19th Apr2013

West Week Ever – 4/19/13

by Will
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Who had the West Week Ever? Read on to find out!

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This week’s post is gonna be bitter. Maybe you’ll find some humor in it, but there’s some stuff I wanna get out. So, “hold on to yo’ butts!”

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Something’s been bothering me in the reseller world, and it’s only been exacerbated by the influx of shows like Pawn Stars, Toy Hunter, etc. Where to begin? OK, I’ve got an Avengers Helicarrier on Craigslist for $35. If you follow me on Twitter, you know what I really paid for it, but this price is still WELL below retail. So, the other night, I get this email:

Hello there! I saw your add at CL. Can you do 17? thanks!

FUCK. THIS. GUY.

If you don’t even know much about the item, know this: IT’S THREE FEET LONG! That’s $5.66 per foot. Even in real estate terms, that’s a joke!

I replied with,

That’s half what I’m asking. The art of negotiation is truly dead.

Then, he replied with something that always sets me off:

Im a retailer, I need some room to make money on it. $17? Im sorry I dont mean to insult you with my price offer.

I don’t give a fuck if you’re a retailer. That’s what I always hated about Pawn Stars – the whole, “Well, I’m running a business here, and I’ve gotta make a profit.” It assumes that the buyer is doing the seller a favor, which is only true in an emergency or drug fiend scenario. If I really needed money, and you were my last outlet, maybe you can lead the negotiations. However, outside of those situations, the seller should have the power. Your business and your profit aren’t my concern. With Toy Hunter, he’s offering 50% of what he feels he can get, but I’m just of the mindset of “Why don’t I just sell it myself?” Sure, he has connections and whatnot, but I’d eventually find a buyer, and I’d just sit on it until then.

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The buyer has already shown his hand by being interested, so don’t just give your shit away if you don’t like what he’s offering. Unless you just need to clear out space or truly need the money, you’re doing him the favor. His business DEPENDS on stock. He has more to lose than I do. Now, we’re not talking about some rare prototype here, but it’s all the same thing. At the end of the day, a retailer needs stock to sell. I run into this with Will’s World of Wonder. I scour Craigslist and whatnot, but I never go after something if it’s priced at a point where I don’t instantly think it’ll make money. I don’t haggle unless I’m buying multiple items, and then I’m just going for a “bundling” deal. I would never, however, go in at 50%. Even if uneducated in the market, the seller has already settled on a price they’d like to receive (even if they don’t think they’ll actually get it). It’s up for the seller to decide just how low they’re willing to go. I just think an initial 50% offer cuts everyone off at the knees, and I don’t think it would be as prevalent if reality shows weren’t teaching every “retailer” that that’s how to do it.

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While I’m being a drag, there’s something that still keeps me up at night. You see, back in college, I think I was a pretty shitty friend. I was in an a cappella group and glee club, and was always begging friends to come to my shit. On the flipside, I never went to theirs. I had friends who competed in ballroom dancing competitions who were ALWAYS at my stuff, and I didn’t see any of them dance until long after we’d graduated. It’s not that I didn’t want to support them, but I was just so self-centered. So, let’s apply that to the internet. I’ve spent a lot of time promoting my wares, while not always reading your posts. I’ve rectified that over recent months, as I like to get some interaction with my social media. Still, even not reading or listening, I still supported you by sharing your posts/pods with others. You’re my social circle, so I’ve come to know what I can expect from you in terms of blogging and podcasting. I’ve noticed 2 things from this, though: 1) if I don’t promote my stuff, who will? and 2) it doesn’t always go both ways. It’s a lot like gift giving – you should NEVER give a gift based on the belief that you will get one in return. That said, IT WOULD BE NICE. I’m not talking about material things here. There are things I do here, where you tell me you enjoy them, but you don’t share them. Why is that? Are you ashamed you enjoyed it? Are you ashamed to be known for reading my site? I recently visited someone’s site who essentially had a “How You Can Help Me” tab, asking readers to Like his posts on Facebook, post them to Reddit, etc. On the one hand, it rubbed me the wrong way that he felt he even had to write something like that. On the other, it clearly helped, as his engagement rates are off the charts. So, here we are. This isn’t directed to at all of you. Hell, if you’re reading this, it’s probably not even directed at you. What I’m saying is that I’m taking this personally. Classick Material over on the Cold Slither Podcast once said “We’re not taking attendance”, but I am. If you’ve ever said something like, “Well, you don’t even listen to my podcast”, take a minute and think about what you’ve done for me. The average time it takes to read one of my posts is about 01:09, while you expect me to dedicate 2 hrs of my life, listening to you talk? Are we a “community”, or am I just another hit to help your arbitrary stats? I’ve already been the change I wanted to see in the digital world, but I’m starting to think that’s just a cute fortune cookie concept. In wrestling terms, “Why won’t you put me over?”

How about some pop culture stuff, huh? Good.

Can someone please blow the lid off how people get paid from YouTube? I’m not a video guy, but it’s a closely guarded secret as to how people monetize their videos. This was brought to my attention here:

Did you watch the video? Touching, ain’t it? I had a discussion with Vincent over at The Robot’s Pajamas about this after it went viral. Leave it to me to be the downer. There are two ways to look at this video: on the one hand, it’s a nice “It Gets Better” tale. On the other, I worry about this guy because so much of his self-worth comes from external sources. I relate to him because of it. See how I berated some folks in the paragraph up there? Yeah, that came from this. Anyway, it’s interesting to wonder which followers/readers would step up to stop you from committing suicide. Don’t worry – this isn’t a cry for help. It’s just such an odd thing to think about – one that past generations never would’ve imagined. Still, the takeaway, however, is that I wanna know how he makes money!

nerd lunch

The other night, I was honored to be welcomed back by the guys at the Nerd Lunch Podcast (I’ll post the link when it goes live). We discussed 90s sitcoms, and I’m ashamed to admit that I failed to do any research before the ep. I honestly forgot that I received the outline (in case you’ve never emailed me, I’m the worst emailer who ever emailed. I wish everything could be done by tweet). As a result, I forgot about a few 90s shows that kinda haunt me. I wonder if anyone else remembers these.

The New WKRP

I wonder if Tawny Kitaen punched anyone in the face after this was taken…

First up, there’s The New WKRP In Cincinnati. While everyone’s probably seen the original, with Dr. Johnny Fever and Andy Travis, but not as many people flocked to the newer incarnation. I’m a big sucker for “Next Generation” shows like this and What’s Happening Now!!, so of course I was a fan. Kinda like Police Academy: The Series, the cast was comprised of the bare minimum of original cast members, just to lend credibility to the venture, while all the bigger stars were missing. So, we still got Les Nessman, Herb Tarlek, and Arthur Carlson, but gone were Venus Flytrap, Johnny Fever, Jennifer, Bailey, Andy, etc (though most would guest star at least once). It was also the mainstream debut of Mykelti Williamson (who would later star as “Bubba” in Forrest Gump), as station manager Donovan Aderhold. Seeing as it was the early 90s, most of the “humor” came from the fact that all these white people at a rock station were surprised that their boss was a black guy. The show only lasted 2 seasons because it was in syndication, and just wasn’t performing on a consistent level. I’ll never forgive them for their cliffhanger series finale, though – Donovan finally finds love, but his plane goes down and there was no hope of survivors. I think they were going for a M*A*S*H* moment, but people cared about M*A*S*H*.

704 Hauser

Another show haunts me due to its concept, despite the fact I forgot everything about it, including its name. You see, I remembered hearing about a sitcom starring a black family, which wasn’t anything new for the early 90s. There was a catch, however – this family lived in Archie Bunker’s old house. The final spinoff of the All in the Family franchise, the show was called 704 Hauser and was also produced by Norman Lear. Basically, Lear felt that America needed to have real discussions again, like they’d had during All in the Family‘s run. John Amos (of Good Times fame) played the patriarch, and he was pretty much just as pigheaded as Archie had been. The son was a disappointment, due to his conservative views and white girlfriend. Oh yeah – that girlfriend was played by Maura Tierney. So, the only footage that seems to survive online are the scenes in which she appeared (stalker alert!). The show only lasted about 6 episodes, but I still think it was an interesting concept. I don’t even think I watched it when it was on, but I wish it could have another shot. It was a CBS show, which really didn’t have a great black track record during that era. On Fox, it would’ve gotten a whole season, right after True Colors.

Links I Loved
Are Thrift Stores Running out of “Good Things” to Buy? The End of an Era? (Thrift Core) – I’m slightly biased, as my question was the basis of the post. Still, there’s some good conversation in the comments

The X-Men Cartoon that Wasn’t: Pryde of the X-Men (The Robot’s Pajamas) – I’ve always loved this cartoon, and Vincent did some detective work that I’d always been too lazy to do myself.

Visiting my bedroom circa 1995… (Branded In the 80s) – I’ve yet to determine if I’m laughing with Shawn or at him on this one, but it took a brave soul to post it.

Will There Be A Mild Mannered Reporter in “Man of Steel”? I’m No So Sure (Double Dumbass On You) – Jon has a pretty interesting theory on the development of Clark Kent in the upcoming Man of Steel. Honestly, I had no desire to see this film until I read this and saw the newest trailer.

One of them accomplished the amazing feat of being embarrassing on MTV, while another made nerds wet themselves over an overrated Star Wars filibuster. One of them, from a “show about nothing”, is about to train some turtles, while the other is “cunt punting” her way across the University of Maryland campus. Only one of them, however, had the West Week Ever.

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What you need to know – this email was forwarded from the listserv of the University of Maryland chapter of Delta Gamma sorority. Basically, “Julia” didn’t feel that her sisters were bringing all the boys to the yard – particularly the Sigma Nu fraternity guys with whom the sorority is matched. This is the best thing I’ve read in a long time. I clipped it from Gawker ’cause who knows how long it’ll be up:

If you just opened this like I told you to, tie yourself down to whatever chair you’re sitting in, because this email is going to be a rough fucking ride.

For those of you that have your heads stuck under rocks, which apparently is the majority of this chapter, we have been FUCKING UP in terms of night time events and general social interactions with Sigma Nu. I’ve been getting texts on texts about people LITERALLY being so fucking AWKWARD and so fucking BORING. If you’re reading this right now and saying to yourself “But oh em gee Julia, I’ve been having so much fun with my sisters this week!”, then punch yourself in the face right now so that I don’t have to fucking find you on campus to do it myself.

I do not give a flying fuck, and Sigma Nu does not give a flying fuck, about how much you fucking love to talk to your sisters. You have 361 days out of the fucking year to talk to sisters, and this week is NOT, I fucking repeat NOT ONE OF THEM. This week is about fostering relationships in the greek community, and that’s not fucking possible if you’re going to stand around and talk to each other and not our matchup. Newsflash you stupid cocks: FRATS DON’T LIKE BORING SORORITIES. Oh wait, DOUBLE FUCKING NEWSFLASH: SIGMA NU IS NOT GOING TO WANT TO HANG OUT WITH US IF WE FUCKING SUCK, which by the way in case you’re an idiot and need it spelled out for you, WE FUCKING SUCK SO FAR. This also applies to you little shits that have talked openly about post gaming at a different frat IN FRONT OF SIGMA NU BROTHERS. Are you people fucking retarded? That’s not a rhetorical question, I LITERALLY want you to email me back telling me if you’re mentally slow so I can make sure you don’t go to anymore night time events. If Sigma Nu openly said “Yeah we’re gonna invite Zeta over”, would you be happy? WOULD YOU? No you wouldn’t, so WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU DO IT TO THEM?? IN FRONT OF THEM?!! First of all, you SHOULDN’T be post gaming at other frats, I don’t give a FUCK if your boyfriend is in it, if your brother is in it, or if your entire family is in that frat. YOU DON’T GO. YOU. DON’T. GO. And you ESPECIALLY do fucking NOT convince other girls to leave with you.

“But Julia!”, you say in a whiny little bitch voice to your computer screen as you read this email, “I’ve been cheering on our teams at all the sports, doesn’t that count for something?” NO YOU STUPID FUCKING ASS HATS, IT FUCKING DOESN’T. DO YOU WANNA KNOW FUCKING WHY?!! IT DOESN’T COUNT BECAUSE YOU’VE BEEN FUCKING UP AT SOBER FUCKING EVENTS TOO. I’ve not only gotten texts about people being fucking WEIRD at sports (for example, being stupid shits and saying stuff like “durr what’s kickball?” is not fucking funny), but I’ve gotten texts about people actually cheering for the opposing team. The opposing. Fucking. Team. ARE YOU FUCKING STUPID?!! I don’t give a SHIT about sportsmanship, YOU CHEER FOR OUR GODDAMN TEAM AND NOT THE OTHER ONE, HAVE YOU NEVER BEEN TO A SPORTS GAME? ARE YOU FUCKING BLIND? Or are you just so fucking dense about what it means to make people like you that you think being a good little supporter of the greek community is going to make our matchup happy? Well it’s time someone told you, NO ONE FUCKING LIKES THAT, ESPECIALLY OUR FUCKING MATCHUP. I will fucking cunt punt the next person I hear about doing something like that, and I don’t give a fuck if you SOR me, I WILL FUCKING ASSAULT YOU.

“Ohhh Julia, I’m now crying because your email has made me oh so so sad”. Well good. If this email applies to you in any way, meaning if you are a little asswipe that stands in the corners at night or if you’re a weird shit that does weird shit during the day, this following message is for you:

DO NOT GO TO TONIGHT’S EVENT.

I’m not fucking kidding. Don’t go. Seriously, if you have done ANYTHING I’ve mentioned in this email and have some rare disease where you’re unable to NOT do these things, then you are HORRIBLE, I repeat, HORRIBLE PR FOR THIS CHAPTER. I would rather have 40 girls that are fun, talk to boys, and not fucking awkward than 80 that are fucking faggots. If you are one of the people that have told me “Oh nooo boo hoo I can’t talk to boys I’m too sober”, then I pity you because I don’t know how you got this far in life, and with that in mind don’t fucking show up unless you’re going to stop being a goddamn cock block for our chapter. Seriously. I swear to fucking God if I see anyone being a goddamn boner at tonight’s event, I will tell you to leave even if you’re sober. I’m not even kidding. Try me.

And for those of you who are offended at this email, I would apologize but I really don’t give a fuck. Go fuck yourself.

For this post, mystery University of Maryland DG soror Julia had the West Week Ever.

6 Responses to “West Week Ever – 4/19/13”

  • Re Selling: yep, if I make an offer it will maybe be 5 to 10 bucks off a price but never 50%. Ridiculous.

    And we’re on the same wavelength about helping out. So many of us push our own shit, but never retweet or like someone else’s. I’m guilty of it. Been trying to change my ways as much as possible.

    As for research for the Pryde article, I was way too lazy to do research on it too, but then since I was writing about it I figured I’d need a little something extra.

  • I think I’m laughing with you, laughing at me on this one! ;) Either way thanks for the shout out man!

  • Lamar the Revenger

    Yup. ‘Cunt Punt’ saved the day.

  • You’re missing a number in the WKRP section: “The show only lasted [blank] seasons because…” etc.

    I have no qualms about SEVERELY undercutting someone’s asking price, but only on eBay: there’s nothing I hate more than a page full of “auctions” for an item I want, but it’s nothing but Buy It Nows with some ridiculously high price that the seller saw one thing sell for one time. Nobody ever bites, the item never sells, and the seller just relists with the same BIN. I’ve been tracking some things for YEARS that are still there, unloved and unsold. They’re using eBay as a store, not an auction site, and I hate that.

    So when they do the same thing, but have a “make an offer” button, I make an offer – a fair offer, based on real sales and how much I’m really willing to pay, even if that’s only a fraction of what they wanted to get. And I don’t feel bad about it for a second.

    What really kills me, though, is when people auto-reject Make An Offers below a certain price. I remember Adam Pawlus mentioning one time that he was making offers on a fairly expensive item, and it was rejecting things as little as $2 below the asking price. At that point, why even bother? Some sellers DESERVE to be low-balled…

  • CT

    It’s funny, I had no idea you hadn’t done your “homework” for the podcast. It was probably a rare occurrence where I was the most prepared. But, that said, you were great and I’m looking forward to sharing the show next week. Should drop Tuesday the 23rd-ish.

    I read that Man of Steel article you linked to. It’s going to sound odd, but Clark Kent is my favorite character in the Superman set of characters. I like ol’ CK more than Superman. Not sure why. I always loved situations where Clark would have to leap into action before getting a chance to change into Superman and have to hide his powers from those around him. Or get to be an investigative reporter and do some mystery-solving. There’s something interesting to me about this immortal being walking around like a normal guy from the Midwest. I know the glasses thing gets made fun of so much now, but I don’t care. I love it. Same goes for Robin. He gets made fun of tons, too, but I love Robin. Oh well.

  • Will

    Thanks, everyone, for the comments & RTs!

    @RobotsPJs – it took everything I had not to reply to him with the whole blurb I posted. I decided it was best to just leave well enough alone.

    @Shawn – no prob. We’ve all gotta stick together!

    @Lamar – I’m beginning to think the Cunt Punt may be the world’s most devastating blow, which is why we’re just now learning about it.

    @Yo – well, to be honest, eBay IS a store now. It’s not the auction site of old, what with its increased BIN options and the fact that it’s a buyer’s site now. Just another thing to get used to. Anyway, I think if you go back and read, you’ll see I was discussing “reasonable” offers. There’ll always be cases where someone’s asking too much, but even if they are, it’s their place to do so. You, as the buyer, are left to decide whether to bite or walk. They’ll eventually get the clue or they won’t.

    @CT -nope, no research. I’d forgotten you’d sent the notes 2 weeks ago, when you thought we were doing it on the 6th or whatever. I look forward to hearing the finished product.

    While I’ve liked the Clark aspect in the past, I’ve begun to see it as a liability. This might be just the plot twist I need to consider Superman a viable concept again. As much as he needs to “blend in”, it kinda sucks that he wastes valuable life-saving time pretending to be a reporter. At least he isn’t as unethical as photojournalist Peter Parker, but it still feels like a conflict of interest. I think that’s why I like what they’ve done with Superman in the Batman Beyond comic series – he’s a firefighter, so he’s saving lives in his alter ego, as well as in his hero adventures.

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