Home › Forums › Hello, Who Are You? › Katie Scott from St. Pete, FL
- This topic has 3 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 3 months ago by KatieScott.
02/18/2018 at 9:24 pm #33301KatieScottParticipant
I’m Katie Scott from St. Petersburg, Florida. I grew up in Bangor, Maine and South Dartmouth, Massachusetts. So I have thriftiness in my blood.
I’ve been an avid listener of Scavenger Life for well over a year. I mostly listen while I list. I’ve been selling on ebay for a little over a year and half. I started on ebay when I was homeschooling my son and taking a few years away from the law practice that my husband and I started together 20 years ago. Initially, I was just looking for planting pots to make a garden as part of the homeschooling and wanted to buy pots at thrift stores rather than Home Depot. My aunt took me to her favorite thrift store and then taught me how to do ebay. Now, my son is back in tradition school and I’m back at work at the law office and doing ebay in my spare time.
I hope to continue to do ebay as a side thing (I know Jay & Ryan don’t love the word “hustle) while I continue to be a full time lawyer. I am currently trying to stop selling lower dollar items, to move my older inventory, and to learn how to sell vintage items like Jay and Ryan do. I am in a retirement area so there are lots of estate sales and auctions, but I still have a lot to learn about vintage things. I can also picture continuing to do ebay into retirement, which is still a long way off for me at this point.
I mostly do ebay because I like to stay busy and consider this a profitable hobby. I use my ebay money to do more fun things and I like to go snow skiing, which is rather expensive, so this helps. I also love learning and have enjoyed learning about clothing brands, now learning about vintage items and generally about how the whole life cycle of a product goes and where stuff ends up. My grandmother, who basically raised me, grew up in the depression and instilled in me a “save it” mentality so I love ebay because I can get things to go to good homes. I hate throwing anything away but I also am increasingly attracted to the minimalism movement, so ebay is sort of a perfect fit for a collector / borderline hoarder who really doesn’t want to keep things.
Ok, so glad to be here and I look forward to learning and sharing with all of you.
02/18/2018 at 10:40 pm #33309soniaParticipant
- Location: Northeast US
Yes, i agree that scavenging and then selling on ebay is a perfect way to get that “shopping for treasures” fix without having to keep anything! I strive toward minimalism as well, though I have a way to go.
02/19/2018 at 8:11 am #33321JayKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Glad you found us. I think you might be our first Scavenger lawyer.
02/19/2018 at 3:58 pm #33368KatieScottParticipant
My long winded thoughts on being a scavenger lawyer:
(First, I guess I should say that I probably talk too much – which is maybe why I became a lawyer in the first place.)
Ok, I’m not complaining, I like practicing law, I really do like helping people and I feel like we do, and it is still the best way I know how to make a living; I’m just relaying what I’ve observed in my time as a lawyer.
Practicing law isn’t what it used to be in 1995 when I graduated from law school. When people ask me now to write them recommendations for law school I always ask why they want to go, because it is expensive and you don’t necessarily make a lot of money as a lawyer anymore. In the late 80s / early 90s, a lot of tort reform came in and lawyers started making a lot less money than they did in the 1980s – which was probably the right result, sort of (but that’s a whole other topic); but law as a money maker isn’t the slam dunk it used to be. I think law can still be a good profession, but you need to have a clear plan of what you want to do going in when you lay out all that money for law school, otherwise you become a wage or contingency fee slave to student loans.
We’ve had to adjust our sails in terms of practicing law many times over the years due to insurance company practices, mega law firms who work on volume rather than quality, and the 2008 downturn in the economy hit our family law and criminal law parts of the practice hard because people no longer had enough money to get divorced or hire a lawyer after a criminal charge. Uber has dramatically reduced the number of DUI cases there are – which is a good thing for our communities, but my husband used to have a busy DUI defense practice and that is no longer. We used to advertise our law firm with a few bill boards and a few tv ads, but when the mega law firms started spending millions and millions on ads and making it so that you can’t see a set of commercials without a lawyer ad being one of them, we stopped advertising because it was like peeing in the ocean. Now, we rely on happy former clients for referrals. Good word of mouth is better for us than advertising both in terms of cost effectiveness and quality of clients. Times have changed and we’ve had to change with them.
Being thrifty: Over the past ten years, we have been working hard to get our monthly overhead at our law firm down. We continuously look at our spending and what we can cut. We were able to pay off our office building mortgage a few years ago (yahoo) so that is a nice feeling. I use part of our law office building as my ebay storage. But even with out costs significantly down from what they used to be, we now still sort of wonder how much we need an actual building to practice law. We find ourselves thinking about whether to sell the building and rent a conference room space from a lawyer friend and work from home. Most of what we do is on the phone or computer and the in person meetings with clients are scheduled – so we could just do the conference room thing. We currently rent our conference room to other lawyers and this is how they are practicing law with lots less overhead.
Also, living in Florida we got really scared by this last hurricane season, if our office building got destroyed in a hurricane, would we want to rebuild? could we afford to? If the hurricane would have hit Florida like it hit Puerto Rico, would there even be a client base to serve? Do we really want to own real estate in Florida? Our home is on the water at sea level, we are planning to sell it because we are afraid of rising tides – like literal rising tides water in our backyard and house – and the overall value of Florida real property. We are also concerned about ever increasing flood insurance and property taxes. Long term, I think we will move away from Florida when we retire which the opposite of how most people look at Florida and retirement.
I think a lot of lawyers and doctors today aren’t where they thought they would be financially; many professional people we know have started side businesses. The whole world seems to have changed. I can only figure we have to change too going forward. I think scavenging is a really beautiful, useful, environmental and smart and fun thing to do. I’ll bet I’m not the only scavenger lawyer.
I’m very thankful for your podcast and this forum. I’m also thankful to be able to be a lawyer, I still take a lot of pride in my profession and really do love what I do.
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