Monday, May 19, 2014

Learning to compete

“She’s a dealer.  You can’t compete with her.”

Oh, really, I thought.  The gentleman to my left was just trying to be helpful as he watched me “lose” again to the well-dressed woman at the auction on Saturday night.

Ella and I decided at the last minute on Saturday to drive to an auction in a nearby town, about an hour away.  We arrived on time, but had to sit toward the back due to the crowd. I’d rather sit in front to see the merchandise better, but our vantage point allowed me to watch the crowd, and see who the serious bidders were.

And the well-dressed woman was a serious bidder.  She and I bid on many of same items, with me bowing out first usually once the price got out of my comfort zone.  Still, saying that I couldn’t compete with her ruffled my feathers a bit, even though, technically, it was true.  She was a more confident bidder that night, either based on knowledge or having deeper pockets. I took some consolation, though, that I was able to run the bid up on her.  Petty, I know.

Ella and I did manage to bid on and win some items for our antique booth, which is actually starting to be stocked with actual “antiques” and collectibles, as well as our usual misfit toy store items.  I’m still not satisfied with the way it looks, but I am trying to temper my impatience, given that the booth is not quite three months old, and hasn’t lost money yet.  In fact, we’re already in the black for the month with two weeks to sell.

We are trying to add more collectibles and fewer toys to our booth
Elsewhere in our little corner of the world, we are preparing for a trip to the Memphis Film Festival in early June. This year, we are bringing a truckload of western memorabilia and DVDs, and have rented two tables on which to display and sell our wares.  In past years, we just walked around, and Ella spent money on pictures with the western stars.  This year, I hope to make a little money while Ella is spending money, and hopefully at least break even.  I also have this crazy idea about live blogging the event, although I haven’t worked out the details yet. 

Ella is looking forward to meeting Cheyenne, Billy the Kid, Jim West and Maverick
Sales have been steady on Amazon, but well short of my goals.  Ebay has been dead, which is my fault because I’ve been neglecting it.  I still have plenty of inventory to list, though.  I just need to make the time to “get 'er done.”

On a somewhat sad note, this is Duc’s last week with us.  He graduates Friday night, and leaves after Memorial Day.  I’ll talk about Duc more later in the week.

Stay productive, everyone.


  1. I can't believe it's time for the Film Festival already. That was a fast year! You're going to do so well with your western memorabilia, I just know it. I wish Duc all the best. I really enjoyed reading about him. As for ebay, I made a whopping $55 last week. That won't pay the bills, so I gotta go get 'er done too.

  2. Time flies when you are having fun, or when you get older, as my case is.

  3. I've found it difficult to compete with the 'dealers' at storage unit auctions, too. However, I've found that the ones I'm usually up against won't show up to the auctions in what they perceive to be as bad neighborhoods. They think the units there are full of junk. Many of them are, but there are always some that are full of treasures, and I get them at great prices because the 'dealers' are off spending big money in pricier areas of town :).

    1. Do you do well with the storage auctions? I've purchased one unit, and it was really too much for me to handle, stuff-wise.

    2. I've done really well with them, but they are a lot of work. The auctions are usually early in the morning. Once we've paid for ours, we empty it out (usually 2-3 trips with the truck). Then everything gets sorted in the yard- total garbage in one pile, stuff to donate in another pile, stuff to sell in another pile. Then, we start cleaning everything we're keeping. Finally, the stuff we keep gets stored in totes and put inside. It's about a 16-18 hour day, but it helps me get through the winter months around here when the thrift stores like to jack up the prices and there are no garage sales to be found.