Author Topic: It has to be greed...  (Read 7903 times)

Financial Threedom

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It has to be greed...
« on: September 27, 2013, 03:31:30 PM »
Here is the situation.  I have an acquaintance that is constantly selling extremely low value items on Kijiji (Canada's version of Craigslist).  For example she posted an "almost new" Barbie doll for $3.00.  Also a small backpack for a 4 year old for $4.00.  There are dozens of other examples.  The thing is this person lives in a huge house with her family, she drives some fancy Acura SUV and the husband drives a BMW, both new of course.   They have a boat, trailer, all the toys.  So what is she doing selling things for $3/$4/$5?  Is it greed?   Wouldn't you be embarrassed if someone came to your huge McMansion  to give you $3 for some used item?  Wouldn't she be setting a better example for her kids by donating many of these things to the less fortunate?    I would like to hear thoughts. 

marty998

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2013, 03:55:12 PM »
How do you know she's not selling on behalf of the kids?

$3 here, $4 there was a shitload of money for me when I was 5.

jenstill

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2013, 04:31:21 PM »
Whether it's $3 or $4 or $5 or $100, it seems smart to me. Could she donate these items? Of course she could. Would you feel so judgmental if she sold her used car for $5k instead of donating it? If so, there must be some magic cut-off number for you where it stops being greedy and starts being reasonable. For me, there isn't such a number; if it's a smart habit for $1000, it's a smart habit for $1. I see a lot of posts on this forum about shaving relatively small amounts of money off of utility bills, saving small amounts on interest paid, and investing in increments. Seems to me like this lady is doing what many MMM followers would do and have done with their no-longer-needed/wanted items.

Hugh H

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2013, 04:37:40 PM »
You guys are missing the point about the fancy, expensive new vehicles and such. The behaviors don't match.

Financial Threedom

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2013, 04:57:33 PM »
1. You have no idea what their bank balance is. They may be chronic overspenders who are trying (inefficiently) to maintain their standard of living by selling used possessions.

2. Maybe she enjoyed bringing in a bit of money on the side. I wouldn't be at all embarrassed to do that. Why should I? Personally, I think being entrepreneurial is a great example to set for your kids.

3. How do you know what they do or don't give to "the less fortunate"? Are you aware that thrift stores receive so many donations they throw out a lot of them or sell them in the third world? Did you know that most child-focused charities won't take used toys for safety reasons? My parents own a toy store and wanted to donate floor models for discontinued items and couldn't find anyone to take them.

1.I know they aren't hurting for money, they are currently looking for an even bigger and fancier home.

2. Certainly not the most efficient way (as you mentioned) to be entrepreneurial, or to show an example of this.  Obviously the kids
aren't getting any sort of frugality lesson. 

3. Good point, I really have no idea how much they do donate.  I had no idea about the toy thing.     


totoro

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2013, 04:59:56 PM »
I don't know if there is a shortage of such items donated to the less fortunate.  There is no shortage where I live for donated clothes or toys.  What shelters are short on is new underwear, socks and food.

I wouldn't do this because I'm unmotivated.  I'm the type of person who does donate a whole whack of stuff to the church thrift store - I would feel guilty throwing it away and I would hate to have to sell it myself. 

If someone want's to sell low value items and enjoys it I have no problem with that.  I don't care if they live a fancy lifestyle otherwise and don't see it as particularly greedy.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2013, 05:12:22 PM »
Ok, this forum (Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy) has gone just ridiculous.

It's not just antimustachian, but apparently at the very PEAK of antimustachianism, to...sell used items?

What exactly is the issue, the selling of the item or the low amount received? If it's the selling of the item...wow. If it's the amount received, then I guess saving $5/mo off our phone bill is antimustachian, thus I shouldn't bother.  Not getting a latte today is only saving $3 (or however much they cost nowadays), so if I don't get one I should have a post dedicated to my antimustachianism?

Seriously?

Financial Threedom

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2013, 05:43:58 PM »
Whether it's $3 or $4 or $5 or $100, it seems smart to me. Could she donate these items? Of course she could. Would you feel so judgmental if she sold her used car for $5k instead of donating it? If so, there must be some magic cut-off number for you where it stops being greedy and starts being reasonable. For me, there isn't such a number; if it's a smart habit for $1000, it's a smart habit for $1. I see a lot of posts on this forum about shaving relatively small amounts of money off of utility bills, saving small amounts on interest paid, and investing in increments. Seems to me like this lady is doing what many MMM followers would do and have done with their no-longer-needed/wanted items.

Of course there is a magic cut off number for me, not on a greed or reasonable note, but on the lowest amount I would sell things via Kijiji/Craigslist for, which I would say is $20.  Does that mean I throw out items less than this?  No, I pair them or group them together to sell, or sell them in a different environment such as a garage sale, or donate them.  I would think most people have a similar limit for selling on line.  How many things have you advertised and sold online for $1?  $.50? $.01? Please note I'm talking bout selling individual items, very different from saving the same amount in another way such as saving on power.    Don't forget about the context of this situation, where you walk past 2 cars that wold cost you over 100K to buy new, to hand over 3 $1 bills, or a twoonie and a loonie  for us Canadians. 


Financial Threedom

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2013, 05:58:20 PM »
Ok, this forum (Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy) has gone just ridiculous.

It's not just antimustachian, but apparently at the very PEAK of antimustachianism, to...sell used items?

What exactly is the issue, the selling of the item or the low amount received? If it's the selling of the item...wow. If it's the amount received, then I guess saving $5/mo off our phone bill is antimustachian, thus I shouldn't bother.  Not getting a latte today is only saving $3 (or however much they cost nowadays), so if I don't get one I should have a post dedicated to my antimustachianism?

Seriously?

I have nothing against selling used items.  I do have something against ultra consumers and people who spend spend spend every penny they make and don't make.  So when these people are very well off, as described in my original post, I do find it odd they are selling items for $3 and $4.  As someone who considers himself a mustachian (not on the level of most here) I have to admit I would find it a bit of a put off to walk to this very nice large house,  with two very nice cars in the driveway to hand over my $3 for an item.  Maybe that it what I am trying to get at.   

NumberJohnny5

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2013, 08:09:09 PM »
I have nothing against selling used items.  I do have something against ultra consumers and people who spend spend spend every penny they make and don't make.

Ok, but how does that describe these people? I don't get the connection.

So when these people are very well off, as described in my original post, I do find it odd they are selling items for $3 and $4.

How do you know they're well off? Do you have a problem with people who are well off?

As someone who considers himself a mustachian (not on the level of most here) I have to admit I would find it a bit of a put off to walk to this very nice large house,  with two very nice cars in the driveway to hand over my $3 for an item.  Maybe that it what I am trying to get at.

I can somewhat understand feeling put off, but I don't think it'd be justified. Unless you think it's ok for people to feel put off because you're hoarding your money instead of spending it (and not just put off...but posting on a popular forum about how wrong and crazy your actions are).

I think there's plenty of ways this story could have ended up here. Maybe you talked to her and discovered she's spending an average of 30 minutes per $3 sale, thus she's making less than minimum wage. She says she's hard-up for money, and the $3 is worth more to her than the 30 minutes it takes to make it. And then goes off and buys more $15-$30 crap that'll later be be sold for $3. Now THAT would be a good story for this forum.

Perhaps there's more to the story. She could be selling for her kids (as noted above). Or perhaps this is a form of cheap entertainment; she may genuinely like people coming over to pick things up and getting to chat with them for a bit (she'd be sorely disappointed if I showed up, I like to complete the transaction as quick as possible and hightail it outta there).

I just think we're a bit to judgmental sometimes. Why does selling a doll for $2-$3 bother you so much? Because they should be donating it instead? They have items worth money, and should donate instead of selling; apply that the next time you think about selling something. You have plenty of money in the bank, why bother selling your old iPhone when you could donate it? Or heck, sell it and give the money directly to charity (hey, wait a minute...how do we know this lady isn't doing exactly that? Unlikely, but not impossible...).

Oh...missed this earlier, don't think it deserves a separate response so I'll add it here.

1.I know they aren't hurting for money, they are currently looking for an even bigger and fancier home. 

Hang around the forum a while longer, young grasshopper. You'll soon realize the fallacy of that statement.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 08:13:01 PM by josetann »

Financial Threedom

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2013, 07:24:41 AM »
I have nothing against selling used items.  I do have something against ultra consumers and people who spend spend spend every penny they make and don't make.

Ok, but how does that describe these people? I don't get the connection.

I had previously mentioned they have the fancy cars, huge home and all the "toys" (boats/trailers etc).   I thought that was sufficient evidence enough.  Maybe I am wrong.   

So when these people are very well off, as described in my original post, I do find it odd they are selling items for $3 and $4.

How do you know they're well off? Do you have a problem with people who are well off? 

See above.  I don't have a problem with people who are well off...why would I be on this blog if I did?  Maybe my issue is that if I agree
to buy a $3 item, Im not expecting to go to one of fanciest neighborhoods in town to fork over my money, after walking past the 100K worth of cars in the driveway.   I guess would just appreciate way more giving my $3 to someone who really "needs" it. 


As someone who considers himself a mustachian (not on the level of most here) I have to admit I would find it a bit of a put off to walk to this very nice large house,  with two very nice cars in the driveway to hand over my $3 for an item.  Maybe that it what I am trying to get at.

I can somewhat understand feeling put off, but I don't think it'd be justified. Unless you think it's ok for people to feel put off because you're hoarding your money instead of spending it (and not just put off...but posting on a popular forum about how wrong and crazy your actions are).

I think there's plenty of ways this story could have ended up here. Maybe you talked to her and discovered she's spending an average of 30 minutes per $3 sale, thus she's making less than minimum wage. She says she's hard-up for money, and the $3 is worth more to her than the 30 minutes it takes to make it. And then goes off and buys more $15-$30 crap that'll later be be sold for $3. Now THAT would be a good story for this forum.

Perhaps there's more to the story. She could be selling for her kids (as noted above). Or perhaps this is a form of cheap entertainment; she may genuinely like people coming over to pick things up and getting to chat with them for a bit (she'd be sorely disappointed if I showed up, I like to complete the transaction as quick as possible and hightail it outta there).

I just think we're a bit to judgmental sometimes. Why does selling a doll for $2-$3 bother you so much? Because they should be donating it instead? They have items worth money, and should donate instead of selling; apply that the next time you think about selling something. You have plenty of money in the bank, why bother selling your old iPhone when you could donate it? Or heck, sell it and give the money directly to charity (hey, wait a minute...how do we know this lady isn't doing exactly that? Unlikely, but not impossible...).

It is the dollar amount that gets me, in this situation.  She could very easily save hundreds of dollars per month by having a less fancy
vehicle, but chooses not to.  She does choose to sell an item for $3 online.   I just find that to be a strange choice, in _her_ situation. 

Oh...missed this earlier, don't think it deserves a separate response so I'll add it here.

1.I know they aren't hurting for money, they are currently looking for an even bigger and fancier home. 


Hang around the forum a while longer, young grasshopper. You'll soon realize the fallacy of that statement.

Im sure if I analyzed their financials, this may reveal a different picture, especially when being scrutinized by a mustachian.   

oldtoyota

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2013, 10:07:07 AM »
1. You have no idea what their bank balance is. They may be chronic overspenders who are trying (inefficiently) to maintain their standard of living by selling used possessions.

2. Maybe she enjoyed bringing in a bit of money on the side. I wouldn't be at all embarrassed to do that. Why should I? Personally, I think being entrepreneurial is a great example to set for your kids.

3. How do you know what they do or don't give to "the less fortunate"? Are you aware that thrift stores receive so many donations they throw out a lot of them or sell them in the third world? Did you know that most child-focused charities won't take used toys for safety reasons? My parents own a toy store and wanted to donate floor models for discontinued items and couldn't find anyone to take them.

1.I know they aren't hurting for money, they are currently looking for an even bigger and fancier home.

Plenty of people without a clue (or money) attempt to buy fancier and bigger homes.


matchewed

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2013, 12:33:55 PM »
1. You have no idea what their bank balance is. They may be chronic overspenders who are trying (inefficiently) to maintain their standard of living by selling used possessions.

2. Maybe she enjoyed bringing in a bit of money on the side. I wouldn't be at all embarrassed to do that. Why should I? Personally, I think being entrepreneurial is a great example to set for your kids.

3. How do you know what they do or don't give to "the less fortunate"? Are you aware that thrift stores receive so many donations they throw out a lot of them or sell them in the third world? Did you know that most child-focused charities won't take used toys for safety reasons? My parents own a toy store and wanted to donate floor models for discontinued items and couldn't find anyone to take them.

1.I know they aren't hurting for money, they are currently looking for an even bigger and fancier home.

Plenty of people without a clue (or money) attempt to buy fancier and bigger homes.

Agreed, the actual possession of stuff does not mean that the people have money. It does mean that they either had money or have borrowed money.

Also I agree with other posters. What exactly is antimustachian here? I'd say that the selling of items no longer needed is itself a mustachian action. Why is it suddenly antimustachian when it's compared against their stuff?

garg33

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2013, 10:58:37 AM »
Also I agree with other posters. What exactly is antimustachian here? I'd say that the selling of items no longer needed is itself a mustachian action. Why is it suddenly antimustachian when it's compared against their stuff?

Indeed. This thread has nothing to do with the seller's "greed," and everything to do with OP's envy.

ender

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2013, 11:03:13 AM »
Here is the situation.  I have an acquaintance that is constantly selling extremely low value items on Kijiji (Canada's version of Craigslist).  For example she posted an "almost new" Barbie doll for $3.00.  Also a small backpack for a 4 year old for $4.00.  There are dozens of other examples.  The thing is this person lives in a huge house with her family, she drives some fancy Acura SUV and the husband drives a BMW, both new of course.   They have a boat, trailer, all the toys.  So what is she doing selling things for $3/$4/$5?  Is it greed?   Wouldn't you be embarrassed if someone came to your huge McMansion  to give you $3 for some used item?  Wouldn't she be setting a better example for her kids by donating many of these things to the less fortunate?    I would like to hear thoughts.

This to me to be fairly mustachian.

Spend money on things which they really want and cut spending on everything else.

You also have no clue what their income is, they might still be saving a higher percentage than you are ;)

Financial Threedom

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2013, 06:41:29 PM »

Looks like I'm mostly on my own on this one.  Thanks for the good debate.   

lentilman

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2013, 07:23:26 PM »
Meh, it could just be a hobby.

A way to meet new people and not even intended to make money.

johlstei

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2013, 10:01:15 AM »
The real antimustachian is the person driving across town to buy the $3 toy.

LalsConstant

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2013, 11:47:44 AM »
Well when I have bought used things in the past, I usually pick them up from people with nicer houses and cars.

It just makes sense to me, these are the people with the most material abundance and the most likely to supply desireable used appliances and the like.

kyleaaa

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2013, 11:50:14 AM »
I don't see how this could possibly be construed as greedy. Maybe it's just a hobby. Lots of people sell used stuff as a hobby.

Hunny156

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2013, 01:12:40 PM »
I know people who search for items on Craig's List, and they purposely select items being sold in wealthier neighborhoods.  There's a sense that the items will be in better condition, and of better quality.

Personally speaking, I mostly donate small stuff, and list anything worth $20 or over on CL.  If it's something that is easily transported, then I have the buyer meet me in a public area close to my home to finalize the sale.  I'm more surprised that your friend gives her home address out for such small items.  Most people are honest, but you never know who is coming to your house and what their true intentions are.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2013, 01:22:47 PM »
How do you know what she is selling? Are you searching her number on these sites? That's kinda creepy stalking and judging your neighbor like that.

EMP

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2013, 03:59:25 PM »
My mom always told me the best garage sales were those on Mortgage Lane.  You know, the street where everyone is keeping up with the Jones' and they end up having a huge sale a few times a year so they can make their mortgage payment.  They always have the best of everything and most of it is barely used. 

There's a Mortgage Lane in every town. 

Financial Threedom

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Re: It has to be greed...
« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2013, 05:33:03 PM »
How do you know what she is selling? Are you searching her number on these sites? That's kinda creepy stalking and judging your neighbor like that.

No stalking here.  She posts links to her adds via Facebook, so they pop up on my news feed/whatever it is called these days.