The auction house sent me a preliminary statement from last week’s sale.
My art deco sideboard sold for $650. The six place settings of lovely thoroughly modern looking 100-year-old china? $150. The antique clock? $350. Then the auction company takes 20% of that for commission. Some stuff didn’t even sell.
I guess the good news is that if I ever want to re-stock on furnishings, the auction house is the place to start for incredible bargains on lovely things.
I have listed a bunch of things on-line, which means I had to describe the thing in enticing terms, photograph it, figure out how much to ask for it, and go through the posting hoops. Time-consuming. Nibbles on most of the stuff not happening.
I also made a trip over to Powells Books in Portland this morning with three and a half boxes of great books, sheet music and instructional CDs. They took about 20 books and gave me $74. More time spent. I now have to figure out to whom to give the remaining almost three boxes.
Books and sheet music are sacred things in my universe. A happy home must be found for them. So I’m bringing some to the Friends of the Library and some to our magnet school for the arts. Another trip and another hour to distribute those. Sigh.
As of today I’ve pocketed about $150 for merchandise that probably cost $1,000 new and it took many hours to “earn” it.
Already the take-away lesson is shockingly clear: the value of a purchase plunges steeply the minute you take it out of its wrapper at home — and if you need to sell it, expect little or nothing in return, and expect it to eat away at your time.
Buying something new makes NO sense any more unless you plan to use the thing to death. It’s much much smarter to buy used if you must have it, or to rent, borrow or share if you need it only briefly.