April 07 2011

Honor System Tag Sale Poll

So I’ve been thinking about getting rid of some books and CDs to clear up some space in here. There’s lots of too much stuff and it’s getting a little hoarder style. Books that I’ll never read and hundreds of CDs I’ll never play again nor rip. Problem is I’m not sure what to do with em all. Considering I’ve crossed over to the darkside and only buy ebooks now– I feel like I can give up some of my ‘library’.

But what to do with em? I can donate it all but it’s alot of stuff to transport and I don’t have a car. I guess I could sit in front of my apartment and try and sell em tag sale style– but I figure I’d get a dollar a piece or something for most of this stuff. And to take a whole day to sit on my stoop and maybe sell stuff maybe– seems difficult to gather motivation for…

Let’s say I price everything at $1 and I put 100 things down on the street– I’ve been wondering how I could collect the money on an honor system. Like just put everything down on the curb and tell people everything is a dollar and if they want to buy stuff to put the money in a locked box.

I’m in Brooklyn so it may not be easy but I’m trying to think of the best thing I could write on my collection box to deter people from stealing it. There are some unethical things I could write like– ways like (in crayon), ‘This if 4 my Daddy’s operashun…’ or something. Hard to believe someone would have the karmic balls to steal that box. But that high level of bad deterrent aside– what would be the best message on a universal neighborhood scale to keep people from stealing? (Of course, I realize people might just steal the book or CD and not pay for anything as well) but I’d like to give people the benefit of the doubt– and am curious to see how close I can get to $100 when I do this up.

Here’s a bunch of suggestions to vote on or feel free to post a suggestion below:

Book Sale Poll

What do you think I should write on the envelope to most deter thievery?

Crayon Handwriting: Please don’t steal this please!
If you steal this you are a bad person.
Stealing is a sin against God. Just FYI
Your Mom would hate to see you steal.
If you steal this money something bad will happen.
You are on camera right now.
You are being watched from the window. Please don’t steal.
Whatever. I refuse to participate in this poll.

PS. New Beastie track is here…


JV says:

Just to throw in my two cents from reading some research on this topic, I would say the most effective sign would say: (1) what you don’t want the person to do (“Please do not steal this”; and (2) use an altruistic reason why they should not steal it (“I’m donating this money to…) rather than a punishing reason. All people don’t respond very well to the threat of punishment, and you often catch more bees with honey than vinegar.

baba says:

Just put the stuff on the curb, and on the box write something simple like “Donations for free stuff accepted”

Krankor says:

The honor system works here in the midwest; farmers sell vegetables on the honor system by the side of the road.

I don’t know if it’s going to work in NYC though.

Krankor says:

Try “If you steal this, I will kill your mother and rape your dog.”

Anonymous says:

Tell them what they are on the sign- like “only a real loser would steal this, are you that guy? Jerk.”

Then below or on a sign to the side somewhere a second sign “yeah, you are being watched, just in case you really are that guy”…

I think anyone who feels challenged by the first sign would be put off from proving it by the second one,,but maybe not by much…perhaps if you identify it with your webpage persona it is more effective (a la cardboard cut out Todd standing next the second sign..)

Of course the best thing to do is just mentally resign yourself to losing the stuff you don’t want and not getting anything for it.. then you won’t care if it’s missing/stolen when you come back.

Mike Marsh says:

Since most of that crap is still worth more than a dollar each and you’ll get ripped off no matter what you write on a sign, your better option is to donate everything to a charity and write off the full value of everything on next years tax return. You will probably come out ahead over the “steal my stuff” box.

Yellowdog says:

eBay? Craigslist? Donate the rest and get the write-off?

Donny says:

what yellowdog says!

also, please review a new movie soon! i’d love to read an OddTodd review of sucker punch!!!

Anonymous says:

Get your ass downstairs and sell your crap like a man. You couldn’t use $100?

My Butt Here says:

If your gonna put things out to sell on the street an hope to collect $100, you better be putting stuff out there that peeps will buy. Consider this pawn shops only give 25% of what something is really worth. And selling stuff this way would only get you 5%-10% of the real worth. Are you really gonna put out $1000-$2000 worth of stuff just to see what happens?

Jean_Phx says:

Just leave it out there with the box – it’ll all be gone before you get back to the apartment. It’s all good, if someone else wants it all that bad let them have it. Life’s too short.

Mike Marsh says:

Or like I said, donate it and take the $1000 to $2000 write-off. Assuming you are running your freelance business legit and charging a fair rate, you could be gaining $400 to $800. I doubt you would get that from a “steal my stuff” box.

me says:

everything will be stolen. Even if someone pays for the stuff it won’t matter because the money will be stolen.

optional says:

Put a poisonous snake in the box so when the thief opens it he gets an…unpleasant surprise. Or rest the box on a pressure activated explosive that explodes if someone picks it up. Or sit at your window with a sniper rifle and shoot anyone that tries to take the box. Make it a silenced rifle so it makes that cool pew! sound.

Jimmy the Juicer says:

“Thank you for your honesty citizen,no portion of these funds will go to the government.”

stef says:

TODD! Thanks for repping the beastie boys! the new track is awesome and I’m glad you’re feelin’ it too

Sh!tForBra!ns says:

I agree with the “donate to Goodwill and take the tax writeoff” idea. We do this every time we need to get rid of stuff. Much easier than sitting on your stoop all day running a yard sale like a dope and getting like $27.38.

Roscoe says:

You can borrow my webcam and we can see who the good people and bad people are (with everyone else) on the internet!

the REAL weeze says:


Jayslickbalt says:

You don’t work…..sit your ass down stairs one day and sell that shit. may even meet some sluts who want to see your “other” stuff that you didn’t bring down. Take them upstairs for a midday porking….

Jenna in Jerz says:

Lots of places will pick up your donation…I know the vets association does. Maybe try that? Good luck!

tainted says:

Id put up a sign that says like “Half the money made will be donated to cancer research. If you steal it, then the little sick children will be on your conscience.”

But then again, its likely that the bum who is going to steal it cant even read anyways. Also, what about telling them to like, slip the money into a mail slot in your door? One way type deal?

Karma says:

Karma’s only a bitch if you are. Don’t steal the box!

I says:

Go man the stall yourself, or with your nieces and nephews and see what type of people rock up, you might make some new friends/learn something.

Bob in Peru says:

Sell chances on it and draw a winner from those who purchased tickets. Let UPS pack it and ship it. Make one prize the books & the CDs the other.

Acktfhg Opthff says:

I would stop by and jack off on everything with a big load.

Jane says:

I agree with JV and Baba. I also agree with the guy who suggested you use your mail slot. And if anybody suggested locking the box to a railing with a bike lock, I’d agree with them, too. I also agree you’d do better to donate and take the tax writeoff, but the stealbox has become so much more than mere pragmatism by now.

The stealbox is a giant, wonderful, adventure of participation art in Brooklyn.

Definitely put out a camera in order to immortalize this historic moment.

Nate says:

Simple, sell it on ebay as ‘oddtodd’ with the extra bonus of…pick up all this crap from my place, meet me and Roscoe and I will autograph a handbook for you.

You are a minor celeb on the interwebs, so use that and ebay to your advantage, get a premium, and then that person will most likely haul it off for you and donate most to charity.

skeptical one says:

Todd, there is no way in hell someone won’t steal the box no matter what you write on it. Like when we go Trick-or-Treating, we leave a big bowl of candy on the stoop and every time we come back, the whole thing is gone. There are always people who take because they won’t get caught.

The question is this: Do you want to get rid of the stuff or do you want make money? If you want to get rid of stuff price it to move at like 25 cents or slowly donate bags at a time. If you want to make money, you’re going to have to put in the time and sit there for longer if you price the books higher but you make get some cash out of it.

WTF?!?!?!? says:

This being New York, let’s get real. Not only will all your stuff be gone and any money stolen, but the perp will turn and give the finger to everybody on Roscoe Cam.

Oh yeah, they’ll leave your sign there and spray paint obscenities and wieners on it, so when you get back from whatever parallel universe this concept works in, you’ll get a ticket and have to pay a $175 fine for littering. And creating a nuisance. Lose-lose.

Sorry to be so harsh against you and the peeps in NYC, but I just don’t wanna see you get screwed over, man.

WTF?!?!?!? says:

and in case you were wondering, I just took a dump so big I had to get over-sized load permits for it.

Anonymous says:


flowy dress waitress says:

the box idea is lame. for the same amount of effort, you could just spend the day outside with some friends drinking beer and soaking in some sun and sell your stuff for a dollar to passers by.

Medusa says:

I have A.D.D. sometimes and did not read any comment so sorry if I rehash something some one said already.
Call the local library tell them you wana donate. You have no time and have not sorted anything.
They will send you someone who will pick up whatever you have, relavent of coarse, and give ya a good old tax deduction receipt in a value you think is fair.
Or call local school tell them you have loads of books and cd’s to offer, if rated for that age they will gladly take them off your hands.

Medusa's Translator says:

I feel that what I have to say is more important and have more meaning coming from me so I am going to make my post even though my suggestions were made several times already. I mean, so what if other people said the same thing as me. They aren’t me and I am the center of the universe. Don’t reply to me because I only read posts made by me.

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