£150 Worth of Freebies landed on my lap

It has not been the first time and definitely will not the be last. An acquaintance of my wife offered a few items for free in a WhatsApp Group. The lady pointed to the fact that she had absolutely no use for them and did not know what to do with them either. To her, they were using some valuable space in the house and she needed to make them disappear ASAP. Quite a common scenario in every household at some point I guess.

The items in question were Vintage Camcorders in unknown working condition. I am always happy to give them a go because this kind of electronics are very appealing not only to me but to a significant number of individuals which conform a buoyant vintage and collectible market for dated electronic gadgets. This market is always hungry for these goods in any working condition and I always volunteer to feed the Beast.

Since the lady was going to throw them away, I instructed my wife to collect them and keep them for me. I will then proceed to assess the condition, test them and kit them out to list them for sale on eBay.

When the bag of goodies landed on my lap, I was pleasantly surprised by its contents: three Vintage Video Cameras (Canon, Sanyo and Sony) in pristine cosmetic condition. Not a blemish. They all came in their original branded poaches and included a set of original accessories. The lady insisted that hey had not been used for a long while and she did not know about their working condition. Hence, they needed testing.

After gathering and classifying all the contents in relevant groups and testing completed, I found that one of the cameras did not work, and the other two did work but one was missing the battery charger and the other one had a flat battery. Not the scenario I was hoping for, but not a complete waste of time either. After a short time researching, I came across similar items in same condition that had sold recently for a decent amount.

I then proceeded to take photographs and list the items. See listings snapshots below:

Canon UC10 Listed for £30

Sanyo VM-EX25P Listed for £55

Sony DCR-PC55E Listed for £70

I priced the Canon Camera competitively. As a result, it generated lots of interest and sold within a day. I aimed higher for the Sony and the Sanyo cameras meaning they will shift at a slower pace. I will hold to my asking prices for at least a month and if they do not move, I will then gradually reduce the price until they find a new owner. As a strategy, it has always worked for me, so no incentive to change it.

I spent 1 hour 15 mins in total testing and listing these items which translates into an approximate hourly rate of £100 after fees. Happy with that. I mean, I could have used that time to chill out watching the latest Netflix addition or a Total Idiot Compilation on YouTube, but quite frankly, I find my free money activities taking me to an unmatched and exponentially higher level of entertainment. No subscriptions attached. What I am trying to get at is that I do not perceive an Opportunity Cost whatsoever. Quite the opposite, I get cash off my favourite hobby.

On a serious note, this experience perfectly exemplifies the untapped opportunities to make free cash out there. Remember that I am not openly asking for items. They just arrive on my doorstep as of when or completely out of the blue. The opposite will be a side hustle or a business venture, but I insist that this is not what this Blog is about. On the other hand, one can only wonder what treasures go to landfilling on a daily basis. Maybe you can now pick on it and help yourself and the environment by giving them a second life. Or maybe you don’t, in which case, please feel free to donate them to me…

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