•             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 – 2nd June 2013


Moroccan Lamp:  £13

Moroccan LampTed’s wife was with him this Sunday, and she spotted this wonderful 6-feet-tall lamp which would fit in with their general colour scheme at home.

The lamp is made of leather, or perhaps some kind of skin.

The sellers had only just put it out, and Ted asked what they were asking for it (not how much it was, note – there is a subtle difference).

“£15,” the young lady said.

“Will you take £12?” asked Ted.

“Hmmm… I’ll take £13,” was the reply, and the deal was done.

Most sellers know that haggling is for later on, not when the item has just been put out, but perhaps they were just keen to get rid of it.

Two OWL Energy Monitors:  £5 and £1

Two OWL Energy MonitorsTed saw the first one of these just after the seller had put it on the table. The sellers – a husband and wife – didn’t know what it was or how much to charge for it.

Ted explained that its sensor was to be put round the electricity cable near the fuse-box, and a remote device displayed how much energy was currently (ha, ha!) being used. Honest Ted also said that they cost around £30 new.

“How about £8, then?” said the wife.

“Hmmm…,” said Ted, “That’s a lot for a car boot sale – you’d need to put it on eBay to get that much.”

The couple’s facial expressions meant that eBay was a foreign concept, and the wife said, “What would you offer?”

“I was thinking of around £3,” said Ted.

“How about £5,” responded the wife, and Ted settled for £4.

When it transpired that the monitor was brand new and had never even been removed from the box, generous Ted decided that £5 was a fair price, and handed over the moolah.

Shortly after this bargain, Ted saw another one. The seller had used it briefly but didn’t like it, and he only wanted £1 for it!

Ted decided to reduce the average cost per monitor by buying this one too. This may be strange, but there’s a kind of logic to it… isn’t there?

Da Vinci Catapult:  £1.50

Da Vinci CatapultOnce again it was Ted’s wife who spotted this. It was for her 7-year-old grandson.

It is a model of a trebuchet, and since, when completed, it would hurl objects across the room, Ted decided that it would be better housed at the grandson’s home rather than his. Who knows, the little boy might end up hurling bits of blood and bone across the living room…

Child’s Toytown Tin:  50p

Child's TinThis little gem was from a 50p table.

Ted bought it because it invoked childhood memories.

As an added bonus, it contained lots of plastic toy woodworking tools.

Deluded Ted will be selling this at the auction house Sotheby’s in years to come.

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