It was finally time for the auction of the medium-sized storage units.
The starting bids and closing bids for the first few storage units were pretty dismal and nothing significant. The treasure hunters were all feeling lethargic.
This was why Li Du was not confident of securing the next storage unit. Everyone was hyped up as the fishing machine was a highlight which had induced an explosive price war:
"Eleven thousand dollars!"
"Twelve thousand dollars!"
"I offer 15,000 dollars!"
"We offer 18,000 dollars!"
"Twenty thousand dollars, twenty thousand dollars, twenty thousand dollars!"
The auctioneer was grinning so hard that his eyes were almost one straight line. He kept pointing his hand towards the crowd. His income was dependent on the final prices of the storage units, and those before these were not profitable. Only this storage unit could make him any money.
Hans was going to participate in the bidding; the problem was that they had to discuss things as a group before putting in any bids.
Li Du did not want to join in. How much money can they make from this storage unit? It will also be a chore to deal with afterwards.
But looking at the enthusiasm from the Flagstaff group, he could not bear to dampen their spirits and so just let them be. He pulled Hans aside and whispered, "How much is this fishing machine worth?"
This was Hans's area of expertise; Li Du still did not have much confidence in terms of estimating prices.
Hans said, "Such fishing machines cost about 40,000 to 50,000 dollars brand new. For second-hand ones, maybe about 30,000 dollars."
Hearing that it could go for only 30,000 dollars, and since the bid price had already risen to 20,000 dollars, it appeared that there was not much of a profit to be made.
He frowned and said, "Are you kidding me? Then why are we still bidding? Would someone discard this fishing machine for no reason? What if it's not working?"
Hearing this, the Flagstaff treasure hunters' enthusiasm started to dwindle. Yeah, they all thought, what if this fishing machine is not in working?
They had been so enthused about bidding because the fishing machine had looked new and did not seem damaged; they were of the opinion that there was money to be made.
If the machine was not working, then they would have a loss. This was the most important factor when treasure hunting, but as there had not been any good storage earlier, the appearance of this fishing machine had caused many to neglect this point.
Li Du had spoken loudly, and so many people had heard him. Some of those who were planning to bid calmed down and started to reconsider.
The treasure hunter who had bid 20,000 dollars also started to hesitate, but he had already put in his bid. And if no one else also took this price, he could only pray that the fishing machine was fine.
Hans looked at him and asked, "What are you trying to say?"
"Forget about bidding, "Li Du said decisively. "Let's give this unit up!"
Hans listened to what he said and they walked off to the next storage unit without any hesitation. The Flagstaff group followed him helplessly.
Nobody had noticed that before Li Du left, he winked at Turis.
Of course Turis had noticed it; he stood there silently, staring at the fishing machine.
Big Beard Carl tried pulling him along. "Come on buddy, it's not worth the risk."
Turis grabbed him. "But how long has it been since we've gotten something? Bro, it's been too long since we've made any moneythis is our chance!"
"It's a risk," Big Beard Carl shouted, "and the risk is too great!"
Turis said stubbornly, "I don't care. I offer 21,000 dollars! I'm using the money!"
Hans turned back and looked at him. "Are you nuts? Buddy, you must be nuts!"
"This is worth the gamble, isn't it?!" Turis shouted back.
Seeing that Li Du had left without a care, many treasure hunters had followed suit and left as well. Those remaining were still keen on bidding for the unit, but a little hesitant. They were worried about spending too much money on a problematic fishing machine.
The auctioneer noticed the situation worsening, and did not harbor any hopes of getting higher bids. He pointed at Turis and shouted, "21,000 dollars going once, 21,000 dollars going twice, 21,000 dollars going thrice! Very good, deal!"
He had spoken very quickly; some treasure hunters who were still interested were not able to react in time before the auction ended. This angered them; one of them said with annoyance, "I still wanted to bid for it."
The auctioneer was even angrier. "You wanted to bid, then why did you hesitate? D*mmit, you should have shouted your bid out earlier. Now it's over, on to the next storage unit!"
Li Du, who was at the entrance of the next storage unit, wanted to laugh. To think that they just got the storage unit through such means.
There was the risk of the fishing machine being spoiled, but the risk was not as great as they made it out to be. When he had used the little bug to take a look, he saw that the key parts were fine.
There were more than 30 storage units left to be auctioned. Li Du had seen them all; they were not worth much. Although many storage units had been put up for auction this time, most were of little value.
The auction progressed in an intense and orderly fashion. Only half of the units could be auctioned off that day; the auction continued the next day. Within the two days, Li Du had gotten two units: unit number 44 with the motorbike and unit 54 with the shotguns. They had gotten the unit with the fishing unit as a team.
The Flagstaff team as a whole had reaped significant gains this time. There were more than 30 of them and almost all of them bought units and could make a profit.
Li Du had done some planning; he had looked out for units with valuejust a little value would doto cover manpower expenses. Hence, most of the 45 storage units that the Flagstaff team bought had stuff which could be sold for some money. As for the remaining dozen that they did not bid for, they were really full of trash, with no value at all!
In the end, most of those who appeared at the storage company's office to make payment were treasure hunters from Flagstaff.
The auctioneer, who was there resting, exclaimed, "God, are you guys dominating the storage auction trade?"
Li Du replied, "No, we are not dominating, only participating."
Next was the cleaning out of the storage units. He was well aware of what was in the units, but he still had to supervise.
The first unit they went to was unit 68. The Flagstaff team swarmed into the unit to look at the fishing machine. It was chaotic, given the number of people there.
"Sh*t, stop pushing me Turis. I want to go in."
"Who stepped on my foot? D*mn, it hurts!"
"Hey, the fishing machine looks alright. It ain't broken, right?"
Li Du was not the least interested in the machine; he gestured at Hans. "To unit number 44."
Godzilla and Big Quinn had already opened this storage unit, and had started tidying up. Everything they immediately found outside was useless: just some welding equipment.
Finally, Big Quinn pulled away a dusty car cover to unveil a Warcraft motorcycle before their very eyes!
Upon seeing this motorcycle, except for Li Du, the other three of them were stunned. Then, the trio invariably did the same action, which was to rub their eyes with their hands.