I wish I could make a profit out of the things I don't want anymore. But I don't have the kind of sales experience that some of my more capitalist friends have. You have to start early. Sure, there were bake sales when I was a kid, but my brownies took more time and energy to make than the pennies earned. Somehow, I never managed to sell things for more than what I paid for. So I end up being more of a keeper and a giver than a seller.
One of my Canadian friends had a keen sense for timing. He would sell his meticulously kept notes just after he finished his exams, but early enough for his peers to value for theirs. Needless to say, he also sold his textbooks as soon as he finished with them. Meanwhile, I, like many others, kept my textbooks and notes thinking of the effort I had put into the course without thinking ahead that I may never need them again.
An English friend was able to get rid of his things via the free ads paper The Loot. I used to think he sold them too cheaply - his volkswagon camper van, furniture, etc. But at least he was able to get rid of things quickly. He was the kind of guy who moved on with his life, not the type to hang around dwelling in the past.
Being the sentimental type, I keep things out of habit. Even after realising that I don't need them anymore, I am paralysed as to what to do with them. By then they've depreciated in value and I've no audience to sell them to.
Every summer I make cuttings out of my fertile spider plants. These houseplants are known to cleanse the air we breathe. When I tried selling them at the nearby allotment centre, none got sold. Was it the wrong audience? Or was it the wrong pricing? Wrong timing?
This summer I will try to sell my books and plants. First I'll try my colleagues. Surely familiarity breeds goodwill and trust.
9 June 2002 Sunday
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