Sunday, 13 September 2009

The Car-Booters

There is only one way to do a car-boot sale if you wish to sell things and make some money: go alone so you cannot leave the stall and be tempted by the incredible variety of bargains on the other stalls...!  Arriving at 6.30am, by 7am there is the temptation of a huge field full of wall-paper tables sagging under the weight of ornaments, spare light bulbs, baby clothes, CDs & fitness DVDs, house-hold items, children's toys, and old, rusty items that defy identification.

As ever, the regulars are there as soon as you pull up, wanting to see what treasures you've got. It used to irritate me but now I just smile and say hello and let them look, knowing that often you can self half your stuff before 7.30am to other stall holders.

Today my stall was, relatively speaking, "posh".  I have an extremely sturdy table inherited from my London aunt, and one of those waterproof-backed picnic rugs. I label things with prices because as a customer I hate stalls with no prices on anything; I always feel as they judge your wealth from your appearance before deciding on a price to tell you.

Nothing on my stall was sold for less than 50p, and all the books were £1 which drew no sharp intakes of breath - interestingly the most popular ones were the walking guide books and mountain coffee table books; worth remembering.

By comparison, my neighbours were a couple of sisters about my age, selling childrens clothes and toys which had been gradually piling up in the garage over the last 10 years.  They were selling things for 20p or 50p, for  which people would have happily paid £1.  When the sale was winding down I went over to look for a present for my friend's little boy, and chose a lovely Next jumper.  "50p", she said.  "Will you take £1?" I replied.

She asked if I "do these things" every week.  Goodness no, I informed her: once a year maybe.   "You don't have much to sell if that is a year" she commented, reasonably enough.  "Ah,"  I replied, "I don't have children!!"  

After 5 hours sitting in the sun I had made a healthy profit of £93... so like the last of the big spenders, we had chips for lunch!

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