Monday, September 20, 2010

Yard sale season

Yard sales. When the snow comes, they'll be gone. One good thing about the snow. Yard sales always look to me like a half way house to the dump. Quick! buy this crap now and save me a trip to the transfer station!

There is nothing so sad as the mark down on electronic devices. Those things just do not hold their value. It doesn't matter how many thousands of dollars that were once spent on an electronic gizzy. After a few years, they end up on the yard sale discount table going for pennies on the dollar -if you are lucky.

Then there's the orphaned devices. Today I actually saw a Pocket Mail device for sale. Unless the buyer owns a museum, there's not a lot of reason to pick it up. It always was an odd device. It basically was a slow acoustic modem with a keyboard. For monthly fee, it was possible to send e-mail by holding the device up to the receiver of a regular phone. One of the selling points was its ability to send e-mail over pay phones. Remember pay phones? The company that once provided the service has gone the way of the pay phone.

Old stereo equipment can often be had for the cost of hauling it away. Tube type computer monitors? Heck how about TVs with tubes? Old desktop computers . . . next to worthless. Although I've been known to pick up older computers, load up a Linux operating system and give them new life. Often computers are junked because the MS operating system is corrupt. Even so, how many computers can a person use at one time?

There are exceptions to the steep depreciation of electronic equipment, but it's niche markets. There's some demand for old style arcade computer games. Some old electric musical instruments have value. They aren't giving away old Fender amps.

I look at all the stuff out there on yard sale tables and ask myself how much expensive new stuff will suffer in deep discount hell? Most of it? That thought keeps me from spending too much money on new electronic gizmos.

Now good quality hand tool, those are hard to come by for a decent price. A good quality hand tool will still have value 100 years from now. Haven't seen a lot of those at bargain prices.



  1. Seems like I often come across people in need of a computer -- any computer.

    I must admit to enjoying browsing over a yard sale. There's always a chance of finding a bit of treasure among the trash. Recently I picked up a working baby monitor for twelve bits.

    The stuff no one wants ends up in a donation bin at the end anyway, and the entire exercise keeps it all from a landfill.

  2. Where I live, yard sells florish all year, but pick up come Autumn when the temperatures drop some. Just like flea-markets, get busier in the cool months. My wive and I have been known to vist both.

  3. Yard sales: capitalism gone bad.

  4. Electronic stuff is worthless due to planned obsolescence. They change the OS. New software won't work with the old stuff. Keeps those IT guys, programmers, and software developers employed... I find very little at yard sales. Most of it is junk. Though I did score a Coleman propane lantern at one, and some life jackets for the kids back when I had a boat. Got some tools here and there. But for the most part, I see nothing but junk...