There was a box that might have appeared in older photos. Its blue and gray plastic contained old art supplies from when I was in high school if not middle school. Atop those partial memories were raw materials I considered crafting into art projects and never did. Over the past week, I threw out the junk, saved the keepers or second-chancers, and am donating the rest. I researched art foundations or daycares, then realized something:
The salespeople that connive you into believing you have a friendship with them are the worst. It’s that sort of trust we build as friends, where I’ll pay a little more or you’ll clean it up just a little more, which cannot be faked. When I sell goods or services, I try to present myself as honestly as I can to build trust, and maybe friendships form after that. That’s how it should be, but…
We walked about halfway to the counter with the game he wanted to sell before I got distracted with some shiny object or another. I probably wasn’t going to buy anything, but as I looked around the well-lit store, painted in bright colors, warm, and inviting, I couldn’t help but feel inspired, especially as we left the humble store. He bought a new game and I found more friends that would buy my extra games.
I am not interested in getting into the “flipping game,” of buying new things for cheap then selling for a profit, so if that’s what you’re interested in reading about, skip today’s and tomorrow’s essays. I want to live comfortably with my favorite things and get rid of everything else; preferably without too much loss. I’ve been hesitant to donate things now that my living space is livable, but now isn’t the time to stop.
What is your goal with physical collections? With digital stuff, you can have limitless games, music, or movies, perhaps only limited by your wallet [, ethics,] and hard drive space. With everything else, the question might be guided along with the context of your interactions, memories, and willingness to troubleshoot objects. What is the value of an object in your collection you’ll never play, never really played, and could be easily sold for a decent profit?
An important topic regarding ownership of property is commitment. If you buy a fancy car, are you committed to the maintenance time and costs associated with it? Houses require upkeep. So, too, do the objects within anyone’s abode. I once wanted a massive collection of CDs, perhaps out of some excess curiosity, and now as I organize dozens of boxed CDs, I ask the contents: would I budget the time to see your band live?
There’s a morbid curiosity in assessing the prices of everything you want to keep. It’s usually 5¢, 10¢, 23¢, but what happens when you strike a goldmine? Does their unexpectedly exorbitant buying price influence your owning something? Is that the time to bring it into a store to make even more money? For me, if I value something, only significant amounts of money could influence my decision, otherwise, I have conviction: If I like something, I’m keeping it!
I opened a box of once-treasured CDs to find one to sell and I left my storage room with an armful of over twenty I realized I could also part with for either some or no profit. It was a bittersweet moment. My 20s were filled with so much compassion for mediocre nouns. Now that I’ve increased my “keep” threshold from “don’t hate” to “really like,” I have inventory, but how will I move it?
By this essay’s publication, I will have tried my hands at two sales ventures: a friend’s garage sale and selling to stores. Looking over my finances, I estimate that I’ll recoup a fair amount of money, but not enough to be significantly worth the time investment. I have a daily burn-rate that estimates how much it costs to maintain my apartment-mansion, utilities, and car. It’s not extravagant, but selling in bulk won’t balance those books.
Before I move into my next place, everything I own will be in one of four buckets: kept, donated, sold in bulk, or sold individually. I’ll keep everything of personal value, otherwise, everything else goes into one of those three buckets. If it has no market value, I’ll donate or trash it. If it has some value, I’ll sell it somewhere over sometime. How much time I spend in the selling process depends on marketability.