As he came round the side of our house, a stooped, unkempt figure with darting eyes, little did I know that I was going to experience a life-changing lesson that morning.
I didn't let him inside.
I was a bit uncertain about him.
So he waited patiently while I brought the object to the door.
He turned it over in his hands. "How much did you say you wanted?" he said, never looking up.
I told him a figure, and he sighed.
"That's a fair amount," he said. "But I make my living selling these - and I don't think I can put it on the shelf at this price."
He looked directly at me, then said, "I can offer you a little less, but it's probably more than you'll get anywhere else." He waited.
I felt sorry for the man, and so I agreed. He put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a wad of cash and started peeling some notes off.
We shook hands. Then the lesson began.
"Ahh..." he started, putting the rest of the money back in his pocket, "do have any coins you want to sell?"
"Well, no," I replied, and I was about to explain I didn't collect coins when he launched into his next question.
"What about stamps... do you have a collection, or individual stamps you want to sell?"
Again he interrupted, pleasantly. "Antiques? Do you have any old chairs or tables you want to sell?"
We started walking down the path towards the gate, and he kept up the endless questioning.
Household items, crockery, cutlery, glass bowls, did I have a hobby I'd given up...?
The questions went on and on. We got to the gate - he was still asking.
I was amazed at the long list of items that tumbled out of his memory bank.
Then he mentioned racquets. I remembered I had always intended to sell my high tech tennis racquet - but hadn't got round to it.
A few minutes later I had more money than I expected, and the buyer had my racquet dangling awkwardly from his hand. He obviously wasn't a player.
By the time we reached the gate for the third time, he had bought four household items of mine that I never thought of selling.
And I had learnt the valuable lesson of persistence.
Soon this buyer - a wealthy professional trader as I discovered later - would be returning to his home and sitting down at his computer to list my items on TradeMe, our local equivalent of eBay. I knew he would be selling them for a lot more than he gave me.
I didn't mind. Because he had taught me a valuable lesson that day.
Even though his visit was years ago, the experience has always stayed with me.
Persistence always wins in the end.
It's the reason I keep writing these daily articles, year after year.
To remind you that if you want to keep winning lottery games, you must never ease up. When the weather stops you getting down to your local store to buy tickets, break through your comfort barrier and do it anyway.
When your tickets only bring you a few freebies, remember that next week is a fresh start. It's worth the effort.
It took my gypsy buyer many questions to get what he wanted, but he ended up with a goldmine for his efforts.
Like him, keep playing and stay focused on your goal.
The rewards of persistence are amazing.