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Thread: Excess stuff in our society

  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    I basically suscribe to the view that stuff has become near worthless. It's virtually free. Post-scarcity of stuff in the western world (of course how that excess is made possible is another matter ...). None of it is worth much and the delusion that you can get much for selling your stuff if you ever need to is just that.

    This doesn't of course mean the cost of living has gone down any, all the things we really need that aren't stuff are more expensive than ever (housing, healthcare etc.). But stuff approaches worthlessness.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  2. #12
    Senior Member awakenedsoul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    I sold all of my books on Amazon several years ago, (1999 I think...) I was surprised that they were all bought, and that I got a pretty good price for them. I think I charged $5.00-$8.00 a piece. That was way before the crash, though.

  3. #13
    I grew up really poor. Not exaggerating. I remember going to a friends house and her Mom brought home a bag of clothes from the mall for her. She literally snatched it out of her hands and ran to her bedroom. She flung off the tank top she had on, to the floor, and put on a new top. She didn't like that one so she flung the new shirt to the floor, bunched up and tried on another. As someone who had 3 outfits to her name, it made me realize how we are such a throw away society...and this was 20 years ago.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    SF Bay Area
    My neighbor has had two lovely tricycles in her driveway for weeks, trying to give them away - posted on Craigslist, etc. No takers - and I'm sure there are people out there buying tricycles!
    I give my books to Goodwill or Salvation Army. The library sells them for .10 a book, which just seems to low to me, but they get so many donations that they just want to get rid of them. And I'm a librarian.
    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” -- Gandalf

  5. #15
    MamaM. Outfits (clothing choice) in our home was not plentiful either.

    Gardenarian. It is crazy, isn't it. In our old neighbourhood I remember families setting out their used and old things on the boulevard/curbside, and within the same day whatever had been set-out for free-pickup, was gone! A good sign that back then (late 80's/early 90's) people didn't have the quantity of stuff that they do today.

    Stuff I remember... cribs, strollers, change tables, bicycles, ride-em toys, etc.

  6. #16
    To add, whenever people set-out used things for free-pickup, I like to think those doing the picking-up are needy, and not just opportunists looking to turn an easy buck.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by mschrisgo2 View Post
    I put things out on the curb with a huge FREE sign- got rid of 1 small shelf, and a suitcase. There's still furniture on the curb.
    This is so surprising to me! I put an unfinished wooden table (that I picked up from a yard sale this summer and had high hopes to finish and use, but never got around to it) down by the curb on Thursday at around 4 and it had been picked up by 6!

    I often will contact friends or family to see if they can use the item or swap it for something they are tired of. This helps with those "freshen the look" bugs without spending any money.

    I have also had a lot of luck consigning things at a local shop. It makes me feel good that the items are not going to waste, DH and I get a little change in our pockets and someone else gets a great deal on a (hopefully) needed item. This shop also donates items after 90 days to a refugee organization.

  8. #18
    I also had the same experience when my girlfriend and I helped our then neighbor clean up their house when the tenant left. Though the tenant paid until the last month, he and his girlfriend left so many items – pieces of furniture that do not really fit when put together, old clothes, dirty dishes, and expired food items inside the fridge. Some of the pieces of furniture look very Amish-like, which were not very befitting the young couple. I could not imagine them buying stuff from such stores. I mean, I don’t have anything against such types of furniture, since I like looking at items sold on one Amish furniture site, Brandenberry, but the ones I have do not really look very old-fashioned. Our neighbor had to spend some money to have some ‘usable’ items delivered to charitable groups, and some disposed. What is good is that, he still kept the deposit and gave back to the tenant the remaining money after our neighbor’s spending on cleaning up the house.

  9. #19
    Senior Member lhamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Beijing, China
    Bedbugs are a big concern for a lot of people now. They can set up shop in wood furniture, as well as the upholstered stuff where you would be more likely to suspect them. I am kind of freaked out by the whole bedbug thing, to tell you the truth, even though we have never personally had an issue with them. I got scared last year when we came back from trip and all had very itchy skin. It turned out to be a change in the formulation of the local detergent we were using, and went away when we switched to an imported, "free and clear" type brand, but for a couple of weeks I was afraid we might have brought bedbugs into the house.

    So that might be one additional reason people are not picking up your stuff, in addition to the oversaturation others have mentioned.

    "Seek out habits that help you overcome fear or inertia. Destroy those that do the opposite." Seth Godin

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by mschrisgo2 View Post
    C 9 large bags of beer cans...
    hopefully you sold these, aluminum is at 50 cents a pound right now.

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