Taking Stock #21; What’s It Worth? Wanna Bet?
Okay. Having established that we sell everything from shotguns to war trophies to letter openers here at Lock, Stock, & Barrel, consignments of every imaginable interest and value come through the store.
We can usually get an idea of the value of a given item through the vast trove of references available to us; resource books such as Flayderman’s, the wisdom of the internet, or the wealth of knowledge of our staff. But once in a while, we have to ask ourselves, “We’ve never seen one of these; what’s this thing worth?”
There is no way of knowing what will trigger the interest of a buyer. Assessed value and emotional value are two entirely different animals, as wildly fluctuating auction values have repeatedly shown us. I was once caught up in the bidding for an 189 7Winchester shotgun that happened to be manufactured in 1906. The bidding went up well beyond any reasonable amount, and finally, I dropped out, to find that the value had been driven up by a fellow who was assembling a complete set of cowboy guns from the year that his great grandfather was born, and who would NOT be outbid!
This is one of the great advantages of doing business here at LS&B. Where a normal gun shop might have sixty people a week amble through, literally hundreds of thousands of prospective buyers have access to our on-line auctions, increasing the likelihood that the guy that just HAS to have that item will get a look at it, and virtually guaranteeing a solid sales price.
But the occasional “What IS this thing; and what’s it worth?” still intrigues us. And that’s where the Office Pool kicks in. Everyone in the shop, (and the occasional regular customer!) gets to put in a dollar guess, and the one who finishes closest to the actual price realized by the item is the pool winner. I’ve won a couple, and missed a couple of sure guesses by a mile or two. Who knew that that ancient Paoli accordion was the exact model that that lady in Milwaukee had when she was a child, and had been looking for, ever since? Who knew that the Union Switch & Signal 1911 off of the B-17 Liberty Belle would go to a serious 1911 collector for undisclosed thousands?
It breaks up the day, and keeps the work moving here at LS&B. So, let me ask you; what do you have, and what is it worth?