The title of the article says it all, no need to read anymore. Except we were bidding at the auction and that was a lot of fun. The rest of the tags sold for decent prices too, there is a chart at the bottom of this article. The parks raised over eighty three thousand dollars at this auction, we are proud to be a part of that. The second annual Boo BBQ was a blast and there was a huge amount of food. Thankfully the wind wasn’t too bad, but it was brisk at about a level twelve. Everyone was having fun, we arrived an hour before the auction. I had to give Ray Bivens the numbered Punkin Chunkin tickets to match the winning tags and sign up for the auction. I was informed at the last minute the day before, the proverbial “we” would be bidding Saturday. Two blank checks later I was signing up and ready to bid, on tag number one specifically. However we would be looking at other tags. Little did I know how many tags we would be looking at and bidding on, it was an exciting day for me. Last year I got to bid on Delaware Surf Fishing tag number two for the same crew, that was a blast, this year was even more fun. By the way the state tags are not to be confused with the novelty vanity tags we are selling, that sale ends on October 31st, get them ordered now.
There were a lot of people in that tent Saturday, to bid, and to watch the auction. While Harry Aiken and I were talking with Ray Bivens and Greg Abbott, a lot of people were taking their pictures with tag number one, parks could have made a few bucks charging for pictures. It was comical and of course we got in on that photo-op, because that is about as close as we are going to get to holding that tag. Well except for the possibility of us winning the auction. There was always that possibility. People were speculating how much the tag would go for all afternoon. I was predicting thirty thousand at the low and fifty at the high, after all, number two went for twenty thousand five hundred. Most people were saying it would go up to and over fifty thousand. We would find out about an hour later who was closest.
The parks had a four digit black tag donated by the DMV that was auctioned off first. Delaware Motor Vehicle Tag 6209 was sold for thirty six hundred dollars and the buyer had the option to match the corresponding black surf tag for two hundred and fifty dollars. They also received ticket number 6209 from the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association. Then a buyer’s choice was auctioned off, 31 to 99 was the first buyer’s choice auction. Of course the winner picked 69. Parks decided then to allow the second highest bidder to use their last bid to also pick a number. This was done for each buyer’s choice auction. The first single digit auctioned off Saturday was Delaware Surf Fishing tag number five, and we went for that one, but were beaten out by Jim Weller. He was a determined bidder Saturday. Then tag eleven was up for auction, and Jim was on that one too and got it. Another choice auction came up and we bid in that one too looking for a specific number, but I’m not telling which one. Since it is still available.
It is rather exhilarating bidding on these tags or anything for that matter. Especially something that is high dollar. That can be a bit nerve wracking, but fun at the same time. Particularly if you are bidding with a phone stuck to your ear on a conference call, deciding what to do next at the speed of the auctioneer and your connection. At first I tried to Facebook live and do the bidding that was not easy and awkward, so I gave that up and then the signal went south anyway. I needed the phone to bid, not Facebook. So … while I have the auctioneer looking at me, pointing, and saying the same number over and over, while pointing or stabbing the air the whole time. I have a conference call trying to talk/yell to each other about what we are going to do next. This all has to happen before the auctioneer says sold, for the last time. Good times.
Delaware Surf Fishing tag number 200, 400, and 500 hit the block and went for decent prices. Then it is the buyer’s choice auctions for the next three tags. Since the parks are doing the second bidder can get a tag option, we look at a few numbers for these auctions, sorry not telling you those numbers either. You would be surprised why people want certain numbers, they will match up all kinds of things. We decided to bid on a couple of these auctions. There was speculation the four digit buyers auction would get a good price. Many people have four digit motor vehicle tags they would like to match. Sometimes it is badge numbers, troop numbers and things like that. It was predicted that these would bring even more money than number five or eleven at Saturday’s auction. That all depends on the bidders you have in the roomat the time. Not long ago at an auction in April, tag number four went pretty cheap.
Now we were to the coveted Delaware State Parks’ Delaware Surf Fishing tag number one auction. The room got quiet, and the auctioneer started the bidding, at three hundred thousand dollars, the tent erupted in laughter. Then he went down to two hundred thousand, to more laughter, and then one hundred thousand. Finally he unwillingly lowered to fifty thousand dollars, now the laughter was nervous. This is where it gets serious, who will be the first to bid? The phone is blowing up in my ear, I almost forgot about those boys. I can hear the auctioneer, they can’t, and we aren’t live this time on Facebook. The signal was bust and this was more important. Besides we had a plan and I was sticking to it. When he hits five thousand, bid. “The auctioneer is at twenty thousand” … I told the phone. It erupted in my ear, the auctioneer is going off in my other once good ear. He says “Five thousand, do I have five thousand dollars!” I wait about two ticks … TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS! Tent goes silent and Whoo Hoo all at the same time. In three seconds Jim Weller is on my heels and bids fifteen thousand. The dance is on. The phone has a meltdown
Now the boys are blowing up in my ear, I am trying to tell them what just happened. Hoping my Samsung S7 doesn’t have a total melt down. We are at fifteen thousand, I know my ceiling, we are ten seconds in with no time to explain. Do I push it up fast or bid it up slow? I am hearing both in my ear, I wait. Jim waits, I wait, Jim waits, we bid, he bids, we wait, he waits, this goes on at two fifty to five hundred bucks a bid. Then we hit twenty thousand, and the crowd is getting excited. Each bid the crowd cheered a little more and a little louder. Now we are at twenty two thousand, and I am yelling in the phone. What do we do now? … BID!!!! … Up goes the bid slip, auctioneer points to Jim, bam! He bids. What do I do now!!?? … BID!!! … Up goes the slip. Bam! Jim bids. They have no idea where the bid is and neither do I, the roof is on fire, we blew the ceiling eight bids ago, and I am adding the last bucket of gas.
I look over, Jim is smiling about ten feet away. We were talking before the auction. I know he wants this tag, and he knows we want the tag. Now the question is who wants to pay the most for it, and we all have a ceiling. I’ve already thrown my boys off the roof, we may as well go for it to twenty five thousand, I mean its only their money right? This is the logic you get in an auction when you want some thing and you can actually get it, or at least that is how I would imagine it. Today we had a ceiling, the roof was on fire, and here comes the gas man. I look over and now Jim is standing right next to me smiling, with the iPad pointed at both of us, he is streaming the auction live. By the way those iPads take huge selfies. Jim says what are you boys going to do? We are at twenty five thousand five hundred and Jim has just pushed to twenty six thousand, and he is ready to pounce on the next bid. I tell the phone the deal, what do you want to do? We have seconds at this point, it is between us and Jim. I look at Jim and say we can jack you up to fifty grand and smile. He just laughs and says bring it on. I am having some fun and stalling for the boys on the phone. They make the call …
Let her ride, kill it.
You sure? He won’t go past fifty thousand I can feel it, go for it!! Plus a few derogatory chiding remarks, which usually work. I’m trying to push my boys on, I’m the gas man.
Nope, let it go, we had fun, and we tried.
I look at Jim and say “She is all yours, It was fun Jim, thanks for the dance.”
After he won the auction for the number one Delaware Surf Fishing tag, Jim offered to let the parks auction off number five again. He wanted that number one tag bad, more than the five, and the parks agreed. I snatched the phone, and made the call. The boys were excited, we had a second shot at Delaware Surf Fishing tag five, we had to bail on the first auction. The bidding is started and the auctioneer looks right at me, I just bid, I don’t even ask. My ceiling for the number one tag just switched up and the boys are still fired up on the phone. We got this! I figure I will just drive this one for a bit and let it ride. This should be interesting. This auction happened so fast I don’t really remember it that well. The auctioneer was up to pushing about thirty two hundred. The phone is screaming every few seconds, finally I hear the voice of irrational reasonable impatience scream … JUST BID FIVE!!! I bid five thousand, upping it by eighteen hundred dollars. The auctioneer looks around the tent, which is silent. Even the wind seemed to stop blowing. No one wanted to come near that one. I just went to twenty five thousand five hundred for tag number one, and the boys on the phone are fired up for number five. You can smell it in the air. The auctioneer does his bid closing routine and we walk with tag number five. That pretty much about sums it up for that forty five seconds of bidding as far as I remember. That tag is worth more than my beach buggy.
It was a good time at the Boo BBQ Saturday. Excellent food, friends, and great beer. The parks raised a nice chunk of change and people got to have some fun going for a unique numbered tag. Something the state of Delaware has a major affinity for and always will. Some people don’t get it, and that is fine, they probably never will. For those that think it is crazy to spend that kind of money on a tag, it is an investment to the tag buyer. The tag holder has to register the tag each year with the parks to keep it current or lose the tag. If they don’t fish at all or ever go to the beach, and most don’t, they are paying to use a park they don’t use. Think about that, they are paying to support the parks as long as they own that tag, whether they use it or not. The tags are worth what someone is willing to pay for them. It is also their money and they can spend it on whatever they please. How much dumb crap have any of us bought in our lifetime, add it up some day. It might be worth more than your beach buggy, but the difference is you couldn’t sell that crap and buy a new buggy.
Delaware Surf Fishing Low digit tags that sold Saturday …
|6209 – Motor Vehicle||$3,600|