Adam Corbally – Loot from the Car Boot

A couple of weeks ago, my son Caleb was asking for a new mobile phone as he had broken his before Christmas. Caleb is 11 years old and in his final year at primary school, he asked me for the new iPhone 7!? This phone is about £700 to buy, so needless to say, the answer was a definite NO!

Caleb replied: “Okay Daddy, that’s fine,” which left me feeling proud that he had accepted my answer without moaning, but I also felt a little sorry for him not having any phone at all, when all of his mates have them; so I had a think and realised that I was due a mobile phone upgrade as part of my contract, which meant I would have no use for my old iPhone.

When Caleb arrived home from school that day, I told him the plan about the phones, although there was going to be a catch! (Of course there was! I can’t just hand over an iPhone to an 11 year old and let him think that is how the world works, now could I?) so that’s when I told him about the second part of the plan. I wanted £100 for my old phone and I was going to help him earn the cash by having a car boot sale!

The rest of the day was spent rummaging through our garage, AKA ‘the dumping ground’, for things we didn’t use any more, sorting out anything and everything we could for the car boot and teaching Caleb that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure! Before you knew it, we had a Transit van full of gear, cleaned and priced-up ready to go.
The next morning we were up at 5am raring to go, arriving before anyone else and parking our van lengthways to make our pitch as big as possible. Ground sheet down, goods out, priced-up and ready to trade before any customers had even though about arriving. Slowly, but surely, customers arrived and we chatted, negotiated and most importantly sold our goods to happy customers. From Hoovers to hosepipes, books to buckets, we went the extra mile to make sure that we sold everything we could. We fixed things on site, did demonstrations, delivered what people couldn’t carry and made sure that not one sale opportunity was missed…

When I got five minutes, I went around the car boot sale and spoke to some of the other traders. I was met with comments like: “Waste of time, isn’t it?” “Quiet today and they have said rain for later” worse still, some of the traders didn’t even look up from their books to talk to me, in fact, most of them had left by 10.30am with a car boot full and wallet empty. Caleb and I left at midday on the dot (the latest you could stay until). We had an empty van and a wallet full of cash. I took no wages so Caleb was quid’s in, he had enough to buy my old iPhone from me, which hopefully means he will look after it better now as he has earned it and he had plenty of cash left over which he is putting towards a new drone.

I had a great day although unfortunately, no other traders seemed to, because they didn’t bring enough stock, didn’t clean it or price it up, went home early and worst of all, didn’t TALK to customers!

As traders, we need to remind ourselves of the basics from time to time and remember the importance of talking. Speaking of which, keep in touch and let me know what you are up to and how trade is – keep talking!

LinkedIn Adam Corbally