Sunday, July 19, 2009

Time Is Money

MoneyImage by TW Collins via Flickr

We have all heard that old saying before. In the business world, time is money. In my personal life, time is a precious commodity. During the week, like most Americans, I have a full time job. I am one of those "salaried" employees, so most days, I am in the office at least 9-10 hours a day. Add the hour or more commute each way, and that leaves very little free time during the week. I also have a part time job on the weekend. So I really hate when people waste my time.

For years, I was a big collector of sports memorabilia. Most of my collection has consisted of autographed photos and baseballs. There were a few other things in there as well, like some autographed NFL footballs & mini helmets and handful of game used baseball bats. I had hoped that when I had a son that he would share my love of collecting. Alas, while he loves watching sports, he does not comprehend the collecting aspect and he definitely would not understand how to care for the items.

So, I decided to start parting with my collection. I started a few months ago by putting an item or two on ebay or placing ads on Craigslist. For the most part, I have been a bit disappointed in the results thus far. The first item that I sold on ebay was a collection of 8 Brooks Robinson baseball cards, each one autographed. It sold for a whopping $0.99. I have done a little better on subsequent items, but still not at the level I expected certain items to go for.

A lot of the items that I collected were local in nature. Those items I decided to try to sell through Craigslist instead of ebay. Here is where the wasting of my time begins. The first group of items that I wanted to sell were specific to one local team. I listed each item I had accurately and included pictures. I wanted to sell it as a collection, but would have sold it in individual items if necessary. I had several email inquiries and finally had an individual who wanted to look at the items. We arranged to meet at their office at a set time. The guy kept me waiting nearly half an hour, then decided my asking price was too high and would not even make an offer. Disappointing, but I understand somebody not wanting to make the purchase. However, the next day I received an email from the guy with an offer that I accepted. I was a little irked to have to make another trip to handle the transaction when it could have been done the first time.

The next collection that I was attempting to sell was a collection of game used equipment. Again, I exchanged several emails with different individuals. I finally had one guy email me and offered to pick the bats up that night. I was unable to meet that evening, but we arranged a meeting one evening after work. I had to drive about a half hour out of my way, but got to the agreed location about 15 minutes early. I called the guy's cell phone and I left a message with my number. 15 minutes after our agreed upon time, I tried emailing him. No response. Finally, a little more than half an hour after our agreed upon time, I called again. Still no answer and with the drive home, two hours of my life I will never get back.

Now I understand if something could have come up at his office. I have had my share of those end of the day emergency meetings. I can even understand if he decided he didn't want the items after all. However, it is extremely rude to not show up for an agreed upon meeting without so much as a call or an email. It would have been nice, not to mention proper, for him to respond to either my call or email. I had received a couple emails from another dealer/collector interested in seeing the items, but thus far they have failed to respond to emails trying to set up a time to meet. What is it with these people that will initiate contact, but not show the common decency to respond one way or the other to your reply? I guess it is just a sign of the times we are living in.
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  1. Dickster, I had one similar experience with Craigslist where I left the office early one night to meet someone that never showed up. Believe it or not, I've had it happen more often to me when I'm giving away things on Freecycle. That isn't as bad since I generally leave the item on my porch for pick-up, but it's a pain because I don't want to promise it to a second person not knowing if the person will then show up - which has sometimes happened.

  2. It is frustrating to say the least.



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