A thing or two about Carousell

I recently got rid of my LG TV because of the screen was flickering and I had no idea how to get this fixed without tearing the TV apart. Even so, I had no idea what was wrong with the picture and so I put it up for auction on Carousell. I managed to sell mine at $50. Not a bad deal, considering that displays these days are really cheap (as cheap as $400 for the non OLED versions) and most people would prefer to buy a new set rather than settle for a second-hand TV.

My flickering TV

So when the time came to finally change hands, the buyer did a power test on the TV and told me that the issue was likely due to a faulty motherboard arising most likely resulting from an electrical surge. This was somewhat true. The old electrical wiring in my house has been a problem and we have had multiple power trips whenever we operated the oven in baking mode. He recommended that I use a surge protector for some of my devices, which was a simple solution to the problem. How much it would eventually cost him to fix the TV, I don't know. But if he's right, and it doesn't cost much to replace the motherboard, he might be able to use it as good as new or even resell it on the market for possibly more than twice the price.

Second hand 55" LG TV can go for $550

It may not seem like a lot but it's still 2x on cost. If the secondary market for TV sets is large enough (which I believe it is) you are looking at a potential business involving hundreds of TVs and tens of thousands of dollars in transactions.

Distressed investing is similar. Businesses that have been cast aside by unsavvy investors who are have no expertise or commercial interest in operating them get picked up by astute buyers who have an interest in these assets or the right resources to re-write their destiny.

"Certified Refurbished" is a significant market for Apple

This investment approach is is not for the traditional buyer. It is not for someone who wants to run a conventional due diligence process and have all the right information lined up before investing in a company. Distressed investors have to be aggressively comfortable with the disarray (or lack) of data and fully aware that lots of on-the-ground work is needed to be done to re-assemble whatever little there is in the business. Perhaps another important factor here is whether these special sit funds also have the ability to triangulate and identify that unique pool of buyers who are interested in buying these "certified-refurbished" operating assets.

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