Memorabilia, Junk And eBay

Over the course of years one is bound to accumulate a number of boxes which have been lovingly labeled memorabilia . If one lives long enough and does not succumb to dementia, he begins to question whether or not items are really memorabilia if they have been relegated to a box securely taped and stored in the garage. He may also shockingly conclude that his heirs will classify much of his memorabilia as junk. Ultimately greed steps in and he starts to wonder what his memorabilia or junk might be worth to someone else. The problem then becomes to distinguish between memorabilia, things that are remarkable and worthy of remembrance and junk, something worth little or nothing?

Fortunately these days we have something called eBay. eBay beckons all to search their attic, closets or garage and turn items gathering dust into cash. A survey of what was listed on eBay revealed that a number of articles similar to my “memorabilia” were up for auction. That solved the problem of how to label my stuff so carefully stored in my garage. My stuff was neither memorabilia nor junk, it was “saleable”!

In order to turn my saleable stuff into cash I had to become a member of eBay. This required setting up an ID. Establishing an unique ID is no easy task. I quickly found out that my choice of “mystuff” was not available. Wanting to keep things simple I quickly claimed “mystuff101”. A password was also required which gave me a secure feeling, no one could access my saleable stuff without my password. I chose …….. I then found that I would have to set up another account called PayPal so that I could facilitate the sale of my stuff and get the hundreds of dollars which I was sure were forthcoming deposited to my checking account. True to its name PayPal also facilitated the cost of doing business with eBay. All that was left was to list some of my stuff.

Surely my collection of vintage slide rules would be gobbled up. ( By the way I learned that attaching “vintage” to an article would enhance its chances of showing up in a search). How about that vintage Sony pocket transistor radio which I received as a gift from Sony in 1958 --- a sure seller. Of course my vintage Jim Beam Norman Rockwell bicentennial decanters would create heavy bidding. And that Emerson vintage bakelite table radio --- its not very often something like that comes on the market. Getting a good price for a vintage Sony Walkman would be a slam dunk. Everyone is anxious to get their hands on vintage action figures , so out of the storage box leaped Action Jackson and his friend. Quite a collection of saleable stuff to get started with.

My almost vintage digital camera ( by today’s standards) did its job photographing my stuff for the listing process and I came up with some descriptions which would command attention and wild bidding. My stuff was on eBay! All I had to do was watch the bidding over a period of seven days and then get my stuff ready to ship to the lucky high bidder.

Lo and behold Action Jackson and friend attracted bidders the first day and at the end of the auction he went for $22.50 plus shipping. I must confess I was sorry to see him go but I was satisfied that he was going to good home. Who knows, within two months he might even fetch $50 for his new owner. ( I will not be among the bidders.)

What of the other vintage articles which I was sure were worth more than Action Jackson. Nary a bid. Not even a question. No one was interested in my stuff. Something worth little or nothing is by definition junk. My stuff was not saleable , it was junk! Wait, eBay offers a second chance. For a minimal fee I re-listed some of the more saleable articles. Another seven days and embarrassingly not a single bid. What went wrong? A more thorough search on eBay for similar items revealed that yes they were listed, but the “listees” were not faring much better than I was. My stuff was truly junk. The real winner was eBay with their listing fee which PayPal expeditiously transferred to eBay from my bank account. I guess that is how PayPal got its name ----- pay pal!
I had other “maybe saleable stuff” I could list but the “maybe” part turned me off. Perhaps my best bet would be to go through my stuff and get rid of the junk after applying stringent rules concerning the definition of memorabilia - things that are remarkable and worthy of remembrance, with the emphasis on remembrance. My eBay experience worked like an enema! I got all the junk out of my system and am now left with one box of memorabilia. The latter will bear scrutiny from time to time - a mild laxative should get rid of any remaining questionable memorabilia. In the meantime I’ll confine my eBay activities to truly saleable items like this vintage computer or my made in the U.S.A vintage coat sweater - a real rarity. Oh no! Not again! Just close the account!

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