Winning Bulk Auctions – Good Idea or Not??

Posted on 25 June 2009. Filed under: Buying Time | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Another in the list of bulk buys. I still have my doubts about this one, but it paid off in the end.

I won an auction on eBay. I was very careful to do my calculations before I put in a bid. The listing was for 2,000+ books. I thought about it and decided to do my calculations based on 2,500 books. I worked out how many per box, how many boxes and roughly how much space they would take up based on how many boxes high I would be able to stack them. I figured I would have enough room with maybe three or four boxes left over. No problems. Really happy. I put in a bid, dithered a bit over it as I really wasn’t convinced I wanted them, so I lowered the amount I was prepared to spend…twice. I won at a really low price.

Talked my nephew into helping me pick them up as I’d done some damage to my neck and didn’t want to have to face the wrath of my physio when I made it worse. The books were in the back of a shop located fairly close by which was good as I estimated we’d have to make two trips. I collected some boxes being fairly confident it would be enough. We drove down there, found the back of the shop as instructed. The seller opened the door and said those fateful words…”You realise you have to take everything”…I looked and laughed as there was nothing else I could do. There were far more than 2,000, my estimate of what the + might be was totally lacking. My final estimate was about 4,500 books. It took us three trips in my wide bodied Camry to get them back to my place and because of that it took much longer than expected so we had to leave them sitting on the floor of the garage until I could find time to put them in a better place. I had already put lots of plastic on the floor to protect them as I expected to just stack them there until they were all transported here.

With the second trip I figured it didn’t matter if I lost a few boxes of books due to being squashed so what with not having enough boxes we just put enough boxes in to give the whole thing formation and began throwing books in. We stuffed them behind the boxes and stacked them around the boxes. We put a couple of boxes on the back seat and then piled books around the boxes and stacked them on the floor of the car. It was chaotic, but it worked. So, here we are driving down Warrigal Road and I had to brake for some red lights. The books cascaded in a stream onto my nephew’s lap. He picked them up and sorted them into books he wanted (onto the floor with his feet) and books he didn’t want (thrown dismissively over the shoulder into the backseat) while drinking water from a clear bottle. The look on the guy’s face in the next car was a picture. It looked as if my nephew was drinking vodka as we were both very cheerful. When we got back home with that load we had another book-a-lanche when we opened the back door. They all just cascaded onto the ground. I wish I’d taken a video of it, it was very funny.

I had to get very creative when packing the books as there were just so many I had not accounted for in my calculations and I hadn’t collected enough empty boxes. I had kept the box from our new washing machine as I was going to cut it up and use it for packing books. I brought that out and put it in a corner of the house, we then carefully packed books in it. It was a big box and it must have taken several hundred books. It never moved again until I sold all the books to someone else and I had to unpack it into other, smaller boxes.

For those who are worried about the treatment we meted out to these poor books please be reminded they were secondhand. I expected some attrition from this treatment, but it was only about half a box full and most of them were in terrible condition before hand, none of them were very collectable as they were cheap books and I had other copies of them. I just want people to be warned to ask questions and to try to look at the auctions of these things beforehand so you have more information about them than I did…actually, I lie I really just want to entertain people with my story.

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One Response to “Winning Bulk Auctions – Good Idea or Not??”

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Wow! What an adventure. I can just imagine the book-a-lanche!


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