Personally... I choose to view my experience at the flea market on Sunday as a life lesson.
The tale begins at my local flea market that many describe as ghetto, dirty, and full of junk. I've been off for over a week and hadn't reached my daily steps goal once. So I forced myself to get up and walk around the flea market in 30º weather.
There were more vendors than I expected, but definitely less than average due to the holiday weekend. I found one guy who had a ton of old Becketts and some boxes of baseball cards. After a few minutes of digging through his stuff, I found a 1968 Topps Game insert of Willie Mays in pretty nice condition. However... as soon as the guy told me he wanted $20, I knew that we weren't in the same ballpark.
About halfway through, I noticed a guy sifting through a huge stack of 1975 Topps Minis. He had several stacks of vintage piled up in front of him and I was a little bummed out that I hadn't gotten there earlier. Not wanted to crowd him and disrupt his find, I turned around and noticed a stack of 9-pocket pages.
It was like a dream come true. There were tons of off conditioned late 60's to mid 70's hall of famers. My heart immediately started racing. I decided to play it cool and grab the top page to get and idea of what the vendor was going to want. He took a few seconds and came back with $5/page.
Within those handful of seconds, the other guy who was flipping through the 75 Minis had stood up and grabbed the stack of 9-pocket pages right from under my nose. I was so upset with myself for not holding the whole stack, that I didn't even bother saying anything to the gentleman. And to be honest, this isn't exactly the type of place where people call dibs on things. Bottom line is I dropped the ball and missed out on a huge opportunity.
I turned around, gave the vendor a five dollar bill, and walked away with this 9-pocket page:
I realize that I was able to add some cool Aarons and Clementes to my collection for a really good price and I'm happy about that.
However... I've gotta be honest. It's been two days and I'm still a little perturbed about the whole situation. Part of it has to do with the fact that I lost out on some cool vintage cards. And I'm a little surprised that a person would grab an item he knew somebody else was inquiring about without blinking an eye. But most of it has to do with the way I handled the situation.
I shouldn't have left that stack on the crate and I probably should have at least told the guy politely that I was still looking at those pages. Oh well. Like I said earlier in this post... let's just call this whole awkward situation a life lesson.
Happy Tuesday and sayonara!