Saturday, December 1, 2012

That's no place for a Nativity scene !

Christmas inventory can come  from all different sources-garage sales, thrift shops....the weeds. Yep, I said weeds. That's not the name of some fancy new store like Express up at your local mall. I mean the actual weeds, as in weeds that grow wild out in open fields. A strange place to find inventory, but let me explain.

I am often tasked with taking Riley, our family dog out for his daily walk. If you have kids and a dog, you know how hard it is sometimes to get someone....anyone.... to walk the dog! Our kids are way too busy on the computer or cell phone to make time for poochy, so it often falls on me to take him out. I really don't mind because occasionally good things happen when Riley and I are out walking!

Riley: Sniffing out eBay finds!
Last summer Riley and I were walking along the edge of a vacant field. The field has no house on it, just a steel shed and box storage trailer rusting away out in the back of the property. As long as I can remember, nobody has been in the trailer or shed in years. But on this particular day, the trailer was wide open and two guys were cleaning it out. I don't know if the guys were "pickers" or just a clean-out service, but they were making a mess of things. Glass was breaking, metal was banging and stuff was flying out of that trailer. Despite the apparent mayhem, these guys seemed to have a system for culling through all the junk. Stuff they wanted to keep went into the back of their pick-up truck. Stuff they didn't want was tossed back into the trailer or thrown on the ground in a big junk pile. As the guys kept digging, I wondered what treasures might be inside that long locked trailer? My daydreaming was interrupted however by Riley, who pulled me along with other things on his mind. 

Several days later I was back out walking the same path with my trusty dog. As I walked by the old trailer again, I noticed the "pickers" had left some junk behind. There were rusty paint cans, cinder blocks and scrap metal left in a messy debris field. But something unusual caught my eye. Looking closer in the weeds and tall grass, I could also see two plastic leaf bags. Both had a figure peeking out through a rip in the bag. I pulled on the dog's leash so that he and I could investigate further. Crouching down to take a look, I discovered the bags contained Nativity scene blow molds. Specifically, inside were the camel and a Wise Man! It was obvious to me that the pickers had pulled both figures out of the trailer, tore open the leaf bags to look inside and decided they weren't worth taking. Instead, they tossed them into the grass along with the rusty paint cans and scrap metal. But I knew something about blow molds they didn't know. They might have been "junk" to the pickers, but to me they were plastic gold!   

After making this discovery, my gears were now turning. I figured I'd give it a few weeks to see if the guys would came back to clear out the junk pile. If not, the camel and Wise Man were coming home with me! Several tense weeks of dog walking then went by. With each trip I would anxiously glance at the blow molds in the weeds, much like Wily Coyote looked longfully at the Road Runner! This excruciating waiting game went on for several weeks  as the grass and weeds grew around the two leaf bags. After about a month passed I had enough! As Popeye use to say, "That's all I can stand-I can't stands no more!" I marched into the field like it was Walmart and I was looking for in-store items for sale. Picking up the two leaf bags left behind by the pickers, I walked out of the tall grass and headed home!

Arriving home with the Wise Man, camel and my dog,  I began the blow mold rehabilitation. Both were dirty and even had some crickets inside of them.  But with a little soap and water I got them looking spiffy! I believe in taking care of everything all at once, so after giving both a bath, I took some digital photos then placed them into storage until the holidays.

Once the holidays were upon us, I posted both on eBay. There are quite a few Nativity blow molds on eBay right now but that's to be expected. All the competition didn't hurt the bidding on my auctions. My rescued camel and Wise Man sold for $30 and $35 respectively. Since they were freebies, that was pure profit of $75!

Who would have thought I'd find Christmas inventory while walking my dog in a field?  Just another reason why this business is so much fun...you just never know where you are going to find your next treasure!


Pin It now!

8 comments:

  1. Nice! Freebies are fun! No freebies nor nativity people for me yesterday, but I did find a Lil' Oscar Cooler for $3.50 :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa-Freebies are the best,right? Nice price on that Lil' Oscar, let me know how you do with it.

      Thanks for checking in....Dude!

      Delete
  2. Love it! What a hoot! Yep, ya just never know where things will turn up, and when they turn up to be FREE, and you then turn around and sell them, well, it just doesn't get any better than that, does it??!! It's an addiction, almost! We get a "rush" from doing this!! At least I know you people understand me!! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susie Q - Ha! Yeah, I think addiction is the right word. To me, seeing "junk" laying in the grass, is like seeing twenty dollar bills laying there! And turning that junk into money is the "rush"!

      So I understand you perfectly! :)

      Thanks for writing in....Dude!

      Delete
  3. Wow! How do you find boxes to ship these, and how do you calculate the cost? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mom- Good question. I salvage big boxes from a local school recycling dumpster. It's a never-ending supply! The camel lays flat in a box so not a problem. The Wise Man had to be placed in the smallest box you can make. I cut down the boxes-every extra inch can cost you postage. Selling on Craigslist or "pick-up" only is another option, so you can avoid shipping.

      Thanks for writing in...Dude!

      Delete
  4. We need the camel at our house!!!! He would have stayed her!. We did have someone put on our porch yesterday(a mystery person?) the blowmold donkey and an Empire Angel. They are staying here, but that angel is bring in up to 79.99 on ebay! I kept telling hubby that as he lovingly redid the lights in the angel. She is hanging over the blowmold nativity proclaiming The birth of Jesus in our front yard!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. $80 for the Angel?! That's awesome! I missed buying one at the local thrift store last week. It was in a box with a "sold" sign on it-bummer!

      Another fun & disturbing fact-The Baby Jesus is often the target of theft on many front yard blow mold diplays! Read that in the paper once-That's pretty low isn't it?! I guess the Grinch lives!

      Good luck with you auctions and Merry Christmas....Dude!

      Delete