What’s It Worth…….To You?

Photo by Slack Pics

I’ve been watching shows like “American Pickers” and “Auction Kings” and I’m always amazed at some of the values they place on some of these items.  In case you’re not familial with the shows.  American Pickers is a show where two guys drive around the country looking for antique and unusual items to purchase and take back to their store to sell.  Auctions Kings is a show about an auction house in Atlanta.  People bring items in to have auctioned off.  On both shows they often have experts come in to appraise items and give them a value. Most of the time I look at the items on those shows and say “Man, I wouldn’t pay that.” Once in a while I’ll say ” That’s not a bad price.”

Recently while watching these shows I’ve come to a realization: It doesn’t matter what someone says something is worth.  An item is only worth what someone will pay you for it.  An expert might tell me that an antique bike is worth $3,000 but if the most someone will give me for it is $30 then in actuality it’s only worth $30. Frequently on Auctions Kings an item will be appraised for lets say $4,000 but at the auction it sells for $1200.  On that particular day the item was only work $1200 not the $4000 the expert said it was worth.  But why?  Because that’s all someone was willing to pay for it.  Sometimes on that show the opposite is true.  An item will get appraised at $4000 and it might eventually sell for $6000 or more.  On that day the item is worth $6000 because someone is willing to pay that much for it.

So where am I going with this and how does it fit in with Your Fit Money: Wiping Your Money Into Shape?
 Basically, you need to make your own decisions about how much an item is worth to you when you purchase it. Don’t by something because someone says it’s worth such and such or it will be worth such and such in 5 years.  You determine in your own mind and heart what it is worth to you right now because all these numbers the experts are throwing out there are all speculation and guesses, mind you they may be educated guesses, but the are still just guesses.  I’ve seen many people buy things because they were told they were worth a lot or that they will be worth a lot just to find out they were wrong.   I’m guilty of this as well. Right now I have a box of old trading cards under my desk.  Most of them are Auto Racing Trading Cards.  I was told that one day they will be worth a lot of money.  Actually they have gone down in value.  I’m sure there are a few (very few) that I purchased for 50 cent or so that may be worth $5 – $10 now but the vast majority of them have gone down in value and are worth less then I paid for them.  I’ve learned my lesson and want to pass it on to you.

So, don’t take the experts opinion on it.  Search your head and your heart and if it’s worth that much to you then buy it, provided that it’s in your budget and you are paying cash.