Local car boot sales (or trunk sales in North America) offer a number of advantages to the buyer and to the seller that local markets would not generally provide. Before discussing these let's spend just a little time explaining what a car boot sale is and the form it usually takes.
As the name suggests, the sale is made from the boot or trunk of a car. As a seller, you would load up your car boot or trunk, plus your rear seats if needed, with the goods you want to sell. These could comprise the contents of your attic you no longer want, or in many cases even new goods at a discount price: in this respect many marker traders use local car boot sales as a means of carrying out their normal trade.
You pay a price for your pitch, basically a parking area in a field, school playground or designated car park, and sell either directly from the boot or from a trestle table brought along for the purpose. Stalls are not commonly available for such sales, and they are not held as frequently as a normal local market: perhaps annually or quarterly. People generally do not need to get rid of unwanted items more regularly that, and such events are not intended as just another outlet for regular market traders.
Here, we shall discuss the benefits of local car boot sales to both buyers and sellers, and then discuss some of the legal aspects that both of these groups of people should be aware. Although not monitored as closely as regular retail outlets, boot sales are nevertheless generally subject to the same retail laws as are normal storekeepers or even local weekend market traders.
The seller can first and foremost make money from their unwanted belongings that might otherwise have been thrown out in the trash. Many Australian communities can use what are known as 'nature strips'; small areas of green ground outside their homes where they can place unwanted items to be taken away by anybody that wants them. However, this does not apply to all, particularly to those living in cities and large towns, and is not a common custom in most other parts of the world.
Even for them, though, a local car boot sale is better because if they are disposing of their unwanted items at a time close to such a sale being held, then they can make money from them. Some that live in areas where such sales are held regularly, even if just once annually, will hoard their unwanted goods in a garage or shed until the sale comes along. In fact, to many it is a social occasion where they meet friends, sell their stuff and then mingle socially.
Another benefit to a certain type of seller is that they can sell off stolen or fraudulent goods. This is something for you to be aware of because, once sold, there will be no way for a buyer to prove from whom the goods were purchased because receipts are rarely given at boot sales. However, that's a risk you take when buying from any type of market: a local Sunday market, flea market or boot sale.
The most obvious benefit of local car boot sales to buyers, and one that most people are always hoping to come across, is purchasing an item of high value for very little money. Everybody hopes to find an unsigned Picasso or genuine Minton vase, but such finds are rarer than rare. However, it is possible to pick up Clarice Cliff pieces cheaply, or even the occasional painting for a fiver that is worth five thousand. More rarely, it is even possible to find old Japanese pottery that's worth a bob or two and at least one person has discovered a piece of Faberge jewelry at a car boot sale!
Nevertheless, people are becoming more aware of the value of their antiques due to the plethora of TV shows on the subject. It all started with Antiques Roadshow, which not only led to a sudden popular interest in such sales, but also an increasing awareness of the potential value of one's old rubbish! So such 'finds' are rarer than they once were!
Another benefit to buyers is the possibility of haggling. In fact, haggling is expected at boot sales, another habit learned both from antiques shows and the expansion of foreign holidays introducing people to the purchasing habits on other countries, where haggling is expected and prices are pitched high in expectation of them being 'knocked down'.
All in all, a local car boot sale is a great experience for many people, and a change to their normal shopping and browsing habits. They can find anything from antiques and unwanted garden implements to tools, toys and tea sets. Most sellers are unaware of the true value of the items they are selling, and it is easy to get a good bargain.
If you are selling at a local car boot sale, you should be aware of buyers' and sellers' rights and where you stand in respect of trading and consumer regulations. If you are selling goods, check first with the organizer that your items are permitted, because some sales have strict rules about what can be sold.
You should not sell anything that is illegal or that has been recalled and could therefore be dangerous. Electric goods, for example, should first be tested for safety. You are not permitted to label anything in a misleading fashion, such as offering a false Rolex as a 'Rolex', or designer 'knock-offs' unless they are stated not to be originals.
A seller should also check on the insurance situation, and may be advised to take out occasional personal liability insurance in case anybody is injured at their pitch. Maybe you have a tarpaulin on which you have placed your goods, and somebody trips on it and injures themselves. You could be held legally liable. Also make sure you turn up on time, or your pitch could be given to somebody else.
Buyers should keep in mind that they will rarely be given a guarantee, and you will get a receipt only if you ask for one, which very few do. You should always test everything you buy, but keep in mind when purchasing electrical goods that they can rarely be tested, and by the time you get home, find it dud and return, the seller could be long gone. Sellers are extremely difficult to trace, so once you leave the area with your goods you will likely be stuck with them if they are not what you thought them to be.
In conclusion, then, a local car boot sale offers advantages both to buyers and to sellers. While you can get some great bargains at such sales, and even the odd rare find, you may also be sold a lemon, and if your instincts or gut feeling tells you that something might be a bit dodgy, or a price seems that bit too cheap, then don’t take the chance.
Nevertheless, most people have a good time, and it is only occasionally that somebody feels let down by what they have bought. Local car boot sales are very popular when they are held, but by their nature, genuine sales of unwanted goods rarely take place more than once or twice a year in each area. If you find one, you are almost certain to enjoy browsing and hoping that you come across that great find!
Organizing a school fete begins many months before the actual event, and its success will depend to a very large extent upon how thorough your preparations have been. The more planning and preparation then the smoother the fete should run. For that reason, the preparation is the first aspect of the event that we should discuss. First you need a committee.
It is essential that you get a good committee together, comprising dedicated people whose major objective is for the fete to run smoothly. The qualities you should seek in your committee members are enthusiasm and motivation, free time and also experience in organizing school fetes.
The principal school fete committee members should be selected on the basis of experience and ability: these are the Chairperson, the Secretary and the Treasurer. The chairperson will be responsible for maintaining order during meetings and could be somebody in a senior position in the school or the community who wants to help.
The secretary will be responsible for informing members of committee meeting dates and times, for taking minutes of meetings and for disseminating information to the other committee members that is relevant to their function.
The treasurer will look after the money: banking, accounts and making payments, but will not be solely responsible for fund raising. That should be the job of another member of the committee who should approach local businesses and so on for donations, and also organize fund raising events.
Then you will require members responsible for specific aspects of organizing a school fete, namely:
and so on.
Much of this depends on the size, scope and location of your school fete, and facilities such as power and toilets might already be available. If not, then somebody must be made responsible for their sourcing, acquisition and maintenance. Power has to be paid for, and you will need a committee member responsible for addressing that problem.
Each committee member should be empowered, where appropriate, to form subcommittees of interested parents, children or members of the public to help them with their duties. Some of the duties in the above list are too expansive to be carried out effectively by just one person, but it is never a good idea to appoint more than one person. That can create a conflict of ideas, so only one should be appointed who can then lead their own self-appointed team.
You should check with your local authority whether or not they have specific regulations relating to school fetes. There might be specific safety regulations you have to observe, such as maximum numbers permitted to attend the event in a specific area, you might need a license and you might have to carry out a health and safety assessment before being granted that. Just check and make sure.
The date is very important and should not, if possible, conflict with any other planned events. Do not, for example, plan your school fete during a test match, for the day of the Melbourne Cup, a Tri Nations game or on the Sunday of the Melbourne Grand Prix, particularly if these sporting events are televised.
Check with other schools when their fetes are to be, and just as important, inform them of the date you have chosen. Yours might not conflict with theirs, but they might be able to inform you of some other reason why your choice is not the best!
If you intend having a bouncy castle, fairground rides or any other event or feature that has to be booked in advance, do so as soon as your date has been settled - but make sure that your date is cast in stone, because you can't go around changing dates after booking portable toilets, entertainers, ice cream vans or carnival rides.
Also book the venue: don't just assume that the field will be free on that day or that there will be ample car parking. In fact, a major aspect of organizing a school fete is getting everything together on the same day, at the right time and at the same place. That's why you need so many committee members with one focusing on each of these.
Somebody will have to be made responsible for making sure that everything goes smoothly on the day. You can appoint a committee member for that, such as the secretary or chairman, or co-opt somebody just for that responsibility. Your MC for the day need not attend all committee meetings other than those leading up to the event, and should be selected just for that purpose.
You could also appoint your entertainment and sound committee member for the task, but they must be gregarious and extrovert and able to move around the area quickly. Some people responsible for organizing a school fete appoint two people for this job: one to look after the announcements and one responsible for the general organization of the school fete.
You will also need a responsible person that will take control in the event of an emergency, such as major accident or a panic. Panics can be cause by uncontrollable events such as bee swarms and fights. They do happen, so have somebody available to take charge, and make sure the entire committee knows who that is.
Your advertising member should be responsible for press adverts (local or national), posters and leaflets around town and also for programs for the day. Bundles of leaflets can be left in shops, post offices, sport clubs, bars and so on, and posters displayed according to local regulations.
Local radio can be approached for a free advertising slot, and also community radio stations that broadcast to hospitals and care homes. You don't expect the patients to get up and attend, but their visitors and the staff might hear the adverts! Every little helps.
The pupils should also be given leaflets to take home: each could promote one specific stall once they have been allocated, and a pupil could be allocated to that stall to drum up support for it on the day. If your school has a newsletter use that, and it is always a great idea to ask the children how they would promote it if they were responsible. Good educationally and practically!
This is where it is very important that the responsibilities of each committee member are made clear at the very first meeting. You want no arguments down the line about who is responsible for the posters and leaflets. The secretary or the advertising member? Who organizes the children on fete day? All these questions should have been resolved well before the event.
The program for the day should include a timetable of events and a map of the area if appropriate. Some school fetes can be extremely large covering several acres, and it may be appropriate to include a map with a program that can be handed to everybody entering - perhaps when they pay for entry? Check on the question of charging with the school.
Finally, make sure that the cleaning up afterwards is organized. You might have a committee member responsible for this, but you could get the children and parents involved to avoid the committee spending all evening bagging trash. Make sure there are plenty trash bins on site, and then it will simply be a matter of rounding them up, or making an arrangement with the local authority cleansing department.
Make all of these arrangements in advance, hold adequate committee meetings to make sure everything is progressing and you will find that organizing a school fete is not as difficult a job as you feared it might be.
Farmer's markets offer fabulous opportunities to buy and sell organic fruit and vegetables. Such weekend markets, normally held on a Saturday or Sunday, offer fresh organic produce straight from the fields and orchards at prices significantly lower than you will find in the organic section of a greengrocer or a supermarket.
It is exceptionally rare to find such fresh produce in a supermarket, which will generally tend to store produce for months in cold storage before it hits the shelves. The farmers and food producers benefit because they have more control over their prices, and by attending a number of different markets they can help to maintain the viability of their business.
However, what are the benefits for you, the consumer? Why should you spend part of your valuable weekend browsing round a farmer's market and checking the range of produce available? The initial reaction of many is that the produce must be very expensive, and they would be unlikely to buy anything - but why? And is that in fact the case?
Sure, the prices of many fruits and vegetables will be a bit higher than you are used to paying at a supermarket, but what is more important: price or quality? Not only that, but they are not all that expensive and you get the chance to purchase high quality fresh organic fruits and vegetables at competitive prices - generally lower than the price you would pay for equivalent fresh food anywhere else.
The food comes directly from the farmer to you, and absolutely fresh - not several weeks or even months old. In many ways it is actually more economical for you to buy food this way because:
Without the waste of over-purchasing or of old food deteriorating quickly, fresh organic produce can actually work out cheaper than supermarket fruit and vegetables. Many shop at farmer's markets just because of this very single reason. However, there is more than just that.
Many say they can't tell the difference between organic and chemically grown food, but studies1 have indicated that most can. A 5-year European Commission2 study confirmed a considerable difference between organic and conventionally farmed crops3 and this has been supported by other studies. However, the UK Food Standards Agency disagrees4. Nevertheless, most Australians believe the common-sense attitude that fruit and vegetables left to ripen naturally in the sun, rather than packed in dark boxes, will taste better - and in fact will actually have a taste!
Not only that, but organic food is grown without the poisonous insecticides that generate damaging free radicals in your body, another scientifically accepted fact - without arguments this time! Free radicals age your skin quicker and can cause atherosclerosis, a condition of your arteries that can cause strokes and heart disease. However, as long as the food is washed there should be no problems.
If you are not sure about the taste, many growers will allow you a free sample to taste before you buy. Try getting that in a supermarket!
Among the benefits of farmer's markets are those that are beneficial to the environment:
Hundreds of thousands of tons of fruit and vegetables are wasted every year for a number of reasons. A major reason is the lack of freshness of supermarket produce that has a very limited time on the shelves at room temperature before they have to be removed and binned.
People forced to purchase pre-packed fruit and vegetables cannot use them all before they become inedible for the same reason - lack of freshness. We must all have purchased fruit that we have had to trash because it went rotten before we use it. Farmer's markets enable you to purchase exactly what you want, and if you overbuy it's no big deal. The food is very fresh and will last until you need it.
A visit to a farmer's market is a great day out for all the family. Many have entertainment and funfairs, with burger bars and ice cream vans. Many farmer's markets in Australia are integrated with other weekend markets, so you can have a whole shopping experience, buying not only fresh organic fruit and vegetables but also arts and crafts, hand-made clothing and a whole host of other stuff.
Or just enjoy wandering around, trying the free samples. You are not obliged to buy anything and you might come across something you have never tried before. Maybe some local honey, hand-made soap or beautiful-tasting bright red strawberries or raspberries, hand-picked this morning and grown without any artificial fertilizers or pesticides. And these massive pure white crisp cauliflowers also look very tasty. . .
There are no doubts at all in the minds of those that visit them that of all the benefits of farmer's markets, the freshness and gorgeous taste of organic fruit and vegetables is the one that draws them every single week. However, as explained above, there are more benefits than just one, including your health, the health of the countryside and the health and nourishment of your children.
That is not to say that supermarket produce is unhealthy - far from it - but come on, which would you rather eat? A tasty red crunchy carrot less than a day old, or a limp orange thing going by the name of a carrot that was grown 2,000 miles away and picked by machine a few months ago . . .
Here are some references to show that others can back up what we say:
The main objective of a stallholder at a weekend market is to sell as much as he or she possibly can. Selling from a stall involves specific skills that are not needed in mall stores, for example, so here are some tips on how to maximize your market stall sales.
You can't beat local markets for variety, and a Sunday market in particular offers you the chance to have a great day out with your family. Many Sunday markets, such as Maitland Markets in Maitland, New South Wales, are open from 8 am and close around 2 pm. That enables you to visit the market with your family either before church or after it, and make the first Sunday in each month a truly memorable day to which you can look forward every month.
You don't have to purchase anything because there is a great deal to see and admire, from the beautiful hand-crafted jewelry and children's toys on display to antiques and memorabilia from Australia in days gone by. You can even have your fortune told by Tarot cards if dare, while there is no need for you or the kids to hungry with teas, ice creams, burgers and fabulous home-made confections.
Many local markets, particularly Maitland Markets that is open on the first Sunday of each month, have been set up for charity, and you can enjoy wandering around the stalls knowing that while you are helping deserving charities you are also supporting local craftsmen and women to maintain their businesses and continue to create unique and beautiful items that reflect the culture of Australia in general and New South Wales in particular. This Sunday market is focused more than others on local produce and crafts.
Traditional markets are a key part of the heritage of any country, and deliver benefits well beyond simply offering you and your family a nice Sunday morning and afternoon out. Such markets can help to maintain local communities through the visitors and tourists they attract, and bring much-needed cash into small towns and villages.
However, by far the greatest attraction of local markets, particularly weekend Sunday markets is that you can have a wonderful time looking at and admiring hand-made crafts that you will find nowhere else. You will be able to purchase unique items for your home that you can be sure that nobody else will have. Many of the crafts sold at local markets in Australia such as Maitland Markets, are unique: your neighbour is unlikely to have the same beautiful hand-made light fitting as you have just purchased, and you won't bump into anybody at the next wedding you attend wearing your beautiful hand-fashioned brooch.
If you love crafts, then you will have a great time at the 600 plus stalls at Maitland Markets because you will find a massive range of home-made crafts such as candles, jewellery and beautiful scrapbooks. If you have the kiddies with you then blindfold them, or you will be pestered with demands for the wonderfully crafted toys that their friends don't have. Unfortunately you will have to bring your own blindfolds! So make sure you bring a bit extra cash - or maybe they will be bribed off with some lovely ice cream!
Speaking of children, Maitland Markets lets them enjoy the antics of week-old chicks at the right time of year, and also other livestock, though for obvious reasons not all livestock and pets can be shown every week. Nevertheless, there is enough to keep all family members occupied at a Sunday market in New South Wales, and many visit after church, as previously mentioned, or finish off a Sunday morning walk in the park with a visit to the local outdoor market.
Local markets really have something for everybody, and even the most frugal of Scrooges rarely visit one and come away with nothing. Sunday markets have so much to offer, and if you are disabled, then don't worry. Most will cater for you, particularly Maitland Markets who provide facilities for all forms of disability and can even advise on interpreters for non-English speakers.
Due mainly to all the TV programs on the subject it is becoming increasingly more difficult to find a 'National Treasure' in junk shops and antique markets these days. However, you can always strike lucky, and the antiques stalls at local markets, and Maitland Markets in particular, might just have that undetected Clarice Cliff pot or a Tom Roberts or Ken Done painting hidden amongst the other stuff on sale - many can't recognize the works of good Australian artists, so you never know"! It's worth thinking about, and certainly warrants a visit once a month!
These are just a few reasons for visiting local markets, and if you are anywhere near Maitland, New South Wales, then Maitland Markets is certainly a Sunday market that you should not miss - whether you are a visitor or you live in the area. It is a fascinating place to wander round on a Sunday morning and it is only one day a month so it's not committing you every week.
Your kids will love it, your partner will love it, and most of all, you will love it! If you don't, then drown your sorrows with a coke, burger and cheesecake, or some gourmet coffee - roasted and ground exactly to your requirements. If you and your family enjoy spending a Sunday morning and lunchtime browsing round a Sunday market, then there is something at Maitland Markets for everybody!
posted at: 00:39