Wednesday, August 20, 2008

ranty rant

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.


Someone Living said...

I'm ashemed t say Jo that grey haired old man sounds like my Dad. I've only been to one with him once but I had to hide in a corner while he looked extensively at a record deck he liked the look of. I think she was looking for a tenner for it. He just huffed off.

These days we value nothing, and bartering with a kid at such a thing is pretty low.

More power to you for being able to deal with these feckers, particularly with something you make with your own hands ;)

jothemama said...

Ach, I always think of great retorts after they've gone! And I let it bother me... I'm far better at dealing with the nice people.

It's a weird one though. Ask your Dad what his rationale is. Because what I've seen makes me want to pay people MORE than they're asking!

PĂ©itseoga said...

oh dear, i think you will have to start selling your wares at farmers markets, opposite attitudes there!
i can buy at car boot sales, but i couldn't sell, i prefer to give things to charity, knowing the shop values my donation, and the buyer either relies on the low prices in charity shops, or enjoys a bargain while giving to charity...

money reduces objects, it might have been a cute and loved outfit on your baby, with memories attached, but if you sell it at a car boot sale suddenly it's only 2 euros. 2 euros easily spent on a coffee. if you give it to a friend you can enjoy giving a present, and seeing it on their child, and in the 'pay it forward' frame of mind you can imagine them passing it on as a present as well. so much more value in that!

it's different if you actually really need the 2 euros. but then, shouldn't people pay you what it's worth, maybe half of what you paid if it's still in good condition?

i went to a car boot sale with a friend and we actually felt grubby after walking through it, there was so much junk sold! some stalls looked like the contents of a skip just dumped onto a blanket... then again, i got some beautiful soup cups, for 3 euros (no haggling involved), but i didn't enjoy the market...