As it has been the past few years, kiddo’s christmas list was almost entirely filled with electronics.
The new and expensive wii, a laptop, an ipad… those sorts of things.
One of the things she had included was a tv for her room.
Now, we don’t have cable, and very rarely watch tv around here.
Until she got the wii, the only tv in the house was the 19“ one in my room that I bought back in 1997… which is still the only tv that is set up to watch. The bigger one that my brother gave us to play the wii on won’t work with just the antenna and converter box.
And so, when she does want to watch tv, she’s in my room, which is also usually where I’m studying.
So I was thinking about actually getting her a tv. Of all the random electronic items, that one seemed the most reasonable and the cheapest.
I’d messed around with finances… and thought I might be able to pull off one of the random $175 walmart cheap ones… but… as time got closer and a couple of expected days of work got cut, it just wasn’t happening.
And so, I tried to come up with a better idea… and short of just buying random small items and going for quantity over quality, not much was coming up.
And so… I decided to check out the local tv repair shop that also sells used tvs. Figuring a tv is a tv, and doubting she would be too picky if it came to used tv over no tv. And the cheapest thing they had used was more than walmart’s cheapest new.
And so, I decided to check around at a couple of local pawn shops. And was amazed to find the same situation.
All that they had at all were the newer widescreen flat styles. And all medium to large sized. And all at least $200.
I suppose in a bad economy, pawn stores can be picky about what they buy to resell?
I prepared to check out craigslist… but decided to stop at one more pawn store, a tiny one, not really expecting to find a tv, but knowing that when they have wii games in, they tend to sell them for $1-$3.
And, surprisingly, in their selection of 8 tv’s, three of them were the older style, and less than $100.
Unfortunately, one of them was a really tiny travel sized thing… and the other two were really older to the point that they didn’t have the rca component jacks to hook things into it… and so would have required my buying another converter that runs about 35 by itself… and so was less than ideal.
But I was still considering them… and was talking a bit with the guy about what I was looking for.
When all of the sudden, one of the other guys working there pops up and asks a women who was looking at the movies section if she still wanted to get rid of her tv.
As it turns out, this woman… who looked like she was a bit younger than me… was moving out of state. She’d had a tv in her bedroom and one in the main room, but was moving in with a roommate, and so was putting her newer tv from the living room into her new bedroom.
She’d come in just before I did, and had been at the counter on the other side of the store… where the other staff member had bought a stereo she’d brought in and some tools, but had decided not to buy her tv, because it wasn’t the newer style and it ”wouldn’t sell“.
And so, she and I went out to her car… and the tv was perfect! Nice condition… recognizable brand.. about the same size as the one connected to the wii, but newer and less heavy… had component jacks… even had remote.
I asked her what she wanted for it, and she told me $10… because she didn’t want to move it, and nobody else wanted it. She’d just been trying to figure out exactly what she was going to do with it to get rid of it.
I almost never carry cash, and my first thought when we’d headed outside was that I was going to have to run down the street to the atm… but suddenly, I remembered I had $20 in my wallet from something the other day that I expected to need cash for but didn’t.
And so, I offered her double what she’d asked… because I totally would have paid more than 5 times what she’d asked had this tv been available to be bought inside.
You know it’s an interesting time in your life when you find yourself buying electronics from someone in a pawn shop parking lot for a christmas gift, and being totally thrilled about it!
And… with the circumstances being as they were… apparently this kid was just meant to get a tv this year. lol