•             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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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 – 7th August 2011


‘Solar Power’ K’Nex:  £2

Although Ted is not buying any more K’Nex, he did snap up this box. You see, it contains a solar panel, and these are relatively rare. Although the box did not contain the accompanying special orange motor (or much else, come to that), Ted acquired one of these motors without its solar panel some time ago. How satisfying!

Just think – with another few hundred panels (and bright sunshine) he will be able to have an electrically-operated handle on his K’Nex fruit machine.

K’Nex Fruit Machine Update


Ted’s K’Nex Fruit Machine

Ted has been busy – his K’Nex fruit machine is now complete.

Have a look at the end of the K’Nex Creations page for details, or in the Instructables site. There is also a YouTube link here (he used his ancient digital camera, so it’s in low resolution!).

K'Nex Fruit Machine

Car Boot Sale – 5th September 2010


There was nothing much at the car boot sale this week for Ted. Why do manufacturers make such tat? How is it that someone thinks, “I’ll make my million by producing Charles and Diana plates which have pictures on them which look nothing like Charles and Diana?” Why do they make stuffed bears which don’t look like bears? Why? Why? Will someone please tell Ted why?

Toy Fruit Machine:  £1.50

Ted’s wife’s grandson keeps picking up a non-working toy fruit machine and tries to play with it. “I’ll mend it soon,” says Ted, but it never seems to happen owing to his other responsibilities (working out how to get rid of badgers, working on his next K’Nex design, devising methods for killing badgers, etc).

Well, Ted has found another identical one and, if it doesn’t work, will make a good one out of the two. Yes, really. Truly. He promises.