I was expecting the dehoarding to go pretty quickly, but it didn’t; in fact, it seemed to slow down my slowly improving performance with the Ebay reselling.
The hardest part was sorting a disorganized hoard. Organizing requires goal: you are taking one form of organization, and transforming it into another form. The goal, initially, was to organize it for Ebay. My role was to be a “classifier”. I’d look at things and classify them.
Personal stuff goes to the family (me), and the less personal stuff goes to the market, into Ebay’s categories.
Ebay’s categories are broad; they contain tens of thousands of items. People cut through this noise with searches (and landing pages that Ebay creates… which are like searches for people who search on Google).
The search terms need to be generic and popular. The terms I had were generic, but not popular: vintage city of los angeles ephemera, vintage los angeles politics, vintage japanese american, old collectible magazines (which is a category on Ebay).
These were the main categories for which I had material, and they were not great categories on Ebay. Lucky for me, activist friends gave me connections to some individuals who could use this stuff. I also met someone on Craigslist who wanted the vintage magazines and other printed ephemera.
This makes the classification a lot easier. It’s easier to try to impress a specific person than a “market”. There’s no money in this, but, I really don’t care: the stuff’s getting it’s last chance at love. It’s interesting stuff.
Focusing on pleasing specific people, even if you don’t know them, makes classification potentially really fast, too. I just need to make some boxes of stuff, photograph some of it for posterity, or online ephemerality, send them off, and then get some feedback about what they want. For the next batch, adjust accordingly.
Along the way, I’d have to spot any unique one-off items that might have a market on Ebay, which is a lot more like reselling.