Social Media Social Good: Nothing Ain’t Worth Nothin’ No More #eBay #Collecting

Category: Social Media Social Good Series

 

Stuffed Garage

We’re moving. Loads of fun. And, finally after ALL these decades, I’m getting rid of stuff. Much of the stuff was stuff I collected and took pains to keep, store, and take from home to home. Much of it, such as my record and comic book collections were really heavy. I had 25 long and short boxes of comic books, all meticulously catalogued, bagged, and boarded.

Records

My LP collection was just in file boxes but each box weighed a ton. My CD collection was in a nice wooden case and also was pretty well organized.

I just sold all of it: for a fraction of what they were all worth in the heyday of collecting.

Boxes of comic books

At this point in my life, it’s both relief and emotional heartbreak, with more emphasis on the former.

Then, there’s all the stuff I carried around after my parents died. How many old pictures of their friends and relatives I never knew or letters between them and others was necessary for me to keep? Evidently, about ten file boxes worth that I schlepped from home-to-home-to-home. Even a full box of old 8mm movies, mostly unedited in their original boxes as they came back from the film developer.

8mm Film

Am I really going to transfer all those silent 8mm movies to DVDs?

I took a look at some of those letters and didn’t even know whom they were from or to. The “love letters” my dad sent my mom I kept. Those will be sweet to read someday, though I know that “someday” may never come.

Letters

Other things, such as sterling silver, beautiful dishes that my mother collected, and good used furniture of ours were nearly impossible to sell. While these things, in some cases, cost thousands of dollars, they seemed worthless today?

Why?

Because of eBay, Craigslist, and the economy. A friend introduced me to another friend who made extra money helping people “get rid” of things. She said the whole collectibles market had virtually died. Yes, Superman #1 in great condition will go for a mint. Yes, fine art – old or modern – will still fetch great sums of money at auctions.

But, the good everyday stuff? ForgetAboutIt. We have a practically new sleeper sofa. Can’t give it away.

The local consignment store came and did a “preview” of the furniture we were not planning to move with us. They picked and chose what they felt they could sell and sent us a list with their suggested prices. After moving ALL this stuff there (that cost goes against any sales), we might come out with $1000 for literally furniture that cost thousands of dollars. They will try to sell living room chairs for $129 that cost ten times that (okay, I may be exaggerating – 7 times that).

Store the stuff for our kids when they might need it? Good idea. The local storage facility wanted about $400 a month.

plants and pots

Try to sell plants and pots? We have so many gorgeous plants in beautiful terra cotta and other ceramic and cement pots. Can’t give ‘em away.

So, what do I/we take from this? Times have changed. I believe the online commerce world has made everyone cautious and eager to make THE DEAL of the century. I also believe our ongoing anemic economy is a big factor.

My lesson is that I will no longer collect anything but experiences and memories. I will buy new things at the best and lowest price I can find. I will not get ANYTHING custom-made because it’s a huge waste of money. Built-ins in a house? Better to have a nice piece of furniture that you can at least move with you. I don’t miss my comics, CDs, or LP collection. I’m keeping my movie poster collection and that’s it.

I did discover that my original “It’s a Wonderful Life” posters were in that category of “fine” stuff that can merit a good price. But, those are special and I’m keeping them. They’ll have a special place on our walls in our new home.

What do you think is the reason things have changed so much in this area? Do you still collect and take all your stuff from place to place when you move?

  • http://hittinthepeapatch.com Hittin’ThePeaPatch

    I have learned that less is more. We move often and I try to keep only those ancestor items and what I would use on a daily basis. It’s unreal just how much you collect in such a short time. My Father always said, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” Finding the right one to sell it to is harder than one thinks. From trying to get your ideal price to making sure they want it for the same reasons you kept it.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @hittinthepeapatch:disqus – your father was right “back in the day.” Now, things like armoires are worthless ’cause they’re too big, heavy, and no longer used for TVs. Unless it’s TRULY an antigue, forgetaboutit!

  • http://www.krusecontrolinc.com krusecontrol

    I’m totally on this program of Less is More. I can’t believe how much stuff I used to have (and honestly, still do have). I sold a bunch on ebay but now I don’t have time to do it. (I would love to sell most of my like-new designer shoe collection). I’m a work in progress but with each “offload” I feel more free.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      We are CLEARLY on the same page @krusecontrol:disqus – took me a lot of time and moves to get there though!

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  • David Weber

    Very interesting comments and experiences. I as well have begun a process of de-cluttering…this is something I read about all the time, it is so common as to be a current sociocultural trend among people born after about 1945.

    I remember that when I was in college, I could pack my car with EVERY possession I had in the world and drive to school (about 110 miles away). Talk about free!

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @disqus_dU5ulU60s7:disqus – it’s amazing how our possessions sort of possess us and how we don’t miss (most of) them when they’re gone. I remember when you had that flood and many things were lost – now, years later, how much of that stuff do you really miss, David?