Monday, 24 May 2010

Car Boot Take II - careful what you wish for

My last car boot sale, back in early December 2009, was a highly profitable affair. I had 15 boxes of crap (I mean, high quality goods) to sell, including my life's collection of CDs, two socket sets, a genuine 1977 Donald Duck marionette puppet, boxes of books, heaps of tatty handbags and backpacks, roller blades and a pair of blue snorkelling fins, size 6.

I came home with 10 boxes filled with half of the CDs, most of the books, most of the handbags, the roller blades, the fins... and £165 in my pocket. So something must have sold.

And I was sure that I would have sold more if it hadn't completely pissed down with rain all day. It rained heavily from start to finish, bar one hour around lunchtime where it decided to give us a break with some light drizzle.

Before I moved house I went through the car boot boxes again, and gave several boxes full of naff items away to charity. I also sold the rest of my CDs as a job lot for £80, which is not to be sniffed at. My friend then gave me a couple of boxes of DVDs, some silk scarves and pashminas, and a box of travel books.

All I needed was a nice sunny day and a second car boot sale, and I would be quids in. Sure as eggs are eggs. And this weekend, that ideal opportunity arrived.

When my Dad and I set off for a local (and rather huge and promising) car boot sale, I had six boxes of high quality goods. They were bound to sell. The weather forecast was looking good. I was on to a winner.

5 hours later found me packing 5 boxes back in to the car, having made a total profit of £35.

Why? It was too bloody hot.

All of the punters had gone to the seaside, or were sitting under trees in their back gardens, lighting barbecues and drinking Pimms. Or burning to a crisp in the sun and getting trolleyed on cheap lager. Or whatever it is that people wearing "I'm drunk but your still ugly" T-shirts do when they are not at a car boot sale (my still ugly what, precisely? I am perplexed that they didn't seem to finish printing this garment...)

There were rows and rows of traders, all baking in the sun or selling from the relative shade of their car seats, occasionally meandering up to the nearby ice-cream van across earth that was too parched to dig a jumbo umbrella in to without dying from dehydration. The few people who had turned up to have a browse seemed to be far too wilted to reach in to their pockets for a little bit of small change, and far too limp to carry a DVD 100 metres back to the car.

I've seen more life in a beige rug, to be honest.

Later that evening, 4 of the boxes were dropped off at a local charity, to see if they would have any better luck. One of the boxes contains items that for reasons unknown to me, I am loathe to give away without just one more try at getting some cash for them.

It wasn't all bad, though. For one thing, I now have heaps of small change. For another, the roller blades, the spider catcher and the dust buster have finally gone. And I did put a smile on the faces of the people I pushed to reluctantly haggle with me, when I accepted the first offer they made. Oh, and best of all, I timed my visit to the ice-cream van perfectly - 5 minutes before he left - thus preventing the day from being a total disaster.

In any event, even a job with minimum wage is going to make me feel like a millionaire in comparison to what I brought home.

Yes, okay, I get the hint. If I want to earn money, I need to go out and get a bloody job....

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