07/11/2018 at 3:17 am #45082
This post previously appeared as part of this other post:
And refers to analysis tools I discuss here:
From the moment you acquire an item, the clock is ticking. Without exception, a number of forces are potentially at work gradually degrading the value of any item you’d choose to sell. Forces including:
1. Fungi: Not much it won’t eat–wood, paper, cotton, hemp, linen, adhesives,plastics, rubber, leather, etc.–given the right conditions.
2. Humidity: Alternating cycles of high and low humidity will eventually destroy some items by physically breaking adhesive or internal material bonds. Antique furniture veneers rarely survive southern US humidity. And, of course, fungi love humidity–see 1, above.
3. Gravity: Items jumbled together in storage can easily be damaged from transient or prolonged pressure–remember the vinyl chairs Jay had to iron? Some items permanently deform by the force of gravity acting on their own weight.
4. Heat: Many materials are vulnerable to heat damage–plastics, paper, wax, rubber, adhesives. Many materials begin internal, chemical decomposition the day they’re created, and heat accelerates the process–y’all talked in the podcast about the returned shoes with the hardened soles–heat + time. Rubber can harden or turn to goo with time. Many tape decks, turntables, disc players, and other motorized devices use rubber drive belts.
5. Oxidation: Rubber, plastics, iron, copper, brass, zinc, silver, paint, to name a few, are all vulnerable to oxidation. Sometimes the effect is benign, mostly it degrades. Steven S. is forever using Deoxit on hifi controls–because they’ve oxidized.
6. Water: Don’t, just don’t.
7. Light: The radiant energy conveyed by a beam of sunlight and most types of artificial light works like a jackhammer, slowly but relentlessly breaking apart the molecular bonds of materials exposed to it.
8. Vermin: Mice, rats, moths, ants, flies, termites, dust mites, bacteria–remember the ladybugs in the backpack, wasn’t it?
9. Dust and Dirt: I’m always amazed at the amount of dust that settles on everything in our house between cleanings–where does it come from? Some is brought from outdoors, some is shed by people, animals, or other decomposing items–an item that was stored “clean” will not stay that way forever.
And then, of course, the force that T-Satt mentioned:
10. Demand change: Fads come and go. Tastes change. Even jewels and precious metals experience market fluctuations.
I’m always amazed to find items at estate sales or thrift stores that have somehow survived the ravages of time in mint condition–especially items that I own and have watched go to shit over the years owing to 1-9. How? Were they in a vacuum chamber buried in the desert sand?
Anyway, the forces of decay do not stand still (Rust Never Sleeps), and must be factored into the cost of holding long-tail goods.0
07/11/2018 at 6:59 am #45085
- Location: Virginia
I feel like you should stay away from long tail items. The desire to sell long tail items quickly will lead you to madness.3+
07/11/2018 at 8:41 am #45087
Are you implying something about Dr. Luftmentsh’s mental health? 😉
No,I’ve been long-tail since I was a wee lad. Of course, back then I was pursuing the sucker’s game of “collectibles”–buying things with the expectation of value appreciation. Once I got over that delusion I’ve been content with my role as custodian of deserving objects, on their way to their ultimate “collectors”.
As for my essay on materials–materials and processes were a major reason I became a mechanical engineer. As a yoot, I was fascinated the with built environment. What was all this stuff made of and how was it made, and what are the economics of it all?
And, I appologize, Jay, for suggesting you alter your business practices. I really am only trying to understand them, the better to plan my own business. I think we’re all here for that.
And if I’m honest, I probably was hoping for an “attaboy” from the elf-in-chief.1+
07/11/2018 at 9:15 am #45102
A huge amount of our inventory is glass, porcelain, pottery, ceramics and #1 – #9 really doesn’t affect it.
As for paper items,[i.e. stamps, first day covers, art prints, etc. We have a large library room with wall to wall shelves and keep most in there [in the house] which is climate controlled but could be affected by swings in some of the conditions, but good archival protection we use helps with that, especially the limited edition, signed art prints.
With regards to some of the items, we take a look at the items we know are art related but instead of lowering prices, we increase prices periodically to help raise the artistic value and collectibility of some items. Kovels.com and their newsletters letters and their annual catelogs help with the review of the valuation of collectibles. Many paper money, coins, mint stamps, and art prints do fluate in price swings, but just as the stock market has done since 1932 [great depression] it has done nothing but go up over time.
As I said early to your posts. I get it. You offered some tools. Those of us on WonderlIster and SixBit can do a good scan, filter and sort lickety split and see what you have outlined, which we do. All we do is either apply an increase in price or a reduction to the duds, and as you said, that is totally subjective “T” can be whatever we want.
So consider me and probably most others got it. Glad I stayed out of this one…trying to prove one or the other right or wrong and convince others as to why one is right or wrong. Been caught up in some of those before. Led me to not participate here for a fairly long period of time.
Jay also informed me that my posts were fairly log for the SL Forum and that they only have so much band with.
So to save J&R bandwidth glad I got your point fairly quickly and the follow up explanations. So will take the data to heart as we do our “periodic” reviews.
Now to quote a movie “War Games” [I believe] .. after realising that Thermonuclear War was a game that could never be won, the WOPR-Joshua computer asked his inventor..”Dr. Faulken, How about a nice game of chess?” LOL 🙂
Mike at MDC Galleries and Fine Art.0
07/11/2018 at 10:23 am #45120
Mike, It’s true that on average antiques/vintage/art appreciate over time, sometimes above the rate of inflation or stocks, but like the stock market, predicting winners can be very risky. Watching “Roadshow” has driven that home for me (I don’t use Kovels and such).
Do y’all have a piece of your business in buy-and-hold “collectables”, vs buy-and-flip?0
07/11/2018 at 9:48 am #45112
Mike: “Strange game. The only winning move is…not to play”
My favorite: “Mr McKitrick…After careful consideration I have come to the conclusion that your new computer system sucks!”0
07/11/2018 at 12:23 pm #45144
Played a short verbal game with my brother in law some years back while we sitting on his back porch having a beer..
We each took turns saying a one line phrase from a movie and we would see if the other could name the movie. After an hour of this we came to a conclusion that as baby boomers we had spent.. Waayyyy tooo much time watching TV!0
07/11/2018 at 12:35 pm #45145
Been there and would be right there with you.
A buddy and I once had an entire conversation…only in movie quotes…
Got damn funny in parts!0
07/11/2018 at 10:01 am #45114
Hahaha, this is veering off topic, but speaking of talking computers, my brother sent me this hilarious YouTube link just this morning, and I think this discussion could use a little comic relief!
07/11/2018 at 12:20 pm #45143
Applied to many Ebay: … “All Systems are Functioning” … most sellers answer: “What Systems?”
Yep.. need some “Jocularity”0
07/11/2018 at 10:06 am #45115
07/11/2018 at 1:18 pm #45150
Retro Treasures WVParticipant
My advice for how to sell on ebay:
“Go that way, really fast. If something gets in your way, turn.”0
07/11/2018 at 1:27 pm #45153
That is great RTWV.. about as simplistic as it gets. And to create a custom version for Jay.. “Go that way, really fast and don’t turn unless someone or something can prove that taking a turn will do any better!” 🙂 just having some fun Jay.. no malice. 🙂0
07/11/2018 at 1:23 pm #45152
Retro: Better Off Dead! Excellent!
“This mountain is pure snow! Do you know what the street value of this mountain is?”0
07/11/2018 at 2:11 pm #45154
i want my $2!!!!0
07/11/2018 at 2:12 pm #45155
French bread, french fries, french dressing…0
07/11/2018 at 2:21 pm #45156
Ryanne: Yep! Love it!0
07/11/2018 at 3:18 pm #45158
I missed a reference somewhere. Is that movie dialogue, Ryanne?0
07/11/2018 at 3:44 pm #45161
Retro: Debatable, but definitely in the top group for 80’s movies…0
07/11/2018 at 5:17 pm #45172
I think that one got by me somehow. Guess I’ll have to catch up.
…you’re young and you got your health, what you want with a job?0
07/12/2018 at 3:41 pm #45259
Getting ready to store #5 plastic boxes in 150F attic, so I researched and found this:
Everything’s on the internet somewhere.0
07/12/2018 at 6:21 pm #45264
Alright, the main forum thread is too long for me to add to, so I’ll post here. I’m going to do an experiment in which I only list either a) more valuable & desirable items I find out while sourcing in the wild for Ebay ($25+ books) OR b) items from my own unlisted inventory that are $10+ (books & ephemera) that I already own and are technically “free” outright stock anyway. I’ve already been doing (b for the past few years anyway, so I will only have to outlay $$ for newly acquired items that are supposedly worth more for more interested people.
I have severe burnout from doing this for so long anyway that it works out. I need to get through all of my unlisted stock, and I also need to continue sourcing without exhausting myself out by adding too much to my unlisted piles. I seriously want to get through it all in the next year or two, and then have the $25+ be my new permanent floor while the cheap stuff sells out.
Does higher value equate to an item being more valuable? Will it all still turn to long-tail anyway? I don’t know. It will be a good experiment to see if anyone’s math works in any possible way. My asp for books & ephemera has been $16+ for the past yea on Ebayr, which is actually pretty good considering the fba people seem to hover at $12. They have all their metrics backing up their buying choices. Hmmm.0
07/12/2018 at 11:06 pm #45276
07/13/2018 at 2:31 am #45285
i’m not sure anything is “way off topic” for this thread at this point since it degraded into quoting Better Off Dead the movie. which is clearly, partly my fault ; )0
07/13/2018 at 4:43 am #45287
I didn’t mean it in a scoldy way, just that Almasty’s post was worthy of it’s own thread, while the rest was sort of “witty asides”.0
07/12/2018 at 9:15 pm #45269
almasty – you could lot some of the paper ephemera together in themes and sell it for a bigger “win” perhaps or get to $25? Even if you take a small hit on price if it goes to a dealer.0
07/13/2018 at 7:06 am #45292
Yeah, I have a ton of ephemera priced at $9-10 that I’m going to leave at those prices and sell off, but I was thinking of lotting others at 10 per lot to get to $20-30+ in the future. I’ve also been compiling very large lots of it to get $50-200, but I might start selling them off in smaller lots to get $20-30 per lot out of those, and in the end make more money from the combination of smaller lots. No one other than dealers and the rare genealogy collector likes buying paper lots for $50-200, unless it’s otherwise very special.0
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