The Great Collection Purge was a bit time consuming, but over the course of a couple of months I was able to sell off enough of my unwanted figures to pay for the first stage of my remodel; purchasing the cabinets.
My initial plan was to sell off enough stuff to purchase half of the stuff I needed, get them all put together, and then go back to selling stuff to get the money for the other six. I say "initial plan" because things didn't quite work out as I had originally planned. Online shipping was outrageous! When I had originally checked the IKEA website, with the shipping cost for just one Detolf coming to $350. So I had made the decision early on to rent a truck, and drive to the closest store to pick them up. With the closest IKEA being a three hour drive (each direction) I wanted to make sure that they were going to be in stock before making the trip and potentially wasting a day; this turned out to be a better idea than I had initially thought. When I called I was told that the Detolfs were no longer being stocked in store. This meant that I would have to travel to the store to purchase them, the store would, in turn, order them, and once they arrived at the store I could pick them up. Not a big deal if I lived close to an IKEA, but that would have been twelve hours of driving just to get the first six.
When I explained my situation to the lady on the phone, she told me that I could go to the store to order them, and have them delivered from the store to my home for one flat rate. I don't remember what the price was that she quoted me, but it was a lot less than the online shipping, and a bit less than I could have rented a truck for. I asked if I could place the order over the phone, and just save myself the trip all together. She told me that I had to make the actual purchase in the store, otherwise I would have to pay the online shipping rate. At this point my brain started working overtime. Flat rate shipping meant that I could order as many items as I wanted, and they would bring them directly to my house all for one price. I figured if I'm going to be paying for shipping anyway, why not take advantage of the flat rate cost and just order everything at the same time instead of paying for shipping twice?
So I set out to double up my bank roll by working eBay and the "Buy, Sell, Trade" sections of the various forums I participate in like a mad man. A few weeks went by, and I was finally ready to make the big purchase... or so I thought. Once the last of the money I was waiting on was transferred into my PayPal account, I quickly went to the IKEA website to check the available stock of the Detolfs, Expedits, and Expedit doors at the store location I had planned on going to. To my surprise the Detolfs were listed as "out of stock" with no estimated restock date. So I gave the 800 number a call to see if they could give me any information on when to expect any more to show up. To my my dismay I was told that there was a problem with the manufacturer, and it would be a few months before that store was expected to get any more.
Armed with this new information my options were running low. I knew if I held on to this money for too long I would end up spending it on some super rare (where rare translates into expensive) figure for my collection. I took another look at the website, and noticed that they were still listed as available to order online. I knew what shipping would cost for just one of these things, but curiosity got the best of me, and I added all twelve Detolfs to my cart just to see what the total would be. Low and behold the shipping price had changed from $350 for one to $200...and it stayed the same no matter how many of them I had in my cart. So I added the Expedits and doors to my cart to see what the grand total would be for everything. It was slightly over what I had budgeted for, but given my situation I decided to play around with the number of items I had in my cart to see what kind of compromise I could come up with. In lieu of getting everything all at once, I eventually decided that it was better to ditch the doors, and get all twelve Detolfs and Expedits while I had the money. I could always come back for the doors once I got everything set up, and the price of the doors was enough to cover the cost of shipping and sales tax.
I was a bit worried about placing such a large purchase online. I've made quite a few transactions through PayPal over the years, but had never used my physical card for such a large purchase. I kept worrying that an order of this amount would raise some kind of "red flag" with PayPal, and the transaction wouldn't go through. I went through the check out process, and when it was time to enter my credit card information I could physically feel the anxiety in my gut as I pressed the check out button. Those few seconds that it took for the next page to load seemed like they took an eternity. Every online horror story I had ever read about ran through my head. I could just picture there being some kind of problem where the transaction didn't go through, and all my money would be tied up for weeks while I tried to sort things out with PayPal. I envisioned weeks of phone calls with them trying to explain that it was a legitimate purchase, and IKEA selling out of the Detolfs before I could get things straightened out. The page loaded, and said that I should be receiving an email shortly to confirm my order. The wait continued. After what seemed like ages (probably less than a minute in reality) I heard my phone make a series of beeps. I quickly grabbed it to check my email. IKEA be damned, there was an email from PayPal in there!
"Why's it taking so long for this damned email to open up!?"
To my relief it was a receipt for my purchase, everything had gone through without a hitch. Feeling like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders, I went back to the email from IKEA. It was an automated message thanking me for my order, and telling me that the freight company would be contacting me within the next few days to arrange a delivery date and time.
The wait begins.