Well, as the year winds down, so does ‘The Sale of 100 Things’. It’s not that I’ve run out of things to sell, no not by a longshot. In fact, be looking for the ‘Sale of 100 Things, 2019 Edition’ starting up after the holidays. I’ve just run out of time. Christmas shopping starts soon, so does crappy weather. I’ll do one final push this week then take some time off. It’s gone better than I expected in some areas, way worse in others. I’ve sold a little over half of everything I’ve tried to sell so far. If I can find a couple of Dorbz and Hikari XS collectors looking to fill in their collections I might run that percentage up to 80-90%. C’mon people, you know you want these things. Help me help you.
I keep getting asked two things as the Sale progresses:
Am I getting out of the game?
Am I making any money?
The answers are ‘yes’ and ‘no’, but not in that order.
I am not ‘getting out of the game’, which, by the way, is a stupid way to ask someone if they’re collecting anymore. It’s not a game, it’s a hobby. Thinking it’s a game implies that there are winners and losers and that collecting is a competition. I’m not competing against anyone, I’m just trying to build a collection that I enjoy. Oh, there are roadblocks and assholes in my way, no doubt, but I never think of this as a competition. If I did, my collection would be my prize and I might feel the need (as some people do) to lord it over others. Kind of a dick move. If that’s how you collect, how very sad.
No, I’m selling my stuff because I have too much of it and some of it no longer make me happy. I put my Funko collection in PPG once, and instead of saying ‘Wow! It’s worth xxxx!!’ my reaction was ‘Oh goddamn, that’s too many pops.’ I’ve never been one to build the wall of pops. I can’t imagine loving 2000 pieces of plastic so much that I’d let them take over a room. Cool for you, maybe. Not so much for me.
I think a collection is a reflection of the collector. What they like. What they find funny. What makes them smile. Thing is, that changes over time. This past year I had a stroke and got a pacemaker. Those events changed the way I look at life, especially carbs and trans-fats, but also what the things I have around me say about me. Looking at what I collected prior to the stroke, they said ‘poor impulse control’. Most of what I’m getting rid of was bought on a whim. Oh, at the time I thought some of these things were Lebowski’s Rug…they tied collections together, but now? Well, here:
Funko Pops of figures I don’t recognize - I’m sure they fit into some arcane scheme when I purchased them but can’t for the life of me remember what that was.
My Star Trek ships - I have all the Enterprises, so why did I buy an Andorian Battle Cruiser? Because…Shran?
Kidrobot Dunny’s - Love ‘em, I guess. I’m mean, I did once. Sorta.
Vinyl Devil art toys – I think I was building the Legion of Hell
Get the point.
Since the stroke and the pacemaker, I’ve pared down to just a few little collections because the sprawl was overwhelming. Too much noise. I needed simple. Also, the cardiologist said I’m not supposed to lift a whole lot, so selling off the dead weight is kind of like following a doctor’s order…in a bizarrely constructed bit of rationalization. Anyway, some stuff fell to the wayside, Star Trek was refocused on ships named Enterprise, and Funko got cut back to Ad Icons and Spastiks and a few odds and ends here and there. Some of the extra Pops are being headswapped into something else, and those make me smile. Perhaps the collection now says ‘Frankenstein’. But the thing to remember is that none of this was because I’m getting out, but because I’m getting picky. Our lives change, our tastes change. I laugh whenever I see someone say they’ll never sell their toys because they love them too much. Fiddlesticks. You’re just too afraid to let shit go. Bet you’re friends with your exes and can’t stay in a relationship either. I guess the other change since the stroke is a lack of empathy and tact. There’s probably a pill for that. I should ask.
(PS: The other change since the pacemaker is an affinity for ‘Stark Industries’ t-shirts. I wish this thing lit up under my skin. That would be kind of cool. I’d be my own nightlight.)
And have I made any money?
Yes. I don’t buy stuff thinking that I’m going to make money one day. Oh no, Dorbz will break that fever dream straight away. I buy things because they make me happy…and poor impulse control. I’ve been lucky in that a lot of stuff that I have collected has appreciated some. Sometimes a little. Sometimes a lot. Even with Ebay fees and shipping supplies (tape mostly, I recycle boxes and packing material) I’ve come out ahead. I’m not getting rich or putting anyone through college (unless it’s a correspondence course), but I’ve made enough to make it not such a chore. And it’s can be a chore. Ebay listings take time, FB sales ought to be posted to milk cartons for as many buyers who’ve up and disappeared. For every good buyer, there’s at least one ‘veteran’ buyer who’s expertise is based on a binge watch of Pawn Stars. If you haven’t seen the show, let me sum it up. People take items of value to a family of enchanted toads who proceed to convince them that their stuff is junk - and it works. Oh…the best you can do is 1/10th of what I’m asking, well, the best I can do is not say ‘F**k you’ to your face. Oh, guess what, I’m not at my best today.
Like I said, I have made a couple bucks selling this old stuff and I’m happy to have done so. Also, I kinda have to. To keep the peace in the household, and to keep the checkbook from burning to the ground, I have a completely separate account for collectibles and toys. It’s self-funded, meaning that I sell things to keep it going. Some might say it’s flipping, but screw them, they’re wrong. I don’t buy to resell, I resell to buy. If I want something expensive, I have to sell stuff to get it. It might not work for you, but it does for me and it keeps the collection from getting out of hand. Look at it this way, at least I never have to post that my dog needs emergency surgery or that I forgot to pay my mortgage. That’s right proper adulting right there. K-pow! Grown up shit! Get out of MY game, bitches.
Realistically, I think I have one more post to wring from this exercise. Maybe some buyer anecdotes, maybe some advice on cleaning house. Hope I get to it before the end of the December. If not, Then it might be the first post in next year’s Sale of 100 Things sequel, The Big Sellout.