My Weekly Score: Stoddard’s Lectures

We’ve scored a lot of really great finds in box lots at auctions. Box lots – for those of you that may not have experienced the wonder that is going to an auction – are boxes filled with miscellaneous items that are then auctioned off for a price per box. For example, you bid the amount you would be willing to pay for a single box. If you win the bid, you get to pick as many boxes as you want at that price. This continues until all the boxes are gone.

So, what’s so great about box lots? It’s true that the items in them might not necessarily be worth a fortune. Most of the time they’re things the auction house doesn’t want to take the time to sell individually. However, sometimes the auction house might not know what they have. Or maybe they don’t think it’ll sell well if it goes up on its own. In either case, you might be able to buy an incredibly valuable item for an extremely low price.

We have two finds that came out of box lots that are our favorites to talk about. The first one was an original Monopoly game from 1935 – still wrapped! – that we were able to sell for $350. The other was a silver bell that was part of a collectible series. We almost gave it to the birds to play with, but it’s a good thing we didn’t…we were able to sell it for $500! Both of these items came from a box in which we only paid about $4 for the entire contents.

Now that’s a deal!

While we didn’t score anything that big this time around, the box lot of books that we landed a week or two ago did produce a nice surprise: a complete set of books titled Stoddard’s Lectures.

The series has ten volumes that discuss various countries and are packed with all sorts of interesting information. It also comes with five supplemental books. All are hardcover and were copyrighted in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. The covers even have genuine leather accents along the spine and across the corners.

After breaking out the contents of the box, we ended up only paying $2 for this set. Even if we sold the books for $1 a copy, this would still be a great profit (have I said, yet, that I love box lots?). But, we did MUCH better than that. Our final price was $78.51 for this beautiful set.

Keep your eyes open for these books at antique shops and yard sales – you might be able to get a nice little profit from them. Remember that having the complete set is ALWAYS better than having just a few books.


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