Fishing Lures & Foolish Greed

We had a client who had boxes and boxes of old fishing lures.  He kept them in an old shed on his property.  In Tucson, where the summer temperatures stay over 100 degrees for 3 months straight, it is not always a good place to store old wooden items.  Some of these lures were still in their original boxes, but hundreds were just thrown in an open cardboard box.  He knew nothing about them – he bought them from someone else many years before.

It was easy to sell the named pieces.  Fishing lures are very, very collectible and there are always many bidders on eBay looking for the rare, old ones.  These people really know their stuff – you can have the same lure in two different colors, and the price can be a few dollars for one and hundreds for another.

Even though there are a million people in Tucson, it really is like a small town.  We know a number of other business owners and we are quick to refer clients and people we meet to honest sellers in town.  I happened to be in a local gun store where the owner has helped me to identify and evaluate some old weapons in the past.  I mentioned to him about this mother lode of lures I was working with.  A few days later we got a call from a Texan who works for Border Patrol and was doing a stint in our hometown.  He had been in the gun shop and while shooting the breeze, mentioned he was a big fishing lure collector.  The gun store owner gave him my number and he offered to help us identify anything we were stumped with.  At first, I just emailed him photos, and he was quick to give me the details of each one.  I didn’t want to bother him, but he told me he really loved looking at and buying old lures.

Well, the box was big and emailing is a long process.  Richie and I talked it over and asked this agent if he wouldn’t mind coming over to our house for a steak dinner and take a look through the box.   He jumped at the chance – he was lonely – living in a motel with his family back in Texas.  It turned out to be a mutually beneficial arrangement – he had a great home cooked meal and we had a valuable lesson in old fishing lures.

One fishing lure ended up selling for close to $1,000.00!!  Now comes the foolish greed….

Our client, who knew nothing about these lures and was making a bundle based on the sales, the time and work we did to find out what he actually had, now calls us to stop selling the lures!  He wants to keep all the money for himself by selling them in his souvenir shop!  We had been selling these lures all over the world – did he really think he would get these prices from tourists in Arizona and in the desert no less?

Well, we had carefully placed each lure in its own bag with the proper name, color, to help get the best prices etc.  Since he didn’t even thank us for all our efforts (let alone offer to pay us for giving him the details about each of the lures) – they were put back in their original box, just the way we received them.

It takes all types in this world and fortunately most of our clients appreciate the work we do and the results of our effort.  Greed often doesn’t rear its ugly head when we first meet – at least we made a few good sales, so our time was not for naught.  And we had a nice evening with our new Texas associate.

Published in: on July 21, 2010 at 6:09 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Interesting story. Those unsold lures will probably sit a long time in that man’s shop. Fishing in Tucson isn’t a big tourist attraction. What was that guy thinking – you sell all over the world. A much larger market than here in Tucson where he may wait a long time before that one customer comes in looking for fishing lures. Too soon old – too late smart…..

  2. Enjoying the postings. You are a good writer!

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