2008 was a great year for me. I graduated 8th grade, played ~1000 hours of TF2 (I'm an accredited hat investor), and fell down the headphone rabbit hole.
As a 13 year old, funding was the major issue, and Head-Fi's Buy/Sell/Trade section was my solution.
Generally, enthusiasts do a good job taking care of their stuff, and Audiophile products don't really degrade. These factors produce an environment where secondary markets thrive. Products retain value, the buyers in that market have a good understanding of value, and a large percentage of buyers have also been sellers on that market.
After realizing I could buy a used DT880 for $200, use it for a few months, then reliably sell it for $190, my whole perspective on the hobby changed. Instead of my DT880 representing a $200 cost, now it was $10, all through the magic of reliable secondary market value.
The logical conclusion is that enthusiast products (that don't incur meaningful wear through use) are assets rather than expenses. After realizing this, I stopped buying cheap things and started investing in the "asset level" version of whatever product.
This works great in the sense that I've probably saved a few thousand dollars by avoiding trash quality products, but it makes new hobby exploration difficult.
I look at EDC as an example, seems like a cool community, lots of neat stuff, but I can't think of too many situations where I'd utilize a pocket knife. I did a little reading, found most people recommend getting something cheap, carrying it for a while, and upgrading/abandoning based on much use it gets.
Seems logical, but I don't want to buy a $50 thing that I'll have to toss in a couple months if I decide to upgrade, but it's hard to get over the $200 it'll take to reach the asset level knives.
I think there's cool potential for a solution to this problem, a secondary market, based on trades, geared toward swapping asset level goods of one type, for similarly valuable asset level goods of another type.
I've got five headphones at home, all worth ~$500 on the secondary market. I don't want to invest $200 in a knife that I'm not sure I'll find useful, but what if there was some easy way for me to trade one of those ~$500 pairs of headphones for a ~$500 knife? I don't have to shell out any cash, I get to try the new hobby, and I'm trying it at the quality level I'm interested in entering at.
Anyway, these are my thoughts, but what do you think? I'm curious to know how other people see this.