A couple of days ago I was due to go to a car boot sale with a neighbour (who had the use of a van). I haven’t done one of these in about 25 years and I didn’t care much for it back then. I’m not a natural salesperson. At all. I’m utterly crap at sales. So when the friend wasn’t able to make it, I had a rush of blood to the head and decided it would be a good idea to throw stuff in the back of my car, get out of bed at an ungodly hour (5.30) and mooch along there to see what it was like and see if I could get rid of any of the stuff clogging up my garage.
Fortunately, I was warned that I would be descended upon as soon as I arrived.
No frigging kidding!
No sooner had I parked the car and gone around the back then about 10 people mysteriously appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and formed a semi-circle around the back of my car, all peering into my boot. When one of them stepped forward asking about the jewellery I was selling, I asked if he would mind waiting until I had everything out of the car, at which time I would oblige by showing him the relevant box.
Jeez – what is wrong with these people? I eventually managed to satisfy their curiosity that there was, in fact, nothing but tat in all of the boxes and they all shuffled away and I was left to finish arranging them so that the contents were relatively easily visible.
After that, patience was sorely tested by people coming up and haggling. Most of us English folks don’t haggle: it’s not in our psychological makeup. I, for one, find the whole process rather insulting and do not indulge in the practice. I therefore have to curb my natural instincts to punch people in the face when they offer me 10p for an item that is clearly marked at 50p.
Another patience tester is those who pick up an item which has a price ticket on it and ask “how much?”. Seriously? I know you’re not blind – you’re looking me directly in the eye when asking the question so how come you’ve missed a price ticket which is pretty sizeable and is currently located right next to your fucking thumb? Or are you hoping that I’ll take pity on your fuckwittedness and sell it to you for 10p?
Another delight was the box I took along which was filled with assorted cables and wires. I’d put them all in there, all neat and tidy. Just perfect for idiots to rifle through haphazardly, picking things up, unwinding all the cables and then dumping them back in the box so that they’re all tangled up and you can’t see what’s in there. Yep – that was exactly why I brought it along.
By 11am, the wind was seriously starting to chap my lips and the crowds appeared to be abating. I’d had enough, despite the sale going until 3pm (apparently). I packed up what hadn’t sold back into my car and off I went.
OK – so I wasn’t as organised about it as a lot of other folks. I should have had some sort of proper table set up but (a) I don’t have one and (b) there’s no way there would have been room in the car for it. It was partially a learning curve for me and why I decided to go along on my own – to scope things out and see what I’d need next time.
Unfortunately, there will have to be a “next time” as I only managed to shift about a tenth of the stuff that I took along.
Thank goodness I can sell my Barbie collection on Ebay – I don’t have to worry about hagglers there! 🙂