ep.14 – marketplace trading…

Thanks to Nadeem Azam again for his great insights into his FI journey on last week?s podcast and today we are back to the usual format kicking off a new decade, the 2020s the decade of the future I am going to call it! So when I say my usual format I suppose you can call it an update of recent events in the Jones family household that is semi-related to our FI journey, or maybe you could call parts a bit of a rant on my philosophy to financial management but either way, like I have said before application of the strategies and tactics to becoming financially independent are individual to you and me but hopefully by discussing my journey and my point of view you can take something from this and put on your own twist just as I do from learning about all of your journeys.

Talking about podcast formats, I am was listening to me old mate Gary Vee over the last few weeks, as I downloaded one of his audiobooks, ?Crushing IT? ? this book provided great insight into 21st Century marketing and business growth and as Gary would say it is all ?predicated around attention? and grabbing attention from where your customers are likely to be ? and in today?s world, that means the various social media channels and online content which is starting to replace traditional forms of audience attention-grabbing like television. Anyway, so part of online content consumption is the podcast format and one of Gary?s recommendations was to introduce a daily audio tip?

?This got me thinking, I have already committed to putting out content to you on most Friday?s, which gives you around 10-15 minutes of insights into what we are getting up to and what I may have learnt recently on my FI journey plus the occasional long-form interview but have I got the time to put content out on a daily basis whilst I am also very focused on my main career? The answer is yes because this content can be much shorter and I can prepare it on the weekends it batches and put it out to you on a daily basis as an FI start to the day, rather than an audio tip it will be an audio thought of the day as I don?t want to come across as the expert in this field but I would love to rant on my various thoughts linked to FI and the journey ? which can still cover a vast array of topics but give you something to think about as you start your day or at any other time you wish to consume this podcast. I have still to think of a title of this segment, but I have written over 100 thought of the day topics so over the next few weeks I will get them recorded and start publishing ? and I hope you get some value from them.

Here are just some of the random ?thought of the days? (a working title)?

  • ?Talk? versus ?Action?
  • When to have kids
  • The meaning of life
  • Citizenship
  • Robots

Now, these are obviously just very broad segment titles for the time being but rest assured I am not going to shy away from anything contentious and I will always be linking back to our FI journeys. However, I am not quite sure how I will get the ?meaning of life? thought of the day to less than 5 minutes but I will give it a go!

OK so that is the future, what about now and the recent past? Well following last week?s interview with Nadeem, we talked a bit about income generation and Nadeem wisely said even if you look around your house, there are things that you may not necessarily need that you can sell. So we have taken that to heart recently and sold a number of items sitting around our house and garden and sold them all on Facebook Marketplace. This method of selling has become very intriguing to me over the last few months. When I first saw Facebook Marketplace, I thought it wasn?t user-friendly and it was a lot harder to search through than sites like Trademe and eBay. But recently I think Facebook has introduced a game-changer, as it is free to list it looks like people have caught on so there is no far more choice than when I first looked and Facebook being Facebook they can read your mind and know what you are looking for before you even know it! So although you can do a rudimentary search this is often not necessary as it displays things locally that you are likely to be interested in and then you can just freely communicate between buyers and sellers. The sting in the tail is that leaves the platform open to time-wasters but you get to understand patterns of behaviour and communication to weed out the time-wasters and those that actually want to proceed. It also offers a great learning opportunity to hone your negotiating skills, from both sides of the fence. If you are a seller, to get the most for your item and defend the low ballers and if you are a buyer to get the bargain you always dreamed of ? something practical and of FI value of course!

The key to negotiating for me is to try and work out what the true value of something is first, do your research so at least you know whether you are being low balled as a seller or whether you really are getting a bargain basement deal as a buyer. To our detriment, Leish and I found out about this the hard way recently, when inspired by Gary Vee?s ?Trash Talk? series on Youtube, (go check it out to see what it is all bout ? if you like income generation you won?t be disappointed) we went on a Sunday drive to a local market to buy some items that we thought we could sell on for a profit on Facebook Marketplace. The result? so far we have sold nothing! There have been several theories to why not yet, but fundamentally I am sure it’s down to not understanding the true value, I am sure we will at least break even and we only spent $33 so not going to lose the house over it, but a good learning curve nonetheless!

Then it is a matter of weighing up your counterpart and find out who needs this transaction the most, then have a position in your head and play the ping pong of narrowing down the price to an acceptable level for both parties. I am not an expert in this area but if you want to hear or read from someone who is I highly recommend Chris Voss ? look him up ? an ex-hostage negotiator ? the psychology of negotiation is amazing.

So our recent results have been:

  • Firstly? a fitness band for $39 ? I had only bought this in December 2019, for $39 brand new and then found out it wasn?t compatible with my new life insurance app. So I was very keen to get our money back for it. The key to this was the original purchase it retails for quite a bit more than $39 so I knew I had a good deal and was quickly snapped up at the same price even as a second-hand item.
  • Secondly? A Bluetooth keyboard and wireless mouse for $19 ? never use it now, bought about a year ago brand new on Trademe for not much more than this.
  • Thirdly? A Baby Gate for $30 – originally from Kmart had plenty of use out of it to separate our dog from our cats when he was growing up ? job done cats and dog are now civil and the baby gate could go for a reasonable price
  • Fourth on the list? Large Dog Crate for $60 ? similar to the bay gate, no need for this anymore and sold for close to what we originally paid
  • And not to forget a blue clamshell for $10 ? again another doggy special, he never really plays in it any more, originally bought for $20 a couple of years ago and half our money back.

And finally the cr?me de la cr?me a piece of hair styling equipment from Leish?s previous life as a hairstylist – item listed at $895, first offer $600, the second offer $750 and settled at $800 ? ca-ching!

So far in just 3 weeks nearly an extra $1000 can be paid off our mortgage, that?s an extra $1000 we didn?t have to go out to earn and not taxable and will only get us closer to our FI goal. So Nadeem was right, look around your house, ask yourself do you really need these items and give Facebook Marketplace a whirl and hone those negotiation skills!

On the topic of income generation, I am in the fortunate position of a possible promotion at work due to the resignation of my boss. Depending on the outcome of the conversations around the role and remuneration, I will have to make the decision around “focus”. As said previously my career is my most important asset to achieve FI, and there is a fine balance at play here? between family, my own interests, my career and side hustles. Short to medium term, form an income generation perspective my career is more important than helping out my wife and finding my own side hustles but much longer-term finding the side hustle I am most passionate about (which could be related to this podcast) is extremely important as when we are officially FI I will still want to work on my passions. My gut feeling right at this moment is that I know this potential new promotion will offer opportunity not just for income growth but also personal development growth, and it will make my years to FI at work exciting to help my employer on their own journey of growth, with many challenges to overcome, I will be in a position that can make a real difference and this is important during the journey to FI, as it is so important to have a focus on the present, not just the destination.

So there is plenty to unfold in the coming weeks, plenty of conversations and negotiations to be had ? and as always there will be a learning experience and I look forward to sharing these again with you? until next time? happy fiday.

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