Irrational Fear Doug Savage Chicken Heavy Baggage

Ask the Readers: What’s your irrational fear?

Dollar Flipper Ask the Reader 8 Comments

It turns out that I’m not the only person who likes to add a personal touch shipping an item.

Jessica, Masha, Karen, Elizabeth, and Margaret all use a handwritten note with great success. Lorraine uses a business card, and Ashley just trusts her item descriptions – she undersells and over delivers!

It’s nice to see some of the conversion rates. I know people on Amazon would kill for those levels of feedback!

On to this weeks question though.

I have an irrational fear.

Irrational Fear Doug Savage Chicken Heavy Baggage

OK, my fear’s not really about luggage.

I worry that one day, I’ll go out to a few thrift stores, and I won’t find anything.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s been a few times where I couldn’t find one thing. But that is definitely not the norm. Even when you figure in my flops, I still find something to buy and re-sell nearly every time I go out shopping.

Blame Evolution!

I think it’s evolutionarily embedded in me. Some sort of risk avoidance measure. We make the good things in life out to be way less important than the bad things. We exaggerate these things that can’t really hurt us.

On top of being afraid that I won’t be able to find anything to buy, the other issue is that I have things to list right here. I don’t have to drive to find these things. I don’t have to pay money to get them into my hands.

What the hell? I literally have 100s of things to list right now, but I’m still thinking about that next score. That next garage sale.

It’s almost like this has become an addiction!

I’m going to try to stay grounded here and remember that there are two things that are fun in this business/hobby. The buying and the actual sale. That’s it.

That meaty middle part – the preparing, the listing, the photographing, the storing – that’s the part where you’re actually making your money. But it’s not glamorous.

You’re taking something from the near-waste stream. You’re cleaning it up, you’re giving it all this awesome metadata (measurements, photos, materials), and then you’re popping that into a database. Without you, there’s no chance that item has the value that it does.

But it’s hard because the sale is lagging and not in your control. You do all this work and then you reap the rewards…. eventually.

I think that’s the hard part. The buying is instantaneous. You get it, you are dancing in theoretical a shower of money. But that’s before you think of that work.

This is why a lot of people get sick of eBay re-selling as a hobby. It’s fun at first and then it’s not fun for most of the time. I still love the hobby, but it’s sometimes a struggle.

I need to get better with contentment. I think that Beeminder has helped me balance the guilt of my unlisted piles with my free time (forces me to prioritize a bit), and little things like not watching too much TV gives me the mental break I need.

What’s your irrational fear? Bad buyers? Returns? Sharks? Listeria?


Image Credit: Doug Savage

Comments 8

  1. My irrational fear, especially after multiple days with no sales, is that I will never sell something again! It has turned into a big joke at my house.

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  2. My irrational fear is that I won’t be able to support my family at some point. It’s highly unlikely that could ever happen, but such is life for a freelancer!

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      I think we all have that fear. That’s why we’re trying to pay off as much of our mortgage and save as much money as possible. This will let us live nearly worry free! We could always get a job at Walmart to cover our expenses for a year!

  3. You hit the nail on the head! I’m addicted to the buying and the sale, but it’s the middle that I avoid. I keep buying and buying and hardly ever list. My irrational fear is (1) everyone is scooping up all the bargains so I have to be sourcing every free minute of every day and (2) I’ll come upon the bargain of a lifetime and I will have already spent all my money at the last estate sale or auction.

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      I mentioned it above, but I agree completely. For some people eBay is an RPG while others think of it as a slot machine. The next garage sale will have the jackpot! We always joke on the way to a garage sale that we’re missing all the deals! It’s so weird. I can go to a sale at 2pm and still find something to sell. Humans are just so goofy!

  4. I don’t have any of these fears…really. But my hubby comments all the time that every person and their brother is now a reseller. I think that because we’re in the business, we watch out for it and therefore see more of it. I love it. I really enjoy almost all of it.

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      Maybe it’s like when you buy a different car model and all of a sudden, you see it everywhere? And sure, people do re-sell, but most don’t consistently. They get burned out or have one bad experience and quit. Since I’m growing slowly, I can take breaks without much worry since my inventory will still be there!

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