Category: ebay

Sun. Apr. 7, 2024 – getting close to tax time…

Cooler and still clear, warming later… which is yesterday’s weather as well. Although there was periodic overcast yesterday, and I would really like ‘clear’ today. In fact I thought it might rain in the late afternoon. Didn’t though.

Did my driving around and pickups. Stopped at goodwill bins and scored some great books. Literally volumes of the great books of our time. These I’ll send to auction, as my time for reading history is limited, as is my desire. At 50c per book it’s ridiculously cheap to build out a library to rival anyone’s. You do have to take what you get, and fill it in over time, but eventually, everything comes to the outlet.

You never know what you’ll find either. This time it was a giant instapot with the air fryer attachment and accessories, and a complete Panasonic bread maker.* The japanese brands of bread makers still bring crazy money online. A Champion juicer will provide a bit of spending cash too. I filled two carts with appliances and books, no clothes, no electronics. I almost never do that. I found about half a flip top bin’s worth of “smalls” for the local auction too, stuff like old cookie tins, novelty salt and pepper shakers, and a HUGE coral. I’ll keep the smaller brain coral for my collection, but the branching piece that is as big as a basketball will likely go to auction. The bag of seashells will definitely go, and could do really well as there are large and unusual specimens.

I haven’t been doing much thrifting or yard sale shopping lately. I’ve been too busy, and my auctioneer put me on hold. I’m trying to get rid of stuff, not build inventory, but adding fresh pieces to the stuff coming out of storage helps bring up the average price per lot, since I’m a better judge of what will sell now than I was.

In any case, I’ll be testing the instapot and breadmaker today. I’ve already sorted most of the stuff and put away what went into the stacks…

Thrifting is a great way to build your stacks, as is estate sale shopping. Most people will look right past the stuff a prepper wants, like sewing supplies, books, and camping equipment. So as we get back into yard sale season, look around and see what you can stack.

nick

*It’s rare to find a complete breadmaker. The highest value to weight ratio in the bins is the paddle for a bread machine. Second is probably the bread pan. (leaving off collectible cards and ephemera, and mostly considering stuff that you see there all the time) The paddles are almost always missing, and the pans are gone about 1/3 of the time too.

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Wed. Dec. 20, 2023 – Drawing a blank…

Cold, then warm. Sunny and clear for a while yet. If we get rain over the weekend, it’ll be a wet Christmas, but until then, the national forecast is showing us in the clear. Yesterday was like the day before, and today is supposed to be the same. It’s great.

Did stuff around the house in the morning, then got D1 from school. They are having finals and early dismissal this week, and are off starting Thursday. The parent pickup line is a lot shorter at 12 noon, than at the end of the day. I’m pretty lucky to have the freedom to do it.

Spent the afternoon doing pickups, then spent more than an hour with my auctioneer going over the last sale and what we want to do for the next ones. Short pause for the holidays, then back into it. That’ll do. My items were almost a quarter of the lots last week, which is risky for him, and he makes less money selling my stuff than he does selling his own. His auctions are usually a mix of consignment stuff, like mine, and stuff he’s sourced, and often estate stuff that wasn’t enough for its own stand alone sale. The work of listing and fulfillment is the same no matter the source, so his profit is a mix of how well he gauged the market for my stuff, and his stuff, and the ratio of the two. It’s easier when it’s all his, so including consignment stuff is doing me a favor, in some senses. I guarantee if my stuff didn’t sell for decent money, he’d stop doing it.

FWIW, clothes, books, and the occasional vintage piece are my highest ROI. I’m VERY selective in those categories though, so I expect them to sell. I don’t pick up clothes unless there is something special about them. (Allen Edmonds mens dress shoes, or Lucchese boots, vintage or designer, technical outdoor wear…) Books are old, and usually have a local interest. Plus, I’m getting them at the bins for 50c each. Don’t have to sell for much to make crazy ROI on a 50c item. I shoot for $10-20 for books, and sometimes score with $100 or more. Got $420 for one… I had a designer beanie hat sell for $47 last week. That was probably a 10c purchase… The trick is to either hit more home runs, or increase volume if I want to increase my top line.

Balanced against that is the problem that buyers are paying less than they were a year ago. They just don’t have the cash. If you are selling something they don’t really need, and you are competing with food and rent, you’re going to have a problem. I’M going to have a problem. On the other hand, if you have stuff they need to buy anyway, and it’s cheaper than other retail outlets, you should do ok. As a buyer, those are the places you need to be looking, as I’ve said many times. The secondary economy is going to save you money, and might have stuff you need that you can’t get elsewhere.

One other mitigating factor for me is that people are often willing to spend on their collections or hobbies, justifying it as an affordable splurge. As long as it’s affordable. Markets are complex.

And I see that once again I’ve gotten off into the weeds with my particular situation. I didn’t intend to end up there again.

Did I mention I fixed my garage fridge? That’s a bit more ‘prepper’ content. Food storage, self reliance, fixin’ stuff… It was just some ice build up behind a cover blocking the fan, but it was making a gawdawful noise and wasn’t keeping as cold as it should… and it just started sometime yesterday afternoon. Took the cover off, sprayed everything with the Rain-X DeIcer I mentioned last week, cleaned up, and put it all back together. Success.

But it’s always something….

Stack what you can, find a side hustle.

nick

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Tues. Dec. 5, 2023 – and I’m off…

Cool and clear today. Should be a nice day. It was very nice yesterday but I’m not feeling like doing anything outdoors when my head is draining through my nose. Today I’ve got no choice.

Spent most of yesterday doing auction things. I really wanted to get a bunch of stuff in an auction before Christmas. I also spent some time fixing some stuff. I did get to my auctioneer and dropped off about 6 tubs of stuff. A drop in the bucket, but the mightiest river is nothing but drops, right??

Made some slow cooker carnitas for dinner, portioned and vac sealed the other 6 pounds of pork shoulder for later, did a load of laundry, picked up both kids from school, and cleaned parts of the house. I’m a regular domestic terror…

Today I’ve got to get D2 to her orthodontist, then I’m headed to my client’s house to do some minor stuff. I’m hoping to get out of there before the end of the day and get some shopping in. I’ve still got stuff to get together for the non-prepping hobby Christmas party I’m co-hosting this weekend. Don’t want to leave that to the last minute.

At some point I need to figure out a Christmas gift for my wife too.

… don’t falter…

—————–
The question for the day is “how do you dress?” Not in the traditional tailor way, but in the “what do you wear when you leave the house way”.

I’d bet money that most of the people here are wearing the same stuff, sometimes literally, they’ve been wearing for the last 20 or more years. I’d bet that you are pretty set in your routines, have a closet full of clothes, and mostly wear the same few outfits. You might have “work” vs “home” vs “dressed up” but I bet the range is pretty narrow.

I realized I don’t have any blue jeans. NO jeans in any color in fact. I might have mentioned that here recently because I picked up a couple of pairs at the Goodwill. Why would I do that if I haven’t worn any in over 20 years? Well, I’ve been giving it some thought lately.

For a long time I’ve treated clothes as a uniform, or more accurately as a costume to be worn to match what I was doing. Working in a corporate environment? Tan or black Dockers, logo’d golf shirt. Doing construction work in that environment? Cargo pants, collared shirt over t-shirt. Corporate training or live event outdoors? Tan shorts, logo’d golf shirt… No t shirts. “We do not wear T shirts, because we are not T shirt guys, and don’t want to be paid like T shirt guys.” That was a lesson from one of the first bosses I had doing all sorts of temporary labor in the entertainment field. It’s a variation of “dress for the job you want,not the job you have.” It served me well over the years.

Since I no longer run in the rat race, I dress only for me. And yet… I dress pretty consistently. Cargo shorts or pants, so I can carry a bunch of stuff. T shirt under a casual collared shirt to hide my EDC. Shirt must have a collar and a pocket for my glasses… which give an excuse for the shirt, which is really there as a “cover garment” as the trainers say. Clip knife front pocket strong hand side, FLASHLIGHT rear pocket weak hand side, decent shoes, sturdy watch…

The main difference between what I’m wearing and the tacktical tommy is I’m wearing Wrangler cargo pants and not high speed tactical pants, my watch is simpler, and my beard isn’t as glorious… but I still have the look. Less so now that my mustache is growing, and my beard (goatee really) isn’t very ‘operator’, and definitely less so when I’ve got my old man hat on, but still, the ‘tells’ are there. My bearing is also noticeable, not as twitchy as a cop or operator, but still pretty alert compared to most people. Head up and looking around, certainly. I tell myself this is by design, to be open to meeting other like minded individuals, and to fit in with that culture, but it’s really because I’m comfortable dressing this way.

Given all that, I’ve been advocating that people might want to build out their wardrobe a bit. And I have over time.

You might want some oversized clothes. They will disguise your relative health and robustness when you go to the .gov food line for your handouts. They can cover a vest, or a second layer of clothing, or some contraband if things get really sporty… they can disguise the gender of your loved ones, who will be particularly vulnerable as rule of law, and social norms collapse.

You might want some clothes in patterns that will work as camo without being actual camo. There are usually a TON of suitable shirts at my local Goodwill store. It’s more about a pattern and combination of colors than WHAT the pattern is composed of. You might even want a set or two of clothes that are smaller than your normal size if you expect to get lean when the lean times come- although I’d guess that most of us already have clothes we no longer fit, but could again after a certain amount of ‘austerity.’

You will want your clothes to look well worn, but you might have occasion to dress up or down. Looking shabby can help you fit in better in some places, while the khakis and golf shirt are like a ghillie suit in other environments. Fitting in and NOT drawing attention are your normal goals. Grey man isn’t about the color, it’s about not standing out. Some places that will mean camo, and lots of it. Not .mil or surplus anymore, but faded realtree is pretty common outside of big cities. Carhart jackets, ball caps from different companies (I’d avoid teams unless you are really a fan, and the local gangs don’t use the colors or logos), and maybe even T shirts might be the uniform of the day in other places.

Depending on your goals and plans, you might want to take it even further. There are many costumes available in thrift stores. Most of the time, all you need are tan or black pants, and the right logo’d golf shirt. Delivery companies, local utilities, counter and wait staff for local and national food chains or retail stores, all have signature looks and they all end up on the racks at the thrifts… don’t forget footwear, most of the time black sneakers will work. People tend to see the uniform and not the person, which can certainly be a plus in some circumstances. You might just want styles or colors you don’t normally wear, for those occasions that you don’t want to wear something that will go back into your closet when you are done doing whatever you do… I’m sure there are people who went to a rally or event and wish they’d worn some clothes that they don’t normally wear, and maybe a hat and a face mask…

You might want a high visibility safety vest and a hard hat. Don’t forget your clipboard, gloves clipped to your belt, and even better, a walkie talkie… that outfit will let you walk into almost anywhere…

And for a pro level tip, sometimes you WANT to stand out with a clothing choice. When I’m working an event, I often wear a distinctive hat or shirt. People that need to find me can be told to “look for the guy in the bright yellow shirt” or “the guy wearing the hat with bunny ears” (this was a community Easter egg hunt)… or conversely you might want to get people to focus on and remember an easily changed item of clothing, so that someone else might be looking for “the guy in the Cubs hat and white hoodie”, long after you’ve left them in the trash. Current security cameras and VMS or Video Management Systems recognize and tag images so that it’s possible to find all the video around the office building of “a man wearing a red hat” so use the strategy best suited for your activity.

It all comes down to having two goals when thinking of your wardrobe as a costume. You want to fit in with the other people around you most of the time. That takes observation, and mimicry. Other times you might want to project a certain image, looking like someone you are not. That is mostly having the right visual cues, and an appropriate demeanor. Both goals take a bit of preparation and observation, and I’d say a certain amount of practice too. This is a great time to start, when the stakes are not as high as they might be later. But even if things don’t get worse, not standing out can save you from becoming a victim of crime, can easy your way through life, and can even save you money and time.

So, why did I buy some jeans? Because I realized I didn’t have any pants that weren’t “me”. I didn’t have anything that was out of character for my everyday persona, that people are familiar with and recognize. I thought it might be prudent and useful to have something that didn’t say “that looks like Nick”. And I bought jeans because they are versatile, common, and ordinary– unlike parachute pants, or tweed dress slacks…

Take a look at your closet. If your circumstances changed, if the world changes, if you had to shop in different places, walk through different areas, ride a bike or a bus, could you dress in a way that didn’t draw attention, that didn’t mark you as an outsider, or a potential victim? If you wanted to be out and about but still remain (relatively) anonymous, could you? If not, get busy. You have some shopping to do.

nick

(and stacking)

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Mon. Dec. 4, 2023 – Got some catching up to do, and still feel snotty…

Cool and damp, mid 60s to low 70s, and overcast. Yesterday was cool enough that I switched to heat in the house. It was clear most of the day though.

I spent the day cleaning the house at half speed. Not really feeling up to anything demanding, but I can clean and put away and sort. So that’s what I did. D2 made some Tollhouse cookies, and I ate them, but that was later.

Today I’m hoping to get a load dropped off at my auctioneer. I’ve got about 5 bins sitting in the foyer, and a couple more in my storage unit that are ready to go. I keep finding stuff as I move and organize. There is a LOT of inventory kicking around. I’m hoping I have time to do about 6 ebay listings too. I’ve got that many pairs of men’s dress shoes ready for sale, and getting them out of my bedroom will make everyone happy. There are a lot of other things to list too, but most need to be tested, or cleaned before listing, and that is just more than I want to do today.

This cold is slowing me down. Lots of running nose, some sneezing and the occasional cough, coupled with the achy “sick” feeling, and I’d prefer to sleep all day. Can’t. Got too much to do, but I’m not busting azz either.

Fortunately nothing is especially pressing today. Tomorrow I’ve got a site visit planned at my client’s house to replace a switch and PoE injector, and do some housekeeping with the system. I’m not pulling cable and hanging new cams, not this visit. Like my own houses, there is always something that needs doing…

Do what you can when you can. Try to keep up. And stack.

nick

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Fri. Dec. 1, 2023 – countdown to Christmas starts now!

Cool and wet. It rained all day yesterday pretty much without a break. It varied between light misty drizzle and heavy drizzle. Late afternoon temps got into the high 60s and maybe the low 70s for a bit. I’m hoping today will be a bit drier.

I was feeling … odd. And since my plans were altered by the rain, and since I felt unwell, I went back to sleep for a bit. I hadn’t slept well, and I was really tired. Woke later, and had stuff to do, of course. So I got started on that.

Mostly did auction stuff, getting stuff out of the attic for the auction, and I even shipped an item I sold on ebay. I thought I’d killed all my listings, but apparently not. I’m $5 richer! I also managed to get a couple of “if I can” jobs done. I like to have some projects sitting around, ready to work on so I can do it if I have time or inclination. Yesterday I grabbed one.

I picked up an aircleaner/ionizer at goodwill for a few bucks, mainly because it was filthy. I tested it there and smelled the characteristic ozone smell, so I knew it worked. Similar models on amazon are $150-180. I took a little time and disassembled it, cleaned it thoroughly, and put it back together. It runs well, and from the smell, is working perfectly. It will deodorize a big room if needed, claiming up to 3500 square feet. In any case, it went into the attic until needed. That got it fixed, and out of the foyer where it was sitting and waiting for attention. I love little jobs like that that I can use as fill in for my day.

I also spent some time sorting and building out Elenco Snap Circuit kits. I buy them and pick up the parts at the Goodwill bins whenever I see them. At the bins the parts are essentially free, but even buying the missing parts on ebay or through the manufacturer site, they aren’t expensive, for the common parts anyway. I did order some things from their site, mainly fans and motor cogs, as the fans are always missing, and the drive cog on the motor is often broken. I put about a dozen kits together and will put them in the auction. They sell pretty well, especially around Christmas, even as used sets. I’ve got a half dozen more without boxes that are just waiting for the fans. They probably won’t go in the auction this season. I like putting the kits together. It satisfies my desire to save stuff from the crusher, helps a kid learn electronics, saves someone some money, and makes me good money for the effort and time involved. Doing a dozen at once is fairly efficient.

I wouldn’t call it a side hustle, because I only do the work twice a year, but it is something I know and know will pay off. The percentage ROI is big, even if the absolute money involved isn’t huge. Do enough of that and it adds up.

That is true of a lot of things, and a lot of preps too. Do a little bit of this, and a bit of that, look for places you can add value easily and effectively, and keep doing it. It will add up over time.

And your stacks will grow, as will your skills and knowledge.

And that is a good thing.

nick

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Sat. Oct. 21, 2023 – pickups, and decor, that’s my list…

Cool and clear, warming later. Breeze if we’re lucky. Friday was like that and it was lovely. More please…

Did my pickups yesterday. Filled the pickup bed, again. Did I mention finding an entry door just laying on the side of the road? Propped against other heavy trash, clean and perfect condition. Should fit the dock house entry, which is currently a peeling old hollow core door. Might be a little tall, but we’ll see. Now if the universe would give me the other 3 entry doors I need…

Also hit the Goodwill bins and picked up some good stuff for resale, and a few things for me. Good LP records, some reel to reel pre-recorded performances that should sell, and some nice books– some for the apocalypse library, and some to sell. I’m ripping the CDs and DVDs as I write this. Someone liked Charlie Parker, so I filled a gap in my collection. I think I had 62 pieces of “media” all told which is a lot since they went to “by the each” pricing for “media”. The LPs are a wash compared to weight, but the CDs and DVDs got more expensive. They raised the price on books, which have always been “by the each” from 50c or 3/$1 to 69c or 2/$1. All “media” is now the same pricing as the books, so I’m a bit more careful buying CDs and DVDs. Books I grab if I want them or if I think they’ll sell. Given my review of what made money in my local auction, getting books is smart.

Today I need to continue in-processing auction items, and make a big loop to pick up this weeks winning bids. After that, I want to work on holiday decor for a few hours. I won’t put up the big display yet, but I want to get some stuff up to enjoy for the week.

I feel like I should head to the BOL this weekend as I’ve got a big pile of stuff to get up there and it’s piling up around the house. Just doing a quick run to take stuff up is kind of expensive in gas though, and more critically, time. The drive time:work time ratio doesn’t make sense unless I can stay up and do some work for a couple of days. Maybe later in the week…

So much to do, and time keeps ticking away.

I can stack though, and that’s a good thing.

nick

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Fri. Oct. 20, 2023 – Ah, living a life of leisure…

Cool and clear, turning warm and clear. Possibly even “hot” for values of hot. It was nice bordering on sweaty yesterday by late afternoon. That would be just fine for me today too.

Did some pickups. Filled the truck bed and the passenger seat. My opening bid won 14 cases of methyl alcohol in bottles. Yeah, wasn’t planning for all that. That is so far more than a lifetime’s worth it isn’t funny. Should burn in an alcohol stove, or work as a cleaner, don’t know if it will work with resin printers to clean the model, but that would be sweet. Normally they recommend isopropyl alcohol.

I also won food, 10 packages of oreo cookies in various flavors, some Kettle chips, and something else I can’t remember. Also a bunch of OTC meds, some makeup for D1, and various and sundry other things for around the house. I made a big loop and hit three auctioneers before my doctor appointment.

After that it was ‘busy with kid stuff’ until late. D2 had a band concert. They’ve improved dramatically. My Axil G2 active hearing protection worked well for the parts that weren’t great.

Spent some time looking over my auction sales for the last two months, mainly to see how specific things did, and what my best sellers are. For margin, it’s clearly books. I pay between 33c and 50c per book, and it’s rare that the sort of book I pick up doesn’t sell. Minimum of $1, but $5-6 is more typical, and I hit $15 or more with several in every auction. Occasionally I have one that is crazy, like the one that sold for $420, although $40- 50 is more common. Most of what I pick up is either old, no UPC codes, or small press with narrow subject matter, or of local interest. Regional cookbooks did very well, as did outdoor books by authors telling their particular story.

Pokemon is a good seller, since it’s basically free (weighs very little) it has great margins, so do console game discs. Cast iron sells well too, but it’s heavy so the margin is poor. Modern Lodge sells for about $10-15 per piece, which is a small profit, but antique or collectible brands sell for much more. I had a collectible frying pan sell for $100 a couple weeks ago.

Well respected name brand cowboy boots, especially in exotic hides, sell well, but the ‘store brands’ like Justin don’t bring much money, even in great condition. Clothing and regular shoes are hit or miss- sometimes the top brands or vintage bring good money, sometimes it is just ordinary thrift store pricing. Even so, the margin on clothes is pretty good.

Ladies handbags, some vintage toys, and some cookware are all items selling well, but not for crazy money.

In general I’m seeing 1/3 to 1/5 of ebay sold price for most items with a few going much higher. And I’m getting a better idea of what should really be on ebay, where you don’t have to have the ‘right’ buyer during a narrow window of time, and your audience is broader. Add in that the economy is always changing, buyers come and go, and holiday spending has an effect, and you have to play a numbers game and hope for good averages. This month and last, I could finally get a lot of stuff in and sold. I hope it continues, and that the recent drop in prices improves.

Today I’ve got a few items to pickup, and all the normal list to do. I won a couple of blue plastic water barrels that will become part of my rainwater harvesting, either here or at the BOL. I won a couple of other things for the BOL too. And it would be nice to get some more stuff out of the attic and driveway for next week’s auction. At least I don’t have a bunch of kid chauffeur duties today.

I’m stacking up money, and clearing the way for more useful stuff, as well as buying stuff for the stacks. It’s a ‘multifaceted’ approach. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Multi- faceted.

However you source it, stack some stuff.

nick

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Thur. Sept. 14, 2023 – more bins of stuff to the auction…

Hot and humid. Slightly less hot, but still. 80F to start the day is hot. An actual hot wind before the distant storm is hot. And I expect more of the same today. Maybe with the added joy of a thunderstorm. We did get a spatter of moisture from the sky late afternoon yesterday, but nothing that stuck. And we saw distant lightning with strong winds while watching the marching band last night, but it never got to us. I’d just as soon avoid rain for another day.

It avoided us yesterday and I was able to get several more bins to the auctioneer. A flip top bin full of lego weighs quite a lot, enough that it’s hard to lift chest high anyway… and I’ve still got at least one more to go. So far no really valuable lego, but you never know. Auctioneer takes a look through before listing, and sometimes sorts some of the mini-figs out for their own lot. C3PO is worth finding if you might have him. There are several versions but they are all expensive for lego.

Today I’ve got a Dr appointment in the morning, then more auction stuff in the afternoon. I’ll be doing a couple of pickups on Saturday. I won a metal cabinet and a 100 gallon rainwater storage barrel, both about an hour north of me. I was hoping to get them on the way to the BOL, but we’ll see how that shakes out. Meanwhile, I’ve got an item or two here in town, and a few more bins ready to drop off. Prices are still low, and it’s beginning to look like a real slowdown. Dang. Nothing like waiting too long… although realistically, it’s happening when it’s happening, and I wasn’t able to bring loads to my local guy before now. One seller thinks it just might be people are over-extended from back to school spending and it will recover soon. I hope she’s right.

BTW, metal cabinet will stay here for my pantry. The cans in dispenser racks, and some other stuff was out on shelves and I’ve decided it needs to be enclosed. The stuff in plastic bins and tubs on the shelves has been fine, protected from the elements and the rats, but I want to do what I’ve been doing at the BOL and put the rest in metal cabinets. It still won’t be “cool”, but it will be “dark” and protected from more stuff, including prying eyes. At my secondary location, I’ve hung bedsheets with magnets to cover the metal shelves and contents. The more obscured the preps are from casual observation, the better I’m feeling.

Keep it secret. Keep it safe. And keep stacking it!

nick

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Wed. Aug. 30, 2023 – yup, windy and wet for some

Here in Houston it’s still hot and humid. Plenty hot during the day, but now we are getting some cooler temps in the late afternoon/early evening. It almost felt nice when I went out to get some stuff from the truck around 6pm.

Spent most of the day doing auction stuff. I took a bunch of stuff to my auctioneer in the afternoon. He’s recovering from his surgery but still slow and tires quickly. Quad bypass will do that to a guy. Unlike in the past, he hasn’t shut me down after a delivery or two, so I’ll keep bringing stuff. I’ve got a lot. I’ve also got a huge pile of stuff that won’t sell well locally, but will do ok on ebay. As I’m sorting and pulling, that pile keeps getting bigger. Don’t know what I’ll do about it, most of the stuff is ‘smalls’ that have great margin, but low overall profit. Ie. cheap to get but also selling cheaply.

I stocked up on smalls when my bigger stuff stopped selling. It’s a grind to sell smalls though, so it’s not what I want to do right now. If I can’t get the kids to do it, I might have to get serious about clearing my slush pile (sometimes called a ‘death pile’ because you’d rather kill yourself than list the stuff.) That won’t make me happy but it might be the only thing that sells. Everyone is concerned that buyers have run out of money.

Time will tell if that’s the case. It’s certainly causing me to change my habits. I’m just not buying stuff that I’d like to have, unless I really need to have it. There is always something to buy in the auctions but now I’m asking “how does it move me closer to my goals” and “is it worth the time and gas to go get it”? Lots I’d have bought without question a year ago, I’m letting go by now. Part of that is that I’ve got most of what I need and want. But part is definitely the changing economic landscape.

It’s time to internalize the ideas we’ve been thinking were coming in the future, as they are here now. Prices are higher. Goods are scarcer. Trouble is brewing. Once again we need to move from prepping for something into living with that thing, while prepping for the next thing.

Oh, and mom nature will still be kicking us in the nuts every once in a while too. Gotta be ready for that.

So there is still reason to stack it up… and make hay while the sun shines. I’m afraid these are ‘the good old days.’

nick

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Tues. Aug. 29, 2023 – some people are gonna get windy and wet…

Hot and humid. Slightly cooler to start but plenty hot later. The national forecast has Houston near the edge of the possible T-storm and rain area, and that usually means we won’t get anything, but with the storm in the Gulf, who knows…

If you are in the path of Idalia, take precautions and be sensible. Most readers here should be well prepared and only need a few last minute tweaks and refinements… right? Let us know how it goes for you, and of course, how you make out. It looks like you’ve got time if you need to do something more.

Spent yesterday morning doing computer and auction stuff. Spent the afternoon and evening going through my big storage unit. I needed to put the stuff from my show away, and pull a bunch of stuff for the local auction. It was hot in the sun and there isn’t any shade at the U Store It. It was actually cooler inside the unit compared to the sun, but not as cool as the shade with a breeze. Late in the afternoon there was a 3 foot strip of shade from the building that made all the difference. I kept at it until dark because it got cooler every minute after dusk. I figured that I was already hip deep in it, and tomorrow would just be hotter anyway….

I’ve got 4 big black bins, and several flip top bins ready for the auctioneer today. I’ll get out of the house, pick those up, and drop them off later. If I could be 100% sure we wouldn’t get any rain, I would have loaded the pickup truck last night, but even with a tarp, stuff will get wet if it rains. Seems like it always rains when I have stuff in the back of the truck.

One of the things I decided to send to the auction is a copy of the Big Berkey water filter. Robert didn’t care for them, and I never saw the point, so the one I picked up some time ago at the goodwill will find a new home. It’s almost a Berkey but there are small differences. Since it’s not something I plan to use, might as well have someone that wants it, get it. I’ve got sawyer minis and other backpack style water filtration, chemical treatment, and other filters for improving taste. It’s tough to let go of stuff like this though, the temptation is to keep it ‘just in case.’

That temptation can lead to hoarding though. It’s a constant danger when prepping. I figure that as long as I’m not saving my urine in jars, I’m ok, but there is always the question of how much is enough, and what is not worth keeping.

Take a good look at your preps. Have your needs changed? Has your situation changed? Would you be better served by getting rid of something and making room for something else? Or does it make sense to free up some cash to make more useful or more appropriate purchases? It’s easy to coast. OH how easy. But it’s necessary to stay engaged and actively work to improve.

Stack some things, but look for other things that you might not need, or might be better off getting rid of. If it improves your position, that’s a good thing.

nick

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