After multiple phone calls with the seller of the invisible U-Neek, we both determined that a postal COD might not be the best way to go…
But, I couldn’t simply let this cork puller languish at this guy’s house.
It was time to put a plan into action.
I called Skip* and asked where exactly he lived. He had mentioned Virginia in a previous conversation, but not the exact town. He gave me the name of the town, and I told him that over the weekend, I would make a few phone calls, and perhaps someone would be able to do a different kind of COD. Instead of using the post office, we would deliver the cash to him, and complete the deal.
Who do I know in Virginia…?
I mapped out the distances.
Wirtz, VA? Three hours and four minutes of driving one way…
Staunton, VA? One hour and 14 minutes of driving one way…
Still too far…
I perused the CCCC mailing list, what other collectors might be in the area? What other corkscrew collector do I know that would be willing to drive countless miles to go antiquing??
I had just the person in mind (No, not Tommy).
I sent an email off seeing if there were any roadtrips in this particular individual’s future. The email that came back was promising, explaining he would be heading to the DC Big Flea in the morning, and then heading towards Leesburg. Leesburg? That is only 35 minutes from Skip*
After working out the details, I set about calling Skip. No answer on his phone, and no possibility of leaving a voicemail.
This morning, after receiving news that the individual acting on my behalf, was on the road, and heading to his ultimate destination, I called again, and this time got Skip on the phone. He was reluctant to give his actual street address, and thought perhaps the deal could be done at a remote locale. I told him that my agent was on his way, and would be calling him. And, proceeded to forward Skip’s phone number to special agent Orrin Painter**
After making contact, Agent Painter explained that he had cash in a white paper bag.
The clandestine exchange was about to take place. The money drop would be at a McDonalds, where Skip (and hopefully the U-Neek) would be waiting for Agent Painter.
An hour or so later, I received confirmation that the deal was done. Agent Painter came away with the U-Neek unscathed, and as luck would have it, with a lead on a pair of ladies legs.
In the end, Skip got his cash (on delivery), Agent Painter got a lead on a pair of ladies legs (and a happy meal), and the U-Neek will be put up for auction in April on the ICCAuction.
Nice work Agent Painter! And, thanks Skip!
*name changed to protect the identity of the seller
**name changed because it was just funnier this way.