Tracking down underutilized crap and bumming it off of its resources-inefficient owners, on the cheap (or free), is a big part of my life.

This may explain why I deeply resent people who refuse to entertain offers for stuff they’re clearly not using and are clearly never going to use.

(You knew there was a) For example, I met this guy who had paid good money for a USB recording interface (a device for recording instruments onto a computer.) He’d purchased it new, brought it over to his drummer buddy’s house, used it once, and left it there for over a year. This is where I first saw it. I smelled a deal.

Through the intermediary of the friend at whose house the device resided, I made an offer.The response was stunning.

“Nope,” came the relayed answer. “I plan on using it.”

Undeterred, I pursued a different line of inquiry. “How about letting me borrow it until you want it back, with a ‘security deposit’?” I queried.

“Nope,” came the reply.

“A rental? You can make money off of it!”

“Nope.”

To my knowledge, that thing, $500 worth of Something Matthew Wanted, is still sitting in that basement gathering dust. The CDs weren’t even removed from their packaging. Blurgh.

I finally found a greatly inferior interface on Craigslist for $75 and bought that. Oh well.

So yeah. If you have useful crap you’re not using, and you know someone who could use it…for crying out loud, work something out! If you still want to retain some access to the Underutilized Useful Thing, be creative. Work out some sort of buyback rights or rental or whatever.

Just don’t leave it in some guy’s basement, doing no one any good.