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?
Mint condition items are weird. If you never wear the concert shirts you bought, never used the bottles of soap you got on sale, then unless it’s for some kind of museum preservationism, what was the point? I wore a fresh concert shirt, its cotton still smelling vaguely of factories all these years later, to bed and wore an ever-so-slightly off-white Wii Fit hat today. This sort of object reverence in everyday living is weird.
How many hundreds of CDs do I own because others like them more than me? More than one. More than ten. Maybe more than hundreds? It took me until my hoarding nadir to realize that I would buy anything that caught my fancy, rather than just specifically that which I appreciated the most. As I’m going through my collections to figure out what I’d sell for a dollar, I realize it’s actually a good portion.
One compromise I could make with my collections is doing what my neighbors just did. They kept the media and recycled the abundant packaging. I can respect that mentality. Maybe they like the movies but not enough to peruse their packaging? For me, if I don’t care enough about the movie to own its entire packaging, why own it? I suppose my lifestyle is one where I naturally favor new experiences rather than infrequent rewatches.
If the hardest decisions I have to make in the next few months determine the fate of most of my property, I’m in excellent shape. If that means putting in a CD, listening, and having honest inner monologues about why I like the object and whether those feelings can be condensed into an essay, then that means I’m not fighting for a paycheck, struggling to stay afloat, or otherwise dealing with life’s malignant stress demons.
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.
We’ll wear many hats throughout the journeys of our lives. How many of those hats do we need to keep as trophy artifacts? Other than the ones that help us feel better, or remind us of particular memories, not as many as we might expect. It’s easier keeping things and never looking at them again than making difficult downsizing decisions, yet once we do, we’re reinvigorated to wear the remaining hats or get new ones.
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?