Trading Standards Service in Warwickshire offer top tips for car boots sales

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Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service has published their top tips for Easter car boot buyers and sellers.

Consumer rights

Most people selling at car boots are private individuals – not traders, so you have fewer consumer rights if you buy from them than you would if you bought the same item in a shop. They are only required to describe their goods correctly, so ‘caveat emptor’ or ‘buyer beware’ very much applies.

If you are buying goods to sell at a car boot sale or regularly sell any goods at such events you will probably be classed as a trader. Make sure therefore you are familiar with the legal implications of selling as a trader.


Many old and damaged products find their way on to car boot sales. Be careful when buying used goods, especially toys and electrical items. Check for damaged wiring and sharp edges and ask if they come with instructions.

We advise you don’t buy or sell items like irons, child car seats, helmets or electrical fires at car boot sales.

If you sell toys always give them a good inspection to ensure there are no sharp edges or points, or small parts that can be pulled off and thereby constitute a choking hazard. Sell the toys with and inside the original packaging if you still have it and with their instructions.


Unscrupulous traders may try to sell fake goods at car boot sales. Counterfeit DVD’s are often of poor quality, some may even be blank, and computer software may not work.

For more advice on buying and selling at car boot sales, visit the website at