Have you heard about this guy, Paul Mawhinney?
He owns The Worlds Greatest Music Collection.
- 3 Million Records
- 300,000 Compact Discs
- More Than 6 Million Song Titles
It’s a sad story (with no happy ending… yet).
He’s trying to sell his collection so he can retire. But no-one will buy it.
What is Paul Mawhinney doing wrong?
On the surface it seems like a reasonable deal. You pay $3M, you sell off the good bits for $3M+ (maybe even US$50!) and you get the profit and throw the rest in the rubbish.
Here’s his story:
So why isn’t it working?
I think there are 3 main reasons:
1. No-one can afford the price tag
Who has $3M to spare? (He refuses to sell the most valuable items separately)
2. He has forgotten the purpose of music
It’s for listening to. Not for archiving on a dusty shelf somewhere.
3. He has miscalculated the value of the collection
The collection isn’t worth US$50M. And US$3M isn’t a bargain either.
It’s only worth what people will pay for it.
And so far, all we know is that that price is less than US$3M.
What is he really selling?
He’s not selling music. He’s not even selling vinyl records.
He’s selling his problem.
His problem is clutter.
I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want to sell the most valuable items separately because once they are gone he’ll still be left with thousands of vinyl records sitting on his shelf that no-one wants.
He’s spent his life collecting them.
He couldn’t bare to see them end up in a rubbish bin. It would kill him. Literally.
And even a museum wouldn’t want them because the floor space the collection would take up has value.
What should he do?
He only has 2 options:
- Nothing. He could continue to sit and wait for a day that might never come. Everyday the disappointment that no-one will buy his life’s work will eat away at him
- Sell the most valuable items on eBay, and call it quits. Let go, and enjoy the rest of his life.
I think he should go with #2. He could sell the most valuable items one at a time to start with.
He will quickly get an idea of the true value of the collection.
I fear that it will be far, far less than he is hoping for.
I really feel sorry for him.
What do you think?
Write your comments below.