•             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 May 2011


Two Happy Furbies:  £1

There they were, happily sitting on the seller’s table. Ted walked past them and returned later. He then left, and only after seeing them still there half an hour later did he show an interest after having seen that they were each marked £1 underneath the base.

“How much are they?” asked Ted.

“I’ll be please to get rid of them,” said the seller, “The sooner they go, the better.”

What a stupid thing to say! How can a seller get a good price if he says something like that?

“So how much are they,” responded Ted, “given that you can’t wait to see the last of them?”

“My partner wanted a pound each, but you can have them for 50p each.”

So the deal was done.

Fridge Magnets:  £1

Ted picked these up because they looked as though they were the same style as the ones he bought two weeks ago. Although he already had enough to make pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, he would now be able to make antidisestablishmentarianism as well, and maybe even the 58-letter Welsh town which ends in ‘gogogoch.’

Moreover, it included a magnetic board, albeit too small for longer than about a dozen letters (not surprising, perhaps, since it was intended for children somewhat younger than Ted).

When Ted asked the price, the seller shrugged and said, “Erm… £1.”

Now we all know that, when a seller shows any sign of indecision or hesitation, it’s time to haggle, but believe it or not, Libran Ted decided that £1 was a fair price and paid it.

Bag of K’Nex:  50p

Although Ted is not buying any more K’Nex, he thought he’d go for this because it was from the seller who parted with the fridge magnets, and he knew that he was a dithering shrugger.

“How much for this?” said Ted.

“A pound,” he said, and shrugged, indicating that he had no idea what it was. This was a big mistake. Another mistake was to pack it tightly into a plastic bag – it looks as though there is much more if it is spread out.

“How about 50p?” said Ted.

“OK,” he said, and the deal was done. There was just under ½kg there.

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