How To Sell Off Your Youth (And Walk Away Happy)

It sounds sad as I type this, but one of the reasons why I’ve been a little busier than usual is Ebay. Yeah, I know… it reads as bad as it sounds, but I gots needs and I needs tuh gots mo’ money.

With some guidance from my brother Mark (aka: Mark Twistworthy, master of all things punk & vinyl in nature and former “leader of men” at Sound Exchange Austin and Vinyl Edge Houston), I picked out the best of my old record collection and shoved it out on Ebay for the scavengers to pick through. The idea of making semi-serious scratch off a bunch of discs I hadn’t listened to in five years was entertaining, but not as entertaining as the day when money orders started piling up in my mail box. Needless to say, I’ll be dumping every last milk crate full of wax I have in the near future; the allure of something for (essentially) nothing is too great.

But here’s the main thrust of this post… the rare punk rock record market is an interesting economic model and needs to be explored. Case in point: my brother recently sold a White Stripes 7″, a record that cost him one dollar a few years ago, for close to $200! It’s as if the year was 1999 and he’s a day trader, shorting the suckers with a truckload of VA Linux shares. Getting in on this carnival ride isn’t too tough, either… hit the Ebay vinyl listings, click on “completed items”, and make your shopping list. The next time you’re at Half Price Books keep your eyes open for anything that sold for more than $10 and start making money.

This is all a bit obvious after the fact, but it came as revelation to me when I first started the process. Out of a house full of crap, my old records are the (almost) only thing that’s worth a damn! Some people who still associate me with being part of the Houston scene are a little shocked when I tell them about selling off my collection, but I guess that my lack of caring for the old (old music, old technology, the good old punk ethic) is kind of symbolic of me growing old(er). It’s really no big deal; it’s not like I’m selling my guitar. 😉