I’ve spent two hellish sessions now with someone who has hoarded a bunch of stuff thinking it’s all going to become collectible and increase in value.
He’s been trying to unload this crap now.
He checks prices on eBay with Highest Price listed first and thinks he’s sitting on some sort of gold mine.
It’s not the highest price that establishes any damn market, it’s the lowest.
So when he scrolls down and sees that the Highest price differs from the Lowest by five or even ten times, he doesn’t frikkin get it.
Here’s the brutal deal:
1) People have been dying. That cohort you grew up with who once collected these things? They’re your age now. And they’ve been dropping dead, of heart attacks, stroke, cancer, etc. And there’s no replacement for them. What was nostalgic gold to those people are junk to the following generations.
2) People have no money for toys. They’re in debt over their heads, just treading water, and you expect them to waste their money on what amounts to trivial luxuries of youthful indulgence? That’s just not going to happen.
3) People need money. So you’re not selling into a buyer’s market, you’re selling into a desperate seller’s market, competing against other people who now need every nickel they can sucker out of the remaining people like you, who still think these things have some fungible value.
4) The people who are still alive are now grown-ups. Seeing a photo online of something they once owned as a child will now suffice, not the thing itself. Just seeing these things was once a very rare event. We now live in a world of digital plenty. Just seeing photos of this stuff for sale on eBay — at laughable minimum bids — is enough of a nostalgic fix. Hell, we can even save the damn photo to our hard drives and look at it any time. We don’t need or even want these things now.
5) That time is not coming back. As I stated in the first point, the generations after yours have no memory of these things, no emotional ties to them, and these things are as alien to them as a knickknack made by some indigenous person they encountered on one of those rare foreign vacations they took when they still had the money to do so.
6) There is no widespread nostalgia for technology. That Casio Cassiopeia Pocket PC you never used? The time to sell it was when it was generally on sale, not years later when it’s been obsoleted several times over by new technology. No one is looking for something they can’t use. And there are so many of these things floating around now that they’ll never, ever have their original value. So even if someone who is outright insane winds up buying it years down the road, it will be in vastly inflated money so even if you get its original price, you’re still losing money!
People get on my back all the time about the things I never buy. That’s because I understand all of the above. Anything I buy will be for practical use and I’ll squeeze every damn bit of blood out of it that’s humanly possible. I’ve been through the “collectible” thing and I’ve seen how it can turn on you.
I offer the above up to everyone else who has yet to learn this lesson.
Don’t hoard, don’t collect for the sake of re-selling.
You’ll wind up being a loser and feel like a sucker in the end.
Money is a very valuable thing and seems to get rarer these days. Hang on to it as much as possible and use it wisely when you think you must spend it.