Alice-Azania Jarvis: 'I'm getting ready to jumble again – and this time I mean business'

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The Independent Online

Istill haven't decided what to do for my birthday. But, not to worry. For now, at least, I have a temporary distraction: tomorrow I'm taking part in another jumble sale to raise money for my Save The Rhino marathon fund. Actually, I can't quite believe that this one – my second – has come round so quickly. I'm sticking with the same hosts – Let's Get Ready To Jumble, at Bar Music Hall in Shoreditch – since last time it was perfect: the exact right combination of not-too-much-pressure and plenty of foot traffic. I raised just over £140, which I was thrilled with, since very little that I sold broke the £2 threshold.

Indeed, it's a rule I plan to keep on Sunday: the number of people who commented last time on how refreshing it was to see "a jumble sale with jumble sale prices" confirmed that a high turnover of low-priced goods is infinitely superior to a low turnover of high-priced ones. I'll also be sticking with roughly the same wares: a pretty mix of jewellery, clothes, CDs and cakes.

There are, however, many things that I plan on doing differently. For one, I'll be dedicating considerably more of my stall to cakes. For all my predictions that people wouldn't buy baked goods from the same place they would buy bric-a-brac, my chocolate brownies and smartie cookies proved a hit (the former more than the latter). Tomorrow, I'll be supplementing them with a few loaf cakes, some flapjacks and, hopefully, some rocky road. One of these is bound to be heart shaped: after complaining that nowhere in east London sold decent cookie cutters, one very kind reader has sent some in (Sue Jarvis, no relation, thank you!). I'll also be making sure that my CDs are front and centre – and supplemented by unwanted books. Last time the CDs proved the biggest seller (one man very nearly cried after I told him the Miles Davis album he had been looking for his entire life was only £1) and I imagine books will have a similar effect.

And, of course, I'll be leaving some stock at home. Despite predicting that my big sales would be vintage shoes and bags, not one of them sold. Ditto the posh soaps, and the basket of scarves. Old denim, too, failed to attract any customers – and so to the charity shop it shall go. Indeed, I feel considerably better prepared this time than last. All that remains is to get a few customers along. So, yes, do join me. Anytime between noon and 6pm. I'll be at Bar Music Hall in Shoreditch, east London. It's for charity, after all!

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