Why my Shed is Full of 40″ Giant Soccer Balls

Kids play with giant soccer ballsEveryone knows that 40″ giant soccer balls are all the rage right now with today’s youngsters.

But the problem is: where can they find these hot, in-demand items?  Aren’t they sold out across the country?  Don’t you see empty shelves every time you stop by your local oversized sports equipment store?

That’s where I come in!  I’m cracking open my special reserve supply of giant 40″ soccer balls and offering them for sale on Amazon, E-bay, in person, and at my upcoming garage sale.

Why do I have a shed full of giant soccer balls?

Well, there’s a bit of a story involved here, but first let me tell you why you should care.  This isn’t the typical type of blog post for this site.  But as I describe in my “about site” page, being a value tactician isn’t all about credit cards and free travel. It’s about spotting valuable opportunities wherever and wherever they present themselves.

On to the story . . .

One day, a little over a year ago, my good friend Jerry calls me up and says, “Do you have room somewhere to store a bunch of huge boxes for a while?”

With 5 kids and a huge horde of free Menards stuff, I’m a little short on space.  So I says to Jerry, I says, “What’s in the boxes and what’s in it for me?”

Jerry then proceeds to tell me about how his dad’s acquaintance was using his dad’s pole shed to store a bunch of giant 40″ soccer balls.  Jerry’s dad had been looking at these things for years and decides he wanted them gone.  After trying unsuccessfully for several months to track down this acquaintance, he tells Jerry to get the balls out of his sight.  He tells Jerry he has 48 hours to do something with them or else he was going to drive them to the dump.

Now Jerry, he’s quite a value tactician in his own right.  He’s not one to let a bunch of humongous mutant sports equipment go to waste.  Seeing the value in these new, in-package balls prompts him to make that call to me, requesting storage space.

So Jerry and I look these things up online and they’re selling for over $80 a pop.  We were right to see the value in these balls!  We do some negotiating, strike a deal for splitting the profit, and before you know it, I got boxes and boxes of giant 40″ soccer balls crammed into my shed.

giant soccer balls

. . . And that’s how I ended up being an ad hoc giant soccer ball salesman!

The value in miscellaneous/opportunistic tactics

Obviously the “giant soccer ball tactic” isn’t really something I can teach to others, since it came about from a once in a lifetime scenario.  But you can apply the same strategy and principles I did to many different situations.

The key is to not automatically dismiss opportunities to make or save money.  Take a second to estimate if it will be worth your time and effort.  Do you think I jumped at the idea of storing, listing, and shipping a huge amount of jumbo soccer balls?  No!  It was only after some brief investigation that I discovered how much potential value the effort might provide.

If I had written off the idea based on my first reaction, I would have missed out on hundreds of dollars of relatively easy income!  And more importantly, children everywhere would be without their 40″ giant soccer balls.  And that’s a world I don’t want to live in.

Some inspirational examples

Spotting valuable opportunities for free money, free stuff, or money savings is something you’ve probably done your whole life.  What I would encourage though, is to open your mind to opportunities you may have ignored in the past.  I highlight a few of these on the Miscellaneous Tactics page.

Here are some other examples I have shown on the ValueTactics Facebook page or in various blog posts:

And don’t forget the $150 worth of free meat, booze, and gift cards I got a few years ago with Small Business Saturday.  (The program no longer gives you free stuff, but that’s part of the point here: take advantage of opportunities when they’re there!)
My 2014 Small Business Saturday haul: 5 bottles of wine, 1 bottle of rum, 6-pack of beer, some jerky and meat sticks, frozen brats and burgers, $50 in movie theater gift cards, and a kid's birthday gift (gift-wrapped, not pictured) ... all for about $11 in odd store totals.

Now your turn!

Notice three of those 4 examples were submitted by readers.  I want to hear about the valuable deals and tactics you have found!  Leave a comment below or interact on the Facebook page!

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