The purging continues with a dumping of all manner of collectibles. I am not a fan of knick-knacks or as my friend Julie likes to call them, trinkets. The older I get, the more I want to make sure that everything I own has a purpose, a purpose other than sitting on my shelf and gathering dust. I am highly selective when allowing decorative items into my home. I have to love them or they don't make the cut.
There was a time when I loved collectibles. As a teenager, I collected all things musical theater related. I loved the music boxes from the San Francisco Music Box Company. They created small jewlery boxes( that held maybe a necklace) themed for every major musical of the 80's/90's and I had them all. I have since purged them, but I am still trying to find homes for my Phantom of the Opera Jack-In-The Box and handmade Cats doll that plays "Memory". These are objects that I once loved, but are now a burden as they were once too expensive to just junk. I feel the pressure to find a home for them with someone who will appreciate them.
I've been using Ebay like mad with okay success. It's slow going and a lot of effort. It's great to make some money off of the objects, but the effort digs into the gain. Most of it is going for less than I originally paid, with a few surprises of an increase in value.
The value of collectibles is hard to gauge, as the value is only as good as what someone is willing to pay for it. It has little to do with the original price or the materials from which the item is made. It all has to do with what it is worth to a particular individual and that can vary significantly with regard to who you come across.
Last week, we sold one of my mom's Franklin Mint collectibles. My mom was a huge Franklin Mint nut, all of which I am trying to place in new homes. I am learning that most of it is valued less than the original purchase price. Most of it is from the late 70's/ early 80's and spent my life time gathering dust. The Franklin Mint is not generally a good investment!
My mom had this one set, The Medallic History of Mankind, that based on internet research, seemed to be worth quite a bit. It was heavy, a hundred pieces of sterling silver and 24 karat gold. I didn't want to have to ebay it and deal with shipping, as I could barely lift it! We took it to one collector, who offered us less than half of what we ended up selling it for. I'm not sure if he was intentionally low-balling us or just wanted the melt value, in any case, we walked and found a dealer who quoted us higher than we were hoping. The difference was thousands of dollars. It's all perceived value and finding the right buyer.
I've gone through phases where I collected a certain item and now it's coming back to bite me. In addition to my musical theater collectibles, I have comic books and Disney pins.
The comic collection is small, one box, but it has followed me for over fifteen years. I have the first editions of Witchblade and Gen 13. I was never a huge comic book fan, but I dated someone who was and got tired of going to comic book shops and not having something that peaked my interest, so I got into a few series. I read and enjoyed them all, not just collected. A search on the internet, makes me realize that they are relatively worthless, even my signed copies, but I still can't bring myself to dump them.
Arguably my worst and most costly collecting habit, has to be my Disney pins. It's mortifying to admit, but from 2000-2002, I amassed a collection of over 1500 pins. I don't even want to begin to add up the money spent. It's scary.
At first, I didn't just collect them, but I participated in the Disney pin trading phenomenon. In the beginning, it was fun and I met a lot of nice people. Then, I started encountering more rude collectors, than nice ones and I was turned off to the idea. People take the whole thing way too seriously. I knew that it was an issue when a person that I was traveling to Florida with, berated me for giving away a pin to a little kid. He claimed that the kid was a con artist trying to swindle naive adults out of pins.
A. That's ridiculous.
B. Even if it's true, who cares, it was mine to giveaway.
C. It's a damn pin!!!
They whole idea of trading and meeting people is a nice one, unfortunately, it took a turn for the dark side as people let obsession and hoarding overshadow the situation. I stopped with pins all together and they sat in my closet for years.
So now, I have a living room filled with collectible junk that I am hoping someone will want on ebay. Half of me just wants it out of the house and the other half is hoping to get a little cash for the travel fund. The tedious quality of selling on ebay is killing me, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that it's worth the effort. I am also keeping it in perspective, at least I am doing something about the junk, rather than keeping it hidden away in the closet.
There is no room for junk in The Year of Organized Living.