Saturday, November 4, 2017

I'll give you five for the lot - adventures with a car boot sale.

The alarm went off at 4:45am. Hideous timing for a Sunday morning for sure but as they say, the early bird gets to get to setup for a car boot sale early, or something.
And that's where we found ourselves, ready to make a vast fortune by offloading a lot of our unwanted junk.

Great idea in theory, I just didn't expect to end up reaching for the degreaser and Solvo soap at the end of it..


4:45AM: Alarm goes off and my first urge is to completely ignore it and pretend it never happened. However I crawl into a shower, get the kids ready and get to have one sip of my morning coffee before we jump into the cars loaded up the night before and haul wheels to the local high school where the car boot sale is on. 

Tigers, give me strength..

5:35AM: Drive in and notice everyone is using a table. We're not, apparently it said in the booking form not to use a table. Guess what we didn't pack? Didn't notice any table police, should have snuck one in anyway. 

5:45AM: Make the joke about selling everything and the kitchen sink to the boot stall next to mine who just so happens to be selling a kitchen sink. Jokes goes down as well as a fart in church but I'm very pleased to hear later that I'm not the only idiot to point it out. 

6:15AM The hardest working stall there (read: The coffee van) gets my business. Today's profit off to a very bad start.

6:30AM: Explaining to the wife that 'we'll just buy a cheap breakfast from the bbq' I discover the bbq is the one and only food stall and it's not cheap at all. $38 later for a couple of egg and bacon rolls and snags in a roll for the kids and the chants of 'we're hungry' stop for at least fifteen minutes. Happy at this stage to break even for the day, even though we haven't sold anything.

7:45AM: Our first sale! It's a box of 6 small jars! $4 in the coffers! Shoot me now!

We're in here! Somewhere..

8:15AM: Take the kids over to the kids area for a 5 minute timed jump on the inflatable castle. Of course when time is up, a mini riot almost breaks out. On the way out of the kids zone, we get collared by a school coordinator and convinces my son Jackson to get his face painted for just $2. I then discover the girl doing the face painting has never done this before and spends as much time on my son's face as Leonardo Di Vinci did on the Mona Lisa. Looks good but three ice ages passed since she started and while that was going on...

8:30AM: Someone is finally interested in my junk and offers a mere $10 for all of my cheap xbox 360 games (all five). Luckily my wife flat out said no and he begrudgingly coughed up another $5 for them. Considering only 1 other stall was selling them and at $10 a pop, he got a bargain.

8:40AM: Exploring while Jackson gets the royal face treatment, I wander off into...well I'm not sure. A tribute to the goddess of American housing affordability?

8:45AM: Before I even have the chance to say 'Wait, where did my stuff go?' after my return my wife manages to sell my chess set, rotary number plate and something else I've completely forgotten. I should walk off and go an do something else more often.

9:00AM: Two girls start walking around the markets shouting prices for things they were holding up. My favorite time was when they walked around with a pair of shoes shouting "Ten dollars...I think."

9:30AM Bored of the sale, the lovely Scottish lady next to us starts giving us things but it's nothing we want, nor need. No thanks to the stuffed Caterpillar nor the warm jumper. We're fine thanks.

9:50AM (Ten mins before closing) Given that I'm the only one selling a computer (which didn't sell by the way) another stall holder wanders over and offers me a color printer/scanner to go with it for free as she has no use for it and doesn't want to take it home. Done deal! However minutes later I noticed one hand has started to go black as my free prize is leaking. I manage to salvage the cords but pop the rest in the box for a future trip to the e-waste recyclers. What a score!

10:25AM Home, exhausted. A few more pennies in the pocket, a few less bits of junk in the wagon. Of course my next investment is a quick trip to the supermarket for a cab of degreaser and a bar of Solvo before my free printer explosion gives my hand a nasty ailment and makes it drop off or something. 

With this insane level of success and excitement, I sure can't wait til the next one!...


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