A Day Out at Newark Auto Jumble

Published on 19 November 2023 at 19:46

I have to confess that I am feeling rather grumpy right now, the day didn't start too well and it didn't get any better. Newark auto jumble is usually only an hour away but with various roadworks it was nearer an hour and a half. They now charge a tenner each to get in at 8 am or 7 quid a piece if you leave it till 10. We were aiming to get there for the start of the reduced rate but actually did not get there until nearly half 10, the bonus being there was no queue to get in.

We set off at a trot as the place is huge and you would do well to get round it in the hour and a half that we had before traders would start leaving. We needn't have worried, there were only about 1/5th of the stalls that I was hoping would be there - I have never seen it so small. I hoped that I would still be able to find what I was looking for but sadly it did not happen. I did find a rear light that I wanted but wasn't prepared to pay the cloud cuckoo land price, same thing happened with a wiper switch that I needed for the hot rod - I bought one off ebay when I got home and even after the postage it was significantly cheaper. I picked up a few consumables - some angle grinder flap wheels, some abrasives, few tins of brake cleaner and stuff but I came nowhere near saving the cost of getting there and the entrance fee. The prices people were asking for bikes that were basically scrap was simply unreal. I enquired on a scruffy Aprilia RS125, I thought the price should have been about 1000-1200 in that condition, the seller wanted 2 grand for it. There was a completely roached Suzuki GT250 that would have cost a fortune to get anywhere near a decent condition, that was 2750. Last one I bought in that state was 850, after spending 1500 quid on it I think I made about 150 when I sold it - certainly not worth doing. 

I did contemplate getting us a burger each but at 13.60 without chips or drink I changed my mind, no wonder there were no queues at any of the outlets.

I hate to say it but I felt well and truly ripped off - the entrance fee plus the high prices will kill the event. The sellers I bought stuff from were doing a reasonably brisk trade, the ones asking sky high prices went home with full trailers. The bloke that got told a knackered old mudguard from an unknown machine was 20 quid nearly passed out. Fortunately he recovered enough to use a phrase that I found most amusing yet highly unprintable. The seller was incensed by this and mentioned that he was rather fed up of standing there constantly being told that his sky high prices were too high. Well, me friend, stop being so fecking greedy then. We are out of Covid lock down now, people can not and will not pay the prices stuff was getting a couple of years back. It serves nobody - yourselves included - to price stuff so high that nobody buys it.

I sell jumble myself but I sell it at jumble prices. I have a a pound box or a pound tarpaulin laid out so everybody has the chance of a bargain. I go to events like Stickney where you can have as much space as you like for a fiver, at Newark if you take a helper it's 30 quid for a pitch that is about twice the size of yer average van so as you have too park your van on it you are left with hardly any display space. You have to be very lucky to cover your costs, let along make a decent profit, I'm sure that's why so few sellers were there today. It would be wonderful to see it be the event it used to be where folk would travel long distances to be there but the way it is declining that does not seem likely.

so i came home and ordered quite a few parts from ebay, including the previously mentioned wiper switch. I still have not found the perfect seat for the Stelvio or the rear light for the Motobecane. None of the other bits for the hot rod showed themselves and as I am still waiting for the gear shaft for the Maserati that should have been done over a month ago this next week is going to be pretty much wasted. I might go and buy the Triumph drag bike I have been sorely tempted by, at least that will give me something to be getting on with. Or I may just stay sulking until the Pink Floyd back catalogue cheers me up a bit.

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