Wednesday, February 22, 2012

But It's a Collectors Item!

This barely used VHS copy of the Lion King would have been purged months ago, except for one little phrase that stopped me from adding it to the garage sale pile with the rest of my tapes.

"You'll make more money if you sell it on eBay. It's Disney! It's a collector's item!"

My trusty advisors had me at "more money." So back in the keep pile it went. And if the Lion King on VHS is worth more money, then surely the complete collection of Tori Amos videos was worth a mint! Into the keep pile it followed.

Several months (or has it been years? Time flies when you're decluttering!) later I finally got around to checking the completed listings section of eBay to see exactly how much of a windfall I could expect from my valuable tape collection. Afterall, it's value would only increase as more time goes by, right? As the search results loaded I held my breath in anticipation. Finally, the page loaded: $0.99 per tape. If they sold. Many didn't.


I was shocked. You mean people aren't lining up to buy used copies of 17 year-old movies on VHS? How could it be?

This paltry sum is hardly worth the aggravation of selling something on eBay. The listing, the packing, the trip to the post office. No thanks. So, once again, my preferred method of donate it and forget it turns out to be the best for decluttering. I should have known. The value of collectors items goes way down as soon as I purchase them.

This isn't even the first time I've had this experience. There was the DVD stand I refused to sell for $5 at the garage sale and instead kept to sell for more on Craigslist. It was finally donated months later. I really showed that bargain hunter!

What are you hanging onto because it's worth big bucks? Are you sure it's really valuable?


  1. I'm slowly learning not to keep stuff to sell. Either I won't end up selling it, or the trouble I'll have to go through to sell it won't be worth what I'll make! Just got rid of a bunch of computer peripherals that I swore I'd sell, and yet a year later I still had them! Nice going getting rid of the videos.

    1. Thanks A-H. Good to know others have been there!

  2. Oh yes, the old "it may be worth something" ploy! I actually used to make part of my living selling used books online. This was in the days before smartphones, which meant I couldn't look up the value of anything before I bought it, so I'd basically just go to rummage sales about 10 minutes before they closed, and they were generally really happy to take some paltry sum of money if I'd take all of the books off their hands.

    And the curious thing was that anything that was popular or written by a well known person wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. The market was just too flooded with them to have any value. The really valuable ones were off the wall out of print stuff. I admit I still have a box or two of things "waiting to sell" but the truth is unless you can sell it for at least $25-$30, it just isn't worth the time and hassle.

    1. ECL - I find it interesting that my Scandinavian goodies have gone up in value (not that I want to sell them, I mostly certainly don't). While all the stuff I've bought in the good ole USA has little used value. Interesting eh?

  3. I'm hit and miss when it comes to selling things. I do hold on to things that seem like "collectibles" but when I look for similar things on ebay, these do not sell or sell for very little. I guess it's time I just donate or dump!

    1. It all depends on what's worth it to you. :-) I loathe listing and mailing things on eBay so it has to be REALLY worth it for me. I have a slightly higher threshold for Craigslist

  4. I go through these phases where I try and sell stuff or I just donate items I know I could make a fair amount of cash on. I've gotten to the point where I just donate most of it. In a way I'm getting paid because I can claim it on my taxes. So win-win? (even though I still have that feeling knowing that I just handed over $20-100 worth of "stuff" can I ever increase our savings now?! lol)


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