Wednesday, August 20, 2008
It is 9.29 or thereabouts. I should be cleaning. So of course...
I've been at the boot sales a good bit this summer, getting aquainted with car booters and their little ways. I haven't bought much, because I'm afraid if I start, I won't stop, so I limit myself to the stalls in my immediate eye line when I'm selling my wares. My house is already packed floor to ceiling with crap, you see, I don't want to add to it.
Some car booters are friendly, some are grumpy and suspicious, and some are odd. It amazes me that people will get up in the rain, at 8 am on a Sunday, so they can come stick their noses into your boot before you've set up, so they can ferret out the good stuff. I can't get used to that one. It's only cakes! I say in alarm, meaning get the fuck out of it!
Cakes! And they back away in confusion. No prize designer wear or tea sets we can get off you with change from a fiver? I've really started to get, what?, get the hump with the attitude boot sale buyers have though. They refuse to recognise the intrinsic value of the things at the sale. It doesn't matter what the seller paid for them, or how good they are, because they're being sold in a field or car park instead of a shop, they refuse to pay more than a few quid for them. I could be selling a Monet, for god's sake, and they're still be trying to bargain me down to a fiver. And this goes for the cakes too - people try to bargain! I know I'm selling at a boot sale, but they're not second hand cakes, people, I didn't get them out of the attic! The ingredients cost a certain amount, as did the fuel to heat the oven, and my time is worth something too.
But my heart goes out to people who are selling these lovely things, in good condition, but can only get, literally, a few euros for them. People know they're meant to bargain, so they insist on lower prices, no matter what. For instance, one day my five year old daughter set out a few little things on the ground - a woman came along and wanted her little flowery barbie wellies, in good condition. She asked me how much, and I shrugged and said €2? She asked if I'd give her them for €1. And I did but I regret it. They're worth so much more new, they were in good condition, little used, my daughter would have been delighted to have a couple euros after, noting else sold... how stingy and mingy is it to refuse to pay €2 for something? The same day, a nice lady beside me was having a serious clear out, fresh meat! People were flocking to her - but she was selling off all these great toys for a euro each. Same with a friend of mine, she sells everything for one or two euros, nothing over a fiver. I've a good few baby things I'd love to sell, and get rid of in one fell swoop, but I've things that cost a lot of money, no way will I give them away for under ten quid - I'd rather save them for a friend who needs them, to be honest.
I don't know where it comes from, this refusal to value things, in a culture where I've seen a child's bed on sale for FOUR GRAND (in a shop which has now closed down, surprise surprise), or where every one's driving jeeps that cost what a house should. But no one will pay any money for something nice in a boot sale. Meh! People beside me in Dun Laoighre had these plastic, spiral bound presentation folders, new, nice, and were selling them for €4 or three for €10. Everyone was interested but no one was buying. This grey faced, white haired old man with a sour, mingy expression came along and asked. He sucked his teeth when he heard the price, and said 'That's very dear for a boot sale'. The woman told him they were €8 in Eason's. 'Still very dear for a booot saaale' he pronounced, in disgusted, bleating, condemnatory tones. Well, I'm sorry, but the mingy old fuck! I"m so disgusted myself, at that stingy, picky, ungenerous attitude.
People have the right to sell things, and make a bit of money at it. Fine, if it's old tat you want rid of, charge a few cent or a euro for it, but if it's brand new, why not be able to charge what it's worth? I'm sickened to think of people scouting for real antiques or items of value, while self righteously offering a pittance and mentally rubbing their hands.