Here's another garage sale find falling under the “I don’t know what that guy was thinking” category. I recently found two vintage mechanical toys which I bought cheap and sold, well...not so cheap. I got such a deal on these that after sharing the story with a friend he gave me the overused, "Boy, you took advantage of that guy!" That's a common critique you hear people throw out sometimes. Needless to say, it's a theory I don’t buy into. Let's be real...we all know it takes almost no effort for a seller to look up an item’s value on eBay before pricing it. So it's not the buyer's fault when a seller doesn't bother to do a little homework. Conversely, there are plenty of sellers who quote you a price and back it up with the definitive statement, "I looked it up on eBay". (And boy do I hear that a lot.) So while some sellers take the time to do their research, others don't bother. Naturally, I prefer the ones who don't bother!
This mechanical tin toy is a case in point. The guy who sold it to me was in his mid-Fifties and said it was a childhood toy of his. It was a space capsule modeled after the Gemini spaceships from the early Sixties. With a flick of the switch, it spun around, beeped and the door opened revealing an astronaut. Very cool right? I'll bet you don’t even have do an eBay "price check" to figure out it’s worth a lot of money!
So guess what the seller charged me for his childhood toy? Would you believe one dollar? Before you accuse me of taking advantage of the poor fella, let me assure you he seemed lucid and bright. So how to explain a guy selling me a vintage collectible tin toy for a buck? Maybe he didn’t really care about it’s true worth, or was too lazy to research it. Or maybe he didn't need the money and just wanted to clean house. Either way, I gladly gave him his asking price. I even bought another toy of his...a tin flying saucer for another dollar! I am telling you....this guy was the best!
Once again, I was tempted to keep this great find for myself. As a kid I was fascinated by the Space program and still have a little thing for all that cool Apollo Space program stuff. But I decided against it, sticking to my rule not to get emotionally involved with my garage sale finds!
In order to show off my space capsule on eBay, I needed lots of pictures. Photos showing the great graphics, another photo showing the capsule door open with the astronaut inside and finally one showing the lighted plastic light nose cone. After taking all the appropriate photos, I launched the capsule into that vast galaxy we call eBay. This type of toy is a winner as it attracts two types of bidders; space exploration collectors and people who love mechanical tin toys. When the auction went live both groups jumped in on the bidding. Just like a rocket leaving the launch pad, my one dollar find sold for an out-of-this-world $90 dollars!
As an extra booster, I also posted the Space Saucer and it sold for another $30. Not as good as the capsule, but not bad for a buck investment. Getting back to the original seller, why would he give away two great old mechanical toys for only two dollars? Who can really say? But as long as there are deals out there like that, I'll keep getting up early every Saturday morning! You too, right?
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