Tag: inventory

Haggle or no haggle

Reading Time: 5 minutes

As I’ve mentioned more times than I care to count, I love shopping for BDSM toys.  But I also like a good bargain when I can see one, or create a deal from someone offering something that they no longer have a use for.  About 90% of the time, I pull the trigger and manage to come away with something useable, and acceptable in price to both sides.  Today, that didn’t happen.  I’m a bit sorry it didn’t, both for me and for the seller, but sometimes you just can’t come to an agreement on price.

This all took place on Fetlife, where I tend to haunt the Kinky Items for Sale and similar groups for bargains.  This morning I happened to notice a new post from someone in NY saying that they’re in the midst of spring cleaning and want to part with some of their toy collection.  “Great!” I think to myself.  “Let’s see what they’re offering.”

It’s a small list, but at least there are references to pictures on their profile.  Anymore, people who list items forget that a picture really is worth a thousand words.  There’s so much more to see in a picture of what you’re offering than you can accurately describe in words.  I click over to their profile and look over the proffered pictures.  Already I can see there are interesting items that I might have an interest in.  A pair of heavy leather padded restraints with locking buckles, a pair of interestingly designed wooden paddles, that are described as being made from tiger maple.  Hmm, never heard of that type of wood before.  But maple is a hardwood, and anything that’s crafted from it will be hardy and sturdy.  The last item was a quirt, or what some might call a dragontail.  The seller was calling it a mini-whip, in that it only has two ‘tails’ off of the main belly of the whip.

Of all the prices that the seller was listing, about the only one that seemed out of whack was the padded cuffs.  2 wrist cuffs for $100 seemed a bit much.  The nice part about the listing was that the seller did seem interested in haggling since she put at the end of her listing in larger red type OR BEST OFFER.  That to me suggested that she wasn’t quite as firm in her preferences of price than she was listed originally.  It’s good when there’s wiggle room. 

I thought to myself about how much I should offer for all the items I was interested in.  When I mentally tallied up what she was asking, I found it to be $180.  I thought $150 might be acceptable as a counter-offer, and since I was going to be paying for the shipping, that might add in another $10-15 to the price.  I typed up a message through Fetlife’s communication system, sent it off and went about my day.  About 2 in the afternoon I checked my messages and sure enough, there was a reply.  Though not quite the reply I was expecting.  She didn’t seem to think much of my counter-offer.  She stated that all the items I was interested in were going to be $200, not $180 like she’d listed.  Eh?

I thought about the reply before writing back.  It could be that she’d added in the shipping and came to the total of $200 that way, or maybe there was some other hanky-panky going on.  In my reply, I reiterated that she’d clearly stated prices and that there was wiggle room in them when she’d stated that best offers would be accepted.  However, if she wasn’t interested in being flexible, then I wasn’t really interested in overpaying for her used items.  Popped off the message and had a reply within about 20 minutes.  She confirmed that the price she’d quoted had included the shipping.  No wiggle room, she was being firm.  Too, she informed me that she had originally paid $300 for the cuffs, so she believed she was making someone a good bargain.  Personally, at that point, I honestly believe someone had sold her some magic beans if they charged her that much for 2 locking leather restraints.  No matter what sort of leather they might be made of.  None of which I’d mentioned to her, I didn’t wish to be rude.  I made my final reply saying I was no longer interested.

All in all, I think I made the right decision.  Don’t get me wrong, I really would have liked to have everything I originally mentioned, but the prices were just too out of range for what I would feel comfortable paying.  Yes, there have been times when I’ve overpaid for items, but as I recall, it was because of who had made the items in question, they were established artisans so the prices might have been considered a little excessive by some, but as with things like a painting by Picasso, you don’t get it for a song, you get it for what the market will bear.  Even if the finished product is basically canvas and ink.

Better luck next time!

Almost forgot.  I did a little research on tiger maple and discovered it’s not anything really special, it’s a by-product of red maple, just sometimes how the striations are in the wood when it’s cut.  It’s also called ‘flame maple’ because of the stripes.  So in theory, I could make my own paddle with the woodworking tools that my father left me.  Something to be aware of.  Interesting factoid.

Saga of the “What If’s..”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

giphy.gifI was laying in bed last night, just before going to sleep, and the temperature outside was a balmy -6°F when it hit me.  What if we had a fire in the house right now?  It’s not an impossibility.  The house is over 170 years old.  Having gone down to the basement, there are indications of a previous fire in the neighborhood of the living room fireplace, so in the past history of the house, there was some sort of disaster, or at least some timbers were heavily singed.  Since we don’t know the history of the house really past the 1870s (that’s as far as the title search went) we’re forced to speculate a little bit about the ‘what if’s’ that occurred back then.

But again, what if there was a fire in the house?  Would we get out in time?  How many of our possessions would be salvageable?  Moreover, would we be able to catch the cat to save his little furry butt as well?  Naturally there are pressing issues about scene items, like my flogger collection, and other BDSM toys, how much of them would be destroyed, lost to water damage, smoke and so on.  One of our wedding presents was a flogger made by an artisan who’s no longer crafting her wares.  Matter of fact, one can’t hardly find a reference to her work anymore on the web, but go back 25-30 years ago, and she was a highly respected and sought after craftsperson.  Weird sometimes how that happens.  Lost to the whims of history, even in BDSM lore.

I started this post a week ago, but am finishing it up now, fyi.  A couple of days ago as I was thinking about the scenario that began this post, I thought about buying a safe for my more valuable and less ably replaceable scene items (along with some other necessities, like insurance papers, birth and marriage certificates, as well as other important documents and valuables).  We do have a small safe that my FIL owned, but it’s been in storage for the past 20 years, and it actually weighs about 200 lbs (~91 kgs).  Too, I don’t believe we ever ascertained or found the combination, so at present the safe door is open, so we don’t have to pay a locksmith to open the damn thing.  Consequently, that wouldn’t do very well anyway.  Too small.  I went to a safe website, and looked for possible options and hit upon a possible solution, a ‘gun safe’, one that would be used to protect one’s firearms as well as other valuables.  The only problem (besides price) would be the one I would probably want weighs in excess of 800 lbs (~363 kgs).  The likelihood of something of that nature would be it would end up in the basement, since it would probably crash through the floor of whatever room we wanted to put it in.

So that scenario isn’t a likely solution.  Just another in a long line of musings I’ve had over the years.  Actually, the other ‘what if’ thought I’ve had is, who’s going to inherit my toy collection after I’m gone?  Yeesh.  Gotta quit being morbid.

 

Toy Whore/Hoard

Reading Time: 4 minutes
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Credit Fetlife User @Moolikan

I actually think I have too many BDSM toys.  And there’s two sad things to add to that statement.  Not only do I probably have too many, I want more.  I continually scour places that advertise items that people no longer want, or think about what I could do with items that could be converted into play things.  Like old chain for example.  Since I’m unable to play with my girl due to distance, I spend time keeping my interest piqued by watching old BDSM videos (from Insex and other venues), looking at pictures and thinking about old play scenes of my own from the past.  I marvel and covet what I see, and consider how I could be getting items from scrap yards, antique stores and junkyards to convert into toys, for the eventuality of having someone to play with.  I even have haunted Etsy and eBay over the past few days to browse for older chain, instead of going the route of purchasing new chain and rusting it.  It would actually probably be cheaper to do it that way, but I don’t think you get the same patina from rusting the stuff that you find in hardware stores these days..a lot of it comes from China, and the metallurgical make-up is completely different from domestic (US) steel from the past.

I’ve often also thought about divesting myself of some of the toys that I have had for a long time.  Many years ago, when I was going through a medical restraint phase, I purchased FOUR identical sets of Human Restraints.  The types that are used in hospitals, or mental health facilities.  These are the extremely sturdy leather restraints with locks.  I still have them, they’re brand new and haven’t even been removed from the boxes they were shipped in.  My justification was, they price was way too good to pass up.  Coupled with the fact that you normally can’t get these without either a prescription (unlikely!) or be ordering them from official letterhead from an institution (impossible!).  Yes there are places that make similar ones, or knockoff varieties, but getting the real thing instead?  That’s a coup.  But still, I have four sets of something that I’ve never used, and essentially, that’s THREE sets I probably will never use. prangers2 The same goes for my prangers.  I have two of them (because a seller on Fetlife was offering the two as a set, not individually) but really, probably only need one at any time.   Don’t get me started on my flogger collection.  I really went overboard on that one.  Someone on Fetlife was selling their collection due to having the need for money, and naturally I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.  So I blew my toy budget for the year on making myself the proud owner of that, and now they sit mostly in my clothes closet, or hung up in my armoire, waiting to be used.  I’ve already had one horsehair flogger disintegrate due to lack of use (that majorly sucked!) and I have to be certain that other toys don’t go the same route, because of lack of playtime.  Further, my spanking horse is in the basement, getting more and more dusty with every passing month.  The last time I had a repairman in the house, he saw the horse and asked me if it was a piece of exercise equipment.  Rather than tell him exactly what it’s use was, I just nodded and didn’t say any more.

I suppose it’s just fitting that Amazon has now gotten into the business as well.  While I was doing research looking for pictures, I stumbled upon their toy listings.  Oy.

Covet

Reading Time: 3 minutes
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Photo credit: Moolikan on Fetlife.com

While this isn’t exactly a representation of my dream dungeon, it comes pretty close in the terms of being drool-worthy.  The person that amassed this collection is in the process of selling most of it and moving elsewhere in the United States.  When he first posted his pictures on Fetlife, I was (like just about everyone else that commented) floored by the sheer amount of stuff in his playspace.  Just tallying up in my head the costs of the restraints, not to mention some of the stuff that looks custom-made would put the price tag easily in the $8,000-10,000 range.  And now he’s selling it??  Yeah, I thought more than once about putting in an offer, but unfortunately he’s looking for people who are within driving distance of him, and he’s about 1000 miles away from me.

Of course something like this has got me thinking about what I already possess and what I’ve been amassing in my own toy collection over the last year and the previous 30 some odd.  The fact that what I do have, I don’t play with much (and is a considerable source of angst from the wife about how much it all has cost) and basically sits around gathering dust.  I’ve already lost a couple of toys to wear and tear, and age, one of my coveted horsehair floggers essentially disintegrated hanging in my closet.  Too, one day on eBay I happened upon a seller that was parting with 4 identical brand new Humane Restraint sets, none of which had even been removed from their packing cellophane.  Brand Spanking New!  These are the types of restraints one might find in hospitals, mental facilities, the ones that in order to buy, you must have official letterhead, they’re not meant to be sold to the general public.  Of course, the person was asking $400 per set..but damn.  Don’t even ask…I bought them.  But I haven’t used them.  I opened one set, but the other 3 are sitting in the back of my closet, in the same boxes they arrived in.  What am I going to do with 4 sets of restraints, when I only have one submissive?  Damned if I know either, but I have them.

On and on it goes.  Floggers, restraints of metal and leather, chains and I’ve been considering learning how to weld so I can BUILD things.  But the wife isn’t going to be too pleased if I make a steel cage down in the basement, and then have nowhere to put it.  So I put off that sort of plan for a time down the road.  Still, I covet what I can’t have (at the present time).

I’m like a person at a smorgasboard, with a full plate and they just brought out dessert.

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Photo Credit: Moolikan on Fetlife.com

A definite boom, and possibly a little bust

Reading Time: 4 minutes

It’s always difficult when you’re purchasing things sight unseen, and even moreso when there’s a time constraint.

The other day, I was checking my email and there was a new posting on a board that I frequent on Fetlife.  It’s a ‘For Sale’ board for people that either have new things they want to sell, or things they no longer have a use for, and wish to make a quick buck from their excess.  Some things are good, others not so much.  As with all yard sale type items, it can easily be boom or bust.  But, there are times when you really find a good bargain and that’s why I keep an eye on this board (as well as a few others there).

One of the things I most definitely keep an eye out for are restraints & impact toys. Dungeon furniture not so much, as usually they’re unwieldy, they don’t break down easily and they’re cost-prohibitive to ship.  But things like floggers or single-tail whips, or restraints can easily be packed together, stuffed into a flat rate postal box and for less than $20, shipped across the country in a maximum of 3 days.

Such was the case last week, when a fellow posted that he was parting with his set of steel shackles and collar.  He posted pictures of them on his profile, along with measurements, which is a handy thing to do.  Most people that post on the board aren’t so thoughtful, it can be a myriad of banter before you get a better idea of what measurements are involved, and whether that particular item will fit the person you have in mind.  Even if the person is yourself!  Not everyone is the same size, so measurements are important.  Too, pictures help!  Not everyone seems to understand that.  They post a static item, and don’t include a picture!  How is someone going to know what you have for sale without a reference point?

As I mentioned above, I get an email when a new post is made on the board, and the post had been there for several hours before I saw it.  No one had contacted him as yet (that I knew of) so I sprang into action.  Checking out the pictures he had referenced, it appeared that the only wrinkle might be with the collar.  The shackles themselves seemed to be rather on the large side so if anything my pet might be swimming a little in their circumference, but that’s easily rectified.  One can expand the area with wrapping, going the other way isn’t so easy.  The one constant about metal is it’s rigidity and unforgiving quality.  Either it fits, or it doesn’t.  But for me, 2 out of 3 is still good odds and honestly the price was acceptable.  I know from shopping several sites that ‘build to order’ when you do custom work, the price tag goes up.  So I was already expecting a problem with the collar, not so much with the wrist and ankle restraints.  I contacted the seller and he responded pretty quickly.  That doesn’t always happen!  A few messages passed back and forth, he thankfully accepted PayPal (though I discovered PP has closed a particular handy loophole I used to use) and we were off to the races.  He did his due diligence and marked the items as SOLD on the site, but I was distressed that he removed the pictures from his profile at almost the same time.  No matter.  They were coming to me via US Mail in a few days, I could do my own measuring.

I had hoped they would arrive on Friday, but he was unable to post them until Wednesday so they arrived on Saturday while I was at work.  I received a text from my wife around lunchtime to let me know “a really freaking heavy box” had been delivered to the house that morning.  I didn’t open the box until late in the evening before I went to bed, but as I expected, the collar was a bit small, but the shackles fit me, so they’ll fit my girl.  I’m going to of course try it on her before I make any other sort of decision, but the shackles are definitely staying as part of my toy collection.  So as of right now, 2 booms, and 1 possible bust.  But I still think I made out very well.

More Opportunities, more toys

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Oh brother.  I have to say I’ve never been one to pass up a good bargain.  I’ve always said that it’s a good thing I don’t have an inexhaustible supply of money, because I’d end up with a warehouse full of BDSM toys.

I bought another toy that was on my bucket list last night.  Ever since I started using the computer to connect, I’ve also used it to watch porn.  And in my kink formative years, there always needed to be something with restraints in them.  Now rope restraints are all well and good, leather restraints do the job, but there’s nothing quite like seeing someone struggling in cold, hard steel restraints.  Just gets the juices flowing.  At least it does me.

When I was watching Insex during the late 90’s and early 2000’s, I was always floored at the cornucopia of metal toys that the owner of the site had.  I learned later that almost all of them were hand-made, forged from raw steel by a fellow who went by the alias ‘KGB’.  I’ve said many a time if Intersec/Insex ever had a garage (or estate) sale of the items that were made for the various websites, I’d be nearly the first in line.  You just can’t pass up good workmanship!  So, in the same vein over the years, I’ve been haunting sites that sell old gear, from people who have either gotten out of the scene, or want to make some quick cash selling things they don’t have a use for anymore.

I’ve been a member of Fetlife nearly from the beginning of that site.  I’ve also been a member of their ‘Kinky Items For Sale’ board for many years as well.  Certainly I’ve gotten more than a few good bargains from that board in that time, with people who have taken good care of their toys, but for one reason or another they either don’t wish to be active and want to re-home their past purchases, or they just don’t want them anymore.  For every person that wishes to sell their used panties (ew), there are people that want to part with quality floggers, restraints, bondage furniture and other goodies at fairly good prices.  Even better than eBay I’ve discovered, and way better than Craigslist (I’m continually reminded of the woman who posted for sale her late husband’s St. Andrew’s Cross, stating that it was a very fancy clothes hanger).

Certainly there are many places one can get forged steel toys, and even at better than average prices.  But when someone offers them at a discount, it’s sometimes a race to get it before someone else can contact them.  Which just happened to be the case last night.  Within about an hour and a half of the person posting them, I was able to broker a deal and purchased them.  Of course, with such a quick sealed deal, I have to be certain that they’re going to fit my pet.  But, that’s something that we can discover when she visits.  And if not, I can always resell them.  Because there’s always someone willing to buy.

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