But I Paid So Much For It!

I know what to do when I hear my clients say, “But I paid so much for it!” Clients sometimes use that phrase when justifying why they can’t get rid of something, even if it’s something that they no longer use (or maybe have never used.) I tell them that holding on to it will not help them recoup the money and will just continue to make them feel bad for spending so much on something that brought them so little satisfaction.

I found myself in a similar situation recently when considering some fancy pots and pans that I had bought when my daughter was in middle school and liked to cook. She quickly outgrew that phase, and these items were rarely used after that. They were not suitable for the way we cooked now. I decided it was time for them to go.

I considered simply giving them away via the Buy Nothing group. But because they were expensive, I wondered if I could make some money on eBay. A quick search showed that people were willing to pay for these. I listed each item separately on eBay, specifying “Local Pickup”, meaning only people who could come get them could buy them. I had never used Local Pickup before but it made sense in this instance. I didn’t want to ship them because they were heavy and would require larger boxes than what I currently had on hand.

These pots garnered a lot of interest — all of it from people who did not live locally. I kept getting messages asking me if I would ship them. I explained over and over again why I didn’t want to. People offered me advice about what size box I could get from the post office, or what kind of shipping service I could use. Some of them said they would pay the “Buy Now” price, which was significantly higher than the auction starting price, if I would ship them.

Eventually the auctions ended, and one person (local) won all three items. However, the total amount of money I made was not very high. I took a look at the winner’s profile and saw that he had done a lot of transactions — selling as well as buying. I suspect that he plans to resell the items that he bought cheaply from me .

I learned an important lesson here. I spent that money long ago. It was a sunk cost. I should have just given those pots away and saved myself the time and trouble of listing them and having to deal with all the questions. Sometimes, I just need to take my own advice!

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