After her failed attempt to return her purchases and recoup some money, Kat thought long and hard about how she could make some money and pay off her credit card before Bill could discover her secret.

The items she’d tried to return were in perfect condition. Surely someone would buy them from her. Then Kat remembered the weekly Sunday morning market. She’d often been a browser and customer there. She would book a stall and become a seller.

Step #1: book the market stall and pay the $68.

Oh, but Problem #1: they only take payment by credit card. She was totally maxed out. Things were desperate. She would have to degrade herself and rely on the kindness of a friend.

Step #2: pick up the phone and ask Violet for a favour. Violet was happy to oblige. In fact, she was excited that Kat was contemplating getting rid of some stuff. She volunteered to help with the project and called in that afternoon.

Problem #2: Violet was, as usual, bossy. She tried to talk Kat into doing a whole wardrobe declutter. But Kat stood firm and told Violet in no uncertain terms, she could be involved, but Kat was the one in charge.

Step #3: Kat looked around her home for more things she could sell. It would have to be something desirable, something sought after, something collectible. That would bring the most bucks. Her eye landed on her dressing table, where her collection of perfume boxes stood. She’d kept them all these years, knowing that some day they would be worth something. The moment had come.

Each box represented a moment of joy in Kat’s life. A Christmas gift of Chanel from Bill, or a Mother’s Day gift of Estee Lauder from Kylie, or that time she treated herself with a giant bottle of Poison by Dior so she could get the free gift with purchase, which included a tiny bottle of Poison in a cute tiny box. She even had the boxes from her mother’s favourite perfume, 4711. She could smell her mother now as she carefully dusted and packed all the boxes into a large plastic tub.

Problem #3: Kat was overcome with emotion. It was one thing to let go of all her own perfume boxes, but was she disrespecting her mother by discarding her 4711 boxes? Kat’s thoughts spiralled out of control. Keeping the boxes was something she’d learned from her mother. Was she doing the right thing? At that moment, Violet walked into the bedroom to find Kat on the end of the bed with tears in her eyes, going through a tub full of pretty boxes. She seemed to be agonising over each and every one.

Kat's market stall“Kat, what are you doing? I thought you were going to find things to sell?”

“That’s what I’m doing, but I think I’ve changed my mind. Maybe I’ll keep these after all.”

“What’s inside those boxes?” Violet asked.

“Nothing. They’re empty.”

“Then you don’t need them. Just put them in the recycling bin.” Violet advised.

“No way. They’re worth money!”

Violet was dubious, but if it meant Kat would part with them, she nodded. “Well, if you want to make money with them, you can’t do that sitting here staring at them.”

At that Kat was convinced. She took a deep shaky breath and put the tub down.

Kat found a few more items to sell, including a stack of fishing magazines that had been moved around the house and garage for years. If Bill really didn’t want them, she’d convert them into cash.

Step #4: Get up early on Sunday morning and get to the market before the crowds so she could make some money. Kat was excited. Bill was impressed and hopeful. He liked this new side of Kat. Little did he know the reason for her new focus.

She laid out her market stall carefully, with prices clearly displayed. There were clothes in one section, household items in another, fishing magazines in the back corner, and perfume bottles right up front so they could catch the eye of passers-by.

Her instinct was right. Those perfume boxes with their pretty colours were a drawcard. Nearly everyone who passed stopped to take a look. Kat smiled at each person, ready to make a sale. But the comments she heard did not make her smile.

“Look mum, I haven’t seen 4711 in a long while. It was so old fashioned, even when I was a kid.”

“These boxes are empty. What’s the point of an empty box?”

“Are you kidding with the price? I could get a box with the perfume included for that price.”

“$5 for an old magazine? I’ll give you $5 for the lot.”

Kat did not accept. She was insulted. And she was disheartened.

Someone was interested in the Christmas plates but not at the listed price. Kat looked up at the darkening sky and realised the day was slipping away and she hadn’t made even one sale. She swallowed her pride and accepted the low offer of $70. At least she could pay back Violet’s $68 loan.

Dark clouds gathered overhead, and the crowd thinned, heading home to a hot roast lunch, probably. Kat started to pack her things away, labels and price tags still attached to the dresses. All of a sudden there was an almighty crack of thunder and heavens opened up. Although she hurried, Kat’s fishing magazines and pretty perfume boxes did get wet. By the time she got back to her car with the final load of damp treasures, she was furious. What did those people know anyway?

On the drive home, contemplating her $2 profit, Kat formulated another plan. She would go where the real collectors went – eBay. Plenty of times, she’d found special collectible things on eBay. Why hadn’t she thought to sell there in the first place? She would just have to ask Tiffany for some help to figure it all out.

When she got home, she left the unsold items in the boot of her car. She couldn’t bear to tell Bill or Violet the truth of her market stall experience.



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