change a note, even a large one. We accept £1 coins, silver coins and notes but do not accept any copper coins as payment.
Obviously, when we answer any question in our FAQ section, we do so based on ʻaverageʼ or ʻusualʼ outcomes. We canʼt be held responsible for unseen or one off events.
Before you book a pitch you are asked to read our terms, we strongly advise you do so since this reduces the risk of misunderstandings and disputes. We try to operate in a very fair and open, honest way but we cannot do anymore than ASK that you read our terms – we can’t FORCE you to do so. Before you checkout you will be asked to tick a box stating that you have read and agree to our terms. Please do not ask us to make exceptions to our terms.
Battersea Boot Sale is a private business.
Harris Academy receives an income from us, but we are not a charity event.
The boot sale is held in school grounds, which are obviously a no smoking area. We appreciate that some sellers who smoke will find it difficult not to, so we ask, if you cannot leave your pitch to smoke outside, please contain your cigarette ends in a bag and dispose of them in a bin, or take them home for disposal.
We have no desire to enforce a total no smoking ban so please be responsible if smoking onsite.