While visiting her parents in Florida, my wife went “garage-selling” with them. Meanwhile, I stayed home. Early on that Friday morning, I was at work, but away from my office. I almost always have my phone with me; however, on this particular morning, the battery was low, so I had left it charging on my desk. Upon returning after a only a few minutes away from my office, my phone displayed five missed calls, and two messages – all from my wife or her brother’s phone.
Thinking something was seriously wrong (because I’ve NEVER had that many calls from her in such a short period), I frantically called her back. She quickly explained that she had been at a garage sale with her family, and had discovered a set of about 500 poker chips in varying colors ”just like mine (aka The Great Wall, Wallsons, or China Clays), only they didn’t have Boblagio on them” for a very inexpensive price. She was wanting to know if she should buy them. But, they had moved on to another sale.
Although not Paulson’s, my chips are decent. Here is what they look like:
I’ve read on chip collecting websites like www.chiptalk.net, about people scoring finds on rare chips at places like garage sales and craigslist. So, knowing my wife’s limited knowledge of poker chips, I started envisioning that maybe she had come across some Paulson’s, perhaps even some Paulson Vineyard’s. At worst, since I know they make generic chips like mine, here’s what I assumed the chips at the garage sale looked like:
So, envisioning the possibilities, like adding Red chips (even generic ones) to my set since I wish I had some, owning a set of high end Paulson’s, and/or flipping the chips for a tidy profit, I begged her to return to the house with the chips and buy them ASAP, before they were sold.
They did in fact return, and the chips were still for sell. She informed me that she was going to try and bargain and offer the seller $5 less than the asking price. She called me back and said he was unwilling to reduce the price from the original $15 , so should she still buy them? Based on what I had paid for my chips, I calculated that the “generic labeled” chips were worth at least $100-150. Becoming impatient since I was afraid someone else would snap-them-up, I admonished her to quit “bargaining”, and just buy the chips, already. You should know, The love of bargaining runs in her family; her Dad will spend a half-hour trying to get a seller to reduce the price of a 25¢ item to 20¢.
After a few tense moments, she called back, and informed me that she (I) was now the proud owner of these chips, plus a carrying case. She had also purchased a suitcase at a garage sale to bring the chips, along with other garage sale items home.
The weekend seemed to last forever, as I could not wait for her return on Monday morning. After picking her up at the airport, I drove her home. Then, with the excitement reminicient of a Christmas morning when I was a child, I quickly opened the suitcase containing the chips. I extracted the case containing the chips, took a deep breath, and opened it.
Here’s what I found:
For my readers that are not poker chip aficionado’s, these chips are what are known as “dice chips”, generally considered “the cheapest of the cheap” chips, and rate just slightly ahead of matchsticks (IMHO) for playing poker with. I now realize that a short course in “Poker Chip Appraisal” is in order for my wife.
Despite my disappointment in the chips, I will forever remember that even while “garage selling” hundreds of miles away, my wife was thinking about me, and was aware of my poker chip passion. I think that in the years to come, the memory of ”the great bargain garage sale poker chips” will always cause me to smile.