A little while ago, at the New York MakerBot User Group, they were talking about a project to buy things from thrift stores, scan them into Thingiverse, and then donate them back. Though you can only do it once (or at most a few times) per object, it struck me as a great idea – money for charities, and digitization of the world for Thingiverse’s audience of makers.
The group leaders mentioned this blog by Emily Spivack, in which she lists eBay items which, importantly, have stories associated with them. I can’t find it right now, but the User Group leaders also mentioned a (study? experiment?) in which items were sold on eBay by themselves, and then relisted with an accompanying story in the item description. For example, listing a dress and letting the auction finish, then re-listing the same dress with a story about the wedding it was worn to. The value of things with stories was significantly higher than the value of things without stories.