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22. A Good Buy
Christopher loved to shop at thrift stores. Almost
month ago, he bought a popular word game
uses little chips of wood with different letters
them. As he was purchasing it, the clerk
, “Oh, look, the game box hasn’t even been
yet! That might be worth some money.”
the box and, sure enough, it was completely
in factory-sealed plastic. When he looked at the
cover, he saw that beneath the name of
game and the description was a copyright date
“You should put that up for auction
the Internet, and see what happens,” the clerk
“Yes, you’re right,” Christopher agreed. “I think I’ll
that a try. The rarity of something is
of what increases its value, and I can’t
there being very many unopened boxes of this
still around 30 years later. Maybe it’s worth
“Well, if it is, don’t forget who told
about the wrapper,” the clerk smiled.
’re getting a percentage of anything over $10,” Christopher
. The game itself was priced at only $1.99,
the clerk gave Christopher the usual 10 percent
“You’ve got yourself a deal, partner,” she
At home, Christopher went online to several
sites looking for his specific product. He couldn’t
it anywhere on the auction sites. Then he
in the name of the word game and
Search. The response was 5,543 sites containing that
. Christopher examined the first 10 sites and found
site that listed people looking for various versions
the game. Over the years, the game had
produced using different chip sizes, colors, materials, and
fonts. In addition, different game boards were produced
the years, themselves consisting of different colors and
. The game board had never changed in size
material. Most of the game seekers seemed content
used games. Only a few even mentioned “fresh”
games. Those who wanted unopened games all promised
dollar. Christopher emailed all of them, telling them
Two weeks later, Christopher went back
the thrift shop. He said to the clerk, “
are you doing, partner?”
She looked at him
a second, then recognized him and said, “Oh,
“I’ve got something for you,” he beamed. “
’m sorry it didn’t turn out to be millions.
if I waited another 20 years, but by
the plastic wrapper might have rotted off. Here’s
share.” He handed her three $100 bills.
exclaimed. “Thank you! You’re such a nice partner.
much did you get for it?”
hope that you’re okay with 30 percent.”
’m thrilled! I never expected to see a dime.
’ll have to do more business together.”
, partner!” Christopher smiled.