Capitalism On My Driveway

My driveway serves several useful purposes.  It provides a reliable path to get my vehicles from the street to my garage.  It provides a surface for entertainment.  Riding bikes and scooters around with kids, bouncing the basketball and place to get out the lawn chairs and sit around when the weather is nice.

But, once or twice a year it turns into a market.  Each year my subdivision hosts a neighborhood garage sale.  Signs, newspaper advertisements and craigslist postings bring bargain shoppers to our driveways and garages.  We pull out our old stuff that we have no use for and put a price on it in hopes that one of these bargain shoppers will find a use for it.

I’ve had a 3 ton jack sitting in my garage for the last 10 years.  I use to use it to lift my cars to change the oil.  I was a do-it-yourselfer.  No longer.  I haven’t used it in years.

At any other time during the year I could pull it the seven feet from just inside my garage to my driveway and it would sit there until I moved it back in.

Not today.

About 3 minutes after I decided to pull it out and put a price on it, a truck pulled up, a lady stepped out and yelled, “I want that jack.”  She paid me my asking price.  My wife and I loaded it in her truck and off she goes, hopefully to use it or sell it to someone else who can use it.

I find that amazing.

A win-win transaction right on my driveway.  Win-win means value add.  We both came away from the transaction better off than we were before – or at least we think so.  That trade added a little bit of value to each of our lives.

I get some space back in my garage by getting rid of something I no longer use and I only have to move the big, heavy hunk of metal about 40 feet and I get a few bucks to spend on something I do value.  I voluntarily exchanged the jack and the minimal effort for the cash and the free space in my garage.  That’s how I win.

The purchaser gets something she wants and was more than willing to voluntarily hand over the money to earn the privilege of driving off what was some of my stuff.   I don’t know what she’s going to do with it.  I don’t care much.  But she got something she wanted by giving me money.

Each side said ‘thank you, have a nice day’ and went on about our way.  I love it.


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