Relative Worth

I don’t like to talk about money. Money depresses me.

I look at its flimsy, printed form and wonder at the power it has over our lives despite the fact I could easily set it alight. Or at least, with the Australian notes, melt it into a smouldering, carcinogenic puddle.

My disdain for money though, is a whole other blog post and I need to set that particular rant aside so I can discuss the money aspect of thrift shopping at flea markets.

Worth of the monetary kind is not a static thing. Buy a brand new car and its value instantly depreciates as you drive it out of the yard. Most other things are the same – items are unlikely to hold their value unless they’re exceedingly popular, rare and/or old and/or in exceptional condition and/or of supreme quality. Or you can prove Elvis licked it.

Even then, who knows.

What something is worth simply equates to what someone is willing to pay. The right buyer will pay more. While my husband would pay you to take my stuff away.

When browsing flea markets, I struggle to ask about items when they aren’t priced. Occasionally, you’ll get a seller who’ll look you up and down as they try to ascertain what they think you’ll be willing to pay. Then, of course, there’s The Haggle. I’m not good at haggling.

I like people to say what they mean, and I wish the same applied to pricing. I know from experience that some sellers price things expecting to be haggled down but I struggle to haggle, even on over-priced goods. Also, I don’t think it’s right to haggle with someone when the item is clearly worth what they’re asking – which I’ve observed people do, but then that’s also a matter of opinion. Gah! *sigh* The only time I ask for a better price is when I’m willing to walk away.

I have another strange level of perspective. I buy most things second hand, but one thing I love to buy – and buy new – are beautiful gift cards. In Australia, cards currently range from $5- to $7- and I willingly buy this little piece of art to give to someone. Why does this matter? As a regular market goer, it’s easy to lose perspective – sometimes it’s good to remind yourself you’re buying an oil painting for the price of a card, or a card for a nineteenth century book or a piece of handmade pottery.

If you’re a seller of second hand goods and you wish to sell them at a flea market, you need to let go of what you paid for it five years ago. If it’s old, you need to forget what you saw it for in an antique shop or its going rate on eBay. Although this information can offer perspective for the seller, buyers are still looking for a fair flea-market-price. Regular stall holders at flea markets tend to sell fewer items for more gain but if your aim is to move stuff on, cheaper is better – you’ll also have less to lug back home.

Having said that, it’s okay to stand your ground. When I’ve cleared some clutter and held a stall at a flea market, I’ve had things I’d rather not sell than sell them for a pittance. I find if these items do sell, they’re more likely go to someone who loves it as much as I do.

Any questions?

Happy marketeering, my friends.


9 thoughts on “Relative Worth

  1. I love shopping second hand, flea markets, yard sales, thrift shops. I don’t haggle much, just once in awhile. I like things to have a price tag, because I don’t like to ask, either. 🙂

  2. I don’t think I’d even know how to begin haggling for something. I understand the concept, but to me, just ask for what you are willing to sell it for.

    Guess it’s a good thing I’ve never been to a flea market, huh? 😀 lol

  3. I too love greeting cards and note cards and have always been willing to purchase them at full price especially if they’re handmade. So much so, that we started our own greeting card business. Now I have a rack in my living room and all the cards I could want, all handmade. 🙂 Here is my website if you’d like to see what I’ve been up to.
    I did the buy and sell thing for a while on ebay. I guess I got tired of it, and I don’t like ebay’s policies and terms of service these days. I sure am having fun with the cards though. I hope you are doing well in the flea market arena. I have been thinking of getting a booth at some event to see how the cards do. Enjoyed this post.

    • I have a card rack too but they’re not for sale! I tend to keep cards gifted to me, some I leave out for years! Not the ‘happy birthday’ ones, just the decorative ones. Thanks for the link, I’ll go have a look – I love it when people are creative.

      I’ve never sold on eBay. I’ve bought the odd thing but I don’t find the experience as gratifying as rummaging at a market, which is interesting given I’m an introvert – you’d think I’d love the whole not-leaving-the-house thing..

      Hope you’re well – glad you stopped by. Happy card creating – I hope they’re a real success xx

      • Thank you. People are starting to seek me out when they need a card and that’s awesome because we do custom. I could never mass produce them, we put too much time into them so we just need a little fan base that we can keep up with. 🙂 Yeah there is something special about rummaging. Picking through and finding a treasure that someone else missed. I so enjoy your posts and wish you every happiness. x 🙂

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