I posted something to sell and within minutes got a response:
“I would like to buy your Apple Extended Keyboard II M3501 for [50% off].”
“How about [full price]?”
I’ll cover my experiences and perspective on selling throughout this sales series, first starting with my old computer collection then moving into media then toys for the next few months, but rather than focusing on anything negative, let’s use this keyboard as an example of neighborhood exploration.
“Jose” offered my full price for the keyboard.
Through the selling app I used, I saw that he lived near my work, so I offered to meet him in his neighborhood before I started work. The last time I’d been through there was to check out a nearby library, years back, which itself is another example of my advocacy for exploring my neighborhood. I go to libraries somewhat regularly to check out their media, their used bookshelf, and to use their computers to print out things. I’m not always going to be in one location, so it’s good to know where the others are, and when I checked out about half of the local libraries, I found some cool, interesting, or weird neighborhoods.
I recommend being a tourist in your own neighborhood until you know it thoroughly.
Using this library as an example, since I had that as an anchor point of my extended neighborhoods, I could easily coordinate where to meet “Jose” before work. He had offered to meet at the only grocery story under its name in the area, so it was easy. If there were, say, three “Twinmarts” within a one-mile radius, which one would it be? Since this was the only one, it was easy. We planned the general place, the meeting time, and the specific exchange location outside the store.
The exchange itself wasn’t noteworthy.
When I sell things like this, I like to ask what they’ll use it for, as a general inquiry into motivations, an effort to gain content for these essays, and just being a more well-rounded person in regards to socializing and such. When I’m not overanalyzing everything. “Jose” would use the keyboard to repair his dad’s old Mac, to which I wished him luck, because the keyboard is going to a better home than the one it had resided within for the past eight-plus years, where I had probably acquired it as part of some house-cleaning situation outside my memory, and a better home than the low-baller that almost tempted me to pursue that line of thought, had I not already looked into the general price ranges of this particular model of keyboard.
As Collector advised, after I posted it, it turns out it’s worth more than $10.
Still, I’m happy with the transaction price and level of effort I put in. I’d rather this keyboard go to someone that can actually use it, and if I know it would be going toward a project like this where someone is trying to restore something of their family’s history, then the money isn’t the primary motivator for me. I didn’t want to spend all of that $10 on groceries right there, but I spent some of it It felt weird in some regards doing that, because as the old adage of ‘don’t spend it all in one place!’ says, I would have turned that old keyboard into groceries as a sort of sales alchemy.
Selling items like this is a good way to go exploring outside my comfort zone.
While I was looking around at the general coordinates of the grocery store, forgetting as I drove, later on, to check for the specific intersections but still managing to find it because it was the only big-box grocery store in that part of town, I was looking around for other businesses of curiosity. I still have many items to sell off to downsize from my two-bedroom apartment-mansion into a smaller apartment or a more utilizable apartment-mansion, so if there are any brick-and-mortar places I can stop by to facilitate the process, why not?
Nothing in the area, but still, it’s worth checking out.
I will have no reason to return to this particular grocery store in this particular area again. Groceries can be bought anywhere. However, knowing that it’s there, knowing how it relates to my work, a nearby library, and having driven around the area does – no matter how insignificantly – increase my general awareness for this small part of the world. Just like how that $10 is insignificant, where it’s more of a non-trivial donation to someone’s familial project, I’d rather it go to that good home than a thrift store to be recycled or a computer recycling company to potentially be sold at a premium.
After a few months without being sold, I would’ve donated it.
I’m not sure if I would have immediately dropped the price, or accepted $5 for it right away. If it’s a big item I want gone, I might have gone for it, just to clear out space. I didn’t realize it at the old place, but here in the apartment-mansion, every box can potentially interrupt access to other boxes. I would prefer those boxes filled with things I cherish, rather than things I’ve kept around “just because” I had bought it for some aimless project or acquired it effortlessly. Through these selling adventures, I’m learning to close the books on all of these half-hearted project ideas.
I probably got the keyboard with the best intentions…
Maybe I wanted to have some Macs in my dream retro computer museum? Maybe I got it along with some other stuff? I don’t think we should mourn that dream’s death or anything, either way, because I would just rather go exploring my neighborhood for writing ideas or to see more of reality than merely buying more things that I won’t use for years at a time.
It might have been easier for me to meet “Jose” closer to my work, but I wouldn’t have explored his neighborhood.
|Quotes: [1,2] This guy never responded to my clever response.|
|Sources: My selling experiences. “Jose” was almost randomly generated from Behind The Name. I went with a more generic version of the esoteric name that had been generated for me.|
|Inspirations: I won’t be writing about every selling experience, don’t worry, but as I drove through that area of town I had yet to explore, the title popped into mind, and since I had the inclination to write, I went for it.|
|Related: Other Selling Zeal essays.|
|Photos: If I’m taking the photos for selling, and I’m writing about the sale, why not use those photos?|
|Written On: 2020 January 04 [35 minutes. From 12:46am to “potentially be sold at a premium” at 1:09am. From 1:20am to outro but with various edits throughout that first part of the essay until 1:32am. Gdocs.]|
|Last Edited: 2020 January 10 [Possible edits adapting from Gdocs to WordPress. Would this be the second draft, then?]|