This excuse recently came up between Jason and I during a conversation regarding our wedding bands from our first marriages, which we have held onto despite the fact that our first marriages were total crap. We’ve hung onto them because they’re gold (shiny! expensive!) and it seems wasteful to just toss them. Last week, Tyler asked for mine so he could pretend it was the One Ring and wear it around his neck. I let him, but only if he promised to travel to the heart of Mount Doom and cast it into the fire. ANYWAY.
It seems like everyone has a few things, or more than a few, that “might be worth something.” Maybe we believe that we’ll end up on Antiques Roadshow with a piece that elicits a jaw-dropping appraisal. How many baseball card collections are gathering dust in attics because they “might be worth something”? I know we have one!
Many times, our idea of an item’s value comes from two sources – 1) I paid a lot of money for it, and 2) it’s interesting/old/has a good story.
Neither of those things actually determines the value of an item.
Repeat after me: It’s only worth what someone will pay for it. Repeat that again. Many of us learned this humbling lesson during the recent housing market crash.
I’ve started listing things for sale on eBay and Craigslist, to hold myself accountable to this mantra. If it goes through three listing cycles without any interest, it’s going to Goodwill. It doesn’t matter how much I paid for those Nine West heels I wore once – if no one will buy them, they’re effectively worth $0.
Harsh, but true.
Some of the things I was certain would sell – like the funky antique metal bed I’ve had since 2002 – have been listed and re-listed with no interest. Some of the things I thought might end up in the trash, like a cheap-o wine cart from Target, sold within minutes. You just never know.
Next up, excuse #2: It was on SAAAAALE. This one gets me every time.