Lesson LEARNT


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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by RICHARD BROWN

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