A couple of weeks ago I got a phone call from a guy that said he had a bunch of books to sell. The call came in at about 7PM on a Wednesday evening and I was about 12 hours away from getting in the car to go to Orlando for the rest of the week.
A quick aside, this is a collectibles seller's worst nightmare, at least MY worst nightmare. You have a person that wants to sell, and you are physically out of the state for a few days. Instantly your mind assumes the books will be sold to the next guy that's in town, and you think you'll lose out on an awesome find.
Maybe not everyone thinks that way, but I'll never forget when I learned this lesson a few summer's ago. I was relatively new in this business, and I was away at a summer camp that I volunteer at every year. During the 5 days I was at the camp, I missed out on 4 different collections that were pretty great. So i guess that's always stuck with me.
Normally I don't worry about it too much, as a "bunch of comics" to most people means 50, 100, 200, or MAYBE even 1000. But this guy's bunch.......WAS a BUNCH. A 30 THOUSAND issues bunch to be exact. Now the good thing about that is, there aren't many people that are going to buy 30,000 comics. So being out of town for a few days isn't the end of the world. But the bad side to that is, IF they do sell while your out of town, you'll always regret it.
I began speaking with the customer about meeting up that night, as I sensed that this was an "I need $$$ NOW" situation. Telling him that I could meet him that night before I left to satisfy his immediate cash need to hold him over until I returned in order to dissuade his shopping the collection while I was gone. But he told me that it wasn't a dire situation and that we could meet when I returned.
So we set an appointment for Monday, and off to Florida I went. I have to confess, the 30K number got my attention, but I've seen collections of that size before, not every day, but they're out there. And sadly some of them have WAY too much early Image or early 90's books in them to be worth much. So while I was certainly interested in seeing what this guy had, it didn't quite monopolize my thinking.
Little more info on the seller, he didn't seem odd to me in any way, just seemed like a guy needing to move his books. But I got another call from him the next day that started to shift that narrative.
By this time I was already in Orlando. It was about 5PM the next day, and he called again trying to find our store. This struck me as a bit odd as I had made it very clear to him that I wouldn't be there on Thursday, or that I wouldn't even be in the state on Thursday. He explained that he realized I was out of town, but just wanted to go to our store to scout it out to see where we were so he would know where he was going on Monday.
I guess that's not the weirdest thing anyone has ever told me, but it was certainly strange. It got even more odd when he told me how convenient it was that we're located close to a bus line. So not only did he come to the store on a day that I wasn't there, but he took the bus. Which is fine. But it's notoriously hard to get around via bus in Atlanta. Well not necessarily hard, it just takes FOREVER.
I clarified for him how to get to us, even though he'd already left at this point.... And told him that I'd see him on Monday. By this time I had an inkling that I was in for quite the experience when I got home. And I can't even put into words how right I would prove to be about that.
That's enough for tonight, I'll pick this back up tomorrow. Stick with us on this one though, plenty of AMAZING, UNCANNY pictures to follow....
Until next time,
P.S. You know I wasn't going to leave you empty handed... Here's a few highlights of what's to come! Enjoy the free pictures!