Chapter 561: Bottleneck
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
After the auction had ended, Dickens and Lu Guan brought some men by to tidy up the two storage units.
The main storage unit to be tidied was the second one. In it were 30 to 40 boxes of books. Godzilla and Big Quinn worked hard tidying up the storage unit.
Charles Chalmers came over and took a look. After having seen nothing unusual, he walked over to the door of the first storage unit and sneered, "Guys, did anyone realize the items inside are not a complete set?"
Dickens gave a surprised look and replied, "Oh? Not that I know of."
Li Du leaned against the door. He did not mind what was in the storage unit. As a matter of fact, everything was arranged by him.
From the beginning, Lu Guan, accompanied by Dickens, was instructed by Li Du to enquire about the furniture in the storage unit. Even the treasure hunters who were rushed over and the auction bids today were all single-handedly arranged by him.
With the intention of obtaining the magazines inside the storage unit rather than the furniture, he deliberately gave Charles the chance to organize a community storage unit auction.
He seemed rather exultant about the plan's success. As a matter of fact, from his perspective, the plan could have very easily failed. It would only have taken Charles contacting Dog Ears Rick for his plan to fail.
Fortunately, as he predicted, Charles was a petty man. In order to avoid having to loan his cousin money, he would not have informed his cousin of his storage unit's situation.
Otherwise, judging by Dog Ears Rick's experience, he could have easily deduced the visit by Lu Guan and Dickens was a trick. All it would take was for him to look at a few storage units to easily discover the complete set of magazines.
In Li Du's eyes, what he did was rather unethical. He had not planned to do it that way at first. He thought of officially purchasing the magazines for collection.
In the end, not only had Charles not given him a chance to do so, but Charles and Dog Ears Rick had also humiliated him. Left with no choice, he came up with the plan.
Having heard Charles' sarcastic question, Li Du looked around the storage unit and discovered what was missing.
An antique-looking furniture set was missing a couple of pieces. Originally inside were six chairs, one table and two small cabinets. However, one chair and a small cabinet were missing.
Dickens did not realize what was missing as he was only doing as instructed and had no idea what was inside the storage unit.
Li Du, having discovered the missing chair and cabinet, said, "It's the furniture. The complete set of furniture has a problem, right?"
Charles coughed and smiled, "Your eyes are very sharp, Chinaman. Yes, the furniture here is not a complete set. A chair and cabinet are missing."
Dickens responded, "F*ck, you actually removed a part of the complete furniture set?"
Charles laughed craftily and said, "Don't be agitated, mate. Indeed, it was I who did that, but I didn't break any rules did I? All of you were not observant enough and did not discover there were missing pieces."
Dickens was infuriated. "You really are evil. Truth be told, I rarely call someone that, but you are evil!"
Charles was unfazed by his name calling. He opened his arms and said, "What I did was open and lawful. It's your eyes that were not sharp enough. If you guys discovered the furniture set was missing two pieces, you guys might not have bid on it."
The reason for his doing so was clearly due to a casual remark made by Dickens. Dickens remarked that the furniture set needed to be complete for it to be valuable or else the value would be cut in half.
Li Du motioned to Dickens to calm down. He asked, "Looks like if we want to keep that furniture, we would have to pay extra, right?"
Charles gloated, "Yes, but taking the fact that we are business partners into account, I can give you guys a discount—"
"That won't be necessary. You can keep them," Li Du interrupted, before turning and leaving.
Initially, he felt a little apologetic for using such means to take away Charles's magazines.
Now, after having seen his dishonest dealings, the blemish in his heart was no longer there. He felt what he himself had done was not wrong.
Li Du's departure didn't bother Charles. The storage unit belonged to Dickens and hence, Dickens was his target. He said,"I can give you a discount..."
In the end, Dickens simply replied, "Not necessary. You can keep them."
Charles was stunned and exclaimed, "What's the meaning of this? Don't you want the complete set of furniture to sell at its greatest value?"
At this point, there was nothing left to hide. Dickens said, "This was not my idea. Li, who was the Chinese fella earlier, was the actual buyer of the storage unit. He said it was not necessary then, it's not necessary."
Having heard those words, Charles became more aware there was something fishy going on. However, even after racking his brain, he still could not figure out what the problem was.
Li Du did not boast about the National Geographic magazines to him. As the truck transported the magazines back, he went to look for an Amish carpenter and ordered a batch of oak bookcases. With that, the whole incident had concluded.
The set of magazines belonged to him alone. He could add it to his own collection as it did not belong to the company he and Hans had set up.
He wanted to put all of the magazines on display in a bookcase. However, with the vast amount of magazines, the limited space of the cabin and the room he rented from Rose were not sufficient.
With over half a century's worth of magazines and 20 magazines per year, that was a total of 1500 magazines. Moreover, the last half of the century's National Geographic magazines was very thick. A room specifically for keeping the magazines would be required.
As such, Li Du had the idea of buying a house. He needed a house now.
Big Quinn planned to renovate his house once it was completed. If he bought one now, he could catch up to Big Quinn and renovate his house too.
Hans was figuring out how to sell the sports gear with celebrities' signatures on them. He found people to help appraise the items and concluded that the prices were difficult to estimate.
The items were dependent on the type of buyer. If the buyer was interested in the items, he could propose an astronomical price for them. If the buyer was not interested in the items, they would have no value.
However, after the separate valuation of the sports equipment items on their own, their value was promising. Especially so for the New York Yankees pitching machines, which had the highest unit price of 200,000 dollars.
Next, was the golf club signed by Tiger Woods. During a sports equipment auction in Manhattan last year, a similar golf club was auctioned off at a steep price of over 140,000 dollars.
From the auction, Hans thought of the idea of organizing a sports equipment auction. With the vast amount of items in their possession, and the addition of other types of items, it would be enough to back a small scale auction.
Li Du brought out all his magazines and arranged them chronologically before placing them in a new storage box. For the next few days, he continued to search for valuable storage units.
However, there weren't many highly valuable storage units. Especially now, when he had more experience and was in high morale. He did not even look at storage units with a profit margin of less than 10,000 dollars.
He surveyed many storage units in similar fashion over the next few days, but found nothing valuable. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far