I like to profess that I am an expert in everything I come across in the world of garage sales, estate sales and auctions. While I will most likely still claim this to be true, last weekend I was definitely not on top of my game.
If you remember from my post last week, I headed out to an auction despite the snow and crummy weather. This was the right decision, but it was about the only one I made that day. I so badly wanted to find something I could flip that I was far too easily blinded by the glitter of gold, literally.
One of the auction listings was for three tubes of pure 24karat gold flake. Each tube was crammed full with gold flake, and I got really excited at the thought of buying and reselling them. I saw that there were six of these three-vile bundles, and I knew I had to have them. I even waited around for an hour just for the chance to bid on them.
The first three-vile bundle started at $50. I was only bidding against two other buyers (a positive from the bad weather), and I ended up winning the first set for $75. The auctioneer then offered me the other five bundles, and I couldn’t resist. I bought them all.
I came home, proud of my purchase; proud enough to blog about it on here! After I settled down, I started doing some research, preparing to list my winnings online. I started checking eBay for similar items and was greatly disappointed by what I found: a number of listings of viles just like mine for a much lower price than I had just paid. It turns out that even I can be blinded by an item, and I realized then that I should have been taking my own advice. I didn’t do any preemptive research before bidding. I had an hour to peruse the internet on my phone and I had done nothing of the sort. Had I done so, I would have quickly realized that while gold is going for over $1600 an ounce right now, gold flake weights next to nothing. So while I was looking at how tightly packed those viles were, a whole tube of gold flake still weighs next to nothing no matter how full it is. I clearly got too cocky, and I paid the price. Three tubes are probably only worth about $30 in a good market, not the $75 I paid.
So once again, I’ll share my advice, and hopefully this time I myself will listen! First, do your research. Whether that’s going to completed sales on eBay, or doing a general online search for the exact item. eBay is always a great place to start, but it’s not the final word on this kind of information. There are plenty of specific sites out there describing just about any item or collectible – you’ll be surprised what you can find with just a few minutes of research. And if you can’t find any information, you should consider that fact that sometimes it’s just better to walk away and plan to buy another day. If I would have followed even just one of these steps, I would not have lost money at that auction, and hopefully you won’t repeat my mistakes.
Good luck, and happy hunting!