Car boot sales

In Britain they’re known as ‘car-boot sales’, in the US as ‘garage sales’, but in France as vide greniers (literally: emtpy-attics).  In all cases the formula is pretty much the same – people gather somwhere to sell all the junk they don’t want for a knock-down price.

These are not to be confused with brocantes (antiques markets) or marchés aux puces (flea markets) where the majority of stall holders are professionals, or indeed a bourse (exchange / swap event) usually committed to a single commodity such as books or bikes.

Today there’s a vide-grenier in the La Krutenau quartier of Strasbourg and tomorrow there’s a fairly large one going on in Mutzig – a large village to the west of the city.

What’s nice about attending a vide-grenier hereabouts is that it is often a good excuse to have a wander around some of the lesser known villages/quartiers of Alsace, and enjoy the festival atmosphere that the presence of a vide-grenier often brings with it. There’s always ice-cream, beer and tartes-flambées to be had; and in some of the larger towns and villages a little entertainment will often be put on too.

But the question is – how do you find out where and when the next one will be?  Well there is a national website listing all the official events in France:  The site lists all the upcoming second-hand sales events by date, type and geography and gives you contact details (where appropriate) should you want to set up your own stall.

So there you are – some useful information for once.

3 responses to “Car boot sales”

  1. I had a stall at a VG a couple of weeks ago – I earned about 45 euros. I ended up having a great time, buying lots of crap I didn’t need and even got accused by an elderly French couple of nicking the 10 euros they had not given me. Must be my honest face!
    Mya x

  2. I find that sellers in France, charge way too much for items that more often than not deserve to be in the bin.

    • You’re not wrong – they simply don’t understand the principle of market forces. i.e. Something’s only worth what someone’s willing to pay for it. auction items are usually posted at a starting price equal to what they’d like to sell it for. Bidding on ebay is therefore a total waste of time in France.

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