Making money from the misfortune of others?

Question from Anne G. in Hawaii:

Dirk,
A friend gave me your book and I gave it a quick read. It sounds like you’re suggesting people to prey upon the misfortune of others to find stuff to sell? (Hateful rant omitted.)

Answer:

Anne, thank you for your question. I get asked this one a lot. It is true that much of the merchandise I have sold came from people who were in financial distress. One way to look at this is you’re either predator or prey. You either eat or get eaten. Now, this is not such a pleasant way to look at things so I choose to look at it as follows:

There many, many reasons that a may become in a weak financial position; loss of a job, excessive debt, gambling, drinking/drugs, divorce, imprisonment and death. I have found evidence of these personal problems in some of the delinquent storage units I have purchased at auction. I didn’t have anything to do with the person failing to pay their rent on their stored goods. In fact, when I show up to an auction and the auctioneer tells us that several of the people paid their delinquent rent, I cheer them. I think people should pay the rent to save their stuff if it has value to them. Why would they have put it in storage otherwise? If everyone would just pay their rent there would never be a storage unit auction. But for whatever reason, some people don’t pay their rent and the auction goes forward. When I buy it, I move it out of the storage facility so the facility can rent the space – furthering commerce. I clean it and sell it, recycling if you will. So you could say that I’m performing a service which furthers economic growth. I think of it as a green business.

Who’ this Dirk? Read about Dirk

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