Picked up an awesome 100% handmade Chinese silk 7'x10' rug recently. Original price ~ $15k (CDN), and got him down to $4k!!
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I have thought of a number of true stories about buildings and apartment complexes I have bought and resold immediately or shortly thereafter. Then I thought about the amounts of money involved. Then I realized I can't make myself put the amounts in a public forum. So, I'll tell the following...
I know a feller who bought the fastest street car in production in the world in 1984. Most people had no interest in driving them fast-only sitting in them and telling their friends they were cool. Him, no. He wanted it only to go fast. So, he buys it used and pays 58K. Then the imperial leader of the car company, the Impressario(Commodore) dies in 1989 and they diefy his cars.
What do you know? The car sells for $194K c a s h!
Now, I know other good stories. But, I REALLY can't tell them.
My offering is a lot more pedestrian that what has been offered here so far. Nevertheless, it is mine. I went to a crazy sale one of the big local Philadelphia department stores was having in a warehouse next to the airport. The year was 1984. I was 14 years old. There were piles of merchandise, thrown here and there. I found one of the just released Sony SuperWalkman cassette players. The ones that were the same size as the cassette case themselves. It was only $25, for a product that sold for over $100, and was impossible to keep in stock in the stores(at the time). I still use that player sometimes. I could not have asked for a better buy.
21 years ago I was a rookie ski-patroller at large ski area. I met a girl in bar, got very drunk and within a week I took her advice and bought the absolute worst
house on the access road. She, being the realtor, had to pick me up and take me to the closing...feeding me a
few tokes on the way to help my hangover. Sounds like a recipe for disaster! But she was not clueless like me.
When she took my $10,000 total savings, got a 30 yr.
$30,000 mortgage and closed on the house, I ended up with a mortgage of a little over $200/mo; less than any of my friends were paying in rent, and closer to work than anyone else could afford to live. The clincher was 2 years later when the town put in a sewer-plant and all the property on the access road became super valuable at a commercial level. Sold the place for a HUGE profit and bought a new home in a better town at
four times the value. The only thing I took of value from that first home was the stereo. I even left the water bed.
Come to think of it....I should look the lady up and thank her shouldn't I? What a deal.
Bought 48 pairs of Baltic speakers (8 years ago) for $105.00 per pair delevered (each speaker weighed 45 lbs. each!). These tower speakers were respectable three way designs with west german drivers, that had bass response down to 25 hz! Their original list price approached $1000.00, so they were sort of a cross between mid-fi and a high end value speaker. I resold every pair for $500 a pair directly from my house, getting almost a 400 percent profit! My garage and two bedrooms were filled all the way to the ceilings, with these damn things. Fortunatley, they were just too easy to sell, (even at $500.00). I had the best of both worlds, both mid -fi and entry level high end guys,lining up as customers. Everyone was extremely greatfull, none ever complained or returned them (I offered a 30 day money back guarantee). If I had to do it over, I would have bought all 120 pairs that were initially available. As a salesman that has now worked in many industries, this time in my life was too easy and extremely lucrative.
My absolute best find was on March 23, 1986. The first day my newborn son breathed life. I can sincerely say that he was the first thing that came to my mind when I considered what was my most valuable asset.
Many evenings I hear a very believable version of Dave Matthews coming from my photo studio. He sits with his Fender guitar and Sovtek amp stack perfecting music he admires. Surely this qualifies him as an audio asset as well.
A few years ago I was working at a hi=fi store and took a call from a gent who asked if we bought used equipment. I told him no, but he was welcome to sell it on consignment here at the store. He went on to tell me that it was in an old cabinet and being elderly could not get it out. I asked him what it was he had but he could only tell me that one was a Marantz and one a McIntosh. My brain went into overdrive and I was licking my chops. I told him I could come out to his house and check it out. I agreed to meet him the following Sunday when he got out of church. I meet this couple in there late 60s, salt of the earth type and they explained that they were getting new furniture and this large, old console (and what was in it) would have to go. I open the console and there's a Marantz 10b tuner and a Mac C22 preamp..and they were flawless. I asked him where the amp was and he told me it was underneath the console. I pull it out from the wall and there covered with dust from 1962 that was so thick you could not tell what it was. Down on my knees, brushing away this vintage dust I come across a Mac 240 power amp...Oh Mama!!! These folks were so desperate to get rid of this stuff that they would have paid me to haul it out. Good guy that I am I offered them $1200.00 for the set. You would have thought they'd just won the lottery by the look on their faces. In an instant he said yes, before I change my mind..yeah right. All three pieces were mint and in perfect working condition, once I cleaned them up. I kept the gear for a couple of years and then sold it all for $5000.00a
A couple of years ago I was at an estate sale in Tacoma, WA at a nice house in the North End. Amongst all the furniture and stuff there were a pair of wooden speakers labeled "KFF speakers, $30." A quick inspection revealed that they were Kef Reference 102/2's, in very good condition. Yes, I bought them for the $30 asking price, I used them for a year or so and then traded them in on something else. I consider this to be my best "score buy" story, and it's absolutely true.
I have a buddy that picked up a stock Marantz 7 pre-amp in excellent condition cosmetically at a flea market for 50.00 about 12 years ago. That is about the best audio deal that I have ever heard of. I know another guy that picked up an old D-100, I believe, Audio Research amp (only 25 or so made) from an estate sale for a song. That one is worth some bucks, ARC has offered to buy it back because they don't have one. Me? I bought a pair of stock McIntosh MC-60 tube amps in excellent condition 10 years ago for 750.00 and still have them. Cosmetically they sure beat virtually all Mac gear I've seen on e-bay. Sound wise they still sing and will continue to long after I'm gone I'm sure.
As usual, Albert shows us the way. On a more mundane note, I bought a Dynaco PAS-3 and ST-70 (working) at a tag sale about 10 years ago for $25.00. Used them occassionally for a couple of years and then sold them for $250.00 to a guy from Canada. Now that I think of it, it was my first internet transaction, posted it on one of the tube newsgroups. Now mostly I just buy.
Bought my Michell Gyrodec with a Premier MMT arm and Koetsu Black for $150 U.S. about 12 years ago at a police auction (mainly stolen bikes). Had to spend about another $300 to put it into excellent condition, but still not a bad deal. Still have the turntable; have changed arms and cartridges since then.
I have a female friend whom had an audiophile boyfriend, well they broke up and she wanted to "get even" with him(no I did not sleep with her you bunch of sick bastards) and she sold me her ex-boyfriends speakers for $1000 they were new avalon acoustic eclipse. That was like 7 years ago and I still am using the speakers and have not heard from her or him in over 5...sometimes it is great to not have a conscience. No one wins unless someone looses.
My wife. Very fast and extended response, without any solid state nasties. Lots of warmth, and I love the glow of those tubes; especially in the dark. Definitely performs better with audiophile-grade power cord.
Kept my first way too long. Blue Book resale value slipped to practically nothing; and couldn't deal with getting rid of it after all that it had cost me.
I found a set of Polk SDA-1Bs, NIB, under a sheet at a rummage sale where they were using them as a table. Paid $75 for the pair. Still using them (I just like the sound). Found a B&O RX-2 in the original box and virually new at a junk shop for $9.00. Found lots of less interesting stuff that turned out to be worthwile, but these are the two best.
I used to own a small audio consignment shop.
One day a guy walks in and asks if would be interested in
buying a preamp.I told him "sure. bring it in". All the while Im thinking "great. Another friggin Onkyo."
The guy brings in a pretty clean Mac c-11! I'm thinking that it's going to cost me dearly. I ask him how it works, he said it doesnt.all the tubes light up but no sound.
About this time my woodie is starting to deflate and I ask
him what he wants for it in it's non-working state.
he said,"would a hunded dollars be too much?"
We make the deal and he leaves the store,and I stare at this potential boat anchor that I just bought.
After mucking about with it for a while,I notice one of the
chrome end caps were loose.I pull it off and notice a small
flat disc-like control that was labelled level! Same under the other side,and they were both all the way down! I cranked them both up,plugged it in, and the thing just sang.
Full woodie! closed the store early,took it home where it still resides and listened to it the rest of the day.
Feel kind of like I cheated the poor guy,but I never saw him again.I honestly didnt know about the really tiny level
controls, and obviously neither did he.
Unfortunatly this did not happen to me...
A buddy of mine recently got a 1969 Mustang Mint condition with under 100 miles. Origional everything.
He met this lady who was selling a 69 mustang, he looked into it. Turned out her son had bought this beauty a week before he went to vietnam. Unfortunatly he did not return. The mother kept the car as a keepsake of her son, had the oil changed every six months and drove it around the block a couple times every 3 months. She finally decided she would not be able to keep the upkeep on it and wanted to sell it. My friend bought it for the origional list price, approx $2,000, the mom did not want to make money off of it, just get back what her son paid.
Image buying a 1969 Ford Mustang perfect mint condition, garaged for over 30 years, and under 300 miles on the origional engine for 2 grand.
I lost a bid on a Teac A-3340 reel to reel (I know but I wanted one for old times sake) I bid $400.00 and it kept going up until someone got the bid at $592.00. I was crushed. I decided to look around on the web to see what I could find and live with. There was a Teac A-3440 (the top professional studio model used by all the recording studios and 1 step above the A-3340) for sale in Canada... $180.00!! I just knew everything was wrong with it at that price and I was going to have a turkey. It came yesterday... looks and acts brand new.. no scratches or anything. I have to replace 3 bulbs for the vu meters... $8.08 a piece. I love Canada.
A Keith Monks Audio Labs record cleaning machine, all dusty and buried under a bunch of used power tools at a store that I have always suspected of dealing in goods that were acquired by less than honest means.
I offered the man behind the counter 70.00 for it. he muttered something about it being a "record player without a needle". All it needed was a thorough cleaning and a replacement of the spool of thread that runs through the vacumn tube.
Works like new. The story is that it came from a classical music radio station that dumped all of it's LP's in favor of little silver discs. I never found out what happened the records. Too bad. Anyone keeping the collection clean via a Keith Monks unit, must have had a lot of great vinyl in good condition.
I used that thing for several years, but got sick of moving it, as we were moving around a lot, wound up selling it to an audiophile in Germany who paid me what the real worth of a machine of it's caliber is. Anyone who is familiar with the KMAL machines knows how heavy they are. The shipping charges to Germany were almost 500.00 including duty. The guy knew what he was getting and never even flinched. I DO regret selling it now though.