Buying and Selling Stuff – and Meeting People

I’ve been selling and giving away things in fits and starts for about 10 years now.  The first big downsize was in 2001 when I moved from a 3 bedroom house in the hills above Los Angeles to a 1 bedroom apartment in Hollywood. Many large pieces of furniture were shed in that move, but I still managed to cram a lot of stuff into that apartment in the slightly funky end of Hollywood across from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Then a move in 2008 to San Francisco, where you get less apartment for the same money, necessitated the shedding of still more belongings. Successive moves from San Francisco to a studio in Oakland, and then to a room in a lovely old house also in Oakland meant even more downsizing, and opportunities to turn all the expensive gear I’d been accumulating while I was making money, back into cash.  I figured that as much as I enjoyed photography, I didn’t really need the set of pro-level portable lighting made by German company Hensel, so I sold it to an Australian photographer who was visiting the Bay Area and saw my ad on Craigslist. That put some very welcome cash into the coffers and freed up some space. While testing out the lighting gear, we set up an impromptu photo shoot outside on the street and he shot one of my neighbors, a young aspiring hip-hop artist, who was very happy to get pro-quality promotional photos taken for free while the buyer was making sure my lights performed well (they did.)

Buying things and selling things.

Our lives go through many changes, and in the course of these changes we acquire and shed belongings. I think that it’s important to constantly take stock of our “stuff” to see what what we need and what is merely taking up space and not serving us. In the course of selling things, I’ve met some really interesting people.  When I’ve owned and taken care of my possessions, it’s gratifying to pass them on to people who will also look after them and get good use from them. A few months ago I sold my FT-817 to Frank KA8SYV. Frank’s a bit of a tinkerer and home-brewer, and we talked on the phone about our home-made construction projects.  He told me about an indoor loop he had constructed, the performance of which he was very impressed with.  He has a curious and active mind, and I remember thinking to myself that it felt good to be selling my FT-817 to him. We’ve spoken on the phone a couple of times since then and it’s always a pleasure. Another thing about Frank – he has just about the coolest QRZ profile picture I’ve ever seen (which he has now turned into a QSL card.)  Get over to his QRZ page and take a look for yourself.

More recently, I sold a W4RT One-Touch Tune for the FT-817 to a gentleman through the FT-817 Yahoo Group and a set of Mountain Ops cases for the FT-817 and LDSG Z11 Tuner to Jim KB0JTC.  Jim’s been interested in getting a set of these for his FT-817 and LDG tuner for a while and, as Mountain Ops have been out of business for years, they’re not easy to come by.  Although Jim owns a slightly later model of LDG tuner, he already has a plan on how to make his tuner fit the Mountain Ops case and I can tell that he’s going to get some good use out of the TacPacks and wraps.

I have a couple of items listed on my local Craigslist too, a digital calibration target, which is useful for setting your white balance in the field, rather than doing it after the fact, and a Tamrac Expedition 5 camera backpack:

This backpack is in great condition – no tears or damage. I think a local sale will be better, as the cost of shipping might not make it worthwhile to a buyer. I’m asking $70 for it, but might let it go for $65 to an online buyer, provided packing and shipping is paid for in full:

This backpack will hold a DSLR with lens attached, as well as several accessories. All the original dividers  come with it, which can be configured to accommodate a wide variety of storage needs.  The backpack fits snugly on your back and makes carrying while protecting your camera gear quite easy.

My main motivation in selling this stuff has been to help me purchase a K2. While the funds raised will only be a fraction of the money needed, it will be enough to push me over the psychological barrier and get me to the point where I can click on that purchase button.

In fact, it did the trick. Early yesterday morning I went to the Elecraft site and purchased a K2. I ordered it shipped via USPS Priority Mail and because I live only 54 miles from Elecraft, it is scheduled for delivery later today (Tuesday).

Thank you Frank and Jim for helping set me on the path to another chapter in the odyssey of my QRP life, and I’m glad that the need to sell some of my stuff caused our paths to cross!


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