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How to Bargain in France !


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At a huge car boot sale near Talmont St Hilaire (Vendee ) last month I spotted a Cast Iron bell with wall  bracket on which was mounted a cast iron a pig  standing on a hill top .....on asking the price I was told it was 10 euros ....I repeated the price to the seller ....I must have sounded surprised to him..........he replied   OK 7 Euros .....!   I do love a bargain ....Have you found one lately ?
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Black Levi 501 , look like they have never been worn ....1 Euro.....perfect fit.  Week later another vide grenier stone washed levis 50cents!!!!

Eastpack rucksack in Pink ,guy wanted 2 euros, 10 year old fluttered her eyelashes and routed in her change purse and accepted a euro coin.

Computer monitor 5 euros.....been working perfectly now for over a year. Touch wood!!

le crueset casserole  another euro well spent ...oh and a stainless steel lasagne tray , looked brand new (now well used) for a euro too1

The list is endless

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  • 4 weeks later...

Opas, I think I might move to your area!  Round here the brocantes seem to sell nothing but tat.  Horrendously overpriced tat at that.  Despite that I still like to go and have a wander round.  I did buy a dear little armchair at one brocante despite the price as I thought it would fit beautifully on my landing, which it does.  Congratulations to you and federick anyway.  You obviously have an eye for a bargain!


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My friend Andre says the English do not know how to bargain and always pay too much at brocantes. He was showing me his latest acquisitions, a brass bell (he collects them) that he got for 1 euro and an ornate tankard (which his wife collects). The very good quality tankard had an asking price of 20 euros - but he paid 5. 

He says the secret is to be polite and friendly but ruthless. Show you are interested - sellers don't like time-wasters - but start off with an extremely low offer and don't budge from it. Don't mention another price. Let the seller haggle with you. When you have established what he claims is his "bottom price", say you would like to have it but it's still too much. If he doesn't offer to come down to your price, begin to walk away. He reckons the seller will inevitably call you back and do a deal.

He never pays the asking price and says sellers don't expect to get it. Then again, he seems to enjoy the contest as much as securing a bargain. So I might just take him with me when I next visit a brocante.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh the sheer joy of the Brocante! Mostly tat at the last one I went to and over 400 stalls too. However I did manage to get a Dartington decanter for 2 euros. Well pleased. Looking forward to the next one near Lens on Dec 8th , over 500 stalls apparently.


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This summer at a local village brocante I bought a pair of genuine italian Ray Ban sunglasses still in the original box, unworn and still with the sticker over one lens for 5 euros, - for once I didnt haggle[:)]

It wasnt a trader selling loads of sunglasses but just one pair on the vide grenier table of an individual, I have bought enough fake sunglasses in the past to be certain that they are real.

Last week I saw the same pair in my local opticians window, they were the only pair where the price tag was at the wrong angle to read but all the others ranged between 130 and 170 euros.

At the same brocante or rédérie as they are called here I also bought an as new and unused boxed set of lapel pins of the following historic Formula 1 marques:

 Lola, March, Tyrell, Lotus, Matra and Brabham

A collectors dream and the perfect accessories for a period costume for the Goodwood festival of speed or revival.

The price asked? - One euro! Again I didnt have the heart to haggle[:D]

I will give them a punt (individually) on E-bay before next years events.

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oops done it again!


this morning I have been to another vide grenier...our eldest has been telling me she MUST have a new coat.....the fact that I bought a winter coat for her in january (we do have a very short winter down here) that one is not this years fashion!  her mate had one of these MUST have fashion items from Etam , only 80 euros i was informed!  So this morning whilst browsing I spot what a person of my age (late 40s) would call a crombie coat in MUST have black!  so I paid the asked for 2 euros, It is wool and could do with a dry clean. She is over the moon , apparently it is a Mark(which I have never heard of[:-))]) she tried it on and is a great fit, she shoved her hands in the pockets and brought our some receipts, a pack of tissues ,a shopping list and a Euro coin!

Also bought a wheel with a new tyre on it that will fit our trailor(we have one bald tyre) if the rim turns out to be bent then the tyre will be put onto our rim.....3 euros, would cost 20 euros for just the tyre at our local trailor shop.

I keep a diary in my hand bag with sizes/measurements of stuff I need so I do not have to guess .

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It amazes what "rubbish" is put out for sale at the vide greniers and the brocantes (sorry if spellings aren't quite right). Great places to go for a bargain.  And poor things, the stall holders, they have to stay out all day unlike the car boot sales in the UK that only last a couple of hours.

Most seen thing - roller blades.  Last vide grenier, we counted 15 on sale.  We only wanted one pair and got them very cheaply.

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