24 August 2023
Follow our ten top tips to make the most of our LRM Spares Days events
1. Get there early
Aim to get parked up and in the queue before the gates open – this way you’ll have more time to find those elusive parts and get them bought before anyone else. Devise a route around the site so you’re not just following in the wake of all the other buyers and you can take your pick of the best parts right off the bat. Power-walking to the furthest corner of the plots and working your way back can pay dividends.
2. Don’t ask, don’t get
Most traders know the score, and aren’t easily offended. There’s a fine line between being cheeky and insulting with offers, but the worst that can happen is being told ‘no’. Practice your poker face; don’t get too visibly excited if you see a part you need, or you could end up paying over the odds.
3. Get the inside scoop
Sign up to the Land Rover Monthly newsletter and keep an eye on the magazine and social media channels for the latest news on all the Spares Days and events. Pre-booking online will not only secure you a ticket ahead of time, but you’ll get a nice discount on top.
4. Get rummaging
Different traders display their wares in different ways, but don’t always assume the best parts are positioned front and centre. Picking through individual baskets and tubs of parts can unearth some real gems, so it’s well worth spending the time to have a proper look through. Take a pair of gloves to keep your hands clean and protected from sharp edges.
5. Dress for the occasion
While there are some indoor areas, the majority of trading at a Spares Day happens out in the fresh air. Traders and regulars are an intrepid bunch who make the most of the deals regardless of the weather, which is the attitude to have. We do try to pre-book sunshine but it doesn’t always happen, so chuck a pair of sturdy boots and a waterproof jacket in the Land Rover just in case, and don’t let any pesky rain dampen your spirits.
6. Make a list
Unless you’re going with the sole intention of just browsing and buying on impulse, make a proper list of all the parts you’re looking to buy.
Don’t forget that most of the parts at Spares Days are used or new-old-stock, so probably won’t be boxed or labelled, but it’s still well worth scribbling down the correct part numbers so you can check them against stamped or moulded-in numbers on components. Take a few photos on your phone of the broken or worn-out bits you need to buy replacements of – it all helps identify the right parts and helps minimise the chance of buying the wrong ones.
7. Think about tools
You never know if you’re going to have to strip the part or parts you want to buy off a larger component (or a complete vehicle), so taking a basic spanner and socket set is a good idea. Keep them locked up safely in your vehicle in case you need them – better to go over-prepared than under.
Some traders will have tools with them that you can use to take parts off. Ask nicely if you need to use any, and return them swiftly and in the same condition you borrowed them in.
8. Cash is king
In a world that pushes card payments all the time, Spares Days are the opposite. Not only is it easier to deal with cash in a location with potentially unreliable internet, it’s also a good bartering tool. Go to the bank or hole in the wall on your way there, as it’s rare for there to be a cashpoint on-site. That said, more and more traders are taking card payments these days.
9. Do a final sweep
If you’ve spotted some potential bargains on your travels around the stands but are on the fence about buying, be sure to revisit the traders at the end of the day to see if they fancy a last-minute deal. Some will be just as happy to load the parts back into their truck or trailer and take them home, but others may be keen to let something go a bit cheaper than usual to avoid the hassle.
It’s also a good opportunity to collect any bulkier items you have bought throughout the day that traders may have been kind enough to store until the end to save you carrying them around.
10. Think transport
Spares Days are among the best places to get good deals on bulkier items like wheels and tyres, bulkheads, bumpers and such, because you’re not having to pay for expensive shipping. On the flip side, you need to make sure whatever vehicle you drive to the event in is big enough (or towing a trailer big enough) to safely fit all your purchases in.
Pack ratchet straps, bungee cords and dust sheets to protect and secure your load properly; the last thing you want is to get pulled over and fined on the way home. If you’ve got a mate with a van, now might be the time to fire them over the Spares Day dates with the promise of bacon sandwiches…
Visit landrovermonthly.co.uk/information/events for more info about venues in your area, dates, and advance booking offers.
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