I’m still EBaying stuff. I’ll be doing it right through New Year’s, I expect, if not longer. One thing this experience is teaching me is that the relatively perfect market created by the ubiquity of EBay has redefined the concept of “rarity.” Your treasured heirloom item from Grandpa may have seemed rare when you acquired it 30 years ago, and it might still be hard to find another example in your hometown. But in your state? The country? The world? Chances are they’re a dime-a-dozen now. There may be only 30 of them left in the world, but every one of those suckers is on EBay.
Part of it may be changing tastes and interests. That sought-after Lionel ZW 275-watt transformer, once the dream of every armchair locomotive engineer, elicits zero emotional response from the typical Millenial. It may have been commanding every bit of $300 back in the 90s, but it’s barely a $50 item nowadays, unless it has been “professionally serviced.”
Know what? This is good news. It removes any and all excuse for hoarding a pile of crap in your house. If you’ve got stuff that is taking up valuable space but you’re thinking, “Hey, it’s valuable!”…I suggest you do a little reality check. Do some EBay searching. You may find that, nowadays, your crap is actually recognized for what it is. Which means you can clear it the hell out of your life, guilt-free. Send it to your favorite charitable thrift store. Be sure to itemize, and claim its real value. Which, in the case of a Lionel ZW, would be $300, right?