Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Worldwide Garage Sale

Back in the days before everyone and his pet goldfish had internet access and a home computer (yes, I'm old enough to have lived during that age), I had a flirtation with using and collecting rubber stamps. I picked up quite a few of them at Odakyu Department store back when Halc extended up through the higher floors. All sorts of neat hobby items were sold there and it was mainly geared toward female customers. Eventually, those sections disappeared and were replaced by Bic camera. I guess they felt they needed to appeal more to male customers but never mind.

These stamps were moderately expensive. The Kliban cat one pictured above (which I modified to make my profile picture) was 1200 yen or about $11 U.S. After my brief fling with stamps ended, I put them in a cardboard box and shoved them under the bed. They remained there until several months ago when moving the bed required that I fish out all the crap I'd shoved under there for over a decade. There was so much dust on top of the boxes under there that they looked like they had a piece of thick grey felt on top.

The choice I was faced with was the quick, easy and wasteful route (throwing them in the trash) or the troublesome, less wasteful route (selling them on eBay). Being environmentally-minded and still not having transcended an irrational attachment to transitional objects, I opted for eBay.

It turned out to be a good idea because the stamp above sold for a little less than $33. Others fared less well though the lowest was $9 and another sold for nearly $25. The lesson to be learned here for those of us living in Japan is to think twice before we toss things out. It's a good idea to check the sales trends on eBay to see if there is a market for things of which you've grown tired. Even relatively common collectable items all around the world might be unique because you bought them in Japan.

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