Happy Monday, everybody. This is going to be an interesting week, as I’m in Flash training all of this week and will be fitting in writing as I can. It’s not that unusual; every year when the holidays roll around, writing becomes a lot more difficult because of the social schedule. Hey, at least I have a social schedule, right?
Anyway, I want to talk about something today that I don’t typically discuss. I may have mentioned before that I currently have about three jobs: I’m a technical writer, I’m a novelist, and I’m a picker. I want to talk about the last one today.
I get a lot of questions when I tell people that I do that. What’s a picker, they ask? The folks who have seen American Pickers have some idea of what I do, but I don’t think any two pickers use the same methods, so you’re only getting a piece of the puzzle watching that show (though I do enjoy it). Methods are typically based on the picker’s target. Those guys sell vintage stuff and antiques, so it makes sense for them to hit up people who have stored generations worth of stuff in barns and sheds. I specialize in vintage video games, video game ephemera, and software, and dabble in toys and video. As you can imagine, the approach of hitting up those guys with barns would be pretty damn useless, so I stick to thrift stores, garage sales, and yard sales. Thrift stores make up the bulk of my targets, though. Why? Well, that’s part of why I’m writing this entry in the first place.
For those of you who don’t know what a picker is, we basically find the things that other people might not value as much, pay a fair price, and then turn around and sell it to collectors. It can be a pretty profitable business, but it takes a decent amount of knowledge, preparation, and luck. Luck, especially; it’s sheer luck that you sometimes stumble across something that’s been knocked down to $5 but sells for $200 online (as with a printer that I recently discovered). There can also be some risk, as if that printer hadn’t worked, I would have eaten the cost. I could write a whole entry on the process, and might do so if there’s some interest. For now, I’m interested in looking at the morality of what I do. Continue reading