23 July 2002
N 38.9586 W 76.7350
Would you take $350 for that?
As we prepare for this excellent adventure, we needed to shed years and years of accumulated items some of limited value and most of imagined or at least sentimental value. After previewing the auction house that would eventually clear our house, we decided to conduct our own "tag sale" as a first round to lighten our load and to enrichen our sailing fund.
As much as possible we wanted to establish an atmosphere of one price shopping, a once new concept for cars established by Saturn. We even went so far as to run in the ads that there would be no items under $100 so as to reduce the traffic to serious furniture and appliance buyers. We established our prices and tagged each item. Funny how that concept of one price shopping is so appealing when one is in the position of the seller. Well as the games began at least an hour earlier that the published time and there were no sacrosanct prices. Our household items had fallen in value like the dot com stock of the early 2000 and now scavengers were trying to treat our personal items like Enron stock and declare them bankrupt.
"Would you take $350 for that sofa?"
"No the tag says $500 and we paid over $1700 not that many years ago. And besides the sale hasn't even started yet."
"Okay I'll give you $400 but you have to throw in the chair."
You know the type. Well we sold one of three down filled sofas for $450 refused an offer for $400 on the other and finally sold it a auction for $60. No it's not a typo, $60. But then we had a snow shovel and an old rusty wheelbarrow that sold for $150 - GO FIGURE.
Items without tags drew even more attention. People wanted small items not for sale but at a hoped for bargain.
"How much will you take for this. "
" If there is no tag on it, it's not for sale."
Finally we started selling items just to see what people would buy. It was an interesting process and we are glad it's over. We have stored our most treasured items, books, artwork, family photos, business clothes and a few other treasured heirlooms and we have a few pieces scattered among our children. We also have another storage space for the items to go on the boat which we will pickup later. Interesting stuff ,huh?
Today we sit in a hotel a few miles from Annapolis MD where we start the search for our new home. We have identified about seven boats on the east coast and seven on the west that meet the criteria we have developed since we incubated this idea several years ago. At first we were in the 38 to 40 foot category and now we are looking at nothing less than 44 feet but at least nothing bigger for now. Our longtime friend Herb Eskelson will assist us in the selection and the final assessment. Herb has been most helpful so far. In his terse manner he offers input such as "forget it , pass, got to look at that one" and other enlightening comments that give us little direction but an overall comfortable feeling . Not that Herb's opinionated. He just knows he's right. He typifies that old salt Popeye down to the anchor tattooed on his forearm. Herb has been a broker for the last fifteen years and knows his boats. If you continue to probe on why we would not be interested in such and such a brand he provides the necessary reasoning. Now ask him about the latest discoveries unveiled in Scientific American and he will be a tsunami of information with all the appropriate footnotes and bibliography. He is by far the most well read person I know and in his retirement he consumes stacks of books and magazines on a weekly basis.
Herb lives in Seattle on his Chinese junk, Satu, on the Tibetan Bardo Plane at 48 degrees North. If you need a competent consultant in procuring your next boat you can contact Herb by calling 206.979.7494. He won't answer but you'll enjoy his message and if you leave an interesting voice mail you may just hear from him.