Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cowboy Down - A Conversation Between Two Professional Thrift Shoppers - Part Twelve (D) - "Risk"

Cowboy Down

A Conversation Between Two Professional Thrift Shoppers

Part Twelve (D)


            “Sorry to take long with this DISCOURSE on monetary RISK caused by... shopping in thrift stores... and this causing one to believe that one is... ah... ‘making money’ and may actually ‘do this’ ‘for a living’.  I am soooo sorry.”
“Ha, ha and let’em swing at the piñata WITHOUT our insight... IS MY preference.  As I say: ‘Cowboy Down’ (Part One).  Ha, ha.  Blindfolded!”
            “Let me just step back and denote we have presented two scopes of risk; the ole ‘finding the rare and valuable antique for nothing’ (very low cost) with our insight being that it is very not probable that one will do this unless one has a very strong background of design in fine and decorative arts.  The second scope was way off on the other side of the thrift store pendulum swing where we suggest that it is ...very not probable... that one configures one’s ACTUAL costs of doing this; the... to us... rudimentary ‘cash paid out’ logistics of the doing this for a living.  We offer a ‘good luck with that’ attitude.  And I turn to a LARGE gray area of risk... not easily noticed until one is ...mired... in it.  YOU, dear, will help me roll through this prominent issue for the reader?”

            “Of course:  It’s their LEAST expected short fall.  Or is it short falls?  Plural?”
            “It’s plural.”
            “That’s what I say too.”
            “Ok.... soooo... the easy idea is that this (buying antiques and art cheap at thrift shops... noting the word ‘buying’ is an actual ACTION one engages) can be done... and one sets out and starts hammering thrift stores looking for... well... the generic ‘stuff-I-can-sell’.  And we; the professional, are a ‘good luck with that’ too and do stand very clear of you when you ...toss your WALLET into the fire of the thrift store.  WHY?  WHAT?  And a whining ‘COME ON”... is sometimes heard.
            “It is pretty simple what actually happens but due to the scale that it happens on; the SIZE of the ‘gray area’... most neophytes are well mired with fantasy belief before they ‘ah... reality sets in’.  That means IF one ‘throws’ 10K ($10,000.00) into doing this as a start up venture one is... due to the SCALE... of the gray area, not going to notice that ‘this isn’t working out’.”
            “This is where my second meaning of ‘Cowboy Down’ (Part One) is fully in play.  And it’s hard to understand this.  It doesn’t seem like it’s happening... but it is.  Dollar by dollar ten thousand dollars is going bye-bye and... unless you really know what your doing... you won’t think so.  You’ve got to listen to this.  It’s a two edge sword.”
            “I think its more edges then that.”
            “Whatever.  Once their in there (this large gray area), they’re gonna loose money before they get out.”

            “The first thing is that the neophyte DOES buy ‘stuff’ and DOES think they ‘did good’ (bought it cheap) and that this stuff IS GOOD and that.... ah... well... they try... to sell it.”
            “And some of it DOES sell.  For a ‘profit’ above their cost.  But... some... MORE (?) of this same stuff doesn’t sell.  DOESN’T SELL meaning it’s ‘still there’; you own it, YOU PAID MONEY FOR IT (figuring this cost at your real-full cost too) and, like, no one wants it or is BUYING it from you?  What does that mean to ME.  It means that I KNOW that the GAME ISN’T OVER until EVERY... THING is sold.  ALL SOLD!  Got it?”
            “They don’t get it.  Until the ten thousand is gone.  If they don’t have ten K then when whatever they do throw is gone.  You know; you loose a hundred bucks.  That’s after you already lost a hundred bucks just driving TO the thrift store.  THE WAY WE figure it; figure the numbers.  So for a hundred bucks you shouldn’t even be THINKING of trying this.  It’s five figures out (10 K +) to do this.  It has to be that much to create enough profit to pay the expenses.  But back to the gray area.”

            “When WE buy something WE ...have to know... the ‘gone price’ meaning the actual sold price and the actual costs of getting that thing sold.  This last one is the same... but sort of reversed... of figuring our actual thrift shop BUY costs.  We’re telling you it costs money TOO to SELL the crud from thrift shops.  DON’T PRETEND IT DOESN’T.  And we know our costs.”
            “And we’re not gonna harp on this point; you better get the drift and your stubby little pencil out and do some MATH on your actual SELLING costs.  Again; this a ‘good luck with that’... Cowboy Down... thing.  And notice we are NOT elaborating on these (selling and the selling cost).  Your left in the dark.”

            “But we ARE talking about the crud here; the actual stuff that is the actual gray area.  THAT CRUD... is what most people trying to do this actually buy and, well... try to sell.  AND there’s TONS of it; thrift store gray area CRUD, that the neophyte DOES BUY and DOES TRY TO SELL... and it does, slowly and steadily, NOT sell so slowly and steadily it, ah... do we say... ‘hoarder’... doing this?  It happens pretty quick actually.  AND... then... the ten K is gone.  TOO.”
            “You still have a HOARD of thrift store CRUD... YOU... bought to SELL that HAS NOT SOLD and ...your out of money; the ten K is GONE.
            “So your gone; you quit.  Back to the day job.  That is the second meaning of Cowboy Down.  That’s it:  The gray area ate you and all your money.  Or are you ‘still in’?  Ha, ha:  Good luck with that.”
            “This is what happens; mostly happens.  In the end the hoard that is a mound of ‘stuff’; thrift store crud, that was bought to ‘sell for a profit’ is, after a mourning period, ‘cleaned out’ of the back of the garage or shed or barn or... storage area that your paying to rent... and is returned; ‘donated’... BACK to the ‘where it came from’... land; BACK to the thrift shop GRAY AREA.”

            “Go ahead:  Look up from the chair you are sitting in while reading this and look around you.  What you see is... NOT... VAUABLE ART, not valuable antiques or... not... even... sort of... ‘good’... ‘stuff’.  Most people NEVER have VALUABLE art or antiques.  THAT IS THE GRAY AREA.  Do you see how BIG that area is?  It is gigantic.  There is an endless supply-mound-HOARD of ‘stuff’ that is NOT valuable even though that ‘stuff’ CAN BE worth SOME money sort of IF one CAN... actually... sell it FOR that ‘some money’.  MOST ‘crud’ does NOT SELL for ‘some’ money... or sell ‘at all’.  This, the gray area, IS bigger than you and your wallet.  It is WAY, way, WAY, WAY bigger than ME and MY WALLET.  And I know this VERY, VERY WELL.  She does too.  That gives us a VERY large advantage over you.  What is the advantage?
            “It is that this; the gray area, is managed by what WE... do... NOT... buy and what we don’t buy is 99.9999 % of what is for sale in a thrift store.  So what we do most in a thrift store is NOT BUY anything.  At all.”
            “At all.  Are we qualifying that?”
            “I don’t want to.”
            “But we have to?”
            “Well... we DO buy crud.”
            “But... ah... aren’t we back to Cowboy Down again.”
            “So when Flat Rate (Part One) buys a crud painting it’s a crud painting YOU didn’t or don’t buy?”
            “That’s it; a crud painting I don’t buy.”
            “And what is a ‘crud’ painting you DO buy?”
            “A crud painting I SOLD.”
            “And, again, we are NOT discussing the selling of the painting.  We are talking about the crud painting being part of thrift shop gray area.”

            “So... we DO actually buy and SELL thrift shop crud but we are VERY careful about the crud we buy based on ...and only on... that we SELL IT.  We do not care about anything else about the object; its art or design stuff, or whatever.  We only care about the ‘we sold it’.  It is gone.  ALL the thrift shop crud is GONE (sold) ALL the time.  It has to be GONE.  And again; this means EVERY .... THING... is sold.”
            “And we have ...our... money ‘back’ again.  If the thing is not sold we do NOT have ...our... money ‘back’.  We... one must understand...  are ‘we sold it’.  All of it.  Every thing we bought is SOLD.”
            “NOW... we must elaborate... and this is difficult to grasp... that here-now in the middle of this intersection of ‘every thing sold’ is... due to SCALE of the amount of crud IN the gray area and the amount of ...our own money... we have out (spent) on this crud...  actually a very large mound of crud; a, if one likes, OUR HOARD of this gray area crud meaning:  YES THAT IS RIGHT this ‘our mound’ of (gray area) thrift store crud is VERY LARGE and, for example, WELL OVER 10K out (our money spent) so... YES WE ... WE... know that WE... ARE... playing with REAL MONEY in the very, very large gray area of thrift shop crud ‘we don’t buy’ BONFIRE.  And we are doing that because WE ...can actually make pretty good money doing this.
            “And are saying ‘don’t try this at home’.  Right?”

            “Pretty right.  I mean... buying the crud is hard to resist so, hey, go ahead and loose a little money to find out that what we are ranting about is true... in YOUR wallet.”
            “So tell them why we can get away with this.”
            “There’s two reasons.  The first is that the scale of the size of the crud (including thrift store crud) gray area in our nation is SO LARGE that there is a ‘wiggle room’ in the marketing of crud that we may choose to exploit.  That wiggle room is that price-bought and selectively chosen, a perpetual ‘small money’ (a ‘good little profit’) opportunity of ‘gray area’ crud is ALWAYS ‘for sale’ (available) to us and we, professional dealers with twenty-five to forty-five years of ...SELLING... experience WITH A FULL bore ‘selling’ systems (note plural) in ACTIVE place... may... easily... ‘skim off’ a ‘wiggle room’... with usually at any given time... well over 10K out on ‘crud’ in the process of being sold WHILE we buy more crud... too.
            “This conversation, again, is NOT about selling... fine arts, antiques or... crud.  It is about BUYING antiques and art... and now too... ‘crud’... at thrift stores.”

            “And, dearests... the second reason we can profiteer in the wiggle room of the gray area of crud... is that... like the crud itself... the buyer... doesn’t’ know any better (know anything about art or antiques) and there is a ...perpetual... supply of those people... perpetually... buying gray area crud.  It is a simple ‘they’ that ‘do’... but it is, like the crud gray area itself, a very LARGE ‘small money’ buy ‘they do”.  We... wiggle room that market.  All the time.  And, understand as we stated, in that marketplace our ‘gray area crud’ is ALL sold ALL the time.  We do not have a hoard.”
            “No hoard.  Of crud”.
            “Don’t try this at home is our recommendation.  ‘Good luck with that.” is our feeling about it if you do.”
            “And again; this essay is not about selling... art, antiques or crud.  That’s a whole other subject.”
            “So back to buying... antiques and fine arts... at thrift stores.”
            “You now... understand... the risks?”
            “This last risk... the gray area crud risk... takes a lot more ‘understanding’ time than one would ‘think’.  Until your wallet is ‘in there good’, one tends to ‘think’.  Speaking from the inside of this large... large... gray area...; the self-application is actually ‘feel’.  Not ‘think’.
            “It’s that... just as said... and here applied:

            ‘How does it FEEL
            To be on your own
            With no direction home
            A complete unknown
            Like a rolling stone’
            In the thrift store crud market?”

            “I think saying that is actually being nice about it.  It takes quite a while to get to be a rolling stone in the crud market.”
            “That’s the truth.”

1 comment:

  1. If time spent is assigned a dollar value, say 10K per year, YET time cannot be stopped or started, it just keeps going on, one is spending time from birth to death, with 10K cash stake money in hand I wait a year and do nothing, I still have the 10K cash at year's end, however a year has been spent and 10K in time value is spent, to me time value differs from money and-or crud value, if I work the 10K cash then at the end of the year I need 20K cash in order to account for my time and my stake money.