Thursday, March 03, 2005

So I haven't really been away.

I've just changed my life a little bit. I no longer go to the store except for Mondays and some Fridays. I've finally gotten high-speed internet access at home, and now I can be a full-time home ebayer. This accomplishes several things for me.

First, it ends my horrible, soul-killing commute except for 1.5 times a week. Besides costing me $10 in gas per round trip plus tolls, besides killing my car with all the mileage, besides wasting 10-12 hours a week of my time spent doing nothing but sitting in a car, the single worst thing was the never-ending hassle of fighting with people every day, which is what daily car commutes are when there is limited road space in a highly populated area like the Philadelphia suburbs. I'd come home drained and weary every day, good for absolutely nothing. Well, even more than usual.

Additionally, it takes me (almost) completely away from retailing. I was never going to be a good retailer anyway.

I had planned to be set up for this by the beginning of the year, but of course I didn't reckon with how disorganized my house was. I basically hadn't done anything with it since I came back from Italy, and that was six and a half years ago. To make this thing work, I have to have certain areas of the spare bedroom and cellar devoted to certain things, so I can find them when I sell them. And of course, I'm not completely finished--far from it--but at least everything is finally set up in the basic way I want it.

And it's so much more interesting than sitting in a store waiting for someone to come in. The other night I bought five shelves of books at an estate auction for $5, as I often do--about half of what I sell on ebay are books. About half of them got immediately thrown away (book club editions and mass-market paperbacks), about a quarter were savable but not great (I'll probably donate them to libraries), and the other quarter were auctionable from $5-20. And then there was one relatively modern book that no one, including me, had looked at closely. It was a copy of Joan Crawford's autobiography A Portrait of Joan, which I knew was a decent auctionable book in the $10-20 range. But of course, when I looked in it, not only was it autographed by Joan Crawford to the woman whose estate it was, but there was a group of nine letters from Crawford to the woman from the mid-1960s.

How could I not love a job like this?

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