Am I Wasting My Time?

With the flood damage remediation under way, and the claims for damaged inventory about to begin, I have been pushing hard to remove some future risk by listing some inventory which has been inactive for some time.

One of the types of item I have been listing is 1980s NOS pre-recorded audio cassettes.


There will be more questions of this type.


As long as there exists demand for such things - I mean what else is there? No clue as to the actuals of selling the stuff you do, but I imagine you’re not relisting inactive items simply based on inventory.

All the best!


Is this strictly to have something to point to for (potential) insurance claims in the future?


This is because I am 77 years old and we just had movers take to storage 200 boxes of inventory which was not damaged, and I have much more in other locations.

It is time for lightening my load.

Selling is not fun, listing is not fun. And dealing with damaged inventory is not fun. BUYING IS FUN, STIMULATING, AND AN END IN ITSELF. Just not buying is not enough, Owning the inventory is oppressive without the joy of buying more.

I just printed some recent sales data on some of the damaged inventory, because I really do not know how much the appraiser knows about this stuff.

The stuff I cannot find history for, is stuff I never got around to researching and offering.

I hear rumors there is some nostalgia for the 80’s, I certainly have none. Some of these cassettes are of funk. I know what soul is but no clue as to what is funk, and who listened to funk.

There are things which could be salvaged from the damage, and after some thought, I decided I did not want to repair restore or salvage anything.

I am broken, I have too much stuff.

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If you were on HRT, 77 is the new 57 - but alas that is a discussion for a different time. Do appraisers have final say on value? Or are their market comps that you can do and submit to the appraiser? The quickest way to hedge risk is obviously take any remedial payments for full cost and unburden yourself of salvagable inventory via liquidation - all this is theoretical with many unknowns but that would be the route I would look at - let someone else sell it as long as you can gain full value (if possible).

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The insurance company has the final say. The services of the appraiser are being reimbursed by the insurance company.

I expect not to lose any money on this property, and opportunity cost requires more optimism than I have.

My guess is that the inventory and valuation will be submitted and the insurance company will offer me some percentage of the total value. And I will probably take their offer.

Which still leaves me with lots to liquidate in other ways.

Just began listing some Hallmark Christmas Ornaments on Ebay. I own them because it required a tiny investment to buy and the payoff was too low to motivate me to offer them before.

The country auction I would have sent them to in the past, did not survive the Covid lockdowns. Like most of the low end in person auctions in my area.

The auctioneers real estate is now inflated enough to be worth more than his business, and he sold the real estate.


Think: disco with soul, and soul on adrenaline. Sly and the Family Stone were forerunners, and George C-linton was the apex. (I had to add a dash after C- to avoid political association which yielded seven blanks)

information provided by someone who loved dancing to that stuff in her younger years


This is so true,

The happiest work that I ever did was when I was a peripatetic buyer. I would travel to book sales, bring back good stuff, and let the employees price it. And they eventually sold it.

Covid killed this. It forced many book sale managers - particularly those of library sales - to go online. Most of them stayed online.

Now I feel oppressed too.


Picture of me in San Francisco 1970’s walking around with my boom box listening to Funk…


This is very true. Also 90’s.

Recently went through some boxes of old stuff I had… sold a 1983 (I think?) A-Team metal lunchbox for $75, about 30 WWF “action figures” for $150, 50 pez dispensers for $75-ish, and been offloading some swarovski crystal figurines for $30-75 a pop.

I hear genuine clothing from 80’s-90’s is fetching a premium right now as well.



For the sweet, sweet love of cookies, no!

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1980s clothing is not so bad, but the hairdos??? If I never see glow-in-the-dark bleached big hair again, it will be 3 weeks too soon.

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Lake - So very sad to hear about the flood damage you had to your inventory (and possibly to your home and other property as well). I am also a senior, and can’t imagine dealing with such a loss and consequent mess.
Question: I would be very grateful to know where you go to find sales history for specific titles. I use Keepa for sales rank history (as a measure of sales frequency on AZ, and proxy for overall online sales, since AZ represents such as huge market share). I use Keepa and Bookfinder for current/recent listing prices, but the only place I know to find any history of SALE prices is eBay which only provides 90 days of data. I sell a lot of long-tail and collectible books which sell infrequently, so 90 days of data in usually useless. Any tips you can share?
Many thanks, and best wishes to you in your inventory recovery/transition. Since your original post was a few months ago, I hope that you are well underway in this process by now.


This might sound arrogant but I only rarely look for long term sales history. I trust myself to know what is a book of merit. When I decide to list a book, I ask myself if it is of merit, I then ask does anyone care?, and then ask how much?

Liveauctioneers and Invaluable have longer period data on sales. Many books which were sold as individual lots by auctioneers are listed.

My insurance fiasco is still dragging on with a little progress today. I priced replacement costs for close to 500 items using invaluable, live auctioneers and some specialty sellers who are not covered by bookfinder, addall or via libri.

I ended the process with no confidence in what anything is worth, Many items are offered in the wrong venue, and bring nothing. (Of course, over the years I have taken advantage of that fact).

Some books are out of favor, so even in the right venue, they no longer bring real money.

My solution, spread my risk and trust my gut. And hope no pipes burst.

The insurance co today told me why we have delay. They are not challenging my valuations, they want more proof that the items are damaged. I told them that Servpro who they recommend and a subcontractor determined what was claimed.

Should be interesting. The adjuster who took over today is going to question them.

When you are old, and I feel old, you have to rely on others to help you. I am about to find out what the help I’ve had is worth.


I don’t have your depth of experience, so sometimes rely on to see if an older or obscure book is still held by libraries. If the libraries have all de-accessioned it, there may not be any demand for it in the marketplace.

There are still collectors of older financial, medical, and decorating books.

Years ago, I sold a lot of books I had acquired in graduate school about fixing old buildings–“The Repair and Maintenance of Slate Roofs” comes to mind, but I think much of this information must be on the web now when it wasn’t 20 years ago.


Don’t count in it.

When the internet came along Audel’s Builders and Carpenter’s Guide sets took off in pricing. Lots of people with houses from the 1920s and 1930s and the folks who repaired them snatched them up. They were not teaching the techniques used in those homes in trade schools any more.

Its been a couple of years since I had any Audel’s. Used to buy them all year long when they were cheap, put them together in sets if necessary. In the spring they sold, fast and high. Would even buy them on Ebay when the sellers were stupid enough to start an auction at 99 cents in the dead of winter.

As for library de-accessions, sometimes the absence of books in the library feeds sales. Librarians do not always make the proper decisions.

I use Worldcat a lot, for many purposes, just as I use IBDB a lot. Most recent use was a couple of hours ago.


I should clean out my closet. I could make a fortune! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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I used to do likewise. I could never get the wife to throw out a book which caused a lot of stale will never sale inventory, she thought listing everything was the best way to go…lol She is hard headed and will not listen to others…so be it…I know how to get rid of unsalable inventory…


That is probably what I was listening to. I had long hair in the 60’s-70’s but it naturally fro’ed on me. I listened to anything I happened to like, genre didn’t matter.


You say that as if it were a bad thing ?