In general, car boot sales (flea markets for our US readers) are usually pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap type affairs, so for anyone thinking of selling wholesale makeup at one, I would suggest you offer low to mid range cosmetics products.
If possible, I would advise you to go to a few of the car boot sales that you have in mind and check out the competition, e.g. is anyone else selling wholesale cosmetics or beauty items, what other products are people selling, and what sort of prices are they charging. Also what is the typical customer profile – are they the sort of people that are looking for any old tat, or do you think they might like good quality but at bargain prices. Of course, that is a big generalisation as there will be a mix of both, but the aim is to suss out what cosmetics brands would go down well.
Having sold at car boot sales and fairs myself, my experience is that the majority of other stalls are often very low quality, so if you have a nice stall with good value branded products you can expect to do very well. For example, you can pick up UK high street brands like Max Factor and Borgeois very easily through a quick internet search. Items like Ruby and Millie mascaras and eyeshadows can be found quickly at approx £1.25, and Max Factor mascaras are around £1.60 – £3.50. I think those sort of brands, that people are familiar with from the high street, you should be able to double your money on, maybe more. I would suggest that you have a good selection of items under £5 if possible. You can always start off higher and knock the price down if anyone is interested.
For nicer items to sell in the £5-£10 bracket I suggest looking at wholesale makeup stock like the Clinique makeup bags from GWP sets – these always sell well and again you can get a good mark up. Also Urban Decay items, Too Faced, Benefit and MAC always go down a treat. You can experiment with a few gift sets too, and the cute children’s stuff, anything that would make a nice gift really.
Once you have done a few car boot sales I expect you will get regular customers coming back and asking if you can get them particular items. If you have stock lists at the ready you can take advance orders, although always take a deposit if possible.
One thing to be careful about is selling GWP items. People at car boots would not expect to pay much for them as they know they come as free gifts. A lot of customers will not understand that you have actually had to pay for them. Anyone that buys on eBay knows this, but a lot of other people won’t!