Saturday, November 15, 2008

Auction Stories

For those of you who don't know the inner workings of my life, I am an eBay Power Seller. I've been a dealer for 9 years with my younger brother Phil. We buy my stuff at local auctions and resell them online. I make so much money that I had to buy a shovel to push it all to one side of my living room (ok that part isn't 100% factual). Because of these local auctions I've had the opportunity to meet and befriend dozens of interesting folks, mostly dealers (antiques, not drugs). With people come stories. Here are some snidbits of today's stories. (for clarifications sake these are stories that were told to me, not my stories)

1) I go to public storage auctions. When people don't pay their bills they sell their stuff. Did you know that some people run small businesses out of those storage units? I remember one unit in particular. It was filled with dozens of small animal cages, mostly rabbits, dead rabbits. All of the animals were dead, dehydration. The owners didn't pay their bill and just let the animals die. Needless to say, no one bid on that unit. There was one unit at that place that only had one thing in it. It was a single, locked, chest. The owners of the storage facility kept holding off on selling it. By law they weren't allowed to open it. The FBI ended up seizing it though. It was full of over $100,000 in cash.

2) Me and my husband used to be the care takers for Buddy Larossa's (Cincinnati pizza mogul) mansion. He never lived in it, we did. The house was previously owned by the Catholic Archdioceses and was occupied by the Archbishop and nuns, the Sisters of the Blood. When the Archbishop died, they sold the place. I'm not sure what happened to the nuns but Buddy used to take us and them and us out to eat so that we could talk about the intricacies to caring for the estate. It was a very strange place to live. Buddy was a nice guy but a bit paranoid. It was the 70's an he had spent $350,000 on this house. He would sometimes call us to tell us things like, "I just had a dream that someone broke into the music room! Is everything ok there?" After 5 years we had to get out of that place.

3) Remember that painting that I paid $1,200 for a few weeks back. I'm putting it in Cristies Auction. It should sell for about $20,000.

4) This market is killing me. I have over $50,000 in scrap (gold, sliver, platinum, $50,000 in tin would be quite a lot of metal) that I didn't sell quick enough and now the market is soft.


melanie said...

I'm glad you're making a killing on ebay. I just finished a day of sales and made around $30. Bummer. Maybe next round will be back up again.
I don't think I'll have to rake that to one side of the living room. Maybe pick up a few bucks and move them, but rake? Heck, no.

Poor rabbits.

Michael Joseph Sharp said...

Dan, you have just become that much more interesting. First, the green-hat-new-blog format, and now I find that you are into old, interesting stuff and stories about that stuff.

I smell a book. Maybe call it:

"If This Storage Unit Could Talk"

Hi Def Porn said...

Interesting blog.

Paul said...

$20,000?? Thats more than enough to come to Kathmandu :)

DanThoms said...

That painting is not mine though. That is someone else's story. I wish.