•             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 – 25th April 2011


2 Connectors:  £1

Ted has finally managed to acquire a connector for attaching, for horticultural irrigation purposes, a long, flexible, plastic or synthetic rubber pipe which incorporates a reinforced internal web of fibres, to a manually-controlled water-issuing device.

Ted broke his old one during the freezing weather and has purchased two replacements in case one of them suffers the same fate.

Wooden Pocahontas Jigsaw Puzzle:  30p

Ted was just glancing at this lovely wooden puzzle (the pieces are 6mm-thick plywood) when the woman seller said, “30p.”

Well, what a bargain! It’s not very often that you see real wooden jigsaw puzzles, is it? So Ted pounced on the box, checked that all 40 pieces were there and in good condition, and paid his 30p. He would have paid £1 for it.

Bundle of K’Nex: £5

Ted spotted over a dozen little bags of K’Nex in a green plastic (non-K’Nex) box. Ted touched the box and asked, “How much for this?”

“It’s not the box that’s for sale,” said the woman seller, “It’s what’s in it.”

“Ye Gods!” thought Ted, “I’ve found a right one here.”

“Yes,” said Ted, trying to conceal his mirth, “How much?”

“£1 a bag,” she said.

Ted produced once more his look of horror and just stood there, his jaw hanging in disbelief.

“Come round,” she said, “so that we can discuss it.”

“How much for the lot?” asked Ted.

“Make me an offer,” she said.

“Well, I’d normally pay no more than £4 for that.”

“Make it £5 and it’sd a deal,” she said.

So Ted bought all 15 bags (but left the box behind). There was just under 4½ lbs of K’Nex.

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