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Twenty reminders about marketing from a car boot sale, the Battersea Boot, 12-5pm every Sunday.

1. Set a goal - to get rid of stuff.

2. Share your purpose - younger co-workers demand one.

3. Understand the context - people don’t go shopping in the rain.

4. Know your costs - entry £25, rail hire £7, plastic sheeting £4, coffees £5 (£2.50 each!) = £41.

5. Observe the customer - everyone’s a bargain hunter these days.

6. Be clear what you’re selling - largely worthless junk you bought years ago for the kids.

7. Study the competition - different people selling different junk.

8. Decide on your target - people who might possibly want what you were buying 10 years ago = parents with younger kids than yours.

9. Define the problem - no one with kids wants any more junk.

10. Discover their need - to come home happy from a Sunday out, even in the rain.

11. Position your brand - ‘fun stuff for your kids for less than the price of your morning coffee’.

12. Stand out - a pirate flag would be good.

13. Make things easy to buy - hold up the plastic sheeting like an awning, so people can shop in the dry.

14. Draw people in - encourage kids to pick things up and play with them.

15. Make a connection - “that was my daughter’s favourite, she loved that toy.”

16. Create a moment of closeness - catch the parent’s eye when their child asks if they can have the toy and has already started walking off with it.

17. Charge the right price - any toy with a hint of residual kudos £3, everything else £1.

18. Avoid promotions - don’t accept 50p.

19. Make a profit - sales of £19 vs. costs of £41 is a loss.

20. Achieve your goal - drive home via the charity shop.

If only I’d remembered more of this last Sunday.


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