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A pram for a fiver!
Car Boot Sales
Member Name: lellagrace
Car Boot Sales
Advantages: Great to buy/sell unwanted goods.
Disadvantages: Get up early!
Visiting a friend for the weekend I was informed there was an annual car boot sale in their village, to raise money for the Christmas lights, and would I like to go.
I had been to a car boot sale a while ago when I was moving house and wanted to get rid of unwanted items, but never been as a buyer. So here is my experience of car boot sales, both as a buyer and a seller.
"There is nothing I want" I declared as we set off. How wrong that was!!!!! Wow what bargains there were at this village sale. And the good thing was that it started at 10 am and not at some ungodly hour on a Sunday morning.
Finding a place to park the car was difficult as all the surrounding streets were jammed solid, but eventually we managed to find one.
The field was heaving with people, stalls set up behind their cars (pasting tables being the most popular) or items simply displayed on the ground and hundreds of people browsing.
So what was there? Well everything you could think of really!!! And the nice thing about this boot sale was that everyone there was a genuine car booter and not a trader. Not a new item in sight. Everything was secondhand, but some obviously not used. "Unwanted gift" was often the explanation.
My friend was looking for items for a young girl she knows who is pregnant and has no money to buy things for her expected baby. It was amazing the number of baby things that were on offer. Prams and pushchairs, cots, clothes, moses baskets. In fact everything you would need for a baby.
Some of the items on sale were excellent condition, clean and obviously well cared for. But there were others which had obviously been thrown in after a garage or loft tidy out and these were covered in dust and grime.
For example, my friend spotted a baby buggy which was for sale for a tenner. On closer inspection it was obvious that it had not been cleaned - ever!!!!!! The wheels were dirty, which is to be expected, but the seat was covered in ground -in baby food!!!!
We wandered further and saw another pram. "Want a pram for a fiver?" the woman asked. "A fiver? What's wrong with it?" my friend wanted to know. "Nothing, but my husband has told me I have to get rid of all this baby stuff and so I daren't go home until I have sold it all." My friend inspected the pram, good condition apart from a bit of dust on the wheels, ideal for a new baby and would last until the toddler stage. Too good to miss so she handed over her fiver. "Would you like a baby bath and bottle steriliser as well?" the stallholder asked. Before we knew it the pram was filled with all kinds of other baby equipment and an assortment of clothes!!!! My friend handed over another tenner, what a bargain!!!!
So now our objective of visiting the boot sale had been fulfilled we were free to browse other items. I spied boxes of books - and came away with a carrier bag full for two pounds!
Ornaments, kitchen equipment, pictures, videos, bikes and clothing to suit all ages were going for silly prices. Where else would you get a leather jacket, in good condition, for three pounds?
And toys! Thousands of them! Suitable for all ages from new baby pram toys to sit on cars for older toddlers. Dolls, doll clothes, action men, trucks; you name it, there it was on the boot sale.
Fortunately it was a fine sunny day, stallholders were happy to get rid of their unwanted goods and were not greedy asking silly prices.
We left after an hour, the car filled to capacity, the passengers delighted with their purchases and to say I had set off not intending to buy, my purse was empty!
Now for my experience as a seller.
Moving house is a good excuse to have a clear out of those items that have accumulated over the years, so we decided to try and raise a few quid and sell at a boot sale.
Everything we no longer wanted was loaded into the car and, after getting up at 5 am, we arrived at the boot sale shortly after 6, only to find the place already milling with potential buyers.
We found our pitch, set up the pasting table and started to unload the stuff from the car. Within minutes we were surrounded by people peering in the car boot and picking up things and asking the price. We soon realised it was best for one of us to unload and the other to stay by the car until everything was unloaded.
Amazingly within the first ten minutes, before our stall was properly set out, we had sold a number of items!
The morning wore on, it was a bit chilly but we were well prepared with fleeces and flasks of coffee and folding garden chairs to sit on. By 9 am the area was buzzing with hordes of people looking for a bargain.
We sold clothes, curtains, lamps, bedding, tools, kitchen goods, kids' toys, books, videos and as we didn't intend to take anything back with us, sold things for small amounts. Even a few pence was better than nothing.
It was quite touching to see children clutching their fifty pence coins and asking the price of books or toys, then seeing their disappointed looks as they realised they couldn't afford what they wanted. "Oh go on then, you can have the lot for 50p" I told them, watching their little faces light up.
Well why not? It was stuff my own kids no longer needed so I was happy for another child to have the pleasure of playing with unwanted toys.
The day wore on and by 11 am many of the stallholders were packing up and the flow of customers was slowing. Time to go home we decided.
A few items remained, we would pack them up and donate them to the charity shop. But first of all we had to clean the stall before putting it in the car boot. Clutching a small dustpan and brush I started to brush away the bits of grass etc from the table. The brush had seen better days and had most of its bristles missing, so would be chucked in the rubbish bin when I had finished.
"How much for the brush and pan?" I heard someone ask. Looking up I saw a man holding out his hand to inspect the brush and dustpan. "It has hardly any bristles" I told him, laughingly. Apparently this wasn't a problem and he handed me twenty pence!
When we arrived home we counted up our takings, not hundreds, but more than we expected. Not only that, but the experience taught us that people will buy the most amazing things! The bristleless brush was just one item, a bag of candle stubs also sold and bags of rusty nails and screws from the garage were snapped up!
We were pleased that not only had we made a few bob, but we had saved some of our rubbish going to landfill and out there was somebody who was pleased with their bargains!
If you want to get rid of surplus items then get up early and go to a boot sale. Ditto if you want a bargain.
Some areas have weekly boot sales at a regular venue, others may be advertised in the local press. The bigger boot sales, held on a regular basis, can be more like a market with new goods on sale. I would suggest the smaller, one-off, fund raising boot sales are the best places for bargains.
Summary: Your rubbish can be someone else's treasure.