Daily Archives: December 15, 2008

Ebay and the end of the Pack Rat

I am a notorious pack rat. I don’t know why or how it all began, but for some reason, at some point in my life I wanted to keep everything. I always felt that I’d have a use for it “at some point in time down the line.” And thus, the stuff piled up. I refuse to call it “junk” or I will be inadvertently confessing that my Mom was right all those years ago calling it that!

Neither of my parents are really pack rats, so I don’t get it from them. Funny, too, on the odd chance that I did get rid of something, I found sometime later that I needed it. I remember that I had it…and then say I won’t throw stuff away again.

But multiple moves across state lines sure puts a huge damper on pack ratting. I get tired of lugging boxes back and forth…and don’t get me started about my books—Dad gives me enough grief about them! I have put them in smaller boxes, though.

A few years back, when the moves started to wear thin and when I noticed I wasn’t 18 anymore…we started collecting up stuff to take to Mom. Mom and her sister, my Aunt Judy, put on several yard sales each year. It became a regular thing for us to show up and have a box of “yard sale” stuff.

One year, mom handed me an old Thor flashlight I had as a kid (a quick google search couldn’t find a picture). The flashlight started out at .50cents. They lowered it to .25…then to .10…then to a nickel. I’d just learned of ebay so thought I’d try it out. I scanned the flashlight and posted it on ebay.

It sold for $30.

I’d been willing to get rid of it just weeks before for a nickel.

I started looking around the house then, trying to see what other jun…er, stuff I could find. I would even grab something and ask BJ if she was willing to sell something of hers. She got tired of me asking.

Ultimately, I did find other things to sell, and I’ve been steadily selling since then. The thing about selling on ebay is that you have to have complete emotional detachment because the item you think should sell for $100, will get zero bids at $1, and the item you don’t think anyone will want at .99cents will go for $30. It just doesn’t make much sense.

I’ve even managed to sell some of my comics (the ones I wrote, not my collection) on ebay. I’ll put them together in a set and mention one of them comes “autographed” (I forget to mention it’s ME!) and then let them go. Most of the times they sell, every now and again they don’t.

Through all that, though, our house has become less pack-ratty. Oh sure, we still have stuff we need to get rid of that we don’t use, but we’re doing better. Thankfully we’ve got Mom and the yard sale and ebay! You know what they say about one man’s junk…er stuff!


Filed under Columns, family, Moving