Good morning. Before I start the days chores, well not really chores life is more like a hobby really, I will do a quick post here to answer a question from Marnie. I get a few questions which I am happy to answer, although forgive me if one or two slip my mind, I have so much clutter going on in there, some of them get filed under 'answer later', and then I forget, ha ha. This is from Marnie.....
I have really enjoyed reading your blog entries since I discovered you quite by accident. I do have questions once in a while, however, so I thought I'd just leave you a post. What in the world is a "car boot" sale? I am from Tennessee in the USA and I am familiar with garage sales, yard sales, estate sales, etc. but that terminology is foreign to me. Have a beautiful day! Marnie
Hi Marnie, and anyone else from abroad, that is people from other countries. Those from the UK can skip this bit because it might be boring to you. A car boot sale is similar to what you call garage or yard sale, only here, people put their excess stuff they want to get rid of in their car and drive to a site. Our local boot sale is on the car park at the football ground, but they can be anywhere. A lot are on big fields on the outskirts of towns, or the smaller ones can be on school playgrounds, these are usually for raising funds for the school.
A charge is made for your pitch, for smaller boot sales it might be £3, avarage is £5, huge massive ones with hundreds of pitches are between £5 and £10. You park your car where you are directed to. You can use a van if you like, or add a trailer, though this will cost more as you take up more space. You don't need to book unless it is a smaller site with limited space, most of them you just turn up. They generally start at some ridiculously early time of 6am, mostly on a Sunday, some people turn up at 5am to get the position they want. You take your own tables with you, some take a plastic sheet and lay all their stuff on the ground. Depending on how busy it is, some sellers will pack up and go home at about 11 - 12noon. If it is sunny and loads of punters are milling about, it will stay open longer.
First thing you get some traders prowling round, they are hoping to pick up something of great value for very little money, so they can make a killing when they resell it. I get very annoyed with them when they start poking in the boxes before you have had a chance to unload. I shut my doors and say I'm not getting it out till they have gone away.
It is best to price up your stuff before you go, because you can make mistakes later on if you guess. People will try and knock you down, if it is priced you can say 'I am not prepared to go any lower, take it of leave it'. When I am buying I offer a lower price if I think it is not worth the asking price. Most things are ridiculously cheap, so for the sake of getting ten pence off I don't bother, just pay it. If you are buying and want cheap bargains it's best to go an hour before it is due to close, because then sellers start reducing prices as they don't want to load their tat back into the car and take it home again.
Because most of the sales are outdoor they are seasonal, Spring through to Autumn. Some can be held indoors in huge barns. Most are on a weekly basis, they are advertised in newspapers and on posters. When a sale becomes established most people get to know when and where they are and what time to go. A lot of advertising is done word of mouth, people tell each other.
The variety of goods on sale could be almost anything. They were created as a way for people to sell their own belongings which they no longer need. Now the boundaries are somewhat fuzzy as small time traders now attend to sell their wares, obviously buying in their stock. Traders usually have to pay more rent. Some people try and disguise the fact that they are traders, by buying in bricabrac from other sellers, or from jumble sales or house clearance, or auctions, and try to pass it off as their own. Boot sales are ocassionally visited by people from the Inland Revenue, presumably to catch traders who are not registered as a business.
There are some rules as to what you can't sell, mainly the obvious ones like no livestock, drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol. For someone setting up a home for the first time there is an abundance of household stuff, including furniture and garden equipment. Lots of childrens toys, baby equipment, lots of clothes, and some highly collectables. You really have to root through it all, it's amazing what people sell.
It can be very tempting to buy something you don't really need, because things are so cheap, you might think at that price I might as well have it. If you go every week, and buy something, you might end up with far too much tat in your house and then have to sell it or give it away. It's much harder to keep to the rule of only buying what you need and not what you want.
Hope that has answered your question Marnie. Thank you for reading my blog.
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