•             Welcome

    This is the personal site of Ted the serendipitist, who has interpreted the Wikipedia definition of 'Hunter-Gatherer' (see that page) as meaning someone who visits junk shops, charity shops, antique shops and hebdomadal matutinal car boot sales in order to acquire low-value objects, which no-one in their right minds would want, at low cost (well, apart from antique shops, that is).

    Deluded Ted believes that at some time in the future, some of his acquisitions will be highly desirable and worth a small fortune.

  •       Car Boot Sales

    TYPES OF SELLERS

    There are two types of sellers at car boot sales, viz traders and ordinary people. Ted tends to avoid traders owing to the high chance of inadvertently purchasing inferior goods at high prices. However, Ted did recently manage to acquire a large number of pairs of everlasting socks at only 50p per pair.

    THE LANGUAGE

    Buyers need to understand traders' language; on asked how much the French carriage clock is, the response might be "toonarf." This would be interpreted as £250. There is no first aid on site for buyers who faint.

    WHAT ON EARTH IS THAT?

    Ted has discovered that, 99% of the time, a strange-looking object is either a massager, a fitness device or a CD rack.

    WIVES

    When a husband and wife team are selling their unwanted items at a car boot stall, it is an interesting fact that, whatever position the husband holds at work, be it dogsbody, manager or chief executive, it is the wife who wears the trousers. If someone asks the wife how much the pretty mug is, she'll say, for example, "50p." However, if the husband were asked, he would turn to his wife and say, "Er... how much for this, dear?" - even if it belongs to him.

    At other times the wife can be heard saying, "No, not there - put it on the ground here...", "You need to turn those round", "You can empty this box now..." or "You can pour me a cup of tea now - you did pack the flask as I asked, didn't you?"

    The simple fact is that women are more suited to this activity than the average man is, and so they naturally take control.

    HAGGLING

    In the early days, Ted's wife would suddenly say, "Ooh, look! They've GOT one!!!" This somewhat weakened Ted's position when he started to haggle. A more appropriate method for achieving a minimal sale price is to pick up the piece unenthusiastically and give a look of horror on hearing the price.

    Some sellers dither when asked the price of an item. At the first sign of this, the buyer should offer a very low price; there is a high chance that it will be accepted, especially if a wife is not in sight.

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Car Boot Sale – 15th August 2010


Box of Geomag:  £3

Ted has a large collection of Geomag to which this purchase will be added. The B&Q storage box in which it came was a bonus. Some foreign bodies were included, such as some alloy ball bearings which magnets don’t attract. Ted will one day use his Geomag to construct something amazing, but at the moment his attention is taken up by K’Nex.

Metal Cash Box:  £3

This beautiful, heavy, steel cash box with rounded corners came complete with a key. Yes, for the first time ever, a cash box has a key with it. Moreover, it actually fits the lock! They don’t make cash boxes like this any more; it’s probably from the 1950s. Ted believes that this will sell for quite a lot in a few years’ time, especially if money no longer exists.

250 Fibre-Tip Pens:  £4

When Ted asked the young lady what she was asking for the pens, she said, “Erm… 20 for a pound?”  as she looked at her colleague. “Or £5 for the lot,” she then added. “Take £4?” asked Ted. “Erm… OK.”

Now 20 for £1 is 5p each and 250 (as it turned out – it looked as though there were fewer than that) works out at 1.6p each. Being a Libran, Ted bought the lot.

Now you may be wondering why Ted wanted 250 pens. Ted is wondering that too, but the fact is that they were a bargain. Some of the six different colours work as highlighters – an added bonus.

When Ted asked where they came from, the lady said that she had a friend whose business went bust. The design is strange; anyone trying to sell these would be on to a loser. Two caps have to be removed before a pen can be used, and one of the caps can be fitted the other way round, but for no apparent reason. Moreover, the colour of the ink is not the same as the colour of the shaft, and the colour codings are inconsistent anyway. Was it a design flaw? Did the Chinese manufacturer have a language problem? Was the designer in cloud cuckoo land? Who knows.

Two Boxes of K’Nex:  £8

Ted is constantly on the hunt for K’Nex because of the fruit machine he is building.

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