kumir_k9: (Halloween)
[personal profile] kumir_k9
Tuesday night around 9:30 I got email notification from Facebook (sans_peur) that there was going to be a huge Halloween store auction in Fitchburg MA on Wednesday (http://www.posnik.com/basehtml/fr_100114c.htm).

As much as the thought of this appealed to me it was just not a good time financially and Oct 1st is the first day of open enrollment where I work, the start of the "Don't bother asking for time off" season for us.

I mentioned it to Monique and she started looking through all the stuff and encouraging me to go and trying to come up with ways to have the money. She's supposed to be the responsible one in the family, not the one who encourages my foolishness. Of course there was no way my boss was going to give me a day off at this time of year so I skipped the idea and went to work. When my boss came in I asked him what the chances were I could get the day off and he said, "Sure, no problem. Why?" I told him and he said, "Have fun. Take it as a personal day, not a vacation day so you don't have to explain the reason to HR." So I rushed home, unloaded all the LARP stuff from the previous weekend out of the van and rushed off, getting there about an hour late.

The day as a whole was pretty awesome. There was fun camaraderie that built up between the non-retailers there. There were sections where things sold for pennies on the dollar, which was awesome if you didn't mind buying a lot of 300 of something that you'd only ever need a few of, unless you were reselling it. There were some things where people bid the price up over the tag price, which I still don't understand because you could go buy it at list price for less. And then there were the kinds of things I went for, which were higher dollar items that sold more or less singly. I'll get into those later.

They didn't finish until about 5:30. At that point they were beyond their end of day and declared that everyone would have to come back the next day to pay for their stuff. Carting it away could happen anywhere from yesterday through October 8th. Having traveled 2 1/2 hours I wanted to give them my cash and take my stuff and go home, but that wasn't an option so...

...I called up rowan_syngwyn, who lives about 2 miles from there, invited her out to dinner and asked her if she'd mind putting up a wayward stranger for the night on her couch. Then I proceeded to call up my two bosses and let them know what was going on and let one of them know I was going to be late the next day. Neither one had any issue. I went to a Wal-Mart and bought clean clothing and then dinner and staying up until almost 1:00 talking. Good times.

Next day they were having computer issues and we couldn't start loading until around 10:00. By this time I'd already determined I probably was going to need help and the auction house employees do NOT help, so I called rowan and begged for help. She was out of class at 10 and came down to help me in spite of her dislike for creepy stuff. Her help included moving two coffins, one with a skeleton in it. They say, "A friend provides an alibi. A good friend helps bury the body." I wonder what level this brings our friendship to. ;-)

Putting all the stuff in the car was like adult Tetris. We put stuff in, moved stuff around, pulled stuff out, put it back in in different positions and orders. Rowan went down to the dollar store and got me some cheap screwdrivers to take things apart and we finally got it all in.

This woman who had spent a great deal of the auction talking to me (mostly about haunts) had bought a washing machine and couldn't get it out. She came with her 24 year old son and the two of them were at a loss what to do. I loaned them the moving dolly I had. I advised them on how to take the hinges off the door to get it out of the washroom, I helped the kid scoot the thing out of the room, helped him lift it onto the dolly, helped him move it out of the building and helped him lift it into the car. For my trouble she gave me three sections of skull head fencing that she had bought a lot of the previous day. I guess it pays to be a good Samaritan.

This one other guy who does haunted houses to raise money for a YMCA local to him (sound familiar?) saw me taking pictures of the three coffins I bought and asked if I'd be interested in selling one. Fortunately I had agree to this the previous day because I could only fit two in the van. I called him up and asked him how he wanted to do the trade and he asked if I could leave my paperwork inside one of his purchases for him to use to get the coffin. He described what he'd bought and the scary part is I knew exactly what he was talking about and where it was.

So I finally got on the road around 11:30 and by the time I was back in the area of work/home there was just no point in going to work. I checked in at work and since there was nothing that was going to happen at that time until today, I just took a second day off. My boss didn't sound too upset.

So, to the important part, what did the day net me? Well, in a nutshell, it netted me about $1,000 worth of stuff for $375. It was an auction, so some of the stuff I got because it came in lots and I wanted some of the stuff but had to buy the lot. That's how I ended up with three coffins when I really only wanted one, but selling one of them helped make up for it. In fact, there was a fair amount of people selling things off as soon as they bought them.

The first things I got were a lot of two animatronics. The one I really wanted is the one in the back, the grim reaper. He stand about 7' tall at the top of his wings. His head moves back and forth, his chest glows in different colors and when motion is detected he talks in a very clear, very creepy voice.

The other part of the lot is the butler you see in front. He has a raven on his shoulder. His mouth moves when he talks. The raven's eyes light up when it's either cawing or talking and its wings flap.

These two went for $90 each as the high bid or a total of $180 for the lot. That's about $450 worth of animatronics.


The next lot was 3 coffins. Here's the first one. It's a heavy duty real wooden coffin complete with a skeleton inside. Since it was a lot of 3, when I won the lot I had to buy all 3 for $50 each. The bright side, not wanting three coffins, is that someone who wanted a coffin and didn't get on bought one from me. I don't know retail value on these but $50 each is a good deal in my mind.


And finally I got these two light-up pumpkin creatures. To hang completely off the ground they have to be hung about 7' high which is about what you see pictured on the front one. See that electric lamp he's hanging from (the green thing over his head)? That was unticketed and because it was unaddressed I got it for nothing. These are list price $79.99 each (which is patently ridiculous). I got them for $10 each and the lamp post thrown in.


So all in all, I'm extremely happy. I wish I'd had time to spread word of this to a few other people.

Oh, and the good Samaritan freebie:
This one woman bought the washing machine the place had and had no way to get it to her car.
I not only stayed long enough to let her use my dolly, I loaned her the screwdriver to get the door off the hinges so she could get it out, advised her on doing that when she and her son couldn't figure it out on their own and helped in the lifting on both ends. She had bought tons of these fences. She gave me three boxes as a thank you.

And hey, look at that, I made the local newspaper: http://www.telegram.com/article/20141002/NEWS/310029959/0/business05
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