Ted’s purchases at car boot sales and from eBay have enabled him to have enough pieces to make a new fruit machine!
There is an Instructables entry here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It is difficult nowadays to walk down a high street without encountering a number of charity shops.
The chances are that, when paying for an item, a perplexed look can be seen on the volunteer's face as yet again they have to grapple with the electronic till.
Offering a five-pound note and 19p for an item costing £4.19, so that the change is simpler to give and a pocketful of change is avoided, will only cause confusion and the practice is best avoided.
The discovery of a valuable item in a charity shop is very unlikely, so when a buyer spots a chunk of pure gold for 99p they should be wary - items are carefully examined by experts before they are put on sale, and even, in some cases, appropriated by the manager to feed a lucrative sideline (yes - it does happen).
Serendipity happens at car boot sales, not charity shops.
Junk shops are becoming more difficult to find nowadays, what with the proliferation of charity shops and car boot sales.
However, those that can be found are usually full of furniture and bric-a-brac which have come from house clearances. When someone has died, the next of kin often want to just get rid of the house contents so that a greedy estate agent can sell the property for them, and clearing out the house is often seen as a service rather than the selling (or giving away) of sometimes valuable items for a pittance. There is normally no charge for the woodworm in the furniture.
It is well worth haggling at these places owing to the high mark-up on the items.
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