I looked at the motorcycle battery that sat on my kitchen counter, itself pulled from the recycling bin some weeks ago, abstractly representing everything in the apartment-mansion I own that I can sell, and thought to myself: I want to be able to sell things like this. I researched where I could sell the battery. A nationwide chain would buy batteries for $5. I brought in the battery and announced my intentions when they asked me.
I clarified with them and they clarified with me. I let them recycle the battery for free, without aggression, and went about my day. It’s been over a month since that day. It’s not so much that I’ve kept that ghost with me as much as I wanted to do more with this essay. The thing is, these sorts of encounters are the ones I hate.
This wasn’t a tale of profit and victory.
I picked up that battery, hoping to get a discount on something else in the store. I walked away empty-handed, but it’s an example where sometimes we don’t get anything good, but it’s still worth the effort. Why let such encounters bother us? It didn’t work out. Nothing more, nothing less.
And yet things like this affect us frequently.
Why is that? I think for one, I invested some time and ego into thinking that I could sell off this battery, perhaps starting up a lucrative side-non-business of selling things for a profit, or perhaps for the idea of having done something good. Instead of going into the trash or recycling, this battery could go to a better home!
Well, it did go to a better home. It just wasn’t profitable.
It’s the same as when we donate things. If those items have little to no value and the thrift store trashes them, whose business is that morally or economically but the thrift store itself? If we’ve already decided the items have no value to us, but might have value to someone else, donating them just seems like the best option, right?
Selling is a pain and oftentimes isn’t worthwhile.
I’ve sold a few things and the experiences have never been exhilarating for me. Sure, when you buy things, there is a sort of customer service that we receive that intoxicates us to want to buy more, whereas selling is more of an arduous task since even if everything is above board, it’s still additional work for the store.
But still, sometimes, these efforts can pay off.
There’s no need to be concerned over the one-off situations where you expect a discount for trying to sell something and receive nothing. If things like that will discourage you, like they have for me, then don’t get into the game as I have decided to limit myself in partaking. Instead, if you have excess, donate them to companies or charities you believe in, if your friends don’t need them.
Just don’t throw them out with the trash.
|Quotes:  While the man was nice enough, you could tell that through retail and the automotive industry, he was not overly polite.|
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: My perspective of selling things from three different points. I haven’t sold more because I’ve had such a backlog of over things to do. I have more time now to structure that planning and actually start selling stuff, or donating what isn’t worth the time.|
|Related: Other Selling Zeal essays.|
|Photo: Battery, before benign bonanza.|
|Written On: About 20 minutes spread out over three months. August 10th [2 minutes, from intro at 5am to “things like this.”” at 5:02am, mobile]; September 14th [10 minutes, from there at 11:50am to “encounters bother us?” at noon, mobile]; October 4th [7 minutes, from there at 11:11pm to outro at 11:18pm, mobile]|
|Last Edited: October 10th [Caught one typo, added some punctuation, so, second draft; final draft for the Internet.]|