September 24, 2006

Toot Toot!

That's the sound of my horn. Did you miss it?

We had a church event tonight - an auction to benefit our youth organization. Surprise, surprise, Hollywood got a little out of hand. Nobody was bidding on ANYTHING so I just started looking at resale value and getting the good deal. In the end I won:

* A recumbent bike for $1 (resale at LEAST $100, probably more like $250 on craigslist. Nobody was paying attention to the auctioneer and he was about to put it aside for a better moment when I slipped in with a quick $1 bid to end it.);

* Like new Williams Sonoma Bread Maker for $25 (recently purchased for $200 and resale for at least $75 on craigslist);

* Salon quality hair cut for $20;

* Two nights of babysitting totaling $40 (not really a deal, but money I would have spent anyway);

* Set of five DVDs for $6 total (resale on for over $20);

* A cool custom made t-shirt for $5.50 (This is for me. I just liked it);

* Custom drawn portrait of Pixie by my favorite local artist, for $27;

* Set of 10 homemade cards for $14; and

* Two heaping plates of homemade oreos for $8.01. I got into a hot bidding war with a 12 year old boy that I instantly regretted when he refused to raise me a cent and I won. I then offered them to him anyway but he said he didn't want them. I'm a dog.

Is it ethical to make money off a church charity event? Was it my responsibility to tell everyone about craigslist? I've already listed the bike, DVDs and bread machine and am anxiously awaiting the response from the L.A. community. If I was a good person I would donate any proceeds back to my church - if I was a good person.

It was surprising how dead the auction was. A lot of the silent auction items didn't even get a single bid. Honestly - who wouldn't shell out $1 for two women to come and clean their house for two hours? Or 50 cents for a plate of rice crispie treats? I don't get it. Why didn't people bid? Do Mormons have some misguided guilt about auctions being a form of gambling? Do all auctions need to be accompanied by liquor instead of the Shasta we were imbibing? Did I miss some vital disclaimer about anyone who bids being a Triple Loser?

I guess I shouldn't be complaining since I got such good deals but I was disappointed by the lackluster crowd. Spike had to shush me when I started egging on the crowd to outbid me since their silence was money in our pockets. In the end I spent $146.51 on auction items. On the DVDs, bread machine and bike alone I'm pretty sure I'll make at least $200. Charity is way underrated!

All together now, Toot Toot!


Adrienne said...

Man, will the two cleaning ladies travel? We're slobs and I totally have a buck.

angelina ballerina said...

I don't even know what to say. Your ability to make money on ebay and craigslist is awe-inspiring!

c jane said...

Smart of you to resale that bread machine. I have one and it's the most ineffective piece of junk I've ever allowed in my kitchen.

Love homemade Oreos though. Mmmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

Way to go! You are a charity auction --> Craigslist genius!

Annie said...

You scoundrel! You probably ruined that poor little boy's night! And re-selling it all on Craig's list?!!!! What an evil mind!

Kristine said...

What a fun'll have to keep us posted on your final profit.

Why do people not see things through craiglist colored glasses more often? Gee whiz!

Lisa M. said...

I don't think you should feel guilty. Kuddos to you.

Ya, I agree, with Adrienne. I would um TOTALLY give out a buck. Or 100, for that.


A Payne said...

Brillant. We have a local thrift that sells things at outrageously cheap prices. All proceeds from the thrift go to different community charities. Even the people who work there are volunteers. I resell a lot of the stuff I by there on eBay, but not without a little guilt. I sort of feel like I should donate a little of my ebay profit to the charities. OR NOT! It's not my fault I can buy a square dancing slip for $2.00 and resell it on ebay for $25. Or a pair of slightly used Dansko clogs for about the same.
Not everyone can see the value in things that others would deem valueless, it's a gift, wouldn't you say?

Anonymous said...

If only I were so willing to put time into ebay like activities... I think the thing with church auctions is that everyone puts so much into donating items to bid that they feel to broke to fork over more money to take more junk home... at least that is why I never bid. And then there are those competitive types that will always outbid you even when you have given your last penny! Geesh.

patrick said...

So long as you remember to pay tithing on the increase... :) or you could avoid the whole moral dilemma by next time having the youth skip the middle man and craigslist/ebay the items themselves rather than depending on the charity of church members.
Although, as tempting as homemade oreos sound, they are probably better fresh, and not having passed through the mail system.

brother bill said...

tim's ward outside of san francisco had an auction too to raise money for the youth group or something. but people got it, in large part because the first object went for the right price. i think everything they sold was a baked good, so:

"we've got a fine apple pie with walnuts from the petersens. what will you give for it?"

five dollars, seven, then the defining bid, "forty dollars!"

from that point it was on. the most expensive baked good sold for something like $200. now that's a ward who had a clue. it's not about the objects for sale. well, you raked it in though. good thing you were there, otherwise they wouldn't have made back the money spent on the electricity...