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.
I have a problem with online sellers that advertise products for exorbitant prices. I understand that if a $6 keyboard could sell for $106, then why not get that extra money. It just feels wrong to me. Throughout this new series, Selling Zeal, I want to explore the etiquette, ethics, and moral conundrums of selling to others. What sorts of rationale do we need to make a profit? When do we walk away from buying and selling?
5S revolutionized the way I professionally work but it’s cumbersome for me to remember the nuances and particularities in my personal work. This 3S is more of a riff than tribute, since I’m beginning to realize that I sort through collections of things the fastest in three main stages: stage, sort, then sell. Staging means bringing everything together. Sorting is the process I’m learning about almost daily. Selling, then, should be the easiest part, right?