A Tiny Tale: Part One — The Purchase

As promised, this is the story of how I sort of accidentally bought a tiny house on Trade Me, and how the Forbearing Husband and I moved from it Waipu to the farmlet. What, you’ve never accidentally bought a $23,000 item on Trade Me? Well, where on earth is your sense of adventure?!

Ok, full disclosure, the purchase wasn’t unplanned, just unexpected. The story goes like this.

Way back before we moved to The Land I had decided that it would be fun and functional to have a shepherd’s hut on the property. A cute and comfortable little retreat for accommodating all the many visitors I hoped we’d have. And which we have had. A big cheer for all who visit — we love you!

Plankbridge Shepherd Hut

I was imagining something like this Plankbridge hut. Mill Gully Huts make similar ones in Wellsford, NZ.

Research on NZ shepherd’s huts turned up Shepherd’s Huts NZ in Titirangi, not far from where we were living back then. I rang Steve, the owner, and discovered he had a bit of a waiting list for huts which I duly added myself to. About a year later, having heard nothing from him, and in the meantime having moved to Northland, I rang again. I was told he’d become completely swamped with orders after appearing in a Grand Designs NZ episode, and had lost his wait list in the confusion of it all. Oh, and also his prices had increased significantly. I was very happy for him in his success, but, funds being limited, I took myself off the waiting list.

Investigating other options led me to Mill Gully Huts near Wellsford. They charged bit more than the original price of the Titirangi huts, but were not as expensive as the revised pricing. Also Wellsford was much closer to our Northland abode, which would cut down on moving costs for the new hut. I rang Dave and discovered it took around six months for a build, so I started saving to bridge the price gap.

It took a while (what with juggling other major expenses on the farmlet), but eventually I accumulated the required amount of dosh. I was on the verge of pulling the trigger on a Mill Gully shepherds hut when I found something interesting on Trade Me. A Love Shack cabin showed up for sale. In my research on shepherd huts and cabins I had called the people at Love Shack. They do the absolute prettiest tiny abodes, but after calling them and hearing their prices I had whimpered quietly and crossed them off my list.

This Love Shack was listed in Waipu and had a reserve set a couple of thousand dollars cheaper than the shepherd’s hut I had just saved up for. There were 44 people watching the auction, and a bunch of questions already, so I knew that bidding on it was going to go crazy. Nevertheless, I thought for fun I’d place one bid at the start price using BidBud (a fantastic TradeMe helper, for those who don’t already know). I set my bid up five days before the end of the auction, and then just forgot all about it.

Until this happened!


Well colour me surprised! And the Forbearing Husband too. Bless him, as usual he made encouraging noises and promised to help me pick it up. He has since made me promise faithfully never to ask him to move a tiny house ever again…

…to be continued. I’ll tell you the other half of this story and show you photos of Tiny next Saturday in ‘A Tiny Tale: Part Two — The Move’. Tune on in again folks.

In the meantime, tell me, what’s the scariest thing you’ve accidentally bought?



  1. For me it’s not so much the /act/ of buying something scary – it’s the /admitting/ as much to the wife.

    • A very reasonable fear if you are going to buy flamethrowers, atomic weaponry, or earthmoving machinery.

  2. Not exactly accidentally but I did buy Wee Celeste Car sight unseen. I did rigorously research online and discussed carefully with Nurse Andrea and put in an order. Worked out very well I have to say 🚙.

    • Worked out very well. Celeste is beautiful, and, even better, superbly reliable. A scary but successful purchase. Well done Nurse Jenny!

  3. I did a $30,000 ‘buy now’ on a house for removal on TM, sight unseen. It was in Christchurch. I live in Greytown. 12 months later she has arrived safe and sound – moments before lockdown, so currently has no roof. We’re not just taking a walk on the wild side, it’s a complete song and dance routine.

    I found this article because I’m spending Saturday morning drooling over photos of shepherds huts 😉

    • Hey Vicki — high five on your tiny house purchase! And yay for all who sing and dance on the wild side by bidding on tiny houses sight unseen.
      I hope your Tiny gives you as much joy as ours is giving us. We recently added power and she now boasts a teeny weeny fridge and kettle for tea-making!
      I’m in full support of shepherd’s hut drooling sessions. There are some absolutely gorgeous ones out there to be sure. 🙂

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