30th September 2012
It had really been a strange week. I’d had a few calls but not many and we were in an extra newspaper this week. I decided to go in the Ipswich Star. We also decided to go in the In Touch magazines (in every Suffolk edition) and the Ipswich 24 magazine. Again, I listened to someone that tried Stonham Barns and he suggested we try the Ipswich Star because it was aimed purely at Ipswich. Stonham is not far at all from there and it’s a town. Also, a few of the Car Boots have closed for winter which would make us even more desirable to the Buyers. Especially with our intended market stalls and covers.
Our website has seen quite a lot of visitors in September and we have definitely attracted a lot of new customers to the Car Boot at Stonham Barns, both Buyers and Sellers.
The chap in question had said that he tried Stonham because a friend recommended us. He said he hadn’t heard about us! Again, where has he been… Anyway, this month we have covered Ipswich and continued to Advertise in Bury, Stowmarket, Coastal, EADT and now the Ipswich Star.
On Friday I was late setting off again as some of the boards had faced a lot of rain and needed reviving. By the time I got out it was gone 9.30 so, I needed to utilise the wet soil and act promptly. As usual I was semi working out how quickly I needed to get to Stonham in time for my evenings excitement in the pub for a quick pint. I get a few bibs on my route but so far no one has stopped for a chat… I was expecting a few insomniacs joining me for torchlight hole digging. OK, not the most enticing offer but, you never know. The wet weather really helps as the ground is constantly rock hard and I spend ages trying to dig something that doesn’t have a million stones in it.
By 10.45 I was just finishing at the junction of the A140 up to Stonham which meant that I had time for one more before the pub wouldn’t let me in. Naturally, I left myself enough time.
My mind has and constantly is constantly trying to work out how to make the field rain proof. My early attempts at working out how to secure a 100 foot tarpaulin are driving me mad but, again the best method still seems to be All Weather Market Stalls. If we have rows of stalls each with there own covers and a separate cover that stretches between the rows we would have a rain free aisle of facing stalls. This would enable us to be the first rain proof Car Boot. With Winter upon us soon we would definitely attract a good crowd as it wouldn’t take long for word to pass round. Buyers will soon be starting to look for places to go for Car Boots so, i’m anticipating a good response to this. I may initially buy 20 to 25 of these and based upon the response will then buy more and more. The one down side to having rain free market stalls is that I will have to charge extra for these stalls (they are not cheap to buy) and I will have to start to take bookings for these as i’m pretty sure that these will become very popular as it gets wetter and colder. We will still offer the normal prices for open pitches (some people are happy to cover up) but, there will be the offer of dry pitches and areas that buyers can remain dry in. Keep watching and reading for details on this but any thoughts email or call me.
I finished my pint and managed to finish all the boards without hammering my hand or tripping over anything. I was in by 12.30.
In the morning I had to collect a few things and drive to London so, my one lie in was ruined as usual. I seem to always get Car Boot calls just at the time when I drop my phone or when I’ve walked into a Tibetan Monastery. Well, you know what I mean.
Sunday was going to be another day when you just don’t know how many were going to turn up. I’m a complete nightmare person with regard to the Car Boots because I always feel that everyone will decide to just have an extra ten minutes in bed and suddenly it’s lunchtime. We’ve been pretty consistent with numbers (when the weather is ok) and Buyers turn up anticipating a Car Boot even if it’s wet. I should be more relaxed about the Car Boot but, each week i always ask myself whether I have done enough advertising or whether I could have done just a bit more. When we arrived there (incident free) at 6.15 (late today) there was already one car there and within ten minutes we had a row of people. Was that it or would everyone see that it was going to be a decent day. By 8 we had about 50 sellers and the early Buyers were already trying to be polite but, eager to see who had what there. Car Boots are always great places as you get the same people coming every week. And I mean every week. The Computer game duo, the elderly carpenter looking for the piece to renovate, the record buyers, the amateur antique buyers that always claim to have bought a masterpiece for 75p. The book buyers and even the Polish 6 that are now regular attendants. Car Boots are full of characters and each enjoys telling the other what they have been doing since the weekend before. A week of auctions, midweek car boots and in some cases full time jobs as well. The first hour is nearly always taken up with the sellers looking at the other sellers gear and then a big race to see what the once in a blue moon car booters are selling. This is why the first hour is often the busiest. Stonham is a little different as you get another rush at 9 and again at 10 as the shops open.
By ten we had 70 sellers and although it wasn’t near our best weeks we have had, we had a good crowd and a good buying crowd. I really do anticipate that the buyers will keep growing. Word is passing around that Stonham Barns Car Boot is still non commercial and there are definitely bargains to be had.
I know we will get bigger and bigger but, my aim will always be to keep the Car Boot as relaxed, laid back and enjoyable as possible. It’s Tuesday already and I’ve had a few Car Boot calls from new sellers so, with any luck, we will get a dry Sunday. As always we will be there come rain or shine and will set up.