•             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 – 24th July 2011


Three Boxes of K’Nex:  £4

Ted spotted a tub of K’Nex, but because he is not buying any more he walked past it. A couple of minutes later, he changed his mind and turned around – and there were then three tubs of it! Was this a sixth sense?

“How much for the K’Nex?” asked Ted.

“£2.50,” said the lady.

“For all of it?” said Ted cheekily.

“No, each!” said the lady as though she could hardly believe her ears.

Do you see what was happening here? Ted implied that he was expecting the £2.50 to be for all three tubs, and so the seller is at a disadvantage; the implication is that she is overvaluing the K’Nex. If the seller had said, “£2.50 each,” this would not have happened. It’s psychology, innit?

“How much for all of it then?” asked Ted.

“Four pounds,” she said, and the deal was done.

There wasn’t actually much K’Nex there, but Ted wanted the green and blue containers.

This is the last lot of K’Nex that Ted will be buying because he has got enough now. Unless there’s an absolute bargain, of course…

Empty Wooden Box:  50p

Ted often buys wooden boxes because they are so useful – he has a large collection waiting for something to be put into them.

This one contained two bottles of booze. Ted will strip out the innards and use it to hold some of the other unused empty boxes.

Micro Scalextric:  £5

“How much for this?” asked Ted.

“Six pounds,” said the seller. “Take five?” asked Ted. “You drive a hard bargain,” responded the seller, “OK.”

Ted will run this off a solar panel, just for the fun of it. When the sun shines, cars will whizz round the circuit, and when a cloud comes, everything will grind to a halt.

Toy Fruit Machine:  £2

There are quite a few of these around, but not as well-made as this one. For a start, it’s very heavy. And it works beautifully, a bell ringing when there’s a win.

“How much for this?” asked Ted. “£3,” said the woman. Ted looked horror-struck. His eyes were large circles and his jaw dropped. “Three pounds?” said Ted, aghast. “How about £2?” “OK, then,” said the seller, realising that she’d overpriced it.

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