I have for a long time been a customer at Drybridge Market, a fleamarket in Tbilisi, the best place for finding older model cars in Tbilisi. Today, I had a go at selling some of the excess in my collection at the market. I took along 35 models. I thought I’d keep it simple and priced them all at 3 lari a piece (about $1.20). Many of the models cost me more originally, this wasn’t intended as an exercise to profit from my collection. I wanted to experience the other side of the market transaction. I was also interested to see if there were other collectors, having a hobby is more interesting when you know like-minded individuals. I know many other collectors from internet forums but not locally.
I arrived late in the day (3pm…the market begins at 10am) as I didn’t want to place myself in anyone’s place, I didn’t want to create a potential conflict by setting up inadvertently in a regular’s space.
My first sale was to a fellow trader (Serge), who was happy to give me 3 lari for a Soviet copy of a Mebetoys Lotus Europa (I expect he will resell it at a tidy profit, but that’s fine).
I was happy to see the Lotus go, I didn’t like the way the engine cover at the rear opens the wrong way, I would like to some day find the Dinky model of the Lotus Europa, which I had as a child and has a correctly opening engine cover.
I found the larger models went quickly, even though they are recently produced models that are “Made in China”.
I sold almost half of the models I brought (17 out of the 35). The two old Lesney Matchbox didn’t sell, surprisingly. I also reduced the price for those buying more than one car, 2 for 5 lari and even 9 for 20 lari.
I was at the market for 3 hours, it was very hot, next time I’ll take more water to drink. I was pleased with how my first tentative step at selling went. The 17 cars sold for 40 lari, I wasn’t doing it for a profit, Alexandre, another trader, said I wasn’t a businessman when he saw my prices (most traders on Drybridge ask for far more). It was an interesting experience, one I expect to repeat sometime soon.