Here’s something many people think about upside down, if you ask me. Case in point:
I used to buy video games the way other people pick pizza toppings. I would go online one day, pick out 3-5 games, add to cart, click, confirm payment, click and before I knew it I had another bunch of games sitting on my shelf.
I would indeed play them, but most of the time just beat them once, set them back on the shelf and there they would sit for the longest time, before I could eventually bring myself to selling them. It was the exact same with movies.
Last year I got rid of all my video games, DVDs and BluRays. Here is a picture of my room from the clear-out.
Now, unless you throw them all into a dumpster and, like me, try to squeeze some money out of them, you would be surprised how much time it takes to sell this so easily-acquired stuff.
It occurred to me that maybe we should reverse the order of things a bit here.
Here’s the status quo:
Buying always comes easily.
See a cheap shirt? Throw it in the bag.
Books are 2 for 1 today? Throw it in the bag.
Mugs on sale at IKEA? Just throw it in the bag.
Reminds me of this song from a couple years ago:
Except that there’s usually no gangster rapper around to pay for us and we have to draw out our own wallet.
Yet the other side, which people often forget, is:
Selling stuff is a pain in the ass.
You have to create an account somewhere (ebay, amazon), post pictures of your stuff to facebook, set up auctions, meet with people you really don’t want to meet with, bargain with them, look up values, estimate shipping costs and so on and so forth.
Now here’s some news for you:
The hours you spend thinking and badgering yourself about whether to sell the third lamp in your living room, which you never needed anyways, should have been spent thinking about whether to buy it in the first place. Then you wouldn’t be in this situation right now.
If we all spend a little more time thinking critically about whether to buy this cheap and seemingly necessary thing we actually don’t need, we can save a lot of hours of invaluable time, potentially spent getting rid of our pointless purchase. The price of this so-called ‘bargain’ is not only money, but also time.
Speaking the other way around: Hand over the lamp to your friend, who just moved into the pitch-black, lightless apartment around the block, because even if you do discover you need another lamp at some point, chances are you can easily replace it (and cheaply too, check out the law of 20 in 20). Buying always comes easily remember? Though based on my own experience it is very likely you never will, three lamps in one living room? Come on.
Today I’m asking you to let go of your selling issues, and get buying issues instead.
New rule of thumb:
It never takes long to buy things – therefore you should not think a lot about selling things.
It takes forever to sell things – therefore you should think a lot about buying things.
Both you and your friend will be happier for it.
Now, I’m not asking you to do a huge clear-out, but here is a small step you can take outside your comfort zone today:
Take one thing, that you bought without thinking about it, and try to sell it, today.
Put up an ad on craigslist, ebay, or facebook. Ask a friend if they need it.
Whatever item you choose, let me know which one it was!