Table top sales and uniform swap shops

by PTAsocial in November 16, 2017

If you’re anything like us, your house gathers more and more clutter as the years go by. Come Christmas, there’s barely any room for Santa’s lovely gifts!

Emptying out the loft, clearing the garage and sorting out sacks of outgrown clothes, toys and other bric a brac can be oddly satisfying (and a pre-Christmas necessity!) While there are many worthy charity shops that are willing to accept donations of unwanted items, there is also a charity much closer to home that can benefit from their sale – your PTA.

A great way to raise funds for your school is by holding a table top sale. This can take place on your school field, or in your school hall if the weather isn’t feeling cooperative, and obviously the more space you can offer, the more tables you can pack in!

So how do you raise money?

Charge a nominal amount to hire a table. And if you don’t have enough tables, you can ask people to bring their own (a pasting table or folding garden table normally suffices), and charge them a pitch fee instead. If you charged just £10 per table and can fit twenty tables into your hall, then that’s an easy £200 raised with minimal effort from your PTA.

You can easily handle sell tickets for table bookings in PTAsocial. And very soon we are launching a way for external vendors to book table too and pay your PTA directly. PTA life – sorted. (Ask us for more info now.)

See what other PTAs are doing…

Myatt Garden PTA managed to raise an epic amount with their Table Top Sale

Some PTAs also like to make a small charge for entry, but many find that their footfall is greater by making it free to browse and buy like Calthorpe Park School.

Diversify your tables

If you are concerned about having enough tables of bric a brac at your event, then you could consider diversifying like Monk Fryston PTA who chose to incorporate a craft fair into their table top sale

Many schools have parents who have their own businesses selling crafts – from decorated wine glasses to soaps, to handmade jewellery, greetings cards and hairbows. Many stallholders would willingly pay a cover charge to be able to sell at your event.

Stretford Grammar school had the wonderfully talented Shameela offering Henna tattoos at their table top sale

Pump up your profit!

But of course there are also plenty of ways that you can pump up your profit! Selling tea and coffee, bacon rolls and other refreshments is always popular, especially for stall holders who may be there three or four hours out of the day. If it looks set to be a hot day, ice poles are a cheap and simple sell that can boost your fundraising efforts.

Polesworth School had a bouncy castle at their car boot sale – keep the kids entertained and raise money too!

Ellenbrook PTA held a BBQ alongside their event


Don’t forget to advertise your event for the best footfall possible. By displaying posters outside of school, you can also attract the local community, boosting your numbers – and profit – even more.

Explore advertising opportunities in your area such as noticeboards and notices in local church/community newsletters. You can also approach local estate agents to see if they would be willing to pay you to use their boards to advertise in your gardens. Many agents will pay as much as £10-20 a board for this popular dual-marketing method.

Uniform swap shop

Invariably, some kids have a growth spurt the minute you buy a new set of school uniform, or get carried away at the painting table too often! A second hand uniform sale is a great opportunity to snatch up some bargains within the school community.

Plenty of children outgrow rather than outwear their uniform, and opting for second hand can save parents a bundle. They’ll be chuffed with their PTA for making things easier.

Richmond Park PTA’s swap shop was extremely popular

Cayman International School’s uniform swap event was a major success!

Over to you...

Thinking about holding a table top sale or a uniform swap shop? We would love to know how you get on, or if you have any awesome ideas that we haven’t covered. Please get in touch. Email us , tweet us or use our Facebook page!

PS need some awesome Christmas Fair ideas? Check out our latest event guide!

PTAsocial makes organising events super-easy and inclusive by allowing volunteers to pick out a specific, manageable task. It’s completely free, so just start an account for your school right now in 2 minutes.

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