‘On The Couch’ With Jasminda


Dear Jasminda,

I recently gave a friend some clothes and shoes that no longer fit my children. A few days later I saw the same clothes posted for sale on a social media site. If she only took them to sell them, shouldn’t I get the money?
Elizabeth R.

Dear Elizabeth,

At face value, I can see your point. You have given the clothes to your friend out of the goodness of your heart, and you would expect that little Timmy would be happy to receive the Ninja Turtle singlet and Samantha would be thrilled with those faux leather boots, but alas they are now there for the world to see, along with a catchy sales pitch: ‘Vintage singlet and vegan boots in great used condition’ which is certainly not the description you would have given them.

The thing is, Elizabeth, there is actually zero monetary advantage in selling second-hand clothes to social media communities. I tell you, those people are savvier than any nanna at a Garage Sale. They are as cunning as Victor Lustig (Google him). As relentless as rodents. As tight as a fish’s . . . you get the idea.

I discovered this the hard way when I tried to sell my seven-year-old son’s soccer boots. They were in immaculate condition because, let’s be honest, he spent half the season on the bench and even when on the field he wasn’t too keen on getting his boots scuffed. They cost me $100, so I put them on the local marketplace site for $10, complete with photos from various angles and a detailed sizing chart with European conversions. That probably took me about half an hour, so I was already on slave-labour rates. Well, then the queries started.

Would I accept $5? Ah, no. Would I drive the boots to the purchaser who lived half an hour away? Nope. Would I arrange for free postage (which would be more than the asking price)? Negative. Would I take some more pictures including one of the shoe next to a ruler? Nein, du nerviger Dummkopf. Trying to sell that one pair of soccer boots became a full-time job. I had to take annual leave to keep up with the enquiries.

I never sold those boots, Elizabeth. They are still in the wardrobe. My son is now sixteen and playing rugby. His feet have grown another ten centimetres. The boots are still listed on the site, waiting patiently for someone to pay me a measly ten bucks so I can put it towards the therapy surrounding my lacklustre sales career.

So, the point is, let your friend try to sell those items. She will be burdened by the tactics of people who do this for a living. They grind you down until you end up offering to pay them just so they’ll shut up and take the goods off your hands.

Carpe diem, Jasminda.

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