Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Valuable STUFF

Someone very dear to me (aka Brillo Man) always says that something is worth only as much as someone is willing to pay for it.

I was browsing through some Ebay listings the other day and noticed that someone had recently paid over $1000 for a first edition copy of a Stephen King novel. (?)

We have coins which are minted for the geocaching hobby we’re involved in. I will often purchase four or five of any given coin when they come up for sale, hold on to them for a few months and then list them on Ebay. I always double my money –and usually triple or quadruple it. My sister and I will send emails back and forth…”Can you believe someone just bid $63 on my coin which I purchased for $8 --what are they thinking?!” I’m not complaining...I’m happy to collect the $63 when the auction closes.

My biggest percentage profit increase was probably a book which sold for $36. I paid a dime for it at a fire hall sale. After so many years of turning a profit on other people’s trash, it has become more of a game to me to see what I can seek out to produce the highest profit. A box of junk (everything in the box for a buck at an auction) netted a sale of $68 for four antique hat pins which were found rattling around in the bottom of the box. A vanity with a huge round mirror –which Brillo Man purchased at an auction for one dollar after I glared at him while saying that we just didn’t have room for the vanity anywhere and what was he thinking?! He replied –“hey, just the mirror alone is worth more than a buck!” –inside one of the vanity drawers was an antique turkey call. Guess what? It sold for $86 on Ebay. I was no longer upset with Brillo Man for paying one dollar for the vanity.

Recently, it was with horror and disbelief that I read a blog where the author confessed she had sold a set of original, Superbowl I (as in the very FIRST Superbowl) mugs at a garage sale for 25 cents. She was tired of their “plastic nastiness”. I’m guessing they ended up on Ebay for a few dollars more than the quarter for which she sold them – or not. (A search of completed items on Ebay yielded nothing for 1967 Superbowl mugs…)

But you know what? Something is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. You could have in your possession a plastic mug autographed by Elvis, the King – himself –but if someone won’t give you any money for it –it’s really a worthless piece of plastic nastiness. I say to my friend, this year when your family gets together to watch the Superbowl and gives you grief about selling those mugs for a quarter (and they will…) just tell them that you’re storing up treasures in heaven. Who needs a nasty, plastic Superbowl mug, or a nasty plastic mug autographed by the king ---when you know the REAL KING?! (See Pat, occasionally, I can be on your side!)

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also. -- Matthew 6:19-21


Don't call me Gorby said...

The key to business success is finding that one person who wants your goods badly enough to pay more than anyone else. People are not stupid when they are willing to pay more when the item is unique. Stupid is an inflammatory word so I'll describe the other side of business success. Which is charging egregiously higher prices for necessary items because they can get away with it. There are only two practical ways in which to regulate whether an item sells at a higher than normal value either as a desired or as a needed item. The first is social ethics, the second is consumer awareness. There is a third, however it falls outside the realm of practical. That is to legislate or government regulating. In more practically stated terms, socialism. Impractical because governing eliminates the need for social ethics and savvy stewardship. What this creates is a state of apathy and unproductively. Cassse in point the former soviet union. It wasn't the bigger guns of the cold war which tore down the wall. Instead it was a society so well regulated that it eliminated mans will for success. What does all this have to do with Geo Coins? I'm glad you asked. It has to do with an unleveled economic playing field with all rules being equal regardless of the advantages cause the disadvantaged to get smarter band play harder which we cherish as our beloved capitalism. So sell you coins for profit, sell you books for profit, and yes sell all of your junk for profit but for goodness sakes will you hurry up so I can park in the garage.

Pat said...

This is what you call on my side? :)
Since I sold those nasty mugs way before Ebay was even in existence, I like to believe that some little boy or girl played with them in the sand and had hours of fun enjoying them. Isn't the enjoyment of a small child worth more then anything?
That's how I cope - now leave me alone!

Margie said...

I searched ebay too to see how much she could have gotten for them! ha! that's funny. I just donate my junk...

I wish i had the time to make some money on ebay. i went to school with a guy who made his living that way.

Mrs. Mac said...

Wow, "gorby" needed to write a separate post for a response :) Pat, I've given more good stuff away for $.25 cents at garage sales too. Ebay, shneebay ... wish I-could've should've-always bites you in the butt. Don't take any gruff from your family. Now would someone help me learn to sell on EBAY?

Jada's Gigi said...

Yes, I need to learn how to seel on Ebay too pleeze! I have lots of junk I wanna make a profit on..:)