The value of what you are selling
Herschel used to be a mailman in Hagerstown, and he was also a painter on the side. About 40 years ago he approached me with his arm in a sling, and told me he had a ladder I could have if I would come and pick it up. It seems he had taken a tumble from the top of it, and in the process lost most of his affection for it, and no longer wanted it on the job.
I was just getting started in business at the time, and I was tickled to death to get it. It was a 10 foot tall wooden step ladder, a little rickety perhaps, but that was fixed with some wire and cross braces, and a few extra nails and screws. It was a heavy ladder to begin with, and the extra attachments made it into what my Dad would call a “family ladder”, meaning it took the whole family to move it.
Still, it came in handy several times for several years, and got us to places our 6 foot step ladders wouldn’t reach. At those times I wouldn’t have taken a hundred dollars for it. After a few years, it was mostly replaced by aluminum ladders, which were then mostly replaced by fiberglass ladders, and as a result, the old wooden ladder hung on the back of the ladder rack, out of active duty and out of mind until the rack got so full there wasn’t room for all of the fiberglass ladders.
After some thoughtful consideration, it was decided that the old wooden ladder needed a new home, and as luck would have it, some of our Amish friends down the road were having a consignment auction. I didn’t figure to get as much out of it as I used to think it was worth, but I did think that maybe somebody who was getting started in business might think it was worth more than Herschel thought it was worth.