tl;dr, I got thrown under a diecast bus...
If one walked into a hobby shop, let’s say, and saw a display of Redline HWs for a good price, one would buy them, right? Great deal! End of story.
Or is it? I know it should be.
Last week I described a successful hunt at the Flea Baths, from which I quote:
I’m so glad to have made so many vendor friends during the hunting seasons. One of my favorite vendors had bid on several tubs of HWs, old dusty carded HWs, but got outbid. Nevertheless, he pointed me to the vendor who had outbid him, and this is just a portion of what was there.
What I didn’t report was what happened when I went back to thank the guy who tipped me off. Pull up a chair, grab a cool beverage, and put on your finest cynic hat...
Backstory: So, the guy who tipped me off is the son to the vendor of record for that space. He has his own side gig of RC Monster Trucks and their parts, and recently has started to stick his toe in the diecast pool. He’s come up with some nice Redline collections, and I’ve purchased quite a few from him.
He will text me with photos of collections he wants to buy, asks my opinion and so forth, and I’ve been a consistent customer at their booth. One reason is their wall of carded hot wheels, but I digress...
When I finished my purchase I came back and thanked him, but his father overheard and got all pissed off at him for letting me know about the cars to begin with. Really? I thought we were friends (of over 2 years...).
He goes on to berate him because money was spent at a booth other than his own. Right in front of me. I stood up for the son and said I would have gone to that booth anyway, it’s one of my regular stops. Nope, didn’t want to hear it. Blah, blah, blah, we don’t help them make a sale, why did you even tell him about your bidding on them(?), on and on. So I left and went home as I’d spent all my cash anyway.
Fast forward one week: I went back to the same vendor yesterday to see what was new and/or what I may have missed.
Backstory 2: This booth is run by a Pawn Shop. The brick & mortar is in Poughkeepsie, NY if I’m not mistaken, but that doesn’t matter here.
It’s a Pawn Shop, at the indoor outdoor fleaseum. A. Pawn. Shop. I would think they know their business inside and out.
They buy and sell guns and ammo, diamonds, gold and silver, rows of (Nice!) guitars, power tools, etc. right there at the booth. This wasn’t their first rodeo..
So, I walk in, the guy is busy, so I go around to the back of the space and start sorting through them all over again. I picked some out and went to pay and the guy let me have it. “Oh, it’s you again! I can’t sell you any more of these cars before they’re sorted! You already took most of the best ones”
Wait...what? 1, He looked at each car I bought individually, 2. he told me to pick out another car from free since I’d bought so many. Nice guy.
Yesterday? He wasn’t a happy camper, and turns out he’s not the owner.
Long story short, the vendor whose son alerted me to begin with, went back to the actual owner and told him I’d picked out a dozen Super THs, and that the rest were carded Redlines. Carded Redlines as in the original sweet 16.
Supposedly, I’m selling them for hundreds of dollars, and thus, I’m accused of taking advantage of a seller. Who works at a PAWN SHOP.
So, I’m not welcome there anymore, needless to say.
And Mr Sour Grapes, whose son didn’t bid enough to get them to begin with, is a former source of diecast, nothing more. No favorite vendor status anymore, nothing anymore. ptooie...
So, finally getting to the point...What are my responsibilities as a person walking through a flea market, tag sale, garage sale, craigslist ad, etc?
Am I supposed to tell that hypothetical hobby store owner that he should be charging me much more? If the flea guy says 50¢ per car, 3/$1, am I supposed to let him know one is a Playart/Redline/Lesney/Topper, etc, and that it’s worth more. Isn’t the point of bargaining to LOWER the price? Am I an IDIOT?
It’s not my job, from where I’m sitting, to educate anyone about how to run their BUSINESS. This isn’t a family tag sale with a kid not knowing what to sell his toys for and getting taken advantage of. (THAT would be a seller I would be happy to educate, and have done so in the past.)
I have a couple more “favorite” vendors at this venue, but I’m going to feel uncomfortable going back. In a way, this sort of fits in with my plans to cut back on the hunt, but not in the user-friendly way I’d imagined.
And now we rejoin our regularly scheduled programming, already in progress...