Quite the Score

There are people who have made a hobby out of reselling things they find at garage and estate sales. I’m not one of those people.

No, I’m the kind who will rarely drop in on an estate sale as they tend to be a bit on the pricey side from what I’ve experienced. Garage sales? I’m all over those and have found some great deals lately.

But today’s finds may have topped everything.

Ann and I went to get groceries this morning so as to avoid the weekend rush of Independence Day shoppers who will no doubt be running around stores with their cases of White Claw and Natty Light. And on the way home we passed a sign advertising an estate sale and I thought hmm, I’ve got some cash on me (a rare occasion). But we had groceries in the car and went straight home.

But something told me to go so I told Ann I was going to check it out and be right back. It was a wise decision.

When I arrived, there was a line to get in and a guy was carting out packages of unused tools. I thought man, he’s getting a deal then I learned he was one of the estate sale people and was helping people cart out their finds. I had to wait in a line of about four others until he had finished moving out about five milk crates full of tools.

Seeing this, I figured this would be all I would find. Nope.

As we were let in, I saw much more than tools and it was apparent the resident was a hoarder or didn’t part with things easily. They had stockpiled everything you can think of: kitchenware, utensils, office supplies, and much more. With few exceptions, most were unused.

In fact, I came across two flip phones still in their original packaging — unopened. Why?

As I walked around the cramped space, I looked to see if there was anything worth my time. Then I started to rummage through the office supplies and came across something that confirmed the resident was a hoarder: three Apple Magic Keyboards.

Legit, factory-sealed Apple Magic Keyboards. Unlike everything else they were missing a price tag and was afraid to ask and find out but I did. The guy just kind of eyeballed them when I asked.

“Hmmm, what are those, keyboards? Uhhhh…$3 each.” He grabbed his permanent marker and scribbled on them.

Um…guys?

Holy, holy shit. Yes, the dude wrote $3 on each of them. After nearly passing out I roamed around a little more and found a few old film cameras for $1 each: two aim-and-shoots (one full-frame and one panorama), and a Kodak digital which still had the memory card in it with pictures on it. And yes, they will get used since Anthony has taken an interest in film photography/lomography.

(An aside: it was very odd looking at those pictures. I mean, we take pictures to preserve memories and the card was full of them including shots of whom I can guess was the former resident of the house. I’m sure he’s passed on and the sale was the result of his passing but it was a rather somber reminder that we’re not here forever.)

There was a lot of old stereo equipment that was in bad shape including two turntables (sorry, no microphone), DVDs, VCRs, and Ampex reels labeled “Reel No. [X]” — but not a single record. Weird.

There was also this but I passed on it.

Freaking oozing with retro charm. You can still buy film for Land Cameras but some, like this one, take a really strange battery that isn’t made anymore and the contacts for them were all corroded. It would have been cool to have but I would have preferred to use it since Anthony has quickly become a fan of photography.

I had grabbed all I thought I was going to need and walked up to the assistant to pay. She was calling out the prices to the cashier — then got to the keyboards.

“Three dollars? I don’t think that’s right,” the assistant told the cashier. “Who priced these,” she asked. The cashier confirmed who wrote the prices on them then calmly told her, “That’s the price he gave him and wrote on them, so we have to give it to him for that much.”

The assistant smiled and shrugged. “Well, you just got the deal of the day!”

Indeed I did. For the uninformed, Magic Keyboards sell for $99 each at Apple. I spent $10 for three of them and three old cameras. Funny thing is that I don’t have a Mac but they work perfectly with my iPad Air and I used it to write this blog post. I gave one to Anthony to use with his Mac and have one left.

As I was in line to pay I sent Ann this picture.

I wasn’t sure if she needed them but I thought I’d ask. She saw the ones in the back and told me they were limited-edition 100th anniversary cups and to grab them. By the time she told me this I was already in the car with my goodies but I headed back to pick them up for her at the low cost of $5 a pair.

I also sent her this one because her instant pot had just taken a dump a few days ago. While they were out of their boxes, none of these were ever used and had all the accessories inside of them. Remember: hoarder. There was also a Black and Decker blender I was looking at since the one I use to make my protein shakes was starting to wig out.

At this point I was beginning to realize how difficult it can be to text all the time and that I should start to use my phone to, you know, actually call people and talk to them when it’s more convenient to do so.

Ann told me to grab one of the instant pots and I pulled the trigger on the blender. In the end, here’s what I hauled home.

An eight-quart instant pot (new), Black and Decker blender (new), Kodak digital camera, Ansco and Vivitar (unused in original box) film cameras, two Pyrex 100th Anniversary 2-cup measuring cups and of course, three new Apple Magic Keyboards.

The total: $75. The value of the keyboards alone is $300.

So yeah, to say it was quite the score is definitely an understatement. And while I’m not addicted to shopping estate sales, finds like this make me want to explore them a bit more.

And with what I hauled home today, I don’t think Ann would disagree.

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