I was at a thrift store today, and I saw a number of items that I considered jewels in the rough. There was a Grease LP with the cellophane still on it; there was a Sgt. Peppers LP with the Bee Gees on it, and there were a number of books and LP’s that I considered priceless. The sad thing was the price range for these items ranged from .99 to 2.99. About a year ago, I went through my Dad’s basement and found all my old LP’s and books. They were still in pristine condition. I was almost overjoyed at the thought of what they were worth. Whereas Mom’s and Grandma’s throughout history are known for throwing these things away, my Dad kept them. Today, I found out that most of the “priceless” items I own are worth anywhere between .99 and 2.99 a piece. I remember playing with some of these items, and I remember not playing with them, because I thought that might tarnish their value. I remember storing all those items and dreaming of their accrued value over time. I remember thinking that they were popular items, and how many people would appreciate them in pristine condition. I learned two entrenched economic rules today. One: Supply and demand means that if everyone has an item, it will probably be worth little more than the cardboard used to produce it, and I learned that some of the times sentimental value is the only value attached to most items of sentiment. I learned that some of the times, Mom is right.
On a show called Hardware Pawn, the son, Seth, interacted with a gentleman who informed him he had baseball card. “Please tell me they’re not ’85 to ’87 cards,” Seth said. “Why?” the man replied. “Because they’re everywhere…they’re worthless.” Why are they worthless, one customer in Omaha wondered? Is it because all of the moms and grandmas learned during the 85-87 years that cards could be worth something, so they didn’t throw cards away? Is it because the card companies realized they were sitting on a goldmine, so they came out with stickers, buttons, and seven other different versions of cards that yours truly collected? Is it because I just got duped into believing that cards were worth something, so I collected cards? Whatever the case, I’m sitting on a stack of cards about as high as the Sears Tower waiting for moms and grandmoms to start throwing their cards away, so mine are worth something.