Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Deal of the Century - Round One

Since starting this blog, I have written a couple of posts regarding my stance on Ravensburger's 32,000 Double Retrospect which took the title of "World's Largest Puzzle"* away from Life: The Great Challenge in September, 2010.  As I stated in those posts, I really did not like the artwork on this new record holder AT ALL initially.  Then, as I started to see pictures of other people putting the puzzle together, including this great blog, it started to grow on me just a little bit.

At some point over the last few years, I decided that I would consider making this puzzle to sell or donate, but ONLY if I could get a really great deal on it somewhere.  It has been retailing for anywhere between $170 to $270, and because I wasn't in love with the image I knew that price was too steep for me.  I really didn't figure I would get it anytime soon, if ever, as there are just so many other large puzzles out there that I love so much more.  I knew I'd rather spend my puzzling money on those for sure.

Then, right before Mother's Day this year, the first "Deal of the Century" (more on the second one in a minute) opportunity presented itself.  I often do nationwide searches on puzzles that I'm interested in on Craigslist.  It's a great way to find used puzzles for a good price, but only if you can get the seller to be willing to ship to whereever you're located.  I have found this to work most of the time, but not always.  Some people are too nervous about using PayPal or they're just not interested in the hassle involved in boxing the puzzle up and then taking it somewhere to be shipped.  Anyway, in this case, I did my search, and I found someone selling a brand new, still factory sealed copy of Double Retrospect!  When I looked at the description and then the price, my eyes got big as saucers, but my head wait a minute!  This has to be some kind of Craigslist ad typo.  No one could seriously be selling this brand new puzzle for $25!!!  It had to be a mistake - $125 or $250, surely...

I immediately responded to the ad and flat out asked if the price was a typo or glitch of some sort. When I got a quick response back that it was indeed correct, I was elated.  Apparently her sister had given it to her as a sort of "gag" gift.  That was a mighty expensive gag, but who am I to complain?!  LOL  Anyway, I couldn't believe my luck...and better yet, she was willing to ship it to me in Atlanta, even though she was in California!  I just needed to pay for the puzzle and cost of shipping of course.  Unfortunately, due to the weight of this puzzle, a whopping 42 pounds, the cost of shipping from one side of the country to the other was pretty extravagant.  In the end, it was going to cost over $100 just for the shipping.  I still didn't love the puzzle THAT much!  So, I was beginning to think that this probably wasn't going to work since at that price it wasn't the great deal I was looking to get, but then another amazing thing happened....

The seller let me know she was going to be in the San Diego area for Mother's Day weekend!  Well, it just so happens that Randy's cousin Matt recently relocated from New York to San Diego. Hmmm...the cogs were turning at this point, and I thought, "Could this really work?"  So, I went back and forth with the seller and Randy's cousin to see if we could work out a way for him to meet up with her and get the puzzle and then store it for me until he made his next trip out this way, which I knew was going to be at the end of the year for the holidays.  So lo and behold, this is how I came to be the proud owner (though not yet possessor) of a brand new, factory sealed copy of Double Retrospect for only $25!!  YAY ME!  And a big shout out of thanks to the seller, and her sister!

*Editor's Note:  Double Retrospect has since been replaced as the World's Largest Puzzle by Educa's 33,600 piece Wild Life.


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