Okay just a quick post to discuss my views on the dreaded “How much is this worth?” posts on Facebook and the forums. I’m not going to focus on the issue of whether or not these posts are annoying, as I think, in moderation at least, that they have their place. What I’m more interested in analysing is the nature of the responses to these valuation questions.
So how do people respond to these questions? I often see the response, along the lines of “They are priceless because they are your childhood toys” etc etc. While I absolutely agree with this sentiment, I’m not sure this is the response the OP is looking for.
I’ve also noticed the response “They are worth what someone is willing to pay for them.” Of course, in a black and white world, this seems to be correct. Or is it? I’m not going to explore the philosophical nature of ‘value’ (which really is a social construct) as this would probably bore most of you. Plus I’d probably start dribbling and make a fool of myself as I usually do with my philosophising. Is something really worth what someone is willing to pay for it? Worth to whom? To the person buying it or selling? How about the person watching the sale who thinks it’s worth more or even less? To me this response is not useful and relates only to the one specific buyer’s concept of value.
What’s more important though, is that the two responses above do not really help the OP in assessing the value of the item on the current market, which is what they are really inquiring about. I’m pretty sure most people know that as well….While I do think these type of respondents are intentionally taking the piss, I understand that the constant flow of “How much is this worth?” posts can be annoying. But like I said, this article isn’t about that.
So how do I think we should respond? Well I respond to others in exactly the same way that I would like someone to respond to my valuation questions. By guestimating how much I think is an appropriate financial value for their item on the current market. Of course this isn’t easy as prices can vary significantly between sources such as eBay and the forums or even within eBay itself. But when I sell items, I somehow manage to come up with what I believe to be an appropriate price point so for me it is possible to come up with at least an informed guestimate for a fellow collector.
So what do you guys think? Am I missing the point?
Thanks for reading.