In praise of jumble sales

Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
43.9K Posts
Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
Dedicated money savers will learn who runs the best ones in their area and turn up early. I've saved a fortune on books over the years, and have a good stock still waiting to read. I've also had a smashing set of plain glass tumblers (to replace the ones we'd already smashed ;D), duvet covers, cushion covers, small desk, chairs, handbags and, of course, clothes! 2 silk shirts for me, and at 20p each I don't mind putting them in the tumble drier! There is always a huge pile of baby clothes: I spent next to nothing on clothes for my boys until they reached that age where boys go through the knees and elbows in record time ...

The best sort, IMO, are those where the stock is good quality but the prices are rock bottom. At some sales the prices are too dear to buy anything which you're not 100% sure about. You can try haggling, but it doesn't always work. You can also stay to the bitter end and see if they reduce prices then. At other sales they just want to get rid of as much stuff as possible in order to reduce the mountain left to dispose of at the end! That's the sale for you.

Better yet, if you have any connection with an organisation running Jumble Sales, offer to help! Check what their policy is: most are very happy for helpers to buy before the sale opens, and if they're snooty about it, it's probably not the sale for you ...

Whether you're helping or buying, taking a tape measure (and knowing what sizes you're looking for) can save grief. Also know where you want to head first: there is often a scrum around the curtains and sheets so good stuff can go fast.
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  • vanoonoovanoonoo Forumite
    1.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I used to love going to jumble sales - great fun! you do have to beware of old ladies elbows in your ribs though, they are very sharp!!!

    my mum is one of the few peopleI know that can go to a jumble sale and come out with a profit. she always seem to find the handbag with a semi precious stone ring in it or a coat with a load of loose change stuck in the lining.

    haven't been to a jumble sale for ages - they don't seem to have many round this area - it's all craft fairs and auctions ::)
  • I think ebay and car boots have seen off many traditional church hall type sales. Shame really they were good fun...
  • FranFran Forumite
    11.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    I think ebay and car boots have seen off many traditional church hall type sales.  Shame really they were good fun...

    I bet you were one of the sharp elbowed ones then :)

    Car boot sales are fun to take part in. Once you've made your £3 or whatever it costs it doesn't matter what you get. I enjoy the bargaining that goes on between buyer and seller. If you are selling though, you have to avoid doing any buying or what was the point (if a profit was the point).
    Torgwen.......... :) ...........
  • I haven't been to a good jumble since I was a child and then it was more the home baking stall that appealled - no sharp elbows requires, and if you had them then a swipe with a handbag was probably coming your way (do you remember when every woman seemed to carry a handbag?).

    The local school still does "bring and buy" but they are just not the same and as for car boots it is so hard to find one that has anything going for it these days.

    You've got me yearning for "the good old days" now! Stop it, I am not that old!
  • mistymisty Forumite
    1K Posts
    Only jumble sales i've been to have had horrible tat I wouldn't give house room to. :( Generally, take place in school/church halls and any good stuff nabbed before it was open!!!
  • I think it was the growth of charity shops that killed off jumble sales.

    You still get some good ones though. My local church did one which was part jumble sale, part table sale - so most of the stalls were volunteers but a few were people charged £5 to bring their own stuff to sell.

    Pensioners go mad at them though, especially on the clothes stalls, it's like piranhas at feeding time, with cardies flying in the air....I saw one old boy on the bric a brac stall just shovelling armfulls of tat into his wally trolley!
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