Now some people would refer to me as a bit crazy, but I beg to differ on their opinion by saying I am flat out nuts (at least at times). Another gem from my past begins about 18 years ago at an antique / flea market show I was doing in Kansas City. I was setting up my booth early on the morning of the show, and into my booth walks an individual whom I know but do not particularily care much about. His passion was collecting antique radios which at the time my own tastes ran parallel to his. In fact that is how I became to know of him. Now to let you understand what this particular man was about, a conversation with another friend of mine gave me the best description of this guy. His evaluation of the man was that he was the nicest guy you would ever meet until you did any business with him. In this case, if you ever tried to sell, buy or trade an antique radio with him, he would be just as happy to skin you alive and let the buzzards pick your bones than make a decent deal with you. Anyway getting back to the story, he comes into my booth early this morning, and begins looking at the radio related items I was displaying. He comes upon a crystal radio (1920's if not a bit earlier). I had just purchased this radio the previous day at a garage sale for 25 cents, but I knew the retail value to be around $125.00, so I priced the radio at $95.00 so it would sell quickly and pass on a bit of the good price. He turns to me and in his usual condescending tone, tells me that he would be willing to give me ten dollars for the radio. I politely refused, and started to move away when he grabs my arm and becomes insistent on me selling him this radio at his "offer". I again refused and tried to pull away. At this point he remarks in his snotty way "It is only worth 15 dollars at the most". Now normally I am a calm and easy going type of guy, but this individual just plain rubbed me wrong. I am getting angrier by the second as he continues to jabber on about what bad condition the radio was in, and how he was doing me a favor by offering as much as he did. I snatched the radio out of his hands, and began admonishing him. I told him if that was all it was worth, then ........and before I knew what I was doing, I threw the radio on the ground and stomped it flat. Picking up the smashed piece, I held it forth and told him that I would take his offer now. He stood there, with his mouth wide open (kind of like a fish gasping for air) and totally speechless for a few minutes. Finally he manages to to stammer out "I was going to buy that radio" and added "What do you think you are doing?" I grinned at him and told him it was my radio and I could do as I please, and would he kindly exit my display area. At this he turned and stomped out of the booth muttering to himself all the way. I do not really know what prompted my outburst, but one thing kept coming back to me, that was the best 25 cents I ever spent! Interesting sub note; In the years following the incident, whenever this guy walked into my booth, and wanted to buy anything, he always paid the marked price in full, never again to try and low ball me. Isn't life grand?!!
Being a collectibles dealer for approximately 20 years, I have run into all kinds of strange people, insane people, goofy people, and just funny people. One story that comes to mind happened about 12 years ago, when I was doing regular antique shows/ flea markets in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At that time , the collector items , specifically Pepsi character glasses were a fairly hot item, and I usually sold them fairly quickly. These glasses are 16 ounce heavy glass, and on one side they have a colorful round circle with a super hero or villain emblazoned in the center (hence the reference to Pepsi Moon Series). This one particular show, I had brought with me a complete set of 16 super hero Pepsi moon series glasses, and I was pretty proud of myself, because to have a complete set in itself was really rare. So I smugly set the glasses on one of my display shelves, and finished setting up the entire booth. Priced this set at $350, which was about right for each glass if sold separately. Now next to me was this cranky old dude named Joe, whom I had known for a year or so. He sets up his display, and to my chagrin, he has an entire cardboard table which he fills with these same Pepsi Super Hero moon glasses. Then my heart really sinks as he sets up a cardboard sign in the middle of the table "Choice $2 each". Not being of sound mind or body, and needing some cash to buy anything else, I did not try to purchase any of his, except for a few rarer glasses . Oh well maybe the next show I would sell mine. So I began to fiddle around with other things, and tended to customers. About one half hour into the beginning of the show, I noticed a very nicely dressed woman making her way up the aisle. I see her stop at Joe's booth and start rifling through his glass assortment, paying close attention to the sign in the middle of the table. Turning away, I continued helping another customer, not really watching what was going on next booth over. A couple of minutes pass and the same woman appears in my booth and starts looking over my selection. She stops in front of my display of glasses and begins examining each unit one by one. Finishing with the customer I had been working with, I stroll over to her and ask her if she needs any help? She turns to me and says " Could you do any better on the price of these glasses?" Now I am thinking she wants me to drop the price for the set down to the same price as Joe's, but I politely say " IF you want the glasses right now, I will sell the set to you for only $320." She replies to my surprise "OK, wrap them up, and I will be back to pick them up". Then pulls out the cash and pays me and leaves. Stunned I glance over to Joe's booth and the glasses on his table are still sitting there. I walk over to him and ask if he would do any better on the entire lot of glasses he has sitting there , and he tells me no, he just witnessed me selling my set for a lot more money. Shrugging, I pull out the cash and pay him for the glasses on his table, which number 87. He boxes them up, and I move them over to put under my table cloth in my booth. I then wrap up a set from the glasses I just purchased, and just as I finish, up comes the same woman. "Why haven't you wrapped up my glasses? she asks. I reply "Here they are maam, I had several sets with me today, and some extras also. " She looks at me in surprise and says "Oh, well how much will you sell me the other sets for?" Now I am really amazed! I know with the set still on display plus 2 other sets, and 39 other glasses, we are talking some nice chunk of change. Not missing a beat, I tell her I will sell all the rest of my inventory for only $1100. She stands there a minute and then says "I do not have enough cash, could I give you a check?" "Sure I can, your check is fine with me" She proceeds to pull out $700 more in cash and writes me a check for an additional $400. After she is done paying me, she says she will go get her husband to pick them up, so would I please wrap them all up. Dumbfounded, I begin wrapping glass after glass, and fill half a dozen empty boxes for transport. Within a few minutes, the lady shows back up with her husband in tow, and he begins carrying out the boxes. Not being able to resist, I ask the lady while she is directing her husband's actions "Maam, I do not mean to be rude, but I have to ask, earlier the guy next to me had some of these glasses on his table, why did you not buy his? " She turns to me and admonishes me by saying "Oh those things? They were just reproductions, they were too cheap to be real!" Then she leaves as her husband wheels out the last boxes. Joe walks over to me shaking his head, because he had been listening to my exchange with her. "Jon I just do not believe what just happened!" I nodding my head in agreement tell him " Yeah I hope you are not upset about the transaction!" Which he looks with me and grins saying "Jon, sometimes your the dog, and sometimes your the hydrant....today I think I am the hydrant", and walks back to his booth. This is a crazy world, huh?