•             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 September 2013


It’s late in the season now, and there weren’t many buyers or sellers this week. However, Ted just had to go in case he missed that one-off never-to-be-repeated bargain.

Ted has a theory that the fewer the number of buyers the higher the prices (because the sellers are desperate to get their £8 fee covered). This was borne out when Ted asked how much a potato-powered clock was. The daughter hesitated, but her father jumped in and said assertively, “£3.” Ted dropped the clock like a… hot potato. Then there was an almost-empty box of K’Nex which, quite honestly, should have been 50p. When Ted asked what the price was and the seller said, “£5,” he became dizzy and staggered backwards, almost falling into a woman’s collection of valuable Diana mugs.

3-D Maze:  £1

3-D MazeYes – just £1 for this most unusual never-to-be-seen-again toy.

There’s a ball bearing inside, and the idea is that you orientate the globe so that the ball wends its way from the starting point (numbered 1) to the finishing point (numbered 138) along narrow paths, treacherous channels and the odd tunnel. It is a very complex structure and is likely to drive you potty, and so is ideal for keeping noisy children occupied.

There are, in fact, three entry points: 1 at the start, one at number 36, and one at 78, so that it can be solved in stages.

A few minutes after this purchase Ted saw another one, only the seller, who said that it was brand new and unopened, wanted £10 for it! What a nutter! Some sellers appear to be in cloud-cuckoo-land, but it did add force to Ted’s theory.

Chicken Run Storybook:  10p

Chicken Run StorybookTed likes Chicken Run almost as much as he likes Ratatouille.

This is a kiddies’ book with lots of the Chicken Run characters in it (remember Mrs Tweedy?), and Ted asked the wee child how much it was.

“10p,” was the reply, and magnanimous Ted handed over 50p (to the child, not her father) and wouldn’t accept the change.

Six Dick King-Smith Books: £1.80

Six Dick King-Smith Children's BooksTed didn’t haggle because a) the price was right, and b) he greatly admires Dick King-Smith (who wrote The Sheep Pig on which the movie Babe was based).

The superb line drawings are by David Parkins.

Since Mr King-Smith died in 2011, deluded Ted believes that these books will soon become collector’s items.

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