Posted By Mik on 01/27/2009 11:48 AM
Les, unfortunately I've met a LOT more... vultures, who were right proud of paying pennies to someone's widow, than I have the kind of ladies you described.
"Hostile indifference" works both ways. How much is your misses doll collection, Amish furniture, or good china really worth? What if she was gone and you NEEDED the money to live on and a bunch of slick talking women told you it was all junk?.... Well, I guess you'd just deserve to be taken, right?
just think about it
I have thought about it. I thought it would be interesting to see if anyone else commented. Since you chose 'Poor Widow' and all that evokes, I chose "Hostile Wife" and all that
I already wrote this to Rreiffer, but injecting moral qualities into a financial transaction is leading away from the issue of 'what's this thing worth?' It's worth only what you can get for it when you want to sell it. And that value changes with the times, as you rightly pointed out to Rreiffer, about trains on Ebay being tanked. I suppose they are, I actually don't know.
But other factors count, too: Do you
want to pay X dollars? Then that's what it's worth. To you. The seller says yes, or no. If he says, "yes", then, that's the price it is worth at that moment, in that place, between you two.
If a guy rushes up five minutes later and says, "Oh, I'll give you 4X! I want that!" And you want to sell it to him on the first seller's sidewalk, you have made 4X your money. But you no longer have your item. The original seller has no right, legal or moral, to scream 'Ripoff'.
As for my personal postion, my wife has a most excellent idea of what my guns, trains and whatnot are estimated
to be worth. The converse is true for her personal possessions, and my knowledge of their estimated
value--last time I checked.
If, as you cite, some 'vulture' telling an innocent ol' man like me, "That Royal Daulton china, well, it's a glut on the market. I'll do you a favor because I know you're down 'n out: I'll give you $15 for all of it." If I conclude, "Darn right, I'm hurting, here," and I sell it to him for that, and another dealer shows up and says, "Man, you got took, bad." No, I got fifteen bucks. It's ever so easy, once there's no risk, to say "Well, that set was worth $5,000!" The worst that can be said in that case is, I didn't know. I always had the option of saying, "No, I'll keep it." Letting personal feelings intrude on business transactions is not good. Just look at how many posts we see about some person complaining about 'poor service' and 'poor quality' and 'unfeeling help'. (I'm glad they do, I know a certain brand I'm going to stay away from, solely from what I read on this board.) But that info has taken me more than a year to acquire, and R. wants to know now.
One last angle: There are three prices for something: What it cost new. What you want for it. What you can get for it when you want to sell it. Only the last matters in the secondary market. Have you ever considered the bragging rights you hear when someone says, "Gee, I snuck up on this GG-1. Fifteen bucks OB! That's what the guy said he'd take!" Do you say, "Why, you Vulture, you ripped him off!"? No one ever
says, "Hey, you're not asking enough, let me pay you more." How come we don't hear that more often?