This past weekend I re-learned a very valuable lesson. Even with all of my years of experience, I still manage to not follow my own rules, and it usually gets me into trouble. In this particular instance, I was buying a woman’s Disney collection. It was such a large collection that after going through most of the items I ran out of time and had to go home with the intention of returning another day. In my tired and lazy state, I didn’t bother to put any of our negotiations in writing before I left. I thought I had made it quite clear what i was going to buy and for what price, so I left things with just a verbal agreement.
When I returned two days later, the woman seemed to remember the deal going down very differently. Right then and there I realized that this deal was going to get complicated. We went over the things little by little until she remembered what we actually agreed upon. After going through all of the negotiations a second time, I had learned my lesson. If you can’t have the deal complete in one visit, you need to write down exactly what you’re buying, what price you’re going to pay and when you’ll be picking it up. Make two copies of your notes and have all parties involved sign it.
I understand that a lot of people like to work on a handshake alone. It’s possible you might even insult someone if you ask them to document and sign your agreement, but you have to see this not as a contract, but as a way to make sure you see eye to eye. If you want to avoid the frustration I went through, this is a simple solution. When your terms are documented, there’s no way for anyone to forget the details.
If you were curious how my situation ended, the woman agreed to complete the deal as I remembered it. I came home with boxes and boxes of Disney collectibles, and I now have the fun task of going through everything item by item and listing it in my gallery on eBay. For any of you that would like to check out everything I walked away with, feel free to follow my shop on eBay. I’m listed under celmasters (sorry for the shameless plug!).
As a friendly reminder, my brand new, hardbound book, The Garage Sale Millionaire, is now available! If you purchase through my website, I’ll sign the book for free (use the coupon code MAGNIFY)!