Making Cents: These boots are made for selling all your old stuff

So, you have done the hard work and cleared out the house. Whether it was Marie Kondo’s influence or an early start on an annual spring clean, you now have a heap of stuff that needs to go. The question is, how can you turn this heap into hard cash?

For hobby trader Anthony Martin from Ballincollig, the answer is your local car boot sale.

Anthony runs Facebook page Cork Carboot Sale and is adamant there is money to be made, even if you are a first-time attendee.

“I think everyone, in their house, has stuff worth hundreds of euro lying there as clutter, that is never going to be used again and eventually thrown out,” he said. “We call [new people] mushrooms because they only come for 24 hours and are never seen again!

“They sell the contents of their attic or their shed and maybe get €500 and they are happy.

“Car boot sales are on most weekends. A lot of them are seasonal, running from the spring into summer and autumn.”

He has some advice for novices.

“You can buy a simple table, lay stuff out on the ground on sheets or get the lend of a wallpaper table. It is an early game, they usually start around 8am.

“People should space their stuff out when they get there. Try and bring somebody with you, bring some spare change, a bit of lunch and maybe some toilet paper for the toilets there.

“Women like to sell clothes, men sell a lot of tools. But really you can buy and sell anything from a needle to an anchor, anything you can think of.”

While most regulars will be welcoming and helpful to ‘mushrooms’, it is advisable to keep your wits about you.

“I would warn the new people not to get rushed by hawkers or people with experience,” Anthony said.

You can ask someone beside you, ‘what price would you put on this?’. You will learn very quickly, if you have something and three or four people ask you the price ,you know you have something good

“A lot of people go for the bargain and there are massive bargains to be had, some great value.”

You might even find yourself with a new pastime. Anthony estimates up to 80% of sellers at Irish car boot sales are regulars.

He also points out car boot sales have solid environmental credentials.

“When you are buying something that is preowned you are recycling and there is less of a carbon footprint. People buy a second hand car so why not go to a market and buy something, rather than getting the credit card and going to an expensive shop.”

You can find out more about upcoming car boot sales at Anthony’s page, or at

If haggling in person is not for you, or you feel you won’t get the best price at a car boot sale, there are other options. If you have something you feel may be more valuable, Anthony suggests involving professionals.

“You can go to the auction houses if you have antiques or jewellery, Woodwards in Cork City or Sheppards up in Laois,” he said. “They will go to your house and value what you have. If you want to sell it yourself you can go online.”

In between car boot and auction there are a number of well-known sites for selling online, of which is Anthony’s favorite.

“I find it very good because you can see who you are dealing with, it is a feedback based operation,” he said. “If you have sales, they write down how you were. I have hundreds of positives and no negatives, I guard my feedback.

“I always advertise a little bit under the condition, because my good might be only ok to somebody else, whereas somebody else’s ok might be fantastic. You always go slightly under so the buyer can’t be disappointed. I don’t like other sites because you don’t know who you are dealing with.”

So there you have it, after all your hard work decluttering, some ways to make it profitable.

More in this Section

Design/life: Aileen Lee profiles Andrew Pain of Black Hen Designs

Learning Points: School bullies grow up to be work bullies

Another day, another new label - will we ever reach ‘peak gin’?

Paul Linehan on his favourite books, music and the best gig he ever went to

Latest Showbiz

Jedward to release new album this summer

Taron Egerton ‘understands’ why gay actors feel better suited to Elton role

More From The Irish Examiner