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Bartering And Horse Trading

Hystckndle

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#81
Hello Agnut,
Long time no talk to ! At least a few days or so.
Thanks for asking about James, he is about a good guy. And he understood the jest ( about the opossum…mmm a delicacy ) I was making but I had to explain it to him….that is… “ Boot “ . Straight away though he got the jist.
He is an “ artist “. I say that in the mechanical sense.
His forte’ is to take his targeted most ugly duckling unwanted automobile and with some sweat equity and buffing etc, make it into something that people will line up to get a chance to look at. That is his angle on Bartering and Horse Trading. I have learned a lot taking Agnuts lessons from the mid 2000s and working with James back and forth on all kinds of stuff.

I met James a number of years ago while inquiring about a Ford Ranger that I saw sitting at a gas station with a “for sale “ sign on it. He deals in “cash only”. HAH…sidebar …I just remembered a daguerreotype and antique images dealer I met one time in Sarasota at an antiques show there.
He had a stick on name tag that said in big letters “ CASH ONLY “…LMAO… Anyways, back to the story, I got to talking to James about the Ranger and realized that he lived about 2 blocks from me and he still does. We visit evry few weeks or so, sometimes with longer breaks in between. Further, in the epitome of “ Cash only “ kind of guys, he has in conversations told me he has not filed a tax return since “ Reagan was president “. These days he says that it is more difficult to make things go on this basis but he is doing it. I have made a number of deals from him, through him and the like. He has been a good friend and we have “ scratched “ each others back so to speak.

One Saturday evening while I was working out of town some illegal alien guy in a van rear ended my wife near my home. I got the tow truck guy on the phone and immediately I said…hey lookit pal…MY house is where I want the thing. NO where else. ( insurance carriers have their OWN selected yards depending on the group and once your car is in THEIR yard …then YOU lose negotiating power ) If I find some photos, I will post them….car was really crunched in the back, not twisted banana like but really ugly.

So here is what transpired….Haystack tows Taurus to James’ place,and I give him some $ to start to fix and straighten car.No biggee for us. Need the car back on the road, its ALL good. Its normal get it, fix it, deal with it stuff. Insurance company says,” lookit your car is totaled we will give you xyz –like a few hundred--send a tow truck over to get it “ Haystack says “ nope…my car..I am going to keep it “ Insurance company says well, we cannot do that “…..remember …USUALLY the car is in THEIR yard and they use it and the fact you are making PAYMENTS ( most everyone is ) and have no transportation to mess with you. Haystack says “ cool then, not a problem, its MY property, YOUR client damaged it , it has a 3 week old brand new tranny and I am going to keep it, its my wifes first car and we like it etc etc…NO ! again, talk later and I hang up “.

Now….all is good cept I am out a few hundred ahead with James. No biggee ‘cuz insurance company has an “open “ file that I know they at some point are really gonna need to close. Next step…call attorney.
Long story short, I think me and James fixed the Taurus for about 600 cash. New panels , deck lid from the yard, new paint, pin striping etc. Insurance company after almost one year of thinking we were gonna settle finally coughs up a handsome sum.
Haystack then buys the wife a Cadillac from a school friend that is essentially free and still has the Taurus AND some WAM ( walking around money ) left over. Wife drives Cadillac Concourse for over a year, she was so happy, it was crazy. Then the car , a 32 valve Northstar, starts leaking coolant…i.e. head gasket. I take it to a guy who specializes in Cadillacs and he was a hoot. He says “ lookit man, 32 valve Northstar…BOAT anchor, you gotta suck it up and deal with that info, I cannot take your money “ So…I return the favor of James helping me so much…. he gives me 500 for the “ free “ Cadillac, we dump a whole load of cheap head gasket seal in it and he turns it quickly and sells it for 3000 “ AS IS “ to some…well lets say they are low rider types….have no clue how long it lasted but I cannot imagine for long unless they had an intravenous water feed to it…LOL
The first segment of some of Haystack and James’ trades, more later.
 
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pitw

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#82
Well I can tell you that I traded the video's and mags for 10 coyotes to be skinned and stretched plus 6 hours of labor[helping me fence]. These guys are not supposed to have contraband like this so it was an easy deal.
If I had found the gay rags, I'd probably have burned the house.
If someone put's "As is" in an ad my bargy senses go beserk.
Wish I could say I made out like a bandit on all deals but that would be a straight up lie.
 

agnut

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#83
Hey Haystack, that is some post to pitw. May I say that you are no panty waste ? I always thought that there is ulti-mate power in women’s undies and you proved it in a whole new way.

Your post to me was fantastic; it reminded me of my younger days hustling to feed my family. I had been working at a MG-Jaguar dealership in Erie Pennsylvania and moved to West Palm Beach to get out of the extreme cold. We moved into a quattroplex apartment on a dirt road. When my wife was in the hospital having our second daughter I had to roll up the living room rug to repair a VW engine to pay to get my new daughter out of the hospital. I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich but the times when I was poor were the times when we were closest in our efforts to survive. I mean, we weren’t going to starve or anything; it was a matter of self respect.

After almost 50 years I still have a love affair with cars. I’ve owned hundreds and many makes. Lucky that I didn’t buy some of then however. Like that Jowett Jupiter in San Diego and the Facel Vega in Miami. Rare but not what I would call exotic. When I had more money that sense I wanted to buy an older rusty Rolls Royce and enter it as the feature in a Demo derby. Imagine the crowd who would show up to see that spectacle. Oh well, I can get a bit crazy at times. Just lucky that they haven’t caught me yet.

Your run in with the insurance company was weird, to say the least. They seem to be grabbing at every opportunity even though it hurts their public relations. You are not one of their customers so you are fair game, I suppose. Good to see that you handled them wisely.

I find that specializing in one or two types of cars works best for me. I have been into Volkswagens since about 1972 and have about 10 of them on the property. All except the 71 beetle are diesels. I bought most of them for 100 to 200 bucks; they need repair but at that price I felt that I couldn’t lose. Either fuel prices will go up or become restricted as to how much fuel we can buy. And diesel fuel is a lot safer and easier to store. These little cars get 50-55 MPG on the freeway and parts are cheap. Yesterday I picked up a runnig 1.6 diesel engine complete for $200. It will go into one of my cars out back. I now have two running diesel engines sitting around for the future. You know how I heard about the $200 diesel ? I was dumping off old oil at a local transmission shop; they use it to heat their big building in the winter. When I picked it up the seller implied that the engine was worth another hundred dollars so I told him that I would “pay” him by taking all my old oil to him and tell all my friends to do the same. He and his coworker seemed to be happy at the prospect of keeping warm this winter. Actually, dropping off old oil to him is much easier than disposing of it elsewhere. Another win-win.

My older son is into Toyotas. I think that they are one of the very best cars in the world, better than the Volkswagens I have been into for over 40 years. I’ve learned a lot from him although I trained him in transmission rebuilding for several years. He is what I call a “natural”; he takes to complex auto repair like a duck takes to water.

Here is something I typed up recently that I hadn’t posted :

Ever since WWII we Americans have been on a worldwide scavenger hunt for anything and everything that suited our fancy. And we had an enormous fancy wanting more and more and more. The world was happy to oblige since much of the world’s manufacturing had had the living crap bombed out of it and we were the last man-ufacturers left standing.

Problem was that keeping up with the Joneses cost more than we made and through the decades we fell to the siren song of credit and deepening debt levels. Well, we have finally arrived at our own Water-loo and are now up to our necks in the loo.

There is a point here; I’m not into condemnation but only an observer of human nature and weaknesses that cause folks to paint themselves into a corner. I’m also a problem solver and there is a solution to the “too much month left at the end of the money” syndrome.

Regarding the several decades of past overbuying, there is an enormous stockpile of good used items all over America. Millions of garages, barns, storage lockers full of “valuable items” that the owners didn’t know what to do with or want to throw away or haul to the dump.

Bartering and horse trading is a sort of rewind or reverse engineering of these several decades wherein we can now buy good used items for prices that are as close to highway robbery as you can get.

And what of the folks who “have to buy everything new” ? Well, they aren’t with the changing times and may never be able to swallow their mislabeled so called pride. Good for them; let me know how that works out for you.

Yesterday I bought a later model Whirlpool dishwasher for $30. Of course it isn’t new silly; $30 buys a new toaster, not a $400 new dishwasher. I also bought a Kohler toilet for $20. Yuck, you say. Yeah, butt I will be reading from my library of Bathroom Readers with the confidence that I won’t have to use the plunger all the time. That is worth a load of relief to me.

By the way, the new (to us) dishwasher works so well that my sons call it nuclear powered.

What is stopping millions of Americans from becoming good barterers and horse traders ? Ignorance of the opportunities, habit and ego gratification. All extremely expensive to the bottom line.

Best wishes,

Agnut

"All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting."
- George Orwell

We should insist that an immigrant who comes in good faith and assimilates himself to us, shall be treated equally. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming an American, and nothing else. There can be no divided allegiance. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, one language and one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people. -T.Roosevelt
 

Hystckndle

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#84
Good stuff Ag. Back a little later. I am suppossed to see James to do some stuff
I am excited to share a few more stories and experiences with you and the others following this thread.
 

Hystckndle

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#85
Hello Agnut,
I have missed talking to you. A neighbor has passed on and the end of our block has been quite busy, it has been raining cats and opossums and all sorts of things get in the way of our communications. This is an “ interim “ note on your thread to share a little. First , I would like to interject that “ yes” I have enjoyed your past writings and hope that you will continue to share them. Please do not stop posting them. You might think that compared to the past , not many are enjoying your musings but assurdly they are. And there are thousands out there who read this forum and who are not ( yet ) members. With all of the new members here one of the things I have noticed is that new posts often drop off the “ new postings” button very fast. With many people using portable devices this is something we will have to address as time marches on. If we just keep typing and posting then your thread will stay at near the top of the scroll and more and more people will see all that you have written and posted.

I will post a few pics here below detailing the goings on. It appears that some have not come out on my phone / camera so I will have to revist later and add to this.

After leaving the hood up all night ( no light on, mind you ) at the Nissan hotel our non paying but smiling guest moved on. Then we took a leaf blower to the engine compartment to clean it out and took a bit of time Monday a week ago to check things out. What we found kind of changed our tune on our “ flip “ . The engine just did not “feel” correct under mild acceleration or idle and we are thinking that the timing belt was amiss or even a valve might have some problems. Someone had just been in there with adding some new wiring and we read a few things on the receipts we had for repais. Because of the overall condition and the number of cuts and scrapes on the body and interior and an estimate of our time and materials we would have to deploy to get an extra $ 500.00 to $ 1000.00 we opted for door # 3 which was…… “ call the hook “. The tow truck from the local scrap yard came day before yesterday and because I have a horse trade going with James the driver gave him direct a check for the van for right at $ 400.00. Haystack is out about 3 hours of time messing with the van –including opossum extraction-( van given to me for free from a family member ) so that was a plus and will add to the bottom line of the tale. Note: that Haystack at some level abhors the scrap yard for vehicles that still move but with this item it seemed like the best decision.

James has over the last three or four years kept a few things that have come across his shop floor and that is what this trade involves. Since he trusts me ( another facet of bartering and horse trading…trust and legacy / history often come into the mix ) and we have know each other for almost a decade he approached me first with his intent / offer and he understood from the get go when I mentioned I needed some $ assistance other than a straight purchase of his items and maybe we could work together on getting the van into the mix. Further, because he knows me and he knows , or thinks he does lol, my appreciation for quality items he asked me 1st to assist him instead of going out onto the “ street “ with his offerings. Sometimes Haystack handles taking pics and writing text and leaving his contact number for Craigslist advertisements. Bottom line…its not always just about the $ with people like James. There are many variables. However, money does talk so we both know the drill.

I am carrying on now I guess….the subject matter in this barter and trade is a 1995 Caddilac AND a 1998 Taurus 24 valve. Haystack is down 1250 cash, a van and opossum boot. James has a new home for his “children” , and knows if he really, really wants one of them back ( like the older Mercedes I have not written about yet ) then he can approach me again and we can possibly work something out. I understand that the children come with some behavior issues, but I assure you, the total health of each is as in the couple of photos attached.

Agnut, I will post a few more photos a bit later my friend. I also want to fill you in on the above mentioned Mercedes and a Mercury Marquis, not to mention another Taurus. Talk soon, regards.
 

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agnut

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#86
Hi Haystack. That Cadillac in your photo looks like it just came off the showroom floor. If I didn’t know better I’d think you were trying to make me jealous. It’s been several years since I’ve had a nice family car. All diesel truck and high MPG diesel cars now.

As we discussed I will post some things I wrote from the past.

From June 2011:

There are times when you strike out and other times when you make a killing. So patience and steadfastness are the key. By the way, have you ever calculated the percentage of buying times that are great against the times when you struck out ? I seem to have about a 80-90 percent success rate.

I have written a long post but have to type it up and post it when time permits.

I’ve done so much buying in the last few weeks here that I am still catching up with putting it all away.

We are anxiously waiting for 24 black copper chicks being hatched. I could hold 5 in the palm of my hand; they are so tiny when we get them. We’ll be raising them in the house like we did the last ones. This breed of chickens lay a dark brown egg that is considered by chefs to be gourmet (and I hear that they charge accordingly). Oh well, I’m not a connoisseur. More like a kind-of-sewer; everything goes down me.

Will post as soon as I have time. Not only have I been buying lots of stuff but have been learning valuable lessons along the way.
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You are well aware that each of us is unique and sees everything through our own eyes and mind filter. Some of the things I pick up would be passed by others. Perhaps that is why I can attend a sale hours after it had begun and still be able to acquire some bargains.

A seemingly small purchase had a lesson attached which I didn’t think of until it was all over. There was a man buying a 5 gallon pail of tools for $20. But there was oil in the bottom of the bucket. This man took most of the tools out and put them in a clean bucket, leaving the oil at the bottom. After he had left I went over to the bucket and tilted it to see what was left in the oil. I asked the seller what he would want for what was left and he said $2. So I emptied the bucket of its contents and found 15 brand new American punches and drifts, 2 ½”drive sockets, needle nose pliers, a chain saw file, large Allen wrenches and a long drill bit.

Doesn’t sound like much but if I had to buy the above items new, they would have cost many times the $2 I paid. And American punches don’t come cheap; because they last longer that the pot metal Asian crap !

I got a roll of galvanized wire (about 80 pounds) for $20. More than I wanted to pay but we need it and there was no sales tax.

A huge pressure cooker for $2. The aluminum scrap is worth more than that.

2 bronze propellers for a Mercury outboard for $30. Don’t know what they are worth but we have a couple of Mercs in the family.

96 Ball and Kerr canning jars for $40.

A flight suit with a zillion zippers all over it. A buck.

A couple hundred pounds of heavy chain for $5. Probably $2-300 if new.

A 5 gallon bucket full of clevises and other fittings for $15.

A hay bale moisture checker for $50 for my son. Still had the receipt from new and was over $400. It made me proud when the first thing my son said was that not only can we check our hay but can also check others’ hay bale stacks. Fire hazard, ya know.

Several sets of new hinges and latches for free.

A Hallicraffter shortwave radio for $5. It made a static sound and I got it on the chance I could make it work.

The next garage sale had a riding mower that needed the shifter fixed. It ran and cut well. He wanted $50 and I got it for $40. The Briggs and Stratton engine was worth more than I was paying so if I couldn’t get it running economically I could at least get value from the engine. Who knows, maybe this or some other engine will be set up to run on gasified wood for recharging the 24 batteries I recently connected for off the grid power.

When I got it home my son repaired the shifter in a short while and now we have a backup riding mower. When my other riding mower broke a drive housing a few weeks ago, it was down for several days and I wasn’t looking forward to having to mow all of our grass with a walk behind mower. So this $40 riding mower will give me some peace of mind. I suppose I could sell it for a profit but I need it more than I need the money.

By the way, the electrical cable double ends for my battery pack were over $10 each from a supplier I found on the internet. However, a local NAPA parts house had two singles which would serve the same purpose for $4.36. So I saved over $100 by buying locally. I know, usually its cheaper to buy from the internet. But not this time.

The spare riding mower is like Ponce’s advice to have a plan behind a plan behind a plan. This advice is not to be taken lightly and as more time passes I am becoming more mindful of this when out there buying. Thanks again Ponce.

While I was at the riding mower sale I spied a motorcycle in the corner of the garage with a not for sale sign. I asked the seller and his wife about it and he said that it was found in a field of high weeds and th4e owner gave it to him for free. The seller had been lugging it around for years and dreamed of restoring it but hadn’t the time. By the way, it was a 1965 BMW R60/2; I don’t know if I will get it but am illustrating here that persistence can pay off in a big way. Our conversation had made him consider selling the bike and I have his phone number to call later. A couple of important points here to note. First, he paid nothing for the bike so I knew that his only attachment was sentimental and actually this worked in my favor since all he saw was a pure cash income deal. And since I had learned that they were moving soon, he and his wife may be motivated to leave it behind, aka sell it to me. His asking price should be low also since he has nothing invested. Second point is this type of deal gives me the time to look up the model and year to see what it is worth and if it is worth the investment.

Got a nice Panasonic microwave for $5. Just in case our other microwave craps out.

Got a 1987 VW Scirocco that I had originally acquired for free a few years earlier. I sold it to my son a few months ago for $300 and now that I had the rebuilt diesel engine and rebuilt special ratio transmission, I had a very special need for the aerodynamic Scirocco. I bought it back for $500 but since I had netted $300 earlier, I really had only $200 out of pocket cost. Straight body and nice interior. I would be happy to talk about car deals if anyone is interested. After all, they loom large in the average budget and shouldn’t be ignored.

Take away from the above deal what you may. There is a method to my madness; it is just part of my ever changing needs within a floating valuation environment. Point is, I am very happy with the deal and my son has more money in his pocket. Who knows; this could lead to diesel conversions of more Sciroccos in the future. As far as I know, the VW factory never offered a diesel engine in the Scirocco.

I must add that I recently bought another Scirocco; it was a series I type and extremely hard to find. It is just sitting there waiting until I have the time. Funny but at my age I am still like a kid when it comes to fixing up cars.
=================================
I have also bought copper wiring and didn’t know exactly what it was worth but made a best guess at the stripped copper weight. However, I only buy it if it is so cheap that I can’t lose. If too high, I bargain it down until it is a steal or I won‘t buy it. It is almost embarrassing to relate how little I paid sometimes. I suspect that those days may come to an end as the economy gets tighter/worse. Don’t miss acquiring scrap aluminum either . Old barbecues are usually made of it and when the steel rusts out, they are thrown or given away. We get 75 cents a pound for clean scrap aluminum.

People are waking up to values of things that they had thrown away in the past. For instance I went to a garage sale yesterday that was in a upper price neighborhood; the seller had books for $5 and $7 each. I usually pay from 25 cents to no more than a dollar. I ended up buying nothing and went home empty. That was a first for me. Three weeks ago I was at a garage sale and picked up about 15 hardbound books for free. There was about 200 books there but I got to pick out some great stuff for my overflowing library. My library; what a joke. Hundreds of books are in boxes and on shelves in the barn and I can’t even get to many of them.

That same afternoon I had to go to town to pick up boxes of fruits and veggies out back of the local supermarket. On the way home I saw a couple of garage sale signs and followed them to where I got ;

A 72” projection TV screen for $20; still in the box and never used. I don’t have a projection TV but one will probably turn up one of these days. Hopefully before my Samsung DLP TV gives up the ghost.

A set of 4 mag wheels for $5 total and a spare rim and tire for a Honda for $1.

A cold weather outfit from a US submarine for a couple of bucks. Ponce says that they cost $150; new or used I don’t know.

A cold weather jacket from the same sub for a couple of bucks (for me).

A pair of stereo speakers for $5.

A car theft lock for the emergency brake for $1

That was it for just a few minutes while I was already in town.

Last weekend I got several items but the two compound bows I got for $7.50 each was about the best score. I could sell them but this is one of the advantages of bartering and horse trading; my son and I have been talking about setting up an archery range but didn’t want to spend the bucks for all the equipment. So last week these two bows come up out of nowhere. The only expense now is to find a set of arrows; I’m sorry to say that I may to have to buy them new because I’ve never seen any arrows for sale at any garage sales. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to change my motto; “the only thing I buy new is socks and underwear”.

Last week one of my sons was with me garage sailing and he spotted a couple of water tanks with a for sale sign beside the road we were traveling. I jotted down the number and later called the seller. He said they were 3,200 gallons each and wanted $2,000 for them. I haggled him down on the phone no less and we agreed on $1,200. I checked out the prices of the two tanks and they cost $3,500 each new so $1,200 for the pair wasn’t too bad a deal.

But here’s the kicker; he said that I could have everything in the adjoining well house for free. There was a pair of ozone generators which retail for $1,000 each and three bladder tanks which retail for $864 each. There was also a booster pump which must cost at least a few hundred dollars. And outside there was a 300 gallon heavy wall steel tank for diesel fuel or whatever I may need. Also lots of fittings, piping and several relay boxes and controllers I haven’t yet identified. Now I don’t know what I can sell the well equipment for but it was there, as they say, for the taking.

My only problem now is getting the two water tanks moved. They are 10 foot in diameter and weigh about 800 pounds each.

As I look back at my last few posts I may sound like I’m bragging. But I’m not; I’m showing what can be found out there with a bit of initiative. A sort of friendly kick in the ass, if you will.

Tonight we had the parents of a friend visit. Some great country folks and real characters. My favorite kind of people. We loaded them up with a couple of boxes of fruits and veggies. I mentioned that we were looking for some railroad ties. They said that they knew someone who had a pile of them for free and promised to call us later. They also have decades of experience in canning and will help us in the future. We must have talked continuously for a couple of hours as it grew dark. So much to share.

Starting to see how networking grows exponentially ? I’m living it and having the time of my life. I wish the same for all of you who are reading this.

On a serious note, we know (or should know by now) that we are heading into some rough times. These connections we make will benefit us as well as others. I believe that we are doing what our parents, grandparents and generations before them did with each other. It was a sense of community; of being there for each other. And I hope and believe that we will have that again someday in the not too distant future. Funny thing is, it is so easy to do and natural.

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agnut

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#87
From July 2011:

I have been collecting Wagner cast iron cookware for years. Also have been collecting wax candles by the pound. Have you seen the prices for candles in the stores lately ?

Your patience is critical to bartering and horse trading; a sort of force multiplier. Also remember to have a notebook in which to list dates with phone numbers and what happened that day. Who, what, where, when, why and how are foundational to good journalism and will also apply to wise deal making. This notebook will prove to be invaluable for some deals that need to mature for a time. Not every deal is made on the spot but due to finances and circumstances with either buyer or seller, deals can be made even months later when the time is right. Very, very important.

Off topic but Ponce and I were discussing storing salt and sugar and Ponce made me realize that sugar was a better prep item to accumulate. Why ? Because salt is relatively easy to make while sugar requires a lengthy operation of growing and processing. We do need salt but sugar is needed in so many cooking recipes that to not have sugar would put such a halt to so many of the foods we eat. White gold ? Maybe someday; but I am planning to get at least a couple hundred more pounds to put away into the 4 gallon square buckets I get from a local bakery for 50 cents each. Is there a lesson here ? I hope so.

I have to tell you that when I got the first 60 plastic buckets with lids that I thought that I had too many buckets. But on further reflection, I decided to get all of the buckets I could find. Two reasons; first, I am using the heck out of these buckets. Food storage and many, many other uses. And second, at 50 cents each they are a screaming steal. They are a petroleum product and with peak oil production and a coming devaluation/collapse of the dollar, these plastic buckets will only rise in price. In a few years, what will be the price of a plastic storage bucket ? They cost about $6-7 retail right now but again ask yourself what they will be worth as trading material. Starting to get the picture of how we may be bartering and horse trading in the future ? Also realize that right now, these plastic buckets are a great deal. So, where is the downside of accumulating as many as you can find ? Except for the room needed to stack them, I see none. I would love to have over a thousand buckets ( have about 250 now) but they are being used almost as fast as they are being replaced.

By the way, I’m also getting steel buckets with lids from the same source. At first I didn’t know what I would do with them but realized that I can use them for food storage in the barn which has mice/rats that cannot chew through steel. They already chewed through a plastic container so I had a dilemma with my garage already packed with food preps. So my problem solved itself. My point here is that sometimes we get items that we don’t know what to do with and only later an epiphany (brain fart really) hits us upside the head.

In my area there are a lot of old timers with acreage ( I’ve unwittingly become one too !) who sometimes have barns full of items packed away that I bet they haven’t looked at for decades. When they either decide to get rid of their lifetime accumulations or their heirs sell them at an estate sale, it is only a matter of time. So I watch the local paper classified ads and have my feelers out. I feel like a Moray eel relaxing in my cave, waiting for appetizing morsels to drift by. But as I wrote in the past, it is not wise to bite off more than you can chew. So far I have been able to buy whatever bargains I found. The aforementioned two 3,200 gallon water storage tanks were about as much as I can take on at this time. I have to get on the phone and find someone willing to move them for me. Wide load signs and a moving permit ? I don’t know yet. Wish me luck. HaHa. Hey ! Maybe I can turn them on their side and roll them home. Definitely a brain fart there.
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Ponce has always said that the trash dumps of today will be the goldmines of tomorrow.

Out of season clothing buying is smart and soooo easy. The hotter the weather the more are for sale and cheaper. You’d think that people hadn’t learned that the seasons return with regularity.

You have jogged my memory of something that I have been wanting to write about for a long time.

These screaming bargains that we find can be perceived in more than one way.

First, they are money saved for the things we need. No duh.

Second, they can be held for the future and used for bartering material.

Third, they can be an investment which increases in value through time. The plastic buckets in my last post are a good example. Quality tools such as power drills, saws - as well as boxes of nails and screws, chains, etc. ; these items and many others may not be available in a few years. Building material and clothing are a couple more that come to mind.

Fourth, and here is my main point. Some bargain items bought now have the capacity to increase as much as or even more that gold and silver at current prices. Now let me explain before I get banned as a shill for the fiat money crowd. This is a complex situation and not to be entered into without deeply considering all the ramifications.

An example might best be provided to show the sequence of events in order to understand the need for this change in perception.

Say Joe has 10,000 ounces of physical silver. And he has preps for a couple years. His home is fully paid for and he has social security, stocks, Treasury bonds and a 401K account coming in that is sufficient to pay all of his bills including property taxes. Looking pretty good, isn’t he ?

Yes, he is well prepared. FOR THE PRESENT, THAT IS.

However, within a couple of years the financial and social landscape will have radically transformed into a war scenario; a financial war, that is. Civil rights have been trampled and when society fell apart due to the collapse of the dollar, social security lost relevance; worthless. Most all stocks and bonds also became borderline worthless. The 401K accounts had earlier been confiscated by the government with broken promises to continue payouts (remember Social Security and what they did ?). Besides, the dollar itself had become practically worthless; no matter if the payouts continued if the currency was only good for toilet paper. Ironic as well as tragic that almost all citizens had believed the government all the way to their bitter end.

So now Joe, a couple of years later, finds himself and his family with no means to pay bills except his 10,000 ounces of physical silver. Silver, their salvation in a desperate situation ? Not hardly, because the government had ordered high taxation on precious metal “profits”. What a sick joke since purchasing power of precious metals had increased half of most folks thought through the years. Why ? Because the dollar had fallen in purchasing power.

Additionally, there was confiscation of all gold and silver bullion with a huge fine and 5 years prison sentence. Sound familiar ? Well, most folks who would remember the lesser Depression are either dead or in rest homes. They would remember; they lived through it.

Property rights fly out the window when government is against the wall. They will forcibly take anything you have in order to continue their power position. This has been true throughout history and I can see no reason that it won’t happen again. Do you really believe that those in power will relinquish their power willingly ? When have you ever seen this happen ? Sorry but my squashing old misconceptions is the only way to get through to changing to this different way of thinking.

Now this scenario didn’t unfold all at once but rather through a gradual process of tightening the noose upon the unsuspecting public. Alternate thinking might perceive that we have already been in a collapse for some years; it is a process through time rather than a head on collision. Alternate thinkers have learned to foresee trends’ end game. They also prepare in anticipation of where they want to be in this Slave New World.

Next is Don and his family. Don also had 10,000 ounces of silver. I said HAD, as in he sold 1,000 of his silver at an intermediate peak price. He had bought silver long ago at $5 per ounce and sold some at $40 per ounce, an 8 time increase. An incredible profit, wouldn’t you say ? Well, this 8 times increase must be viewed in the context of the relative values of the dollar between when Don bought his silver and when he sold it. The fiat dollar, actually any fiat currency, is dropped into the bowl and floats around until flushed by good sense and an operational olfactory system. But it has not really flushed yet. Why, you ask ? Because those who have their hands on the lever are still in control. Or think they are. With the European Union unraveling, the dollar is looking relatively strong. But its been said that fiat currencies don’t float but rather sink at different rates.

Now Don has $40,000 in fiat dollars and 10% less physical silver. What to do, what to do. You’d think that he had a sort of delicious dilemma of what “toys” to buy. But not Don; for he has been reading on the internet for several years and like Saint Nick, making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who’s been naughty or nice. Or rather foolish or wise.

If Don had bought his silver about 10 years ago at $5 per ounce and recently sold some at $40 per ounce with the fiat dollar losing say, half of its purchasing power, Don really “only” increased the value of his silver four times rather than the eight times many assume.

So what could be bought now that would keep up with silver’s price rise in the same time period ?

Tough question; one I have been pondering for some time.

In Don’s case, he had decided that he was too heavy in precious metals and too light in preps and other physical investments. A rebalancing of his portfolio was in order.

More preps was the first thing Don did. And not just food but also backup equipment for what he already had. This is where estate and garage sales comes in. A $30- $40 deluxe toaster may be bought for a dollar or two at a garage sale. I know, I have done it a few times myself. I have one toaster in my kitchen and three backups in storage, all used but in working condition. Extra shovels, rakes, tools, lumber, nails and a myriad of other items that Don may need himself as well as desirable bartering material for the future. Granted, these are small items which can be bought for a pittance at estate and garage sales and therefore would take time to accumulate. However, there are some large items that can quickly gobble up most of Don’s $40,000 cash wad.

Things like cars. People need to get around and with gasoline becoming more expensive through time, a small high mile per gallon backup car seems like a good idea. In fact, I just bought a Chevrolet Sprint. Don’t laugh but it has a three cylinder Suzuki engine and is only 1,000 ccs, as in a one liter engine. However, it gets over 50 MPG and is cheap to maintain. A friend had one and modified it to run lean; he was getting over 100 MPG until he burned up the motor. Went a but too far with the leaning of the fuel while not water injecting it to keep it running cool. I don’t intend to go this far but hope to tweak the carburetor a bit to get 70 MPG. By the way, this little car has a 30,000 mile engine just installed and I only paid $100 for the car ! I did pay a $50 finder’s fee and another $50 to have it towed to my place. To me, finder’s fees are a financial thank you and a happy circumstance where both parties win. I recommend it highly. The $50 towing I didn’t have to pay since the friend was doing it for free. It came as a surprise to him and was an investment of sorts for future dealings. Generosity and fairness rules here in bartering and horse trading.

By the way, I’m in the middle of converting a 1987 VW Scirocco gas car into a diesel for higher miles per gallon ( the gas version gets about 30-35 MPG). I thought I was the first to do so but recently talked to a man who has done just that. He is getting 65 MPG and this is without a modified gear ratio transmission which I have built for my own car. I think 70 MPG will be easily attainable without any engine modifications. I chose the VW Scirocco because it is far more aerodynamic that other Volkswagens of the same vintage.

So what am I going to do with this diesel VW Scirocco ? Drive it for a while and then perhaps put it on Ebay at a high price to see how much demand there may be out there. If this were to pan out, I would find other VW Sciroccos to convert. Could be quite profitable. I just don’t know at this time; especially feeling that we are at the threshold of a collapse of the dollar. And even if the dollar were to not collapse, I would still have an extremely high MPG car for the future. A win-win in my eyes.

These VW Sciroccos are getting scarce and I have been reluctant to write about their potential since I don’t want others to read what I’m doing and scoop the ones that are still out there. It is more important to share this in particular as an example of the way I think than to keep silent in order for future gain. Besides, not many people read this thread and even fewer will actually buy one of these cars and convert it. A while ago I saw a VW diesel pickup truck sell for $12,000 on Ebay. It was cosmetically excellent with a new paint job and interior but neither the engine nor the 5 speed transmission were rebuilt. The person who bought it could well have found himself in a few months on the side of the road with a blown engine. But he would still have a pristine car - hanging at the end of the hook of the tow truck !

People buy the sizzle without realizing the sound of that sizzle is their own fat frying.

As I have written many times, we as a society are moving from form to function. In other words, getting to work in a Mercedes is no better than arriving in a high MPG car. It takes about the same time but one is far, far more expensive than the other. And expensive can no longer be continued. Here is a great article that explains a great part of why and how we are in the current predicament :

Peacock Syndrome - America’s Fatal Disease

http://www.theburningplatform.com/?p=18895

There are almost 100 commentaries that follow which will give you some idea of what intelligent folks are thinking.

Everybody talks about how much money they are making but nobody talks about how much they are saving for their future. Oh yeah, some talk about how much money they have in their 401K, their pension, stocks, bonds and bank accounts. But can’t you see the fatal flaw here ? Yep, it is all paper and electronic promises. And they don’t physically hold it either. If that doesn’t scare the Hell out of you, I don’t know what will.

The Social Security checks are being used as the carrot and stick by those wanting to further increase government spending. Disgusting beyond description. These are the same guys who robbed the SS trust fund of over 2 trillion dollars and put in its place a nonnegotiable promissory note. And who is responsible for that promissory note ? Us, the same ones who paid into the SS fund in the first place. In some bizarre world, doesn’t this mean that we are paying twice for the same thing ?

So what do you think they will do in the near future with your other paper and electronic promises ?

If you didn’t really hold it, do you think you really ever owned it ? Something we will hear in the future.

"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
John MacKay “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”

So please, please think of where you are and how you want to be living in the future. Sure, it is uncertain but at least we can see the trends of the last few decades and where we are heading.

Enough of my tirade for now. I have more to post as soon as I can type it all up. Yesterday was a totally unexpected wild day at garage sales.

Best wishes,

Agnut

“America is living off the fiat of the land”
agnut
 

agnut

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#88
August 2011 :

I have to realize that those reading the bartering and horse trading thread who have never actively gone out seeking steal deals at garage and estate sales, well, they are probably skeptical that we are telling the truth. After all, I am sometimes amazed at the deals I have found. Even today I look at my commercial Stihl weed whacker that costs about $400 new and I got it at a garage sale for $5 and am stilh amazed.

I’m also adding to my sugar preps. Have a couple of hundred pounds now and feel horribly naked in that area. I don’t know if 500 pounds would be enough. Costco seems to have the best prices but I rarely get over to where they are located.

Last Saturday I awoke at 8:30, not realizing at first that it was Saturday. My only thing on my to do list was to get a couple of cartridges for my HP printer. I was still fuzzy headed when I pulled up my local paper’s garage sale ads. I looked through 10 or so ads and spied one that was a community yearly garage sale. It was only 3 miles away in a fancy neighborhood that I had been to a few times. I called my nephew to see if he was interested in going. He was at my house in a few minutes and we headed out. On the way there I noticed a sign that said there was also a community garage sale going on a couple of miles further.

We hit about 10 garage sales in fast order, the first few were discouraging. At that point I wondered if people were running out of good items to sell but the next few sales allayed my fears. It just kept getting better the more we looked.

By now we had the SUV half loaded and hadn’t even gotten over to the next area. I had been there several times over the years and knew its potential. Houses ranged from $300,000 and up. An older quality neighborhood with lots of toys, big boy toys, that is.

Knowing your neighborhoods and allocating your time accordingly is crucial to increasing your success. I can’t emphasize this enough.

Here is a list of what I got, prices and why I bought them :

2 VW hubcaps for 25 cents each. I have several VWs and am a VW nut anyhow; been working on them for almost 40 years…so far.

A board game called Therapy for 75 cents. My sister has a degree in psychology and it might be fun to psych her out.

A brand new veggie steamer for $2. I already have a couple of them but you will find a common thread with me in that I am always looking for backups in multiples. What is enough ? I really don’t know.

A fruit dehydrator for $2. One of ours recently went south so a replacement was in order.

Two berry juice extractors for 25 cents each. One was a wooden handled antique. Couldn’t pass them up at that price.

A Craftsman wood splitter maul with fiberglass handle for $2. Probably costs over $30 new and it was like new. Also, the fiberglass handle types don’t break as far as I’ve seen.

A plastic gas can for $1. Can’t seem to get enough of these.

A long tree branch lopper with cutting blade attachment for $2. They rarely ever show up at garage sales and we have a new orchard.

A power orange juicer for $1. They cost about $33 new with tax. I already have 2 but a friend who picks up our fruits and veggies had asked me to keep my eyes peeled for one. And he had asked only a couple of weeks ago. Can’t wait till he shows up.

A power can opener for $1. Hey, I’m a bit lazy and someday I’ll be able to tell the young ’uns I had a can opener that works on e-lektricity.

A brand spanking new Black and Decker 14 piece drill bit set for $1.

A mixmaster with bowl and stand for $1

A set of like new heavy duty jumper cables for $2. This type lasts almost forever and can handle heavy amperage like for my Dodge diesel truck.

A Remington power nail driver with shot loads and nails for $2. Costs about $40 at Home Depot. Also a backup.

Large Vise Grips brand for 50 cents. Can’t get enough of this top quality tool.

A French made cork installer for 50 cents. Ya never know when I’ll want to make a couple of cases of wine since I bought a wine making outfit at another garage sale a few years back.

31 patio candles for 50 cents. Not such a hot deal but I was there and they were there and…

A Bushnell rifle scope for $1. Too cheap to pass up.

75 pounds of candle wax with 2 large boxes of candle making molds, aromas, dyes, other equipment, loads of wicks for $20. I’ve been picking up cheap wax for a long time and now this whole candle making setup shows up. What could I do ? I was helpless.

For future reference, I just now found prices for candle wax. Straight paraffin would cost $99.15 for 75 pounds and wax blend would cost $116.75 for 75 pounds. Plus shipping. YMMV.

That candle equipment and wax deal is looking better all the time.

A Craftsman floor model radial arm saw with several attachments still in their boxes, radial arm saw books, a carbide blade, a dado cutter still in the package and it all looks almost new. All for $50.

And I’ve saved the best for last. I spied a couple of HP printer cartridges sitting on a HP Photosmart 1100 copier. I started to ask the seller what he wanted for the two cartridges and before I could get the whole question out of my mouth, my nephew interrupted me and said to look at the price tag on the copier. I couldn’t believe it. It said $1! The seller was selling the two cartridges still in their sealed boxes WITH the copier for a buck. And there were two used cartridges already in the machine (Don’t know if they work, just a bonus).

Remember at the beginning of this post I wrote that the only thing on my to do list was to get a couple of cartridges ? Do you know how many types of cartridges there are out there ? And to find the exact two that I was going to buy anyway ? And new ones at a garage sale for crying out loud ? What are the odds ?

Voltaire said “God is a comedian playing to an audience that is too afraid to laugh.” Well, I’m laughing.

Those cartridges alone would have cost me $100 with tax. My total for all of the garage sailing was $102.50. Do you see where I’m going with this ? Yeah, as Mae West said “I can resist most anything but temptation.” So did I spend only $3.50 ($2.50 out of pocket plus $1 for the copier machine and two cartridges) for all of the aforementioned items ? I guess that’s one way of looking at it. I like that way.

Looking back on that Saturday outing, we had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs and saved a lot of money. By the way, what are you doing next Saturday ?
==========================================
Last Friday I found a very old scythe for $20. Wooden handles and shaft. It was in such good condition for its age that I had to buy it. It will go with my one horse plow as yard decorations.

A week ago I was out with my son and ran across a set of the four seasons done in mother of pearl. They were made in China I guess, about 25 years ago but could be older. They are exquisite and will hang in my bedroom. There are different gradations in quality of workmanship and these are the highest, done in 3-D and therefore delicate and under glass. If you appreciate fine art and workmanship, these are the top quality I can envision. I’m no art expert but probably because of my love of art of all types, I have always been successful in what art I do acquire.

I looked on Ebay and saw one similar mother of pearl piece that was being offered for $1,000. It was only 1 panel and not as well done as mine. I liked it but wouldn’t have paid more than a couple of hundred for it. So what did I pay for all of the four seasons panels. Try $50 total at a garage sale. I still can’t believe it. They aren’t for sale now; I have to get to know them. Maybe it’s love.

Yesterday I got a cement mixer for $50 (hmmm… from love to a cement mixer; quite a jump). Anyway, it was an older type with a steel tumbler and belt driven electric motor. Perfect for when we put in the patio out back.

Picked up 20 or so 33 1/3 record albums for 50 cents each. In the group there was a Lenny Bruce album cataloging at $100. Maybe no big deal but this tells me that it is relatively scarce. And I collect humor of all types. Picked up 10 or 12 British humor DVDs and videotapes for 50 cents each. Hard to find here in the U.S., at least at garage sales. Almost forgot; the record seller gave me a box of over 100 45 records for free. Many are out of the 50s and early 60s.

Got a convection oven for $15. Will do a small turkey, I’m told. Well, I’ve wanted to play with one for a while and this fell in my lap. I love art but only like appliances. Sorry.

Funny thing happened with that convection oven. The seller wanted $15 and I offered $10 which she accepted. I paid and put it in the truck when I looked closely at it; she said that it costs $35 new and was worth more than the $15 she was asking. It was a heavy unit made of glass mostly and had the manual with it. Didn’t look like a $35 machine new, looked a lot more expensive. So for some reason, not guilt, I went back to her and gave her the extra $5 and told her that I had looked it over more closely and realized what I had. She smiled like I had made her day. Ya never know.


Some things I buy are for reselling later, some are for use around the home, some are for fun until I tire of them and some are just curiosity items. When buying them I always have in mind what they are worth and what I may have to resell them for someday. Why ? Because I’m just passing through….

The other day my son pulled out a couple of RC helicopters that I had given him last Christmas. They are small and not sophisticated like the big ones but they are amazing for what they can do. We chased each other around as the cows and dog watched with rapt fascination. It was almost as much fun watching the animals as the choppers.

Toys, toys and more toys. This is an important sideline of bartering and horse trading. Gotta have fun with what we buy; otherwise we may begin to feel that we are working (ugh). Keep it light, keep it fun and you won’t grow tired of bartering and horse trading.

Orson Wells said, “If I had a hobby that didn’t bring me money, I would find another hobby“. I would add that if I didn’t have a hobby that was fun also, I would look elsewhere. I’m not in it just for the money, ya know.

Best wishes,

Agnut

P.S. I am beginning to suspect that these screaming deals at garage and estate sales will not in the future be so easily available. It is a process that we are in the middle of right now. I would guess that the prices will firm up sometime next summer. Have you ever been to a garage sale that had prices so high that you wondered if these prices were what they cost new ? I have been to a couple and this may be a sign of firming prices; don’t know but will be watching for more signs.

You have but to sit back and imagine a scenario from what you have been reading about the last few years here on the internet. Go ahead; let your imagination run wild. There are several possible ways for the cards to fall. I have my ideas and others have theirs, perhaps most are valid at this time; that is as it should be. But the future picks the winner.

The world is rapidly changing. We can only hope for the best while we prepare for the worst. Einstein said that a simple, unassuming life was the best. I agree but I can’t seem to follow his advice at this time in history.

We can own nothing in this world but only have use of it for a time, for we are mortal. (my quote)

In other words, don’t get attached to things; get attached to people.

What we will someday call money and how we will feel about it is not central to deal making. Money is only an intermediary which facilitates the speed of an agreement being made. In our modern high speed world with over 7 billion souls we absolutely must have money that has a reliable value over time. The dollar has lost something like 96% of its purchasing power since the Federal Reserve was established in 1913. Is this 96% loss the price we must pay for an intermediary, a facilitator ?
 

pitw

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#89
Yesterday I had to spend the day in a town 120 miles away while two 13 year olds spent the day at a 4H function. I drove about looking the town over and found one garage sale. It was an older couple who were moving to a lodge, thus cleaning out the stuff they couldn't take. The old boy was a handyman who had many useful items. I spied a box of screws that I talked him down a mite, 2 metal tool box's with a few tools for $5, a little anvil for the gun room cost $2 and a few other items I can always use. Living a 40 mile drive from a hardware having the screws/nails you need on hand for projects is a money/time saver that even the wife don't get mad at me for. $3 for all the screws is less than one box would cost in the store. I use buys like this to fill my bins and I put the ones I never use in a box for future selling.


Then while talking it came out that I liked guns. I was asked if I'd buy his old reloading stuff and I got five cans of powder for $10 and primers for $5. Paid a mite more for the ammo but I have 4 250-3000's and a 38-40 so I can shoot the bullets if I need to.
 

ME Co.

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#90
Hi gang, Just checking in- let yous know I haven't fell off the planet. Still looking for the next bright idea, but also in a downsizing kinda mode right now as well. But I'm working on it. HH all, Mark
 

Hystckndle

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#91
Pitw,
That is awesome ! One of the things I remembered from Agnut years ago when he started posting was the
" talking " part. He always told me to ask " what else are you thinking of selling, anything not out here ? "
I learned a lot from that.
I think from reading your posts you are a natural at that. Great pics. IMHO hardware is a most pesky item
and is worth a LOT when you need it most.
Talk soon Regards,
 

Hystckndle

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#92
Hello Agnut,
Thanks for the new posts. More stuff for me ( ALL OF US ! ) to read and glean from.
The way I see it…
ALL information is good, it is how you pick and choose and choose to absorb it and then APPLY it to your daily life in a positive way that is the variable.
One of my favorite sayings is “ IQ is one thing but want to and follow through is another ! “

On the Caddy in my long carry on above, I am pretty happy with this trade so far although I do not have a tag on it yet. It has a few issues of course for 20 years old now. The headliner has a small sag in the back I can see, the air conditioner needs a compressor rebuild, ( I have a guy lined up for $ 250.00 for that ) and there are a few trim items I need to pay some attention to, ohh, the trunk automatic close motor was stripped out pretty good so I removed it and now it is just a manual close. Regular stuff for the age. Note that the sticker we have for it is not the original but one we found that matches exactly except for the exterior color that is listed as Beige and not the original White. Original sticker is 36 some odd thousand I believe.
Total outlay for me on this trade is like I said above is +- $ 1200.00 or so. Plus the van. And I have not gotten to the “ boot” yet.

What we sometimes do on our fix ups like this is we take them to some local car shows and park in the lot with a for sale sign or even when about the town we stop at gas stations ……not necessarily for gasoline…let me explain.
I call it a “ faux fill up “ ! That is a subtle sales technique I have used in the past with some success.
I have a “ for sale “ sign in the car window with my phone number in BIG letters. ( I absolutely HATE IT when people have a for sale sign anywhere and then they write the letters so small one can barely read them )
If I am stopping for anything for the time I am driving my car I ALWAYS park at a pump, and if not getting gasoline
I go inside and get a small tea or water or something.
In my pea brain this is cheap advertising. It is AMAZING how many folks will look, talk etc from this type of exposure.
NOTE: It is also AMAZING to me the number of people who are NOT interested in a non “ shiny “ anything and cannot see past that for the potential to improve their life or someone else’s with a little “sweat equity.”
James originally bought that car from an older guy in a small town about 50 miles away from here where it was sitting kind of abandoned in a roof sagging detached garage in a manufactured home community.
James paid 800 bucks flat, pumped up the tires, drove it to his shop. Cleaned the snot out of it and since his expertise is painting, did a little work here and a little work there over time, plus he drove it as his daily driver for a 2 years or so. That’s our deal….just say “ NO “ to the inflated by credit of car payments. My current plan is to drive it on the weekends with the sign in it and see if someone will pony up some number I cannot refuse for it.

Now….just like Vegas this is. I will tell you, with some pics, in my next post about losing some and learning on a VW I bought off of a kid while I was trolling on Craigslist. I am way cool with just saying. “ that deal was a stinker “ because humble pie is good for you sometimes.
I always grin like dog when people I know NEVER lose when they go to Vegas....so they say...
LMAO

Regards,
haystackneedle
 

Hystckndle

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Hello Agnut ! ( again )
In my original post above about the first car that was totaled I forgot to mention another technique I have used a few times with success and another time wherein I STUNK and I got fed the extra portion of humble pie.
After my wife was rear ended and we were stonewalling the insurance company of the other driver and before we had settled up we needed a get around vehicle for my wife. I think I mentioned above that I “ troll “or fish on Craigslist sometimes.
What I do is go to the END of the ads and work back with my saved searches. That means the stuff that is getting ready to expire…in my area that is something like 45 days.. Then I just send out some email queries and sit and see what might “hit”…kinda like cane pole fishing with a bobber only different…
I bought a really nice looking white 1995 Taurus 3.0 V6 from a guy in an apartment complex by offering him a “ stink “ bid of $ 300.00. that was less that half of his asking price.
As usual, my spidey sense went off but as jumped on the price I offered but I had learned he was leaving town ( a big motivator for large items this is ) and also the apartment complex was on his arse because it was just sitting. That is the power of just being out in the market and talking about anything and everything was with me that day.
Its really just all about math and number of offers you have and the “ gift of gab” which Agnut told me about years ago. Just being nice to people really. Its pretty easy.
So, as it turns out the only real thing wrong with the car was the transmission leaking fluid. And the battery was dead from sitting. Not a big deal on the tranny for me depending on the quantity--duh, but ya gotta keep your eye on it. I hammered a bit of Lucas Transmission syrup in it and we drove it for a few months, maybe 3 or 4 I think until the insurance company came offa the check for our wrecked Taurus.
Cheap transportation …all from just ” fishing “ AND it had the absolute COLDEST A /C of any car I have ever owned. Good golly, I hated to see it go for only that reason when James and I traded it out for some $.....plus the leak had gotten worse and it would be easier to let my friend James move it from his lot than me talk about it in my driveway. Time for it to move on and let someone else feed it…lol.
Let me tell ya; maybe in some locales A/C is not a big deal and I tend to agree but July and August down here in Central Florida is a cooker with the humidity also thrown in. Man, that thing was cold !
Point of this post though, was just to share about my CL “ fishing “ and trolling and to say that it is sometimes a hurdle and effort to go out there and make some “offers” and NOT be like the people who just call you up and say “ YO!, whats the LEAST you will take for it ? “…that to me is a big turn off. If you just spend a few minutes of time talking to people, like say as PITW has just above…you WILL be a success in doing some trading.
Talk later Agnut.
Haystack.
 

Hystckndle

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#94
Here is one that I absolutely got my shirt handed to me on.
On this one,I was thinking I would have something to give to the kid or at least have some “ fun “ for awhile.
Silly ( dumb arse ) me…LMAO.
Trolling expedition on Craigslist and I went to look at it. Guy had already marked it down a thousand. Still wanted two thousand.( In good shape they go for four to five thousand at the time, just gotta elbow grease them ) Battery was toast also, amazes me the number of people who go and look at stuff with no tools with them whatsoever. Car did turn over though with my jumper cables so I knew it wasn’t seized up ( yet ) and the guy advertised / said it was “ bad gas “ or a fuel pump. Shoulda been my FORTH clue that one…hearing that from a college kid being the THIRD clue—as in “ how would he know at 22 ? “, seeing that it was sold to him from a buy here pay here joint in a “shady “ area being the SECOND clue , and the FIRST clue…a V6 German made product that doesn’t start and hummmm on the spot. Having owned a few late model VW’s ( NOTE: UNLIKE the older ones Agnut talks about which are IMO superior in durability ) ADD that to my list of steer clear from at ALL costs…kinda like ANYTHING with Lucas or Bosch written on any component if you are not looking to “ tinker “ all the time….got that tattoo as well I do.Unfortunately I let the sex appeal of the V6 ( putting the foot to a good one is a joy ) cook my goose.
Please be advised that when I went to drain the oil on this one I have NEVER seen that much water come out of an engine / oil pan. So much so, that I thought I had pulled the wrong plug and had a few seconds of panic. Then…my wife asked me why I was laughing ….uhhh ohh…gonna have to explain this one.
In her world Eastern Europe, since where she is from and most people cannot afford and don’t have cars , she has been of the opinion that cars are an “ investment”, needless to say, she was not bemused by my explanation of the laughter. AND she and I have had some interesting conversations on the decaying aspect of the automotive SCAM in America and what an incedible industry it is…kinda like furniture only different !
So…after thinking about the parting out aspect of this one…I did not have the space to store all the parts, I talked to James and I we called the hook. Prices for scrap a few years ago were higher than they are now and we got a few hundred more for this one than we just did on the opossum van above.
What did I learn on this deal ?
• “ Sexy”, in many forms, has a price premium attached to it…duh !!..like I did not know this one already !!!
• Stick with what you are good at !
• Use past lessons and APPLY them to the deal at hand.
• Take your hit if you find yourself on the wrong side of the trade, smile, and get onto the next one.
• ANY ACTION IN ANY DIRECTION IS A 100% SUCCESS REGARDLESS OF THE IMMEDIATE APPARENT RESULT.
• THANK your lucky stars x 1000 that you are NOT that college kid I bought this VW from and you do NOT have $ 105,000.00 ( yes , one hundred five thousand dollars ) in student loan debt and you are having to move back across country and live with your father while you look for a job in multi media ( check out FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY sometime on a googgle search ) and you have to start making the 700 dollar a month payments in 6 months….I woulda NEVER known that if I did not jack my jaw with this kid. Hes telling the truth cuz I have met now near ½ dozen 20ish kids with that kinda debt.

Back Later with a Marquis story.

Haystackneedle
 

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Hystckndle

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#95
Took my lumps on the Volkswagon, sucked it up. As far as transportation costs go, am still in the clear, so was not totally depressed  PLUS…lookit; NO DEBT OR CREDIT required for anything whatsoever. Funny thing about that is that I got REAL serious about things when no “ easy “ credit was ever involved.
Credit is crack and a complete parasite that most people have just accepted as a “way of life “.
Hardest part of all of the last 5 or 6 years is explaining to the wife that an automobile, especially a new one, and NOT counting a collectors car, is a DECAYING “ asset and a cost just to maintain your existence the way our society has been set up .
Whether you buy outright, lease, or finance, or take a taxi or a bus, transportation is gonna cost you XYZ unless you are a city rat.
The personal goal of Haystack is to reduce the cost per mile to as reasonable as possible, avoid credit or financing totally, have some fun and try and drive something I am proud of owning. And as a bonus, get $ out of it for the same $ as I have in it if at all possible .
Drive at or near the cost of gasoline for the time I own it. Maybe fip a few on the way and make a few bucks to buy that sexy Silver Eagle.
That’s the gig. Ohhh…and learn about things along the way….perhaps the most important for me….learning something. Paid my way partially through college doing the flipping cars thing and then spent a number of years hitting the cool aide bottle listening to my piers thinking that $ 450.00 a month car payments plus insurance plus fuel was “ cool “ . Off my rocker I was.
HUH !?, I just had an excel spreadsheet idea with a few boxes showing cost against time and where I figure I will be at breakeven for the costs. Input some numbers etc and cipher this out.
Thanks to GIM…my beating the keys has given me an idea. !

I read that 80 something % of ALL the BMWs currently on the road in the USA are leased. Never owned until the aftermarket.
And then, they are financed . This tells me that a MUCH larger portion of the people than I thought driving around late model vehicles, especially the trendy or luxury ones, not to mention the fancy 4 wheel drive or the custom trucks and SUVs , in most all areas of the country are just renting their trendy lifestyle just like housing or clothes etc…..80 per cent !!??!!...my have times changed.

I remember the day when the guy tooling through town in a Cadillac was the EPITOME of hard work and success.
Work your arse off and save some $ and THEN you can have a Cadillac. No “SIGN AND DRIVE” 40 years ago for anyone with a pulse. Nowadays just about anyone can “pose” as something that they are not just through the usage of credit. Guess its just the way it is these days.

The average cost of a new car is north of $ 30,000.00. Insane.
I heard that guy Clark Howard one day on the radio while I was taking a break going down to the store say that the “ average “ car payment was something like $ 600.00 a month.
Thought I was gonna drive OFF the road on that one. I haven’t the bravery to google that one because if I did then I would be going on here so much about that thet surely you would think I was destined for the looney bin.

I really appreciate other members here sharing their adventures into their buying and selling of automobiles or anything else on this thread. Seems to me, it’s a way for us to further our quality of life in a way that does NOT feed the credit and finance machine.
Regards to all.
 
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Hystckndle

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Marquis:
Traded a white Taurus I had total $500 in and the VW that we called the hook on. Got $ 600 for the VW because of the wheels and parts we did not want to take out and store.
( will re think that next time ) .
Gave $ 800.00 more in cash for the Marquis.
Elbow grease and driven for darn near two years, advertised it in this condition and got it out of the family a few months ago.
We both ( James and I ) got more out of it than we had in it and drove the snot out of it.
Stuff I did not want to deal with -bigger ticket items - Know when to hold them, know when to fold them - and it needed some $ put into it.
Near 200 thousand miles this one. A 1996.

HAH...I went to the Met Opera a couple of years ago in NYC and I got in a Marquis taxi and I looked over and the guy had 967 something thousand miles on it.
Cat told me he had done nothing really to it but get his mechanic to do regular maitenance...forgot about that until this post.
Good vehicles these are.
 

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pitw

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#97
As has been mentioned, talking is a big part of trading/bartering. One of the things I try not to talk about is how something has been dinked[as in restored/fixed badly] as the seller might have done the job himself and is quite proud of his efforts. If you say it's a bad job then you hurt their feelings which will end the job. Guns are one of the most screwed with objects and few are gunsmiths let alone good ones. Humor will get you far more good deals than being a prick.
Kids can also be used to make deals. Treat a kid with respect and you will be amazed how he/she may bring back parents[or better yet, grand parents] to buy your wares. When I was doing the gun show circuit I would give an old bullet to kids just for talking to me and I sold many .22s to there parents. These young people even grew up and come and talk to me to this day even though I don't do the circuit anymore.
 

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Hey there PITW,I got a kick out of your hardware post above.
I was in the Home Depot ( as compared to you mine is like 1-1/2miles away here...we are in dif worlds we are )
and I was looking for some 3" square drive deck / fence screws.
So I go on the aisle and I am looking at them and my wife says ' whats wrong ? "
I said..." .man ...they marked these wrong. They are THIRTY dollars a big box and NOT "3" like this ticket says."
So I gingerly take one up to the counter .... " Lookit, this cannot be right "
Lady says " nope, discontinued item, thats the price " I went back and loaded the cart.
I get to another cashier and she scans it and then she says...wow...thats a good price, even she checked it that time to see if I was making some kinda play.
I bought all they had.
I bet I have 2 or 3 thousand of them in the attic.
 

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#99
Hystckndle messaged me & asked that I drop a repeat copy of a post concerning flea market biz into this thread as well.

So here it is:

I have more than a little experience at flea markets.
Back before the "Storage Wars" TV show knocked the snot out of the storage auction profit,
I bought auction lots mostly with the goal of selling on ebay.
Of course some of the stuff I brought home wasn't ebay suited, so I saved it up & would then dump it at the local auction house getting only pennies on the dollar.
That led me to try selling at flea markets.
As a part time biz it works for me.

I no longer mess with the storage units, instead I just advertize on craigslist that I am a cash buyer to sell at flea markets.
I have to weed through the responses of folks that just don't get it. (they want to try to sell me their stuff for more than I could sell it for ha!)
In my add, I straight up tell them I am only going to pay them about 1/2 of what I am going to sell it for.
Every once in a while I can bring home a gold mine from someone that has closed their business, or is moving out of state, divorcing, or whatnot.
I also cruise yard sales on the weekend buying DVDs, men's jeans, gas cans, & tools.
Remember, you "make your money when you buy"
Good advice on that angle is always in Agnuts thread : http://www.goldismoney2.com/showthre...-Horse-Trading
Rush2112 advised to sell what you know, & that is true, but you can always learn about new stuff.
I have never pulled a trailer on a pickup, but I have learned I can buy a trailer hitch ball mount & hitch at a yard sale for $5.00 & sell it at the flea market for $12.00.

The weather is your friend & your enemy.
You can spend the time to put up a canopy, but the wind can tear it down. (saw 2 gals getting drug along the lot by their canopy this weekend)
Sunny temperate weather brings out buyers. The threat of rain & they stay home.
Folks will shop in the cold, but not the wind.

Glass is a pain in the butt.
If it's clean when you bring it, It'll be dusty when you take it home... & most of the glass will be going back home.

Collectables were hot... now they're not. (Windross, Matchbox, Beanies, Hess)
DVDs used to sell for $3.00. Now they sell for $1.00 because folks are mostly streaming movies.
Don't sell women's clothing. They'll pick up every piece you have laid out, & move on without buying because they can't try it on.
Guys look at the size tag, the price, & take it home.

It's nice to have a vehicle or a trailer that stays devoted to just selling.
It can stay packed up & ready to go the next week.

I try to be the guy ArkWv mentioned: the "variety guy".
Put the bike on training wheels or Little Tykes kitchen set at the entrance of the aisle.
Then lure the mom in with some Halloween stuff.
Meanwhile, Dad sees the socket sets in the back.

Try to be a little different than the other vendors.
I'm "the sign guy". I'll take the time at home to print up a black & yellow sign for the more noteworthy stuff I'm selling to draw the literate customers in.

Magic Numbers....
When buying lots to resell, offer $10, $20, $50, $100 etc.
When selling something that you want to get $10. for, price it at $12.50.
Most flea market customers are going to try to negotiate you down. It's part of the deal. so build in their victory to your asking price with that 50 cents or $2.50.
"Dollar tables/Three for Two"

If you have several of the same thing to sell, just put out one. It's special. Only one there & they better buy it now..

Finally... this is a cash business.
 

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Hey pitw, those moving sales can be as good or even better than the estate sales. Motivated sellers much.

You got some steals there; looks like they had recently bought all the stuff. I love to see a garage full of the 40 drawer bins packed full of nuts, bolts and other fittings; the price is usually less than if you had bought the 40 drawer box at Wal Mart - brand new but empty.

All the reloading supplies was also a steal; I have been buying around here for 10 years and have never seen anyone offer such merchandise although there are a lot of hunters here. I think that your score was a rare event. And rare events happen to us if we are out there enough times; like playing the lottery through the years, eventually you might hit a winner. Problem is, the lottery’s odds are so low that you will probably die of old age before you get a big win. Lotteries are for those who slept through math class. Bartering and horse trading is OUR lottery. Right ? A winner most of the times.

Best wishes and keep kickin’ ass and takin’ names,

Agnut

P.S. I was at a garage sale last week; the ad looked like nothing special until I got there. I’ll write about it when time permits; lots of rain predicted for the next week so I can’t work the backhoe in the mud.
 

Hystckndle

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Hey there MeCo, did ya go to the mountains this summer ?
Still have the camper ?
Would like to hear about your exploits.
 

agnut

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Hey Haystack, you sure can write. This is what I had hoped for; other members adding in their wisdom and experiences. You can’t usually find that in a book and if you do it’s usually dry and uninspiring. We here are writing in the here and now and living the stories personally. Thanks for getting glockngold to post that great piece. I need to respond when I’m feeling better. Right now I am in the middle of an optical migraine. The colors and designs are a light show. HaHa

In all the bartering and horse trading I have written I had only one time in which a reader tried to give me a hard time. He was laughed off the thread; I actually felt sorry for him. He couldn’t leave his ego at the door; had to insist on buying everything new and looking down his nose at alternate ideas and used merchandise. But God bless ‘em; these kind of folks are the sellers that we get our great deals from.

Funny how people will buy a pig with pretty lipstick. They would rather be broken down on the side of the road with a shiny car than to drive a reliable but not pristine car. I have owned two car lots and learned many lessons through the years. One big lesson is you never know; someone coming on the sales lot could be capable of surprises. I once had a high profile lawyer chase me down the freeway to stop me to find out if I would sell him my 1960 Jaguar Mark II. I told him that he would have to wait until I finished it in a couple of months. He did wait and agreed to the price but I wouldn’t do it this way again. The pleasure in restoring a car is partly due to not being hurried. Also, being able to enjoy it for a while after completion. I know; I’ve been there more than once.

Your advertising methods are smart and inexpensive. I heartily agree that the for sale signs phone number should ALWAYS be large enough for buyers to see it from a distance. This goes double for all the garage sale signs. I can’t believe how many sellers have poor signs and poor directions.

Here is the garage sale I attended last week :

There was a three day garage sale that looked interesting; everything on the last day would be half price. I showed up 90 minutes before the last day’s closing. It was either my laziness or an experiment as to how well I would do under these last minute seller circumstances. Maybe some of each.

I got :

150’of new nylon boat anchor rope for $10
16 new Corelle square dinner plates for $20
6 large holiday tins for 25 cents each
Presto pressure cooker for $2
38 gallon water holding tank for $5
Large tote container full of plumbing fittings, valves for $5
4 new Tiki torches with a gallon of fuel for $2
Stainless steel pot 14” across for 50 cents
5’ X 8’ area carpet for $5
Am/fm stereo with speakers for $2.50
Large dirt Devil vacuum with hoses for $2
Leather zippered boots for lady for 50 cents
Waxmaster orbital polisher for $2
Sears sump pump with hose in box $5
Tupperware pitcher and container for 25 cents each
100’ nylon strap and D rings $1
Three notebooks with 450 pages 3 ring paper $1total
4 hats 25 cents each
Throw blanket 25 cents
Two quart coffee container with pump $1
Toilet seat and lid for 5 gallon bucket $1

The 150’ rope ? I don’t have anything like it and my son has a 17’ boat.

Funny thing about the 16 Corelle plates. Last week my sister (who is very picky) was telling me that she had to drive an hour each way to get these same square plates. The seller told me that they cost $6.50 each, which I had a hard time believing, but my price was about 80 cents each. I shouldn’t tell my sister, should I ? Maybe a bit sadistic.

The 6 large tins will be used instead of wrapping paper for Christmas. Cheap and lazy, that’s me.

The pressure cooker goes into inventory for later, much later.

The 38 gallon water tank ? I just don’t know now but it was a good deal.

The tote full of plumbing fittings ? There was one new valve there that was over $10 at the store as well as many useful other fittings.

The 4 Tiki torches with gallon of fuel will have to wait until next spring/summer.

Stainless steel pot is always useful for many tasks.

The area carpet will go in storage with the others until we get the house in order.

The am/fm stereo and speakers will be used for music in the barn or garage.

The Dirt Devil could be put in a bedroom closet for local cleanup.

The leather boots are for my niece, if they fit.

The polisher ? A backup since I already have one. Or is that two ?

The Sears sump pump was new in the box and having a backup is an absolute necessity what with the flooding that can take place around here in the wintertime.

Tupperware for 25 cents ? You bet !

Nylon strap; we dragged a car around yesterday with it.

3 notebooks, one already given away to my son.

The 4 hats and throw blanket are for me.

The 2 quart coffee container is a second one since I had found the first a while ago and one of my sons liked it so much that he requested that if I ever saw another to grab it.

And last but not least, the toilet seat for the 5 gallon bucket. There are the preps and then there are the poops. Need I say more ?

Everything except the plates and rope was cheap small items. But try buying these items in a store and there goes your budget.

The little things add up, especially since we Americans are so spoiled with all the gadgets we have become accustomed to.

Some time back I decided to focus on finding lots of smaller priced items rather than a few big ticket items. Such a strategy is not unlike having lots of 90% silver coins rather than a few 100 ounce silver bars. In other words, the small items will be like having lots of change.

I have learned that transacting straight bartering deals with no cash involved can have the added kicker (boot) of receiving much higher value for your items than you might have otherwise received in selling for dollars. And making larger deals can still be done with several smaller items as long as the other party wants and values what you have in trade. Some times I have been amazed at how much more I received this way.

Although fiat currency is the Rosemary’s Baby of money, it is still forcefully imposed upon our society. That is what fiat means; by government edict. In bartering and horse trading we can bypass this convoluted mess and at the same time greatly benefit from our wise dealings.

It will take some time for used items to be appreciated for their true value. Inflation and loss of fiat currency confidence are both working to increase the value of physical gold and silver, historical money. The same goes for good desirable used items. And this is all taking place in a slow motion scenario of relative calm. But when the storm comes, there will be a panic on to exchange theoretical value for physical goods. A dollar or a can of beans ? Fifty dollars or a barrel of water ? Twenty dollars or an ounce of silver ?

How much longer can spot silver languish at $17.20 per ounce ? Not long according to Adam Hamilton’ recent article :

Bullish Silver Stealth Buying

http://www.321gold.com/editorials/hamilton/hamilton102414.html


However, this will not be like the hyperinflation which happened in 1922-23 Germany. Today it is more insidious since the hyperinflation is taking place in debt, treasuries issued, rather in printing of paper fiat currency. Am I correct to assume that these trillions of treasury notes are nothing but markers against the populace’s future earning potential ? Note how the trillions of currency issued are NOT getting into the hands of the populace but rather used for interest payment and deeper debt levels. The German Marks of 1922-23 were paper scrip which were issued by the ton to the people. In fact, there were so many Marks issued that children played with bricks of Marks like they were building blocks and piles of Marks were burned to heat homes. They became toys and valued more for their BTUs that their purchasing value. The Marks were no longer even currency in the final stage of hyperinflation but rather toys and firewood (paper comes from trees and I find it ironic that it returned to its lowest value as firewood).

I’m making this point to reveal that there is no parallel between the German Mark of 1922-23 and the fiat currencies of today but rather much confusion. Is it becoming clear that the treasury debt obligations will still be in force after the fiat currency blows away ? Furthermore I believe that the benefit to those in power has been and is in the process toward the collapse of fiat currencies; not after the collapse. Real estate and many items of value are being exchanged for fiat currencies and debt obligations. This is happening on a grand scale but not grand enough to upset the process. For instance, China is accumulating gold but cannot buy too much at a time since this would reveal and destroy the game of getting out of paper promises for real goods and gold and silver.

We have what I call hyperstagflation. It is a situation wherein prices are rising while the currency is falling and at the same time the quantity of currency in circulation is not commensurately increasing in the hands of the populace. Hyperstagflation is not a runaway currency but rather a squeeze play. Can we see this in action all around us ? Food price rises with insufficient currency in circulation and high unemployment. The largest dollar bill is still $100 while the German Mark of 1922-23 rose to millions; they just added zeroes to the paper currency. Today, we are adding zeroes to the debt instead of the paper currency. Apples and oranges. Can’t people see this difference and the consequences ?

In various forms we are bartering and horse trading for our very futures and those of our loved ones. Actually, the world is one of bartering and horse trading. It is just that most of it has been and is facilitated by the use of fiat currency as the intermediary. Through the over issuance of said fiat currencies coupled to the debt the devaluation of the fiat currencies has been largely concealed behind the curtain of treasury note collateralization.

At least this is how I see things. I could be wrong and would like to hear any input.

Best wishes,

Agnut

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."
- Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC)
 

pitw

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I just don’t know now but it was a good deal.
QUOTE]

Loved the whole post but the quote outright made me laugh. You got many buildings full of that kind?
 

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Hey pitw,
Ya remember that movie Raiders of the Lost Ark with Harrison Ford ?
I think thats the one where they box the Ark up and go and store it in this ginormous government
warehouse.
When the guy turns to go down the aisle with the forklift, Ark on the front,
you cannot see the other end of the place...it seems to go forever.
Yup, thats Agnuts place. Mirror image. At least in my mind anyways.
:cheerful:
 

agnut

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Hey pitw and haystack, if somebody told me to get stuffed I would respond that I am already stuffed !

I can’t count the number of times that I have literally stumbled over the piles of items I have packed away.

I’ve got stuff that I thought I would need it for something specific someday and have forgotten why in the interim.

I’ve got stuff that was gotten from the free box and some of I have given away as gifts.

I’ve got stuff that I had forgotten that I already had stored away and bought it, took it home and when putting it away I bumped into the other item I had forgotten about.

I’ve got stuff that looks useful and sooo necessary but I don’t know if I will ever need it.

I built 2 sets of shelves in the barn that are 4’x10’ and 14 feet high. Problem is, they are so full that when I try to put up another item it sometimes comes crashing down. Between the shelves at the back I have a stack of boxes 8 feet high that have 175 towels, hand towels and washcloths. I bought them a few years ago at an estate sale for a total of $5 !
I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Now I have enough towels for several lifetimes.

I’ve got new bearings and syncro rings for Porsche transmissions. Also many, many other parts left over from my transmission shop that I closed over 15 years ago.

I have 2 20’ military surplus aluminum communication portable buildings that weigh 4,000 pounds each empty. I bought them for $300 each; the aluminum would be worth about $2,000 each of scrap price were 50 cents per pound. And they are both full of stuff from Stihl chain saws to Milwaukee power tools to nuts and bolts. The other day I ran across a set of hand made copper dinner plates that I had bought several years ago. I’m a sucker for interesting art in many forms.

I have a recently built 10x12 shed that is mostly full now and would be completely full but I just haven’t had the time or energy to take out some of the stuff crowding the house.

I have over 3,000 record LPs stored away in the barn. Hundreds of prerecorded videotapes. Also have well over 1,000 DVDs in the house.

An antique Hobart commercial store coffee grinder, a soft ice cream machine and too many kitchen appliances to organize.

Hundreds of 4 and 5 gallon plastic and metal containers with lids.

A 12K Lister diesel generator and a few 5K gas generators. A 24 pack of deep cycle Trojan batteries with 2 3.5K inverters.

Three stereo systems with speakers, not set up yet (two are 5 channel surround sound). Antiques and collectables all over. Boxes and boxes of good used coats, jeans, shirts. Lots of enamel on copper paintings, about 60.

I have two tractors outside, both are diesel, One is a Ford 550 backhoe which I use all the time and the other is a small Kubota with a brush hog that I mow the lawns with and a tiller for the gardens. Also three riding mowers that keep blowing belts; the grass is too high.

A small forest to the north and south to provide firewood for many years. Just the dead stuff will keep us warm for a few years.

I don’t know how many cars I have, over 10 in various states of disrepair.

I have three trailers, one of which we are cutting off steel as we need. Reminds me of a beached whale carcass with the rib cage bleaching in the sun.

Three water storage containers that hold 9,500 gallons. Two are not set up yet, my bad.

Four boats and two motor homes on the property.

Several outboard boat motors and 4 trolling motors.

Somewhere between 50 and 75 manual transmission cores for rebuilding.

Tools up the gump stump. Is that one or two words ? My father was a country boy; his colloquialisms were a gas.

A thousand books, maybe more.

My son’s 6 cars; that’s besides mine.

Four chest freezers, all running and mostly full.

Shall I go on ? Sad to say, there is lots more.

And now looking back at what I have just written I don’t know whether I’m braggin’ or complainin’. At least when birthdays or Christmas rolls around I don’t have to go shopping. And that’s the truth.

So why have you collected all this stuff, agnut ?

I have more than one reason and I’ll tell ya. First, there is a lot of money I saved in bartering and horse trading.

Second is that a great amount of the items I buy are used here around the homestead. Sure, I have backups but they are for convenience if the first item breaks or wears out.

Third is that these items I have will be appreciated someday. If they survive, that is. I hope there are others who have a large quantity of items will think about this. You can collect as much as you have room for and time for. At the same time you have the option to hold, resell or barter. Depends on your cash flow and your objectives.

What would you rather be holding when the storm arrives ? Fiat currency/electronic digits or physical goods in your possession ?

There is a storm coming; we are so deeply and hopelessly in debt to the point that we are borrowing in order to make the interest payments. Isn’t this insanity ?

All the stuff I have may have cost so many thousands of dollars but it was almost totally bought at 5 to 10 percent of the new price.

With that said, imagine that I had paid $20,000 through the years of buying used items. Therefore, at 5 percent of new price, the cost for all this new stuff would be $400,000. And at 10 percent of new price, the cost for all this new stuff would be $200,000. And that is not including the sales tax for new stuff, about 8 percent.

If we were to assume a 10 percent used price, the 8 percent tax on $200,000 new stuff would cost $16,000 which is only $4,000 less than the $20,000 that would have been paid at 10 percent of new price.

It gets even more interesting at a 5 percent used price wherein the 8 percent tax on $400,000 new stuff would cost $36,000 which is $16,000 more than the $20,000 that had been paid at 5 percent of new price.

So who has $200K to $400K for this load of new stuff ? Nobody I know. Next question is, how much will these used items be worth in the future ? But we should be asking ourselves what anything will be worth. It all revolves around what is in demand and what is the form of payment. Yogi Berra said that predictions are hard to make, especially about the future.

All I know is that I would much rather have the used items than the $20,000 in fiat dollars. Used items’ possession has proven their value for thousands of years while fiat dollars have always reverted to their true value which is zero. It is a no brainer.

Best wishes,

Agnut

"The trouble is that the stupid people--who constitute the grand overwhelming majority of this and all other nations--do believe and are moulded and convinced by what they get out of a newspaper.."
- Mark Twain 1873

"There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved."
Ludwig Von Mises
 

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Haven't had any thing to contribute in a while but I'm enjoying every post :beerglass:
 

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Well if'n that ain't a pretty list. I have much the same and more of some and less of others. Buying at five percent and selling at sixty is cool too. Have you ever been picked? That's almost as much fun as gathering.
Had a fellow show up one time for some oil cans and gas station stuff. He was looking through a 34' x 50' shed I got and came upon a box of old jam cans I had got at an auction as part of maybe 20 box's of tins. I figured they may sell someday and the graphics were cool to look at. The box had 50+ cans in it and he asked if I'd sell them. For $15 each I will and he damb near broke his elbow reaching around for his wallet. I just about poohed but hadda keep a straight face and complete the deal as I had paid $75 for all the box's cause no one wanted them all[wrong auctioneer for that job].
 

pitw

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Sometimes you ain't sure why you traded. I was at a fellows place who wanted e to do a small job that would have netted me maybe $1,000 and while he was gathering the chemical I spied this in his shed.






Seems he had even used this thing when he worked the RR years ago. This fellow never lets go of anything and when I suggested I take the speeder over cash he agreed. Wife isn't talking cause I think she's speechless with happiness. I have a short spur line of 5 miles that never gets used 7 miles from home and plan on testing her out next summer. I got's a notion marketed right I might make a gold ounce or two.
Just an update on this bit of foolishness. I listed the dang thing for $5,000 figuring I'd have to drop down to maybe 3. A fellow called about from two provinces over Sunday night and was interested but it turns out he was even more interested in my spraying knowledge as we talked for three hours. I gather he called a couple of people I told him to as he called again tonight and was thankful for all the tips that will undoubtedly save him 5-10 grand a year on his chemical bill and have cleaner fields to boot. He also said he would be out in a couple weeks for the speeder at full price.:551:
Don't be afraid to talk folks as you never know what may sell something for ya. :cheerful:
 

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pitw

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"The uploader hasn't made this video available in your country" First time I ever got that from you tub.
 

searcher

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"The uploader hasn't made this video available in your country" First time I ever got that from you tub.
Some times I get it with vids from Europe. I had a good thread on Anthony Bourdain in the stories and Fictions section. Went there to add a vid on day and most of my posts were gone. All of the missing ones said the same thing: "not available in your country." Really sucked. It was a good thread.

I wish I could get back into the missing posts and edit them. I'd get rid of the missing ones and put some live vids in their places.
 

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Not nearly as interesting as the stories in this thread but from today's SurvivalBlog:

http://survivalblog.com/the-costs-of-survival-by-f-r/

The Costs of Survival, by F.R.

For many, the costs involved in preparing for any kind of emergency, whether man made or natural, is too high for most people to afford. It can be expensive to accumulate the things that would be necessary to give us some options in an emergency situation. I have always been cost conscious and have striven to get the most for my money, so this struggle is not new to me. Even if we had lots of money, it is still wise to try and get the most bang for our buck.

When I first started preparing, I made some purchases I now regret. Some things I acquired were either not really needed or too expensive for the benefit they provided. Most everyone who travels this path in life will make these mistakes. Adjustments must be made as you go along and lessons are learned. Some of these items I have sold at a loss and replaced with items that fit my plan better. This type of process is unavoidable, because it is a part of learning and growing. It is impossible to understand the game until you are in the game. With that knowledge, we then can make better choices.

However, there is one practice I have adopted that has saved me more money and provided better “stuff” than anything else. One decision I have made has allowed me to have more items I need at lower costs and many times without a reduction in quality, many times giving me much more than I ever dreamed I could have with the money I had to spend.

That practice is using estate sales and auctions to find the things I need. I will give you a few examples. My wife and I attended an estate sale that was liquidating the life’s accumulation of a household where both husband and wife had passed away and the estate was selling all their worldly goods. That scenario is fairly typical of these sales. The estate sale managers usually do not have emotional attachments to the sale items, so the pricing is more reasonable. At the above mentioned sale, we found the front porch stacked high with canning jars of every style and size. Most were in the original boxes. It was not the first day of the sale and it seemed no one wanted these jars, and the people running the estate sale were getting a little nervous about what they were going to do with them if they did not sell them. I negotiated to buy all of them for $2 a box. For about $50, I got all the canning jars we could ever use. At the same sale, the garage had shelves on one side that were completely filled with baby food jars, old boxes, and plastic storage cabinets full of drawers that were all filled with all kinds of hardware, nails, screws, bolts, nuts, et cetera. I told the estate sale person that if they did not sell the hardware that I would like to make an offer on all of it. I intended to offer a ridiculous price if in fact the hardware was still there later. Two days later the estate sale man called me and said that the hardware had in fact not sold and asked if I would come back by. My wife and I did, and we found that several other items we had been interested in had not sold either. When we told him we were interested in several items, he told us that if we would take all the items we wanted, he would give them to us free just to get them out of his way. Over that past several years we have made it a practice to find out when these estate and garage sales were taking place in our area and make the time to go to them. I have even found an app for my phone that I downloaded that will allowed me to be sent an email with a listing of the garage and estate sales in my area with specifics on what is for sale, the address, and the dates of the sale. Most of the estate sales in our area are conducted using the same modus operandi. That is, they normally run from Thursday through Saturday of any given weekend. On Thursday the price on everything is the price marked. On Friday the prices are reduced to 75% and on Saturday the prices are 50% of the original price. My wife and I usually wait until Saturday, when we have more time anyway; then we go and get the things we want at a great price. I bought two nice sleeping bags this way for $2 each. These bags were priced at more than $2, but it was Saturday and I made them an offer of $2 each, which they took. I also bought several camping items at the same sale for ridiculously low prices as well. All the merchandise that is left after these sales are over have to be discarded or disposed of by the estate sale people, so they are really motivated to get rid of the items as the sale progresses.

Another example is there is a community auction not far from our home that occurs once per month. It is in a farming community, so most of the items are farming things; however, there are many household things as well. It is held outside, and the items are lined up on the ground in long rows. If you can think of it, you will find it in this auction; they have everything from tools, animals, hay, guns and ammo, furniture, appliances, food, farm equipment, and all kinds of items to care for animals, to everything you would need to prepare for hard times. One day we were there and noticed a large flatbed trailer in one of the rows filled with boxes of food. The food consisted of bent cans and slightly outdated food items of other types. We ended up buying the entire trailer load. We gave a lot to our children and their families. We gave several boxes to our pastor’s family. We separated what we wanted and filled up our food storage closet. We took what was left, rented a space at a local swap meet, and sold a lot in order to earn enough to pay for the entire trailer load of food. Now I understand many will not have the money to pull this off, but the point is anyone could have bought several boxes of this food for a really cheap price and filled their prep shelves. All of the food was good and edible.

I have found fencing, fence posts, tools, building materials, buckets, appliances, canning equipment, cast iron cooking utensils, furniture, chicken houses, fruit trees, storage shelving, how-to books, and all kinds of things I wanted at a fraction of the cost. This same auction has been very useful in getting rid of items we don’t want any longer. We sell these items and use the money to buy the things we need.

Of course I have used craigslist for much of my stuff as well. There is even a section there of free stuff that people are giving away that sometimes contains items we can use.

I recently put up a greenhouse, and the shelving, the workbench, and the lumber I used to frame the raised bed inside the house was all purchased at estate sales. I even bought my strawberry plants at the community auction as well as my fruit trees.

The point of all this is that just like so many others who have shared their ideas on prepping in this forum, there are ways to get yourself in a better position, if you will just look around and do a little investigating as to what your options are. No matter what your budget is, there are ways to get prepared. I pray every day that our way of life will not die and that by some miracle things will work out, because even the most die hard prepper does not understand what our world will be like if any of the possible life-changing events happen. We tend to see only the romantic side of a forced simpler lifestyle, instead of all the human costs it would bring. I hope it never happens, but I do not see how we can go on the way we are. There are simply too many signs pointing to a very dangerous conclusion. I think some sort of accounting is inevitable. That does not mean we simply sit down and wait for the anvil to drop. Too many times in our history have we seen hard time come to people; the prepared survive, and those that didn’t prepare perished. I intend for my family to have some options when tough times come. I pray you will be ready too, and it is with that thought in mind that I offer this advice. By the way, my thanks to all those who took the time to write their advice in this forum. I would be much less prepared today without your help.
 

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Not nearly as interesting as the stories in this thread but from today's SurvivalBlog
I don't have anything as interesting as Agnut, Haystack, pitw, etc. Guess I live a boring life............
 

pitw

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I don't have anything as interesting as Agnut, Haystack, pitw, etc. Guess I live a boring life............
Time to get off the old computer and entertain your mind. You certainly entertain mine.:thumbs_up:
 

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Time to get off the old computer and entertain your mind. You certainly entertain mine.:thumbs_up:
lol................:beerglass:


I'll be out and about later on today. Have some errands to run and will probably hook up with the good shippin crew for a bit.
 

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I don't have anything as interesting as Agnut, Haystack, pitw, etc. Guess I live a boring life............
I call BS:s9:
I think yer hedging us big time.
It is my personal opinion that Searcher has more stories than
one could shake a stick at...Just saying.
( p.s. got ur com...back to you tomorrow )
 

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RE: POST # 108
hey pitw,
If that cat from couple provinces over comes by on that ,
I would be keen to hear about the goings on.
Regards,
 

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Well the update on it is I/we got it out of the storage type shed it was in[to which the old owner say's,"look at all the room for box's":rolleyes:] and got it moved to the warmer garage. The two have talked several times and now I gotta make it run so the old boy can go down the tracks one more time. Took the gas tank off and cleaned it, carb was apart and ready to put back on, and I even gotta donate an old battery to the cause[This thing is gonna start maybe 10 times in the next 20 years]. If I can get this old fella selling off his stuff it'll be a miracle cause he has collected different stuff for a lifetime. Just waiting to see if he show's up.