Friday, January 20, 2006

Tale of the Leopard Print Skirt pt. 1

It's rather an exciting week for auctions over here. I'm writing this entry because nothing quite like this has happened to me before, and the outcome is uncertain.

Last week while the kids were at school I went to what is known around here as "The Dig". It's the hardcore bottom of the barrel clothing by the pound Goodwill processing center. It's kind of nasty, but also kind of fun. I only go there about once a year, because it takes a while to recover from it. The Dig is a big concrete warehouse where they wheel out these bales of clothing in rolling metal bins, and people dig through them, taking what they want, and throwing the rest on the floor. It can get ugly and territorial, and a strange frenzy overtakes some people.

I take a more casual approach, and have no need to be the first through a bin, I prefer to quietly go through the things on the floor. I always find plenty of great stuff, and am rarely surprised by anything mysterious or wet, like the bin diggers sometimes encounter.

Anyway, I was attracted by a leopard patterned piece of fabric I saw poking out of the pile, and when I picked it up, I could feel that it was a quality piece of clothing. The fabric was a thick, rich wool blend with some stretch, the construction of the thing was brilliant, and the label said that it was made in Italy, and the thing was in perfect condition. So I get the thing home and look up the name brand on ebay. It is "Alaia".

Wow! I find that Alaia things sell for big money, and that the designer Azzedine Alaia is somewhat of a fashion icon. Since my item is not brand new I didn't expect a whole lot though.

I took a somewhat cruddy photo of the skirt, and wrote a simple listing. Imagine my surprise when not 5 minutes after I listed it, I got a message from someone offering me $140 if I would end the auction right then and sell it to her! Tempting to be sure, but when that happens, it generally means that you have something that is special and worth lots. I decided to think on it and answer the person when I got back from picking up the kids.

An hour later, when I got home, there was a message from someone else, this time offering me $250!!! Dang! This offer was hard to refuse. (did I mention that I started the bidding at $12?) By this time however, there was a $12 bid, and it would be unethical of me to close the auction and sell it to someone else just because they offered me tons of cash. I can't accept any offer, right? Because I keep getting them! 5 different people so far have offered me money to stop the auction and sell the thing to them.

I'm getting the idea that this leopard print skirt is an iconic or rare design by Azzedine Alaia, and that makes it valuable to fashion collectors.

I'm going to do the ethical thing though, and honor the $12 bid. I wrote and told the others that I couldn't stop the auction and that they were welcome to bid at the low low price of $12, and that maybe they could scoop it up for $20. We shall see.


Blogger mati rose said...

that is an awesome story!

10:11 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

May I just say that this week I am way envious -- my auctions are tanking. And I have 3 returns!

2:10 PM  
Blogger kate said...

Ooooh. . . exciting! I'm gonna keep an eye on this one.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous lyn said...

Wow, good for you !
: )

12:13 PM  
Blogger kate said...

Woohooooo! $314!!! Yessss. That was fun.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Did the husband pick it up yet? On what planet can you let your husband know you paid $300 for a used skirt (or any skirt)? That's what I'd like to know.

1:17 PM  

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