Ricard jugs and vide greniers

<Photo of Ricard jugs at a vide grenier in Le Grand Bornand, France'>

Let’s start with a few statements.

1. Ricard is a popular drink in France.
2. Vide grenier sales (car boot sales or trash and treasures) are popular in France.
3. At least 10% of all stands at a vide grenier must be selling Ricard jugs.

<Photo of glass Ricard jugs also on offer at the Le Grand Bornand vide grenier, France'>I’m pretty sure #3 is the law in France.

Go to any vide grenier in France and I guarantee you will find a good variety of Ricard paraphernalia, ranging from heavy pottery jugs through to gaudy plastic ashtrays.

Ricard is an aniseed-based alcohol that’s popular in France, and it seems that every French household has nicked a jug from their local bar at some point, then realised that it looks like a nicked jug from a bar and decided to get rid of it at a vide grenier. The trouble is that everyone has the same idea.

<Photo of glass Ricard jugs also on offer at the Le Grand Bornand vide grenier, France'>Here’s the perfect example. At the end of  July, Chinaillon —a village up the road from Le Grand Bornand town centre — hosts a large vide grenier. It’s an interesting one, with original cow artwork up for offer and almost anything else you can imagine. I came away with old vinyl records, but that’s another story for another day.

Today’s story is all about Ricard ware.

These jugs, carafes and ashtrays were almost certainly freebies, yet people are trying to sell them — and for much more than the expected 50 cents. Do they ever sell? Judging by the amount I’ve seen at various vide greniers, no, they don’t.

The Ricard jug is, in fact, a gauge. Yes. They’re a form of currency exchange. Rather than show interest in the product you actually want, simply ask the  owner how much for their Ricard jug. Based on the price, you’ll get an idea of whether their prices are ridiculously high or just the standard over-inflated prices that people demand at vide greniers. Once you’ve established which stand holders are offering the best prices, you can go in for the kill on the items you want. Remember to haggle, haggle, haggle.

And when you’ve bargained your price, I dare you to ask them to bung in a Ricard jug for free.

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I'm a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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About me

Wendy Hollands writer in Annecy, France

I'm an experienced technical writer based in the French Alps. I enjoy learning French language nuances, winter sports and travel. Drop by wendyhollands.com, my other site.

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