Saturday, March 12, 2005

Sold off some books at Half-price books

Made $13 by selling off horrible crap at half-price books. I looked them all up on first, and sorted out a pile of books worth $5 or more. Hopefully I'll list them tomorrow.

Okay, so go look at the top 200 books on shows by popularity.Now look again: showing the lowest-price books first, then showing the highest (mostly textbooks, and ahem, The Tao of Sexology).There's plenty of books that have dropped down to $.75, which is as little as any sane person would want to sell anything to anyone over the INTARwebs.

(Remember the theory of mental transactional cost, which says we'll buy a newspaper for fifty cents, but would rather skip paying a penny apiece online for fifty articles, because it HURTS YOUR BRAIN to have to think that much and figure out whether to spend your grimy fistful of electronic nickels.)However, there's also plenty of middle ground. I'm interested-my arbitrage senses are tingling. I'm not going to quit my job and become a merchant who has to haul between 600 and 800 books to the post office every week. I would, however, keep my day job and spend a weekend finding books for a buck a pop, and selling any number of them for $12 a pop, only shipping on Saturdays.

I first sold something online in 1998-I sold a promotional card from the Rage card game. You remember, it was the card game about werewolves that sucked (the game, not the werewolves). It, like every other collectible card game, plummeted in value. Fortunately, I got that card free at a convention, so my five bucks was PURE PROFIT.

To appease my inner 11-year-old, I bought a copy of Arkham Horror a long time ago, and sold it last year, at a loss, sort of. Having all that money tied up in a game I never played and had no adult interest in playing was awful. All I wanted to do was cash out, and hit the mortgage for as much damage as I could, which I did.

I've put some money into boardgames, and I'm happy about most of my collection right now (see for details). I feel like the majority of my collection is either good, or cheap, or both. A goodly percentage of my total collection's dollar value is in games I enjoy. I'm happy with that.

Likewise, even if a game sucks, if I paid $15 or more for it, I'm obliged now to try and sell it or trade it away, rather than just give it away. Yankee ingenuity will not let me toss it, no matter how much it sucks. I even sold Rat Splatter for actual coin(s) of the realm.


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