Organising A Car Boot Sale

No, I do not claim to be an expert on organising car boot sales. But, I thought it would be a good idea to share things that we did, things that I should have done, and advices that I received at the car boot sale that we just did last week. So, here we go:

THINGS I DID:

  • Secured a venue for the car boot sale. We had a few options, but went with the easiest venue we could get, which was the parking area at the local indoor market.
  • Prepared a form for listing site reservations and necessary info.  I created a simple one from scratch and included columns for the name of seller, contact details, date booked, fee paid, and notes. Here’s the link to the PDF of the form I made, in case you’d like to use it too. 🙂 car boot booking
  • Announced the event on Facebook, Gumtree, local tourism website, and created A5 flyers (which included a brief info on how to book a site at the car boot sale). Shared the event info on Facebook as often as possible, without being too annoying to your FB friends, that is.
  • Left a bunch of the A5 flyers at the venue and at a local restaurant, and made more for other members of the committee to handout at their work places, etc.
  • Created A6 flyers for the prospective customers. This bunch of flyers didn’t include the info on how to book a site, but only the date, time and venue of the car boot sale.
  • Dropped flyers in letter boxes in the neighborhood.
  • Visited the venue and measured the available area. Then, I grabbed a screenshot of the area from Google maps and used my background in Architecture to create a site plan. Using the plan and the actual measurements we got, we were able to come up with the sizes of the car sites, and the number of car sites available.  We had to do this carefully because we had limited space – we were able to fit 18 4mx6m sites.
  • Composed a list of regulations for the sellers to observe.  This included set up time, pack up time, as well as a few rules for the safety of everybody. (We can’t have car accidents at the sale!) I posted this list on the Facebook event, as well as emailed each seller a copy.  After sending the email, I also sent each seller an SMS to tell them that I have sent them an email (in case they don’t check their emails very regularly).
  • Visited the venue on the day before the car boot sale and marked the corners of each car site with chalk…and hoped it won’t rain overnight! (Thankfully, it didn’t.)
  • Created A4 signs to put on street posts around the area. I made sure the font was large enough to be seen, but I suppose A3 signs would have been a lot better. I looked on Google maps the night before to help me decide where to put the signs. 2 were by a busy highway, another 2 for each of the 2 busy roads leading to the market, and another 1 close to the roundabout, also leading to the venue.

carbootsign

  • Prepared a number of colourful balloons the night before the sale. I tied 2 balloons a bit above each of the A4 signs. Made sure the balloons were high enough so they didn’t block the sign from view.
  • Loaded the car with pre-loved items the afternoon before. These were donations to the foundation’s site.  Attached prices on the items using a masking tape and marker pen.
  • Got out of the house early to put up the signs. I had hubby drive me around, so he could stay behind the wheel while I got off every now and then to put up a sign and balloons.
  • Turned up at the venue as early as possible and directed sellers to their sites.
  • Added more signs and balloons just outside the venue.
  • When I wasn’t so busy, I did a Facebook Live video, to continue to promote the car boot sale.
  • Collected fees later in the day, when everybody’s settled and not too busy.
  • Packed up after the sale and made sure the venue was free from rubbish.
  • Took down all the signs and balloons, and got hubby to drive me around again to all the places where I had the signs, so I could take them down.

THINGS I SHOULD HAVE DONE:

  • Made more detailed lists of things to do. It was so easy to forget things, with all the business and rush. As a seasoned garage sale organiser, I have always prepared a bunch of used plastic bags, so I could reuse them to pack customers’ purchases, if they needed it. But because I had a lot going on in my mind, I forgot to do this, which was crazy because days before, it was already on my mind as one of the things I needed to do.
  • Brought a hat or a gazebo for the site, and maybe wore a light, long-sleeved top. As a result, my face and arms were sun burnt. Boo!
  • Made the A4 signs bigger, like A3 maybe.
  • Prepared more signs to put up at the car park area. Since we occupied the side and rear parking area to save the front parking area for the customers, the car boot sale was not as visible to the road as we wanted it to be. So, even though we had the signs and balloons by the road, I couldn’t help but wonder if some of the new customers got confused and thought the indoor market was the sale we were referring to. So maybe additional signs might have been useful.
  • Convinced the operators of the sausage sizzle to start much earlier. They didn’t start until maybe half an hour or an hour after the car boot sale started, and I thought if they had started earlier, then they could have sold more to the customers who came earlier and to the sellers who skipped breakfast to be there early.
  • Organised some music playing. I saw some sound speakers at the foundation’s stall and thought that they were going to use that to provide some lively music. But I was wrong, ‘coz it turned out the sound speakers were for sale. Lol!
  • Talked to some seasoned market organisers and ask for some marketing tips, instead of walking around putting flyers in letter boxes. Then my legs and bum wouldn’t have been so sore from all the walking I did.

ADVICES I HAVE RECEIVED:

  • Hand out flyers at the more popular market events in the city weeks before the sale. This would have been the less physically tiring option, compared to the letter box drop I did.
  • Place posters at community boards around the city.
  • Contact local schools and provide them with the info regarding the car boot sale. They have newletters, websites, and such, so they could help spread the word.
  • Put up signs outside the venue on the week leading to the event.
  • Organise more attractions/activities, such as having music played (or buskers), food stalls, entertainment, etc.

Eurovision Song Contest 2015 Contender – Australia’s Guy Sebastian

Charcoal/pastel portrait of Guy Sebastian, by Brian Rabacal

The Eurovision Song Contest 2015 is here! And, of course, just like every other nation in the contest, Australia sends one of its best singers – Guy Sebastian.

He’s well known in Australia, but probably, not in many other parts of the world. That’s not such a problem, because today, I’m gonna tell you bits about Australia’s contender at the Eurovision 2015.

The Australian singer-songwriter, Guy Theodore Sebastian, was born on October 26, 1981 in Malaysia. He’s the second of the four sons of Ivan and Nellie.

On May 17, 2008, he married his eight-year Jules Egan. They have two sons, three-year old Hudson James, and 1 year-old Archer Jones. He knows how to play violin, guitar, piano and drums. He is one of the main worship singers in their church, “Paradise Community Church”.

Guy Sebastian became famous when he joined and won as the first Australian Idol in 2003. He also became a judge on Australia’s “The X Factor”. He studied Medical Radiation and Radiotherapy at the University of South Australia but left to pursue his singing career.

His first album is Just as I Am with the winning single “Angels Brought Me Here” that was released in December 2003. Beautiful Life, his second album, has the lead single “Out with My Baby” which was known as the number one hit in October 2004.

In 2006, the song “Taller, Stronger, Better” which was debuted at number three, was the carrying single of his third album, Closer to the Sun. His fourth album, The Memphis Album debuted at number three in November 2007, and was the seventh highest selling Australian artist album of the year.

Next album, Like It Like That was released on 2009. It included all original soul songs that were co-written or written by Sebastian, himself. In 2010, another album was released with the name Twenty Ten. It’s a retrospective album and gained a title being the 5th highest selling Australian artist album of the year.

In 2012, Armageddon was released as the seventh album with his original pop song composition lead single “Don’t Worry Be Happy”. After a year, Sebastian released the main single of his eighth album Madness, titled as “Like A Drum”. He was, then, announced as the Australian candidate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 on 5 March 2015, making him Australia’s first ever contestant at the Eurovision.

Despite of the fame and popularity, Guy Sebastian remained down-to-earth. He is inclined with several charitable projects and is involved in different organizations that help poor families. That’s definitely one of the best things about him that people love – he’s not just a talented singer, but a man with a big heart.

Wishing you the best of luck at the Eurovision 2015, Guy Sebastian!

Big4 Ballarat Holiday Accommodation

For our 4th wedding anniversary, hubby and I decided to go to Ballarat, a lovely city in Regional Victoria. We’ve never been to this city before, but me – the researcher  – learned that this place is rich in history and has so much to offer to tourists. And I loved the idea that we could just hop on and off the bus (didn’t trust my car to travel the distance at the time) to get there.

Because the number one place I wanted to visit in Ballarat was Sovereign Hill, I thought I’d get us accommodations somewhere close to it. That’s when I found Big4 Holiday Accommodations in Clayton Street, which was less than a ten minute walk to Sovereign Hill.  It also had bus stops nearby, so it was good.

Here’s the little house we stayed in…

 

>So thrilled was I the moment I started inspecting our accommodation! It was so much like a home away from home. The kitchen was just filled with every basic thing you need to prepare a good meal…well, except for the ingredients of course, which you need to provide yourself. 🙂

 

What I meant was, there was all the cutlery you’d need…

There were pots and pans in the cupboards, electric kettle, toaster, dish washing stuff, bowls, colander, etc. Of course, don’t expect too much and look for a Thermomix. 🙂

Dishes, cups, a teapot, a pitcher, wine glasses, small bowls…they’re all there in the cupboards above the stove.

Comfortable couch in the open living area… and you can also see part of the fridge on the left side…

TV, meals table, wall heater, and I think there was a DVD player, if you brought some DVDs to watch.

The cabin we stayed in had two bedrooms. Blame it on silly, panicking little me, who rushed to book one of the last cabins at the last minute, before carefully checking all the details. (Note to self: next time, plan the holiday several weeks – not a few days – before, so you don’t rush and panic.)

This is the bedroom with the queen-size bed. It has an electric blanket – kept us nice and warm, since it was quite cold when we were there.

There were also lots of space for your clothes, with built in hangers, plus there’s a dresser on the side, and another TV above, if you want to watch something while trying to get to sleep.

This is the other room, which I used as my dressing room and office – nope, I didn’t do some work while there, just had my laptop with me to keep track of our expenses and budget while we’re holidaying. I should have brought my portable modem though… internet wasn’t so good, so I had a hard time checking on Facebook and such…

A little closet for my clothes in this other room.  I didn’t mind the small space, since I could easily put the rest of my clothes on the bunk beds.  Extra blankets and pillows available at the bottom of the closet…yay!

Now, the toilet and shower…

Loved it that there was a hair dryer available. Aside from bath towels that Big4 provided, there were also a small towel, for wiping your hands after washing. A medium-sized towel was also provided, which we used to keep the floor in this room dry.

The shower curtain was made of fabric, not plastic sheet, so if you bring the hems inside the shower stall, you’d wet the bottom of it, but if you let it out of the stall, you end up having a wet floor out there. I was torn as to what I should do… but decided to keep the curtain hems out anyway.

I thought it was so cool that there was a flat iron and ironing board available in this little closet by the shower. There was also some basic cleaning materials provided there, so you can keep the cabin clean.  We never had to iron our clothes though.

So, yay! That’s the end of the tour of our little cabin.  Next stop – Sovereign Hill. 🙂