•             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 – 14th July 2013


American Jelly Beans + Dispenser:  £12

American Jelly BeansFor the first time in his life, Ted came across some American jelly beans at a car boot sale.

These are not your run-of-the-mill jelly beans; these are the real McCoy. If you’ve not tried them, do so. There are no artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives or anything, and they are absolutely yummy – so much so that they have to be eaten singly.

As the seller was putting the large tub of beans and the 20p-a-go dispenser on his table, Ted said, “What are you asking for the jelly beans?”

“£20” was the reply. Ted presented his well-practised look of horror and astonishment and walked on. He surmised that the seller was a recently-retired confectioner and was ignorant of the sale price of items at car boot sales.

Two hours later, Ted noticed that they were unsold. “What is your best price?” asked Ted. “£15 and not a penny lower,” was the response.

“I don’t think you’ll get that at a car boot sale,” said Ted after a long pause. “How about £10?”

There was silence. The seller was obviously thinking,”Do I accept £10, or hold out and end up taking them back home with me?”

“How about £12 then?” asked Ted, and as quick as a flash the man agreed and Ted put the flavoursome gems into his backpack.

This was actually quite a good deal, because just over two years ago Ted bought 1½kg of these for £21, and there were about 2¼kg of beans here plus the dispenser.

Singing Lobster:  £5

Singing Lobster (at rest)Singing Lobster (rearing)Ted must have had an attack of weakness when he bought this, but it looked brand new and it came complete with batteries. Indeed, it was only because it was singing on the seller’s table that he spotted it.

Ted offered £4 but received a resounding “No” in response. Perhaps he looked too keen.

The lobster sings one of two tunes and rears up during the rendering of them.

How could you live without one of these?

Orange Box of K’Nex:  £5

Orange Box of K'NexTed spotted this just after the jelly beans (see above).

“How much are you asking for the K’Nex?” asked Ted.

Note how Ted asked how much was being asked, not what the price was – this is important psychologically.

“£10” responded the lady seller.

“Hmmm… that’s quite a lot for a car boot sale,” said Ted, “But thank you.”

Do you see how Ted was being polite? He didn’t say something like, “You gotta be kidding” or “You must be joking,” even though that is what he thought.

Two hours later, just after he had bought the originally-overpriced jelly beans, Ted went back and said, “What is the best price for the K’Nex?”

“Oh… £5 for you,” said the seller, “I just want to get rid of it!”

This would not have happened if Ted had been rude earlier.

Since £5 was a fair price the deal was struck.

Original Furby:  £1

FurbuYes, Ted has managed to expand his Furby family at a reasonable price. Ever since the new Furby came out with its LCD display in the eyes, the old ones have been selling (or not) for silly prices.

Deluded Ted bought this beast as an investment. He didn’t haggle over the price; after all, what is £1 when compared with the future sale price at the auction house Sotheby’s?

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