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jca's avatar

Collectors: Do you have a story about the item that "got away?" or to put it another way, the thing you passed up that you later on regretted?

Asked by jca (28785 points ) May 4th, 2012

It seems everyone I know who collects things has a story about how they saw something in a shop or at a sale, something they didn’t realize was of value and so they passed it up. Later on, they regretted it, and it was no longer able to be found or bought.

Do you have a story about the thing that got away, the thing you passed up and later on regretted?

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12 Answers

Sunny2's avatar

I still regret not buying an absolutely gorgeous Chinese painted desk. I would love to have it, but it just isn’t practical in our household. I pictured it in a place and circumstance in which I didn’t live at the time. Still don’t. I never fell in love with a piece of furniture before. Nor since.

Symbeline's avatar

Kind of, but not really. I like amassing old ass Super Nintendo games, (other consoles too) especially rare role playing games. When I was a young foolish teen, I found this much sought after game called Earthbound. I got it. It was awesome. I beat it. Wanted another game.
Went with my dad to a pawnshop with the game, so I could trade it in for another. I found Final Fantasy Mystic Quest which really isn’t all that bad, but nowhere near as epic as Earthbound. So…I traded Earthbound for that game. My dad even had to pay extra money with the trade.
This may seem like nothing for anyone who doesn’t know anything about video games, but those who seek rare games should slap me in the face right now, and do even worse. I deserve death for this action. Seriously. The lady at the place even insulted me…she told my dad that this type of game (Final Fantasy Mystic Quest and role playing games in general) was really hard, and not for kids. Fuck her. I beat Quest up the ass big time, and she obviously didn’t know what Earthbound was, which is, a role playing game.

I ended up missing Earthbound really bad shortly after trading it, and wishing I never had traded it. It was years before I saw it again, in a drugstore of all places. I was with this guy at the time, who also knew of Earthbound’s notoriety, and how rare a game it was. Of course, drugstores don’t know anything about games, so he got it for 15 bucks. I wanted it, but had no money at the time. And I know he pretty much just got it to piss me off lol.

This was during the PlayStation 1 era, when Final Fantasy VIII came out. I got my copy, but my PS console was fucking up and I could barely play anything on it. That friend who got Earthbound, he loved taking things apart and repairing them. He wanted to buy my busted up PlayStation for a small fee so he could mess with it. I wasn’t very interested. But eventually, he came over, insisting that I give up the PS to him. Before I finished the offer I was going to make, which was I’d trade him my broken PS for his copy of Earthbound, he pulled the game out of his pocket, and the deal was made. I got my game back after like, five years of cursing my fool self for trading my own copy for FFMQ.
Now that sounds like a shitty deal, a broken game console for a perfectly fine game, but he really wanted my PS, and he didn’t enjoy Earthbound at all. He said it sucked. Bloody heathen. Probably got his ass kicked all day, that game can be pretty cruel.

I denno if this answers your question much, since I did get a copy of the game again, but it’s as close as I can get, and I just felt like telling it. Who knows, this may actually be a love story, too.

I had a lot of rare games as a teen and in my early twenties, but I lost most of them on a move from one province to another, including two Lunar remakes on the PlayStation, which people pay dearly for on the net.

But I kept Earthbound, I brought some few games with me, and that was one. Learned my freakin’ lesson. :D

To this day, I still keep up on collecting rare, old and unique games, but my collection is nowhere near as impressive as my 16bit/32bit collection was. :/

YARNLADY's avatar

We gave away one of the first Apple Two computers ever made. The serial number was in the low 1000’s.

I regularly regret not being able to collect the mugs I want, such as all the old casinos in Las Vegas and Reno, or all the state capitals, due to space and financial restraints.

Brian1946's avatar

I had an 8X10 color photo of Elvis that he signed for me in December, 1956.

In 1968 I was fanatically involved with psychedelic and English blues-rock, such as Cream, Hendrix, and Jeff Beck. As a result of that I became somewhat of a music snob. One day while in the grip of my aesthetic arrogance, I looked at my Elvis pic with disdain and thought, “This greaser and his music are so lame.”

Hopefully our trash collector saw it and used it to send his kid to Stanford. ;-)

cazzie's avatar

I was collecting art deco jewellery for a while and I had a favorite Bulova watch. My old flatmate stole it. I never should have shown it to the crazy bitch.

Plucky's avatar

First of all, (slaps @Symbeline ..you asked for it).

The thing that comes to mind first is the really old wooden Pepsi crate that was in wonderful condition. There were also old-ish Pepsi glasses that had the T’was the Night Before Christmas story written across all of them. My sister and I went to some farm yard sales ..she saw all of it first and nabbed them. I really really wanted both the crate and glasses. I like old Pepsi stuff (my collection isn’t huge though). I still see them when I go to her place, lol, like a sad reminder.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Oh yes! My ex husband and I had a small collection of Lee Hudin ceramic wall plaques/plates. They were nature themed and I got to keep them after our divorce. There came an incident which forced me to move quickly and basically give away, sell or leave behind most of my belongings. I had two wonderful roomies who bought as much as they could and a few coworkers who did the same. I very much regret not keeping the Hudin art because Lee died in this past decade and I’ll never replace those items which would look fabulous on my walls now.

Oh well, they’re things and not necessities but now and then I think about them.

fluthernutter's avatar

Not exactly passed up on buying…

We bought an old craftsman bungalow. While showing a plumber our crawl space, I found a pair of French doors. Dusty, but in great condition. Original glass door knobs.

I hate the idea of things going to waste. Since I didn’t plan on using them for anything (and I was concerned about leaving fodder around for termites), I gave them away to Urban Ore.

I still don’t have a use for them. But I’ve since acquired a terrible guilt about giving them away. They were original to the house (separating the living room from the dining room). I feel like I disrespected the house. I should have just left them where I found them.

My husband thinks I’m crazy, but every once in awhile I apologize to the house about giving away those doors.

Jeruba's avatar

I wrote here about one that got away, that I allowed to get away. I still think about it.

If I’d borrowed the money, it would have been paid back decades ago…and I would still have the painting.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So many things! We don’t collect fifth wheels, of course. But this sold for $1800 at auction about a month ago. shit shit shit!!!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Jeruba I read your story in the other thread. Was the painting you were looking at the original? And how much would it go for today?

Jeruba's avatar

@Dutchess_III, yes, it was. I have no idea what it would go for today, but I found a lithograph by the same artist (Endre Szasz) and obviously of the same image, though with different detail and facing the other way, going for $3500.

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