Now that Christmas has come and gone, I thought I’d share an interesting story with you on how I got my son a free Christmas present that knocked it out of the park.
What was it we got him for Christmas you ask? Well, an Xbox 360 and three games (Lego Indianna Jones, Lego Starwars, and Marvel vs. Capcom 3). How did I manage to pull this off and get all of this for free? Read on to find out!
Free Christmas Present – Background
For more than a year, our son had been asking for an Xbox 360 since they set one up in his daycare. A couple months before Christmas, I think the systems were selling for around $180 without any games. We decided that this was just too much money to spend on a Christmas present. We starting looking into used console options, but these didn’t seem to be all that great of a deal either compared to just getting a new one.
One day in October, I found myself in a chat conversation with a good friend. I was telling him how we wanted to get a used Xbox, but they were just too much money. He mentioned that he had entertained the idea of selling all of his Xbox stuff to finance the purchase of a new Xbox One, but he didn’t really want to mess with all the hassle of selling everything. He had an Xbox 360 with large hard drive, 5 controllers, 3 guitars, 1 keyboard, 3 microphones, a kinect, 50+ games, and a couple other odds and ends. He offered to sell all of his stuff to me for $500. “Yeah right,” I said. What the hell is my son going to do with 50 games? And, $500 is way too much for us to spend on Christmas for our son!
Free Christmas Present – The Deal
“That’s too bad,” he muttered. “I really don’t want to sell all of this shit,” he told me. Then, an idea popped into my head. “What if I sell everything for you and give you the money? As payment you could give me the Xbox 360, 2 controllers, and 4 games. In return, I’d sell everything else, take care of the shipping, and hand over all of the profits.” It was a true win-win scenario, and he happily agreed. He was hoping to get somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 – $500 for all the stuff that I would be selling.
Free Christmas Present – Rubber Hits the Road
Well, it quickly became apparent to me that if I was going to do right by my friend and maximize the amount of profit he’d get, I’d have to list all of the items individually. Creating a huge lot and selling everything all at once would lose 20% – 30% of his profit. So, I went through the painstaking process of listing all of the games, controllers, kinect stuff etc. Then, as each thing sold, I’d have to package it up and get it ready for the post office – all individually.
I estimate that I spent roughly 15 hours total for the process! In addition, my wife probably made 8-10 trips to the post office. She was a great sport about it, but it was quite a pain in the ass for her I know. Right around this point in time, Microsoft decided to drop the price of the core system to $99 as a Black Friday special – lovely 🙂 So, all in all, we ended up working for about $8 an hour to get the “free Christmas present”…
Free Christmas Present – Final Thoughts
Would I do it again? I’m not sure if we would or not 🙂 It was a ton of work just to save ~$200 bucks. But, our son absolutely loves the gift. Also, it’s an awesome feeling to know that I worked so hard to make his dream of owning an Xbox 360 a reality.
What about you? Does anyone have an example where they got a little more than they bargained for when trying to save a bit of money to get a free Christmas present??