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Adventures in rummaging

August 30, 2013
Chris Bieri - Tribune Editor , Pierce County Tribune

I awoke early Saturday and started pulling boxes down from my apartment in front of the Pierce County Tribune. Books, trinkets, small pieces of furniture and other items.

At age 37, I was about to embark on my first ever rummage sale.

I have to say I was pretty excited about the prospects of holding the sale. I have too much junk, pardon the expression, and the idea of transferring my "junk" into cold, hard, cash was pretty enticing.

I joined forces with longtime Tribune stalwart Edie Wurgler to host the rummage sale. Like most people, I had a mix of items that I had up for sale.

Some were perfectly good items that I no longer used, or things I didn't have room for. The main items I was truly hoping to part with was my gigantic collection of sports cards I'd accumulated in the '80s and early '90s.

Growing up, these cards had some pretty significant value. Kids would trade them, barter for other items and some of the cards even went for a pretty penny at the local card shops.

But now the values of these cards had deteriorated to the point that many of the thousands of cards I had weren't even worth a penny apiece.

But I also had some valuable cards: rookie editions of some of the best players of my generation like Barry Bonds, Kirby Puckett and Roger Clemens.

I had a number of good basketball cards, with the crown jewel being a second-year Michael Jordan card that I could still fetch a good price for on Ebay.

It was a little tough to part with these mementos from my childhood. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I didn't really have to do that.

I tried to price everything to sell, and I honestly would have given away the whole lot of them for next to nothing just to get them off my hands.

But there isn't really a market for cards anymore. Kids don't care about them, they're too busy with video games and other tech-related endeavors. There are some adults from around my age range that still may have interest in card collecting, but most have a pretty narrow attraction.

Some might try to get cards of the most memorable players of their youth, or collections of their favorite teams, but most wouldn't be interested in a complete 1987 set of Fleer baseball cards.

And if that's the case, no one would want the hundreds of common cards that sat stacked in boxes on my table.

I started to make a few sales early, and Edie was able to sell some of her items too.

Things were going well, and I knew it would just be a matter of time before someone swooped down and made me an outrageous offer to haul away my entire collection of cards.

And while the chance of that happening was far less than one percent, it didn't even come to that.

By the early afternoon, we had a rainstorm that sent us scrambling to keep our "valuables" dry and us inside.

After the rain subsided, we didn't get one more purchasing customer at our sale and shut it down early.

But I had some time to brainstorm during the storm (no pun intended) and I hope I've found a way to repurpose my cards into something interesting, but probably not more valuable.

 
 

 

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