Betting On Elvis


Monday February 11th, 2013 – Crystal Lake, IL

   There’s a thrift store in my area that has a Monday special of 25% off for those who sign up for one of their discount cards. Last week I was walking through scouring for baubles and/or trinkets to resell and ran across an issue of TV Guide from1956 that had Elvis on the cover. It turns out it was his first national magazine cover, and is apparently a higher end collectible. I was interested.

The marked price was $29.99, and that seemed low to me for an item of that ilk. It appeared to be in excellent although not pristine condition. There were minor signs of wear, but who’d keep an issue of TV Guide around that long? They were meant to be thrown out at the end of a week.

I don’t particularly have $29.99 to gamble on the chance of something being real, so I did my due diligence and went to do some research on the magazine. Ebay sales average about $100 per magazine, and there was one that was independently graded like a coin or stamp and that one had an asking price of $1300. I asked the store manager about the history of it and he said it was real.

Here’s where the poker game of all this comes in. The store manager was maybe 30ish and not a fan of Elvis at all. I could tell by the indifference in his tone as he talked about all the interest it had been getting. He wasn’t sucked in, and sounded like he just wanted to get it out of the store.

I tried not to act interested, but also get as much information as possible. That’s when I learned of the 25% discount on Mondays I hadn’t known about. He wouldn’t budge and sell it to me any sooner for the discounted price, but said I had a good chance to nab it if I would show up at 9am sharp Monday morning which I did today. My gut told me this was something worth going after.

In the back of my mind I half expected to see people in sleeping bags lined up at the front door camping out waiting for the store to open up at 9 but when I got there it wasn’t so. There was one guy ahead of me, and I was prepared to fight to the death for the right to claim my Elvis item but he went in the opposite direction and was obviously interested in something completely different.

I did indeed score my prize, and got my 25% discount to boot. I also found a few other trinkets like a wooden and metal toy gun that looked to be pretty old and a View Master that came with a pile of discs for three bucks. I also found another small bag of older Hot Wheels cars that were in fair shape, and at fifty cents a car I think I’ll do ok with them. If not, I’ll give them to some kids.

This is all a gamble, and there’s no guarantee that I’ll make one cent in profit but I am already enjoying the adventure of the hunt. Driving to the store so early in the morning made me feel like Indiana Jones searching for the Ark of the Covenant. I didn’t know if I’d get it, and when I did it gave me a feeling of accomplishment and victory. At the very worst, all I’ll be out is under $40.

I don’t think I’m going to lose money on the Elvis piece though. I already showed it to some of my friends and they gawked at it like monkeys looking at a bright red ball. If nothing else, it will serve as an eye catcher if and when I do set up at a flea market or antique mall. If I have to bet on a collectible that will fetch me a nice profit, I feel safe betting on The King. Thankyouverymuch.

 Is The King collectible.

 

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