Residual Value

My wife and I have gone to many different flea markets and auctions.  While attending one of them I started to think about the residual value of all these items for sale.

There is the obvious value to the creator, the manufacturer, the supplier of the raw materials and of course the value to the original purchaser.

These items originally made money for the manufacturer.  That money then worked its way down through the workers who made the object and the companies and workers who supported the object.

If flowed down to material suppliers and their workers, transportation suppliers and their workers, the utility companies and their workers and to the tax collectors and either into the pockets of politicians or to deserving or undeserving citizens.

I could go on and on with this flow down, and that’s just round one.

For a lot of items, especially those of low quality and little value, that’s where it ends. They end up in the landfill or the recycle bin.  You could say that’s round two for those items since that creates value for the garbage collectors, the landfills and those entities that service them.

But for the higher quality items, those with some aesthetic value, there could be a round three, four, five and so on.

When my wife and I sell at a flea market some of the items we sell came from auction.  Before that they could have been in someone’s home and the previous owners had bought them from an antique store.  The antique store owner may have picked up the item at another auction where the item came out of an estate.   The estate family may have received it as a gift from someone who picked it up at a thrift store.

The thrift store may have received it as a donation from someone who bought it a yard sale where the family holding the yard sale bought the item at a flea market.

After we sell it at the flea market it may sit on someone’s mantle until they decide to downsize and the cycle goes on.

Most people only think about the initial retail sale of an item.  They only see the value of an item as when it was brand new out of the box.

An item that initially sold for $100 could end up generating thousands of dollars in transactions and in rare cases millions.

Perhaps music follows that same model.Residual Value

Most people only see the one time life cycle of a song.  It’s popular and makes a lot of money for someone and then dies out.  It becomes a golden oldie that you may hear every now and then and and it causes you to remember a point in your life when the song was popular.

Most people don’t see and have no idea how one recording or artist can influence other artists.  The creations of artists influenced by a recording or artist in turn influences another generation of artists who in turn influence another generation.  This will go on for years, for as long as there are musicians creating, playing and listening to each other.

But through all the years and generations of creation, those influences, those original pieces of quality work survive.  You just have to be willing to dig.

Of course just like the material objects you have a lot of low quality junk that deserves to end up in the landfill as well.  But just like the antiques/collectibles business (or any business) the customers make the final decision.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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