Backpacker strikes garage sale gold


Tim Bow

A tourist with a passion for poring through garage sales came up with a famous find in Nelson at the weekend – a signed copy of an Enid Blyton book.

Welsh backpacker Tim Bow found a copy of Blyton book We Want a Story, a compilation of short children’s stories, when he was out at a Nelson garage sale searching for a present for a friend’s child.

He bought the book as part of a $5 pile of books in the sale, but hoped to sell it for much more.

Enid Blyton is known for creating well-loved children’s books like Noddy, The Famous Five and The Secret Seven.

Mr Bow lives and works at a backpackers’ hostel in The Wood, and supports himself by buying items at garage sales and selling them online – a practice he picked up about a decade ago.

He had done well from the practice when he lived in Sweden for four years, he said.

“If something stands out to me, I will buy it. I just quite like picking stuff up and doing the research afterwards.”

He said the New Zealand garage sale market was smaller than in Sweden, with plenty of professional resellers, which meant he needed to be in quick to catch a bargain.

When he went to the sale at the weekend, he thought he might have missed all of the quality items.

“Then I saw it and my legs gave away.”

Mr Bow had shown pictures of the book and signature to forum members of the Enid Blyton Society in England, who had verified its authenticity, he said.

He had put the book on Trade Me with a high reserve price – $1000 – to “put some feelers out” and gauge interest, but he was not sure how much the book was worth to collectors.

So far he had a few people watching the auction online, and hoped the book would be snapped up by a keen collector.

“It just takes time, it’s just a waiting game.”

– © Fairfax NZ News

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04:49 pm Apr 24 2012

I would of said my intensions were to keep the book, but then decide to sell as I have too much junk. Therefor no need for paying taxes. Private sale same as garage sale. How embarrassing nz is. Selling the odd thing from a garage sale isn’t a business. He’s hardly robbing the country. Supermarkets rob people on a grand scale. You people jump on a Welshman? Your a joke and I’m cofiscating you computers.

thought you couldn’t list on trademe without a new zealand address and bank account. How can he do it?

Welsh backpacker Tim Bow Well Tim good for you if you think being smart about it by going to the paper I guess its good business free advertising. But register as a trader like the rest of us, then everybody knows the story

What a bunch of sour grapes. I thought Kiwis were open and friendly 15 years ago, now they are racial and bitter and hate to see other people doing well.
As for Kevin’s comment, the guy sounds sharper than him.

jake #15 – “so many haters.. would love to see your response had the shoe been placed on the other foot.”

Exactly what I was thinking as I read some of the comments. I say good on him, wish I had that much luck at garage sales!

@Mike #114

Do you not know of this little thing called a “Working Visa”?

This is when people from different countries come to New Zealand to visit our beautiful country and work for however long they have a visa for.

Are you completely oblivious to this…

@ #11 Boy, I bet you’re a hit at parties…

No wonder why this country is stuffed. Stupid comments from people on here show exactly why.

Tough titties the owner didn’t have the same knowledge he does.

Go forth and prosper my son

The bitterness of some of the ‘posters’ on this article make me think I’m back in Ireland!!

Good for him hope he makes a bomb. If it wasn’t him it would have been someone else, and no the money shouldn’t go to the garage sale folk they should know what they are selling…gee people get off his case.
@teetee thats hilarious

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