Car Boot Sale

When I staggered down stairs early on Sunday and had already made my porridge (complex carbs you know!!) – I had received a text from Charlotte saying – its torrential outside – should we bother…………?

Today was the day we had agreed to car boot.  Brand new experience for both of us and we had NO idea what to expect. Actually I had done one a long time ago, but it was a distant, possibly blocked memory!! We had been given loads of (mainly contradictory) advice from those at work.

We had chosen Farnborough because a) It didn’t start at silly o’clock – and b) it was under cover. I was very happy about this as it was closer to me & so I didn’t have to drive very far! 

As I was already up – I suggested I drive to Charlottes as arranged and then ‘we would see’. Once there – we decided to go a step further – to drive to the site and see if anyone else was there. Well it was packed already.  So we joined the throng and started to set up our wares.  Before we had even opened the boot, people descended on us asking if we had mobiles, electrical stuff, Lego and half bottles of perfume and aftershave (really??).  Well we hadn’t so they left us alone.

We then started to put  our stuff out on the tables we had borrowed from Sarah G (thank you!).  Not being aware that the legs needed locking out.  So after we  had picked up all the CD’s & books off the floor – we got going again.

Busy taking photos when we first got everything out … didn’t think to take another once it was a bit more ‘presented!’

The dealers were sniffing around again – and as I put a load of biker stuff out (thanks Pip and Bev) – one bloke bought the lot for a load of money.  However he was very quick to agree to my price – so I may have undersold it. Lesson for next time.

We were still putting stuff out and selling at the same time (making up prices as we went) when I noticed a  familiar pair of sunglasses in a very familiar case. I worked out that when Charlotte had come to my house to help sort – she had picked them up from the side and put them in the ‘to sell’ box! Hmm! I should point out this was not a deliberate act!

The regulars were enormously helpful.  I think they were amused by our naivety. We had taken a large tarpaulin (thanks Lesley) to put under the boxes  where people could ‘rummage’.  Every stall holder appeared to advise us against it ‘health and safety you know’.  So after several attempts at folding it so no one would trip over it and sue us – we gave up and bought bacon butties instead (would have had more tea but we ran out of hot water).

Full of grease, but they were so good!

At 11:00 the ‘public’ arrived ie those who only wanted to pay 50p entry rather than £5.  Everything picked up again and we sold stuff we thought wouldn’t go whilst the stuff we thought would disappear remained hanging.

One lady was checking inside a CD case and found a hidden ‘note’.  We realised that it was a diary entry by Ellie that had obviously been ‘put away safely’.  Charlotte wouldn’t hand it over initially  as she thought it was wrong for me to see it – but then gave in.  I am glad to say it wasn’t inappropriate at all but Ellie’s thoughts on a boy who liked her when she was about 12.  I have since sent it to her and she thinks its hilarious!! And we sold the CD!

I really began to enjoy the experience and started chatting away with everyone who came near.  I clearly irritated one man (I called him sir and he told me he hadn’t been knighted yet) who told Charlotte to ‘shut me up or he’ll stab me’.  He did buy my ‘100 running songs’ though and came back later for more fun exchanges.

Charlotte gave away a free plaster in one bag, then upped her game and sold drugs (paracetamol I hasten to add!) in another. Maybe next time we should check what we receive from others!! We probably also looked slightly odd when we had no idea what size something was without looking. One lady looked at a suit my Mum had donated, she wore it to my sisters wedding 15 years ago. She queried the size & I helpfully suggested it was probably a 12 or 14, I then found the label & discovered it was a size 10 …. sorry Mum!! She was also convinced that someone had stolen a bag that she clearly remembered putting in the boot of her car on the right hand side.  Until she remembered that she had put it in her car – but we were in her husbands! Rather than take it in to the house to store for a couple of days I had intended to transfer it directly from boot to boot, but I forgot! 

One of my highlights has to be Karen’s sales pitch to a young girl & her Mum looking at a bag. The bag had Daisy written on it, so the Mum suggested they buy it for the daughters best friend. It turned out it wasn’t her best friend but a girl that is bullying her. Karen quickly changed her sales patter & suggested they buy it & put bricks in it!! If only they knew what she did for a living …..  

We began to pack up at 13:30 after selling about 50% of our stuff.  Hugely tired but really pleased with ourselves. My late night & slightly excessive drinking the night before probably wasn’t helping my tiredness….

We hadn’t been certain about advertising that we were selling for charity, but I think it was a good idea. A couple of people said they would normally haggle but didn’t want to as it was for charity and another lady suggested we should have got the pitch for free … maybe we’ll put that to the council next time we go! On and one lady gave an extra donation in our charity box … it turned out to be 6p, but hey every penny counts! 

We made £200! An enormous profit from people kind enough to donate.  So again – a huge thank you to all those who have helped us – and yes we are going to do another one!


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