Sunday, July 29, 2012

Car boot sales

The car boot sale has become one of the most popular forms of weekend entertainment on both sides of the Atlantic. They range in size from several dozen stalls in a local school playground to several acres of land in the countryside. The larger, more rural ones tend not to operate during winter months, but local newspapers carry announcements of forthcoming sales usually one week in advance, although few include a contact telephone number. In larger towns and cities, many now take place in multy-storey car parks under cover. Head for one of these if it looks like rain.

The boot sale is the environmentally friendly way of getting rid of your unwanted clutter, and what may be rubbish to you might give someone else enormous pleasure. If you are selling, arrive early, preferably by 6 am. Take a strong torch and be prepared to deal with a particularly persistent and voracious type of small time dealer who has a tendency to dive into the boot of your car before you have had a chance to unpack your goods. It may suit you to do a deal and sell him or her a large proportion of what you have, but if you are determined to sell to the public, you will have to stand your ground and tell them firmly to leave you alone to unpack.

Be prepared to haggle or to be haggled with whether you are buying or selling. This is often the place to find the collectables of the future, but bear in mind that the dealers get there early and know just what to look for, and the most people these days know the value of their goods.

Always take cash with you, preferably in small denominations and avoid second-hand electrical goods. You risk being swooped on by trading standards officers for selling them and being electrocuted if you buy them.

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