Monday, June 22, 2009

hidden treasures on the street

On Saturday in addition to riding to the bookstore, my neighborhood was holding a neighborhood garage sale so I decided to put a panier on my bike and ride around to check out the sale. Most of my garage sale hunting is usually of two kinds. Picking up things for the apartment and the other is possible eBayable merchandise. It amazes me how often we are willing to buy things that we will never use. I'm not any better.

One of the ironies of our world is that we simultaneously live in a world of scarcity and plenty. Garage sales represent so much of what we think we need, and what we have left is really what we need. Sometimes our needs change. My best score (well second best) was a print server so you can share your printer with many different computers. Now the funny thing is I already have a print server, but it was so inexpensive so I had to pick it up. Didn't look like there were going to be any takers and I had to save it from the dump (such the altruist). I picked it up and spent about an hour trying to figure if I had just bought a paper weight. I had not, then I went to ebay and found out that I had done ok. I could probably put it on ebay and sell it.

Which got me thinking, is so much of our waste our inability to have things find where they are most wanted. The internet helps, but it's not enough. How do we reduce the effort of taking what I don't want, to find it to someone that does want it. In most cases it's easiest to just buy it from the store. So maybe that's the question. What is the killer app that will give our goods a second life.

That print server will most likely end up at a friend or relatives. Households just don't have one computer anymore.

So what was my best score of the day.

I have a funny feeling I'll be having my own garage sale soon. (Total cost for the two items $3)


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