16 November 2007

Lot 1870

This happened when I was still a student, in or around March 2005.

I was sitting around one day when I came across an eBay auction for a huge lot of Transformers. It was really huge and included hundreds of Transformers, mostly G1. Its Buy-it-Now price was AU$2000. I did a quick preliminary calculation and worked that if I bought this lot and kept what I wanted then sold off the rest, I could still make a profit if its cost price were AU$1500.

At that time, mummy gave me entire semesters of living expenses and Uni fees in one go because she just cannot be bothered to do it piece-meal month after month. So there was lots of money (in student terms) sitting in the bank. I made the money grow by (1) placing them in Saver accounts with high interest rates; (2) putting some in fixed term deposits; and (3) buying and selling Transformers (and toys).

Provided I could make that back and hopefully profit, AU$1500 wouldn’t cause a dent anywhere. However, the converse was not true- the seller needed money, and fast.

I waited for the auction to end without a buyer before contacting the seller to ask if he would part with the lot for $1500 exclusive of shipping. After some negotiation, we agreed on an AU$1870 inclusive of shipping price tag- hence the title Lot 1870. The only catch was that he wanted to keep one of the 2 Bruticus’ in the lot.

The lot arrived in 3 huge carton boxes packed to the brim with Transformers.

Pic shows 80% of the lot. TF boxes, parts and other TF related merchandise is not pictured.

I kept the following:
  • Jetfire complete
  • Trypticon (robot only)
  • Defensor complete with Hot Spot box
  • Superion (missing all little guns)
  • Spyglass & Spectro (no weapons)
  • TRU reissue Ultra Magnus
  • Some G1 cassettes
  • All misc parts that did not go toward completing figures
  • All TF related merchandise that came with the lot
I spent the next month planning the auctions; planning which items should be listed as a batch, what day and time to list and how to make the auctions attractive. I decided that anyone who buys more than 3 auctions from me and has a combined value of more than AU$50 would receive a free gift; AU$100 and above would get a bigger free gift- all gifts were to be TF related.

The gifts came from the lot either in the form of TF accessories, mini-bots, and other TF paraphernalia. This turned out to be very successful, so much so that the gross amount from all the auctions totalled almost AU$3500 after allowing for eBay fees.

I not only kept many choice mint pieces, but managed to pocket approximately AU$1630 in cash. =)


So there it is. One of many such similar stories. It’s all good because I have fun and can grow my Transformers collection at the same time.

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