During a long weekend visit with me last year, Mom brought a list of the items she keeps in her two safe deposit boxes. She asked me to type them up for better record keeping. Amongst the items were 649 half-dollar coins, dating from 1966 to 1979.
As we sat in the living room, and i typed away on the laptop, she proceeded to tell me how much those Kennedy half-dollars could be worth.
daisyfae: Well, hell, i can look up estimated values for them. Let’s see what they’re going for!
Much to her disappointment, they are barely worth more than face value. Quick surf showed that the only ones NOT going for face value were the ’66-’69 coins, getting maybe $3 each. Total estimate? About $525 for the lot. This reminded me of my adventures in selling her Avon collection a couple of years before…
During an early round of excavations at her home, we unearthed a monstrous amount of Avon items. Boxes in closets, under beds, stashed in rodent-chewed boxes in the outdoor shed. Most of the boxes were unopened, in the original packaging. During the 70’s and 80’s, Mom had an Avon dealer who had convinced her that “These things are going to be worth a lot of money someday”.
In order to get Mom to turn this stuff loose, i offered to document her collection in a spreadsheet, then do some research to find out what the items were worth. Even figure out where to sell them. In the end, i carted about 20 good-sized boxes of this crap back to my home.
Purchasing “The Avon Collectors Bible”, i set to work identifying each item, estimating the condition, and tallying up the results.
This. Took. Months.
Many. Fucking. Months.
At the end of a tedious slog through smelly stacks of mildew-encrusted boxes, my spreadsheet estimated the value to be about $1,800. For the period of time i was immersed in this shit – i was an expert on the alleged value for a variety of glassware and decorative items that are essentially very, very ugly.
It was a nicely organized spreadsheet. i set about advertising the collection. Various bulletin boards, Avon collectible websites, as well as a cursory look at eBay….
Nope. Nothing. Not even a nibble. The mice in the shed had demonstrated far more interest in this crap.
It turns out the United States of America is awash in Avon collectibles. Middle-aged children of packrat mothers who bought the lie of the product pushers are all trying to unload truckloads of this shit. This junk was sold to housewives who had no other prospects for retirement income. They believed it was going to give them a nice nest egg for their golden years.
A nice nest for mouse turds, is more like it…
Keeping Mom apprised of the status of my efforts, she was frustrated with my lack of success. She believed they had value. She would not accept that thousands of my father’s hard-earned dollars had been wasted on kitschy glass bottles full of shitty cologne.
When i had the garage sale, i made my last attempt at moving some of them for cash. The Collectors Plates, which Mom had purchased for $25-$35 back in the 1970’s were allegedly worth $30-$40 each. And she had 30 of them….
Trying one last time, i couldn’t even unload the blasted things for $1 each. It all went to Goodwill for recycling. i lied to my Mom, however, telling her i found a buyer. Wrote her a check for $500. From my own bank account.
Mom: That’s all? It was worth a lot more than that. Can’t believe you couldn’t get more for all that…
Pretty sure i’m not going to offer to unload all of those half-dollar coins for her…