This weekend I was lucky enough that there were car boot sales near me, but there was also a “Jumble Trail”. I’ve been going to car boot sales on and off over the summer, however I have never been to a “Jumble Trail” before. I decided to do some very scientific research and go to both in one day to compare the two.
The car boot sale started much earlier, and whilst I didn’t set an alarm, I was there for just after 8.30 on a not particularly warm, but at least dry Sunday morning. It was the first Sunday after the August bank holiday and so it was quieter than I expected (the Bank Holiday one was massive) however there were plenty of stalls and it was as well organised as usual. I parked in the field they make available for parking and after a walk of about a minute I was through the gates and in. After 8.30 this car boot sale is only 50p to enter (although before that it is only £1 so it won’t break the bank either way). Whilst there were less stalls than I was hoping for, there were still many rows of cars with people’s odds and ends available. I only made a few small purchases on this particular occasion, but still enjoyed wondering around and looking at what was available. At this car boot sale, there are also some sellers selling new goods (a bit like a market stall) as well as catering facilities and toilets.
I decided to pop home between the two as I had a bit of time as the jumble trail was not due to start until 11. I set off but had my first dilemma. Where was I going to park? All the stalls were all within a mile radius of the organiser’s address but there was no specific parking place. In the end I just parked in a residential road near to the address of someone I knew who was hosting a stall that day. As it was a Sunday it was free parking, but this may be a factor depending on when the sales are held and where. Buyers would need to check parking restrictions prior to the sale.
Jumble Trail get you to sign up via their website if you are taking part as a seller and then buyers can download a map and see where the stalls are. Buyers can then target specific stalls if they want (eg children’s stuff only or homewares) but I found a lack of detail on the description meant they were too vague to be of any use.
I really like the idea of a Jumble Trail but in reality I was a little disappointed. Whereas at the car boot sale there was stall after stall, on the trail you would look at one stall, then you would look at the map and head off, often walking for a little while before coming to the next stall. I love the concept but I just don’t know that it works. Perhaps if the area covered was smaller or the stalls were closer together I may have enjoyed it more but it just ended up feeling like I was walking around the streets aimlessly and I didn’t even find anything I wanted to buy. Another dilemma was what if I had found something I wanted to buy but it was quite large? Did I carry it back to the car there and then or carry on whilst carrying it? I didn’t want to keep moving the car (although I guess if you didn’t want to do the walking then that would be an option) and to be honest I got quite bored quite quickly.
Perhaps the sellers got more out of it – they had a later start than those who would be selling at a car boot, and obviously people without access to a vehicle could take part so that would go in its favour. For buyers it is free, but I just preferred the car boot sale!
Car boot – pros
All in one place
Plenty of parking
Toilets and catering available
Rows and rows of stalls
Car boot – cons
Have to pay to get in
Jumble trail – pros
Free for buyers
Map available showing what is being sold and where
Jumble trail – cons
Very spaced out
Not effective use of time
No specific parking available
No toilets or catering