Friday, July 19, 2013

Box Lot BUST! or not?

Friday, July 19, 2013
I have written before of my love of the flea market or auction "box lot." The mystery. The surprise. The possibility of scoring something amazing.

I guess it's my version of playing the lottery.

Yesterday I played and I lost.

David and I went out to a local auction where they always have a huge number of box lots. I've done well with box lots there before.

With box lots, it's best not to advertise your interest too much, lest the other dealer/bidders get interested too. Of course you need to examine the box's content, but if you spy treasure, sometimes it's best to leave it at the bottom of the box and hope no one else notices. Pulling out each of the tablecloths or kitchen towels, spreading them out and examining them closely is kind of out of the question. Besides, the crush of people circling the box lot tables would make that impossible anyway.

Yesterday I caught sight of a fairly big box of linens and fabric. I rooted around in it and saw a number of things that really caught my eye. I was definitely interested, and I mentally set a fairly high limit on what I would bid for the box.

Others saw the same things I did and the bidding went all the way up to my limit--more than I ordinarily pay for a box lot.

When I got the box home, I had very high hopes for what I would uncover. 

And--thud. Bust. Bad box lot.

I saw a lovely aqua border on a tablecloth.

What I got was hopelessly faded--except the border.

I saw linens carefully folded, pressed, and starched, and I assumed they would be well cared for.

What I got was full of holes and stains.

I saw some great bold colors on a tablecloth.

What I got was a "do it yourself" tablecloth made with fabric paint.

I did get a few nice things, but most of them are "cutters" and I'll have to bundle them with other linens that are past their prime and sell them to crafters at a discount.

Those are soaking right now in an attempt to freshen them up.

But in the process, I came up with a new idea for my online shops: the "Virtual Box Lot!" I can pull together a bunch of things with similar characteristics, and sell them as a group. Except I'll let you see them, in their entirety, warts and all. That way, your virtual box lot won't be a bust like mine was!

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