By Resident Auctioneering Expert Davey “Orange” Foundation

We all like a bargain, whether it’s browsing in charity shops or online auctions, where they don’t really understand what they’ve got, or it’s obvious that a retailer has overstocked something and just wants to cut their losses. Some items don’t hold their worth for a multitude of reasons, but others can appreciate in value, like gold, oil, and certain toiletries nowadays, and 55-year old unemployed window salesman Des Grandstand feels he has a couple of other items that also fit into that category. Sadly he’s had no luck selling them in the local Royton pubs in Oldham, and needs the cash quickly.

He’s willing to get an account on ebay, but has no bank account due to several bad decisions over the years. And with the current climate sweeping the globe, Mr Grandstand fears a knock on effect will see the bookmakers shut down during the anticipated shutdown, cutting off another source of his get rich quick plans. He owes a lot of money to a lot of different outlets, and despite his insistence that his items are worth more than others suggest, he’s growing increasingly frustrated as the various cash deadlines loom. I interviewed Mr Grandstand outside a bookies from which he’s barred, to see what his alternatives are.

TDJJ: “Sorry I’m late, five in the morning’s a bit too early for me.”

DG: “It’s all right. It’s just I don’t want to bump into certain people who I owe money to.”

TDJJ: “What are the things you’re wanting to sell?”

DG: “I’ve got a £10 gift card for Toys “R” Us and Police Academy 2 on DVD, which has a Woolworths logo on the cover design.”

TDJJ: “Hm, I don’t think you’d get much for them, certainly not enough to pay off anyone that you feel the need to hide from. How much were you looking for?”

DG: “£500 each.”

TDJJ: “Seriously? You do understand how valuation works don’t you?”

DG: Yeah, but the thing is, I know these things aren’t worth that much now. I’m selling them as a kind of investment. In 20 years, who knows how much they’d sell for? I reckon both Toys “R” Us and Woolworths stuff is quite rare even now, for obvious reasons. People need to look long term. I’m sure with inflation and that, £500 would be chump change in 20 years.”

TDJJ: “And is that what you’ve been telling people in the pubs?”

DG: “Yeah. And just to let people know, the £10 is still on the gift card, and the disc and case for the DVD is in fairly good condition. A couple of scuffs but it plays fine.”

TDJJ: “Why do you think you’ve not being able to sell these items yet?”

DG: “The main one is probably that I’m limited to walking distance. I’m not able to use public transport after a few recent minor indiscretions, and I can’t drive. If I was on ebay, I’d be able to reach every country in the world. That’s how it works isn’t it?”

TDJJ: “Pretty much. But don’t you feel you’d get the same reaction? I’d imagine the market for obsolete gift cards and DVDs of Police Academy films would be pretty difficult to predict in 20 years time.”

DG: “But I read in a paper once that some video tapes are worth loads now, proper rare ones. More than £500 for a film that came out 20-30 odd years ago. I point this out but no one seems interested. They wouldn’t print lies would they?”

TDJJ: “I don’t know about that. You’re asking a lot from people. Not everyone could afford your asking price, even if they understood and agreed with your reasoning.”

DG: “Are you on ebay? Would you be interested? If you’re able to get the cash today, I could probably do a discount for cash. £950 for them both.”

TDJJ: “No, it’s okay. I’ve got the Police Academy box set on DVD, paid about £6 for it a while ago. Doesn’t have the Woolworths logo on it though. I’m pretty sure the £10 on the card wouldn’t be valid any more.”

DG: “But aren’t they retro? £900, final offer.”

TDJJ: “I can’t afford that, no I’m not interested.”

DG: “What do you mean, you can’t afford it? You’re a journalist wearing glasses and a posh shirt. £850.”

TDJJ: “Has anyone offered you a lot less for them?”

DG: “One bloke offered me a packet of 20 cigs and the rest of his kebab. I had to laugh.”

TDJJ: “Fifteen. And that’s generous. I’m fairly certain that you wouldn’t get anywhere near that on ebay or anywhere else online, even if you explained things.”

DG: “£15? Fuck it, okay. But if I find out that you sold them both for over £1,000 in 20 years time, I won’t be very happy. you’d owe me money or something.”

TDJJ: “Well, we’ll have to see what happens. You can always use this cash in one of the bookies that you’re not barred from, see if you can win enough to pay your debts”

Mr Grandstand took the cash and he crossed the road to a bookies that had just opened for the day. About five minutes later, he walked back out swearing under his breath and kicked a post box.

Published by The Daily Jabjab

Hi, I'm from Stockport, Greater Manchester England. My plan on my blog is to hone my creative writing and write a post every day this year. It sounds daunting, and I'm sure things will evolve over time. Let me know what you think about my writing - any tips, useful websites and things like that would be quite lovely. Thanks for reading!

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