This could be the kind of post with a dramatic conclusion that whispers, “No, your stuff isn’t worth what you think. (breathy pause) It’s worth more.”
But this is not that post.
Your stuff is worth less than you think. A lot less. Basically, it’s worthless. How can I be so certain? I am the Queen of Worthless Stuff. Take these Coach shoes for instance. After my adventures in reselling them, I know. Dress it up however you want, slap on whatever label you’d like, stuff is just stuff, and it’s likely only meaningful to you.
Fashion Isn’t Forever
In what I can only assume must have been the most sophisticated of French one-liners, Yves Saint Laurent quipped, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” OK, Yves. Can I call you Yves? Whatever you say, Yves.
While it may be true that someone’s carefully curated sense of personal style cannot ever be diminished, let’s not forget that it was 100% in Monsieur Saint Laurent’s best interest to do all he could to cultivate a reverence for both style and fashion. This past year, the Saint Laurent parent company’s net profits soared to $2.2 billion dollars. This veritable fortune did not come from a timeless personal style in which an individual rewears the same items that are a true reflection of themselves.
That’s a whole lot of shopping.
That’s a whole lot of fading fashion, Yves.
The Shoes That Wouldn’t Sell
I know this. I know that the longer things sit in my closet, the less they are worth. NIB. EUC. Like new. It doesn’t matter. Time is the only metric that counts when it comes to fashion. Sure, there are exceptions. But most people don’t have limited run Lebrons or Air Yeezys in our closets. (Honestly, why would you when you can flip them for hundreds more than what you paid?) So if time is the enemy, why am I still holding onto Coach shoes that I haven’t worn in years? Sentiment and stupidity, sunk costs and silly attachment. Really, I knew they needed to go.
A few months ago, I muscled up the strength to list a single pair of Coach shoes. They sold for about half of what I paid for them in a matter of days. I made a mental note to start with the others this summer when I had more time to do a deep dive into reselling and decluttering.
But all of a sudden, money mattered more than designer kicks. I wanted space back. I wanted dollars in my pocket. I wanted the shoes gone.
So I listed two pairs of Coach gym shoes on Poshmark. One pair was just like the pair that I had sold earlier on Poshmark. And when I say just like the other pair, this isn’t hyperbolic.
They were the same exact shoes, only they were black instead of brown. (Yes. I do see the problem now, thankyouverymuch.)
Since black undoubted goes with more outfits than brown, I had visions of them being snatched up overnight.
Or in a week’s time.
Or after two week’s time.
Surely, they would sell if I lowered the price. And lowered the price. And lowered the price.
They didn’t budge.
I started to panic. What had happened? In just a few months had something fallen so far out of favor, had these shoes become so utterly unstylish, that I was just stuck with them?
I started to troubleshoot. I made an eBay listing. I downloaded OfferUp on my phone and listed them there. I even clicked on ThredUp’s page to see about requesting a closet clean out bag.
No takers. Even ThredUp didn’t want my stuff. In fact, they didn’t want anyone’s stuff. I had a feeling they were inundated with inventory when I heard they were creating their version of Stitch-Fix boxes. My suspicions were confirmed when I saw a notice saying You Snooze You Lose, Penny. OK, it didn’t say that. It told me to try again in October. That’s four months too long to wait.
Finally, I got a message on OfferUp. Someone was interested in one pair of Coach shoes. I mentioned a second pair. Would she like both? She would. SHE WOULD!
Knowing full well I had done absolutely nothing to camouflage my desperation, I expected a lowball offer. $45 for both pairs compared to my initial $60. I came back with $50. As soon as she agreed, I trotted off to the library to swap shoes for cash.
Final Thoughts on Stuff
After weeks of trying to get them gone, months of thinking about selling them, and years of letting them take up real estate in my closet, my shoes are gone. They were worth a lot to me. I spent just under $100 on each paid. At one time, I loved them. I wore them and then I stored them. But just because something once mattered to me doesn’t mean it matters to anyone else.
Instead of staring at the sunk cost, I feel relieved. Momentum is building to continue finding ways to live with less. I have $50 to throw at our mortgage. I kept these shoes out of a landfill. And most importantly, I finally got them out of my closet.
So Tell Me…Are you holding onto anything that you know you shouldn’t? Care to share a reselling story of your own?