•             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 – 5th June 2016


The Third Visit

During the first two visits Ted commented on the number of fat women he saw at the car boot sale. He did so because he just couldn’t believe how many there were and there couldn’t possibly be that many again.

This time there are more comments – not just because there were yet more flabby, fleshy fatties but because Ted now realises that either it is the modern norm or car boot sales attract fat women (because perhaps they have lower earning potential resulting in them looking for bargains). It could, of course, be that females who flaunt their flesh put on weight for some reason, or that something has happened to Ted’s eyes so that they distort certain people.

Anyway, Ted was once again sitting with his cup of tea when he noticed two tree-trunk thighs opposite him. Behind the owner of these was a woman whose dimensions were similar to that of Sandra or Tracey (‘The Fat Slags’) from the Viz magazine.

Ted is thinking about getting some special microprocessor-controlled spectacles which distort fat women so that they look like sylphs. Perhaps Google could help here.

Green Tub of K’Nex:  £2

Green Tub of K'NexTed saw this after a few minutes but decided to wait so that the asking price was not too high (if it was still there!). He wandered around and saw a full tub of K’Nex, and when he asked what the seller was asking for it, he received the response, “£20.” The man was clearly in cloud-cuckoo land.

After an hour or so, Ted returned to the green tub’s seller and said to the woman, “What are you asking for that?” whilst pointing to it.

“Would you say £3?” said the woman. “No,” said Ted, “I wouldn’t. How about two?”

“OK,” said the woman, and Ted handed over the dosh / moolah / spondulicks… or whatever you want to call it.

There wasn’t actually much in it, but the box alone was worth £2. The ubiquitous Lego pieces were discarded.

Car Boot Sale – 29th May 2016


A Second Visit

Yes – Ted, having missed last week’s sale owing to a family commitment, set off on the 82-minute walk to his new car boot sale.

There weren’t quite so many fat women (why use a euphemism when that’s what they are?) this week, but Ted’s experience in the café marquee compensated for that. He sat down with his bacon roll and cup of tea, and when he looked up he found he was facing – yet again – one of the largest women he had ever seen. If there was such a thing as a 99ZZ bra size, she was wearing one; moreover, as is a fat woman’s wont, she was exposing a large area of flesh. She was sitting on a chair (which somehow hadn’t collapsed) and her belly hung over the front of it so that it was a few inches from the ground. There was so much fat in her jowls that she had a permanent sneer.

Ted realised while he was gawking at her that her overweight husband might get the wrong idea, and so he looked away (there were two overweight sons at the table too, and the phrase ‘pummelled to a pulp’ entered Ted’s head).

Hunter-gatherer Ted succumbed a couple of times this week. He spent £4.50 for his treasures plus £3 for the bacon roll and cup of tea. Walking there didn’t cost a penny (apart from the shoe leather) and the bus back was free because Ted used his old fogey’s bus pass.

ET Soft Toy:  £2

ET Soft ToyTed’s wife groaned when she saw this, which isn’t surprising because Ted doesn’t really know why he bought it. Was he doing his bit for the economy? Did he feel sorry for the seller? Who knows.

It’s rather cute, though, isn’t it?

Porcelain Door Knobs:  50p

Porcelain Door KnobsTed picked this up from the ground by the seller’s table and thought, “I wonder how much he’ll want for this? – they’re usually between £10 and £15.” The brass plates were solid, not like the plated rubbish that’s around nowadays.

He then heard a man say, “50p.” Ted turned round and saw that it was the seller. Ted held up the knobs, and the seller said again, “50p.” You’ve never seen Ted’s hand move as fast as when it dived into his pocket and retrieved the coin.

Moreover, Ted actually needs these. One of his doors has got black porcelain knobs, all the others in the house being white!

Box of K’Nex:  £2

Blue Box of K'NexTed is not buying K’Nex any more because he has enough.

He saw this as soon as he entered the sale, but thought, “No – let someone else have it.”

One thing about boxes of K’Nex is that there is often much more in the box than one might think. In the picture on the left, it looks like the box is only part full and that there isn’t much there, but in the picture below you can see that there is, in fact, quite a lot.

Having wandered around for an hour or so, wondering why there weren’t so many shoes this week, and wondering how strong the café woman’s bed must be, Ted noticed that the K’Nex was still there.

He assumed it was because, like most of the other K’Nex he had seen recently, it was overpriced.

“What are you asking for that?” said Ted. Now there are two things to note here: the first is that Ted did not say, “How much is that?” – he said, “What are you asking forBlue Box of K'Nex Contents that?” Do you see the difference? The first form implies that it has a price, whereas the second form implies that the asking price will be too high. The second thing to note is that Ted said, “What are you asking for that?” rather than, “What are you asking for the K’Nex?” By feigning ignorance of what it is, the seller might think that Ted does not know anything about it, but if they knew that Ted knew what it was, the stated price might be higher than would otherwise be the case.

“I only want a couple of quid,” said the lady, and so all this psychology was wasted this time.

Ted paid the £2, but it wasn’t long afterwards that he wondered how that café woman washed herself…

K’Nex Fruit Machine (Mark 3)


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.

K'Nex Fruit Machine (Mark 3)

eBay – September 2014


Savvy Ted decided to look on eBay for K’Nex auctions where the items were near by and were for collection only, the theory being that the number of potential bidders is very small.

Oh ho ho! He acquired two lots, as follows:

Lot 1: 2Kg of K’Nex for £1.30

K'Nex Lot 1

K’Nex Lot 1

Yes – only £1.30 for this haul, where Ted was the only bidder, and it even included a 12-volt motor!

Ted can understand why sellers opt for Collection Only – it avoids the hassle of wrapping it up and taking it to the post office (or arranging a courier), and it removes any potential problem where the buyer claims that it did not arrive.

On the other hand, restricting the number of bidders is obviously going to have a detrimental effect on the selling price, as demonstrated here.

There can, of course, be some travelling costs involved, but where possible Ted uses his old fogey’s bus pass. Unfortunately that wasn’t possible here, and about £2-worth of petrol had to be used.

Lot 2: 2.3Kg of K’Nex for £3.67

K'Nex Lot 2

K’Nex Lot 2

What about this, then – another lot of K’Nex in a big blue case (with, alas, a broken lid – the case had to be thrown away).

This time, though, there was competition: the bidding reached £3.29 until right before the end of the auction, when a new bidder made a late bid. They entered £3.47 as their maximum, but Ted bid £4.07 at the last moment and got the K’Nex for £3.67!

This was just a bus ride away, and Ted’s bus pass came into its own.

Owing to an oversight due to the excitement of such a bargain, Ted didn’t quite have the right change on him when he picked up the item, and handed over £3.70. He magnanimously told the seller that he could keep the change as a tip.

Lot 3: Over 8Kg of K’Nex for £32.99 + £8.50 p&p

K'Nex Lot 3

K’Nex Lot 3

This lot was not Collection Only but was a good buy nevertheless.

This might seem a lot (forgive the pun), but there were over 5,000 pieces here, all of which had potential use: Ted doesn’t need any more track supports, chains, wheels or monster parts, and there were very few of these types of pieces.

Moreover, there were over 600 micro K’Nex pieces included – Ted wants these for future projects, their complementary use permitting creations which would otherwise be impossible, and what micro K’Nex there is on eBay is usually quite expensive. If it hadn’t been for the micro K’Nex, Ted probably wouldn’t have bid for it.

But why does Ted need yet more K’Nex? Well, the truth is that having recently made the constructions below, he needs to replenish his stock:

 

K'Nex Fruit Machine Mark I

K’Nex Fruit Machine Mark I

K'Nex Fruit Machine Mark II

K’Nex Fruit Machine Mark II

K'Nex Coin Pusher

K’Nex Coin Pusher

K'Nex Bonanza Machine

K’Nex Bonanza Machine

K'Nex Binary Machine

K’Nex Binary Machine

 

Car Boot Sale – 20th July 2014


Green Box of K’Nex:  £6

Green Box of K'NexK’Nex is seen so rarely at car boot sales nowadays that Ted has to expect the prices to be higher than they were.

When asked for the price, Ted was told £7, and he had to haggle hard to get it down to £6. The green box will be useful, especially as it came with its lid, and there were some useful pieces in it.

It will help to replace the thousands of pieces used in his latest constructions (his Coin Pusher and his Bonanza Amusement Machine, and he still has thousands of pieces invested in his Fruit Machine).

 

K’Nex ‘Bonanza’ Amusement Machine


Ted has done it again – another K’Nex slot machine!

K'Nex 'Bonanza' Amusement Machine

 

K’Nex Coin Pusher


Ted has just finished making a YouTube video for his latest K’Nex amusement machine.

Have a look under the K’Nex Creations tab, or click here.

Details of its construction can be found here.

K'Nex Coin Pusher