Law of Diminishing Returns

I was thinking that a way to spend responsibly for makeup is to use proceeds from a blog sale.  It makes a lot of sense.  You buy, try, and then sell so you can buy, try maybe then keep or sell again.  It's the ciiiiiiiircle of life.

Then I got to thinking about the actual cost of ownership.
From my last blog sale
Say I buy a lipstick for $48, a Tom Ford one with nearly 9% in New York City sales taxes, I've spent about $52 for this thing.  The moment I walk out of the store, without having even tried it on the lips, or swatched my new tube on the hand, the value of that item drops.  It's like walking out of a car dealership with a new vehicle.  Even selling it brand new, with a box, in a blog sale, I would never be able to sell it for $52.  Maybe I give an incentive to US-based buyers by offering it for $45.  Nice deal for a brand new Tom Ford.  (On a related note, I must really consider returning makeup.  Thanks, Gummy!)

Keeping track here?  $52 sold becomes $45 BNIB!  I've already lost $7 in this imaginary transaction.

Knowing how I must try a brand new item right away, perhaps I try it once or twice, write a blog post, thinking about how I really really like it.  And realize I don't like it.

I sell now used.  Who is going to spend $45 for a used lipstick?  I then ponder about my overseas friends, who are probably paying a higher marked up price for Tom Ford, perhaps they can be persuaded to buy this?  $45 would still be too high to sell a used makeup, overseas makeup lover or not.  Maybe I sell it for $40?

$52 lipstick becomes $40, and I've only tried it on 2x.  That's $12 out of my pocket!

How about this scenario?  I like it well enough to keep using it for a while.  But over time, it becomes neglected and rolls around in my Muji drawer, dolefully staring back at me.  "Love me, use me!" it pleads.  (What, your makeup doesn't talk to you?)  I've already turned my eyes (and lips) to other new pretty things.  By this time, I've used it a few more times, owned it a few more months.  And since I can't stand the lipstick giving me that guilt-inducing looks, I decide to sell it.  Who is going to buy a used lipstick, no box, for $40?  Then I adjust the price accordingly lower.  Maybe $35?  But then by the time I'm posting a new blog sale, it corresponds to a Sephora event, a Beauty.com event, et cetera et cetera.  I need to price in a way to compete out there.  You know, with companies that don't sell used makeup!

Here is my math: a $52 lipstick, maybe used a handful of times, is finally sold for $28.  I've lost $24 in the transaction.  That's one cost associated with using this Tom Ford lipstick a few times!  If I used it 4 times, I spent $6 for the privilege of smearing it on my duck lips.  (also Paypal fees!)

Blog sale theories I've developed has that, if you price lower, you sell it faster.  Duh.  I found over the course of many weeks, things will sell maybe at a higher price, but then I need to deal with the blog sale dribbling along.  It's also hard to quantify what it costs to conduct the sale.  After all, time is money.  The work in photographing, listing, Paypal invoicing, going to the post office, conversing with customers, it is all work.

At the end of the day, I've only recovered about 50% on my original investment.  Using that as a guideline, a $52 lipstick becomes a $28 recovered cost which with the next blog sale becomes $14 which becomes $7, and so on.  While a couple of hundred dollars sitting in my Paypal account feels nice, it hurts to think about what I actually spent plus all the efforts associated with then selling it.

Makeup is not a good investment.  While conducting blog sales allows me to get rid of unloved things and then fund future purchases, over time, it becomes a big money pit.  This gives me something to noodle over as I ponder future purchases.  If I buy something I don't absolutely LOVE, do I want to pay $6 each time I try it on?  Most likely not.

Also, thank you for BUYING from my blog sales!  It helps make room in my drawers and helps me think though more makeup math.

Do YOU conduct blog sales?  I would love to hear your experiences and how you feel about doing them.  How about the buying side?  Do you buy from blog sales?  What's your motivation to buy from them versus buying things new.

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