Today I have a story about 3 household items: a dresser, a large potted plant, and a bookcase.
Jordan and I decided to sell these 3 items in an effort to simplify our home. All three of these things are big and all coincidentally were similarly priced when we purchased them.
We took some pretty pictures, wrote up a description, and listed them on Facebook Marketplace. We decided to list the plant and bookshelf for £30 (roughly $40 each), and the dresser as free. All we really wanted was to get these things out of the house, so we priced to move.
Two days later, the plant and bookcase have been picked up and paid for. But annoyingly, this pretty dresser sits in our hallway. Waiting for someone – anyone – to come to get it.
Is it in horrible condition? Is it too large that it won’t fit in anyone’s house? Do people suddenly not need dressers?
No. I’ve received no less than 200 messages from people claiming to want this free item. I’ve arranged pick up time with prospective new owners only to have them not show up. I’ve had people ask if I can disassemble it, deliver it to their house, and reassemble it for them. I have spent hours of my life trying to offload this really nice dresser for free.
Don’t these people know that it’s worth a good amount of money and they’re getting a bargain?
No. No, they don’t. Because I’ve listed it as free. I’ve basically told them it’s worthless and their responses show that they don’t value it. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our plant and bookshelf were snatched up immediately by responsible buyers who arrived on time waving their cash.
Why am I telling you about my adventures in online selling?
Because in a weird way, this dresser is a lesson about worth. Don’t wait for other people to recognize your worth and treat you appropriately. It’s your job to believe in it and show other people that you know your worth.
Whether it’s in a job interview, negotiating salary and rates, or in your personal relationships remember this: don’t treat yourself like a free dresser.
we’ve got you covered
Recession proof your life. I was an econ major in undergrad and absolutely loved it. I loved it so much that I was this close to forgoing senioritis and taking an internship in DC with the Federal Reserve my senior year of college. So naturally, the recession of 2008 fascinated me and terrified me all at the same time. Since it’s been 10 years since Lehman Brothers collapsed – a major “WTF is happening to the world” moment – I thought it would be a good time to remind us all of the things we can do to protect ourselves for the next one. Because yes, there will be another one. Eventually.
Read on for everything you need to know about recessions: what causes one, when economists predict the next one, and the 7 things you can do to make sure you’re not totally blindsided.
PS: I had roughly 50 amazingly talented, smart women apply for the part-time role I was advertising last week. I was blown away by the thought that each person put into their email and I’m truly honored to have such an impressive group of people reading this newsletter. I hate auto-replies to job postings so I am going through and replying to each person individually. Bear with me a little because this process is taking longer than I thought it would.
Make Me Smart
smart-ish reads from around the internet
No job is better than any other job. After a viral photo led to job shaming, former Cosby Show star Geoffrey Owens started a conversation that so many of us need to hear. “No job is better than any other job. A certain job might pay more, it might have better benefits, it might look better on paper, but essentially one kind of work is not better, superior, than another kind of work.” I loved everything about this video and about what he said. So many of us (myself included) have difficulty separating our work from our worth. This is another reminder that your paycheck does not equal your worth.
Have you ever tried to sell a diamond? Nearly a decade ago I came across this article and was so fascinated I subsequently read the entire book. It’s about how DeBeers converted “tiny crystals of carbon into universally recognized tokens of wealth, power, and romance.” It’s a very long read but it shows just how much effort has gone into making something seem valuable, expensive, and rare. It makes you question if the material things that you’ve been told are valuable are in fact, valuable. In full transparency, I did still decide to wear a diamond engagement ring. But I’m fully aware that it’s not really worth much outside of sentimentality.
Could Rover make you rich? If you love dogs and also love money, this is right up your alley. A healthy six-figure salary from walking dogs? This lady shows us how it’s done.
Make It Good
because life is about more than money
It’s not just about being happy. Claire Wineland, a cystic fibrosis activist, died this week at age 21. In her second Tedx talk, she talked about self-worth and what she learned from living with a life-shortening illness. Her experiences are incredible: “I became the me that little me would have been inspired by.” And her lessons apply to everyone: “Find pride in who you are and what you’re doing.” Watching this is 17 minutes well spent.
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Erica Gellerman, CPA
Erica Gellerman is a CPA, MBA, personal finance writer, and founder of The Worth Project: a weekly money newsletter you actually want to read. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Money, Business Insider, The Everygirl, The Everymom, and Lifehacker. When she's not writing about personal finance you can find Erica exploring Europe from her temporary home base in London.