Walmart – Save Money by Checking Prices Online First!

So my 12 yo son was spoiled this weekend when his Godfather (my brother) bought him an IPad Mini.  Now, we would never by that for our son (he was actually saving up to buy one), but my brother moved to Europe about 15 years ago and is here for a visit and it’s the first time he met his Godson in person.  So to make up for all of his missed birthdays, he bought him one.

So anyway, he was researching what kind of case to purchase and found that Walmart sells the Otterbox case for the best price.  (If you don’t know what an Otterbox is, it’s worth checking out as I have one for my Iphone and it has saved my phone quite a few times…I love it!)

otterbox for IPad MiniWe checked online to see if it was available at our local Walmart and it was in stock.  We knew we’d be driving past it last night and stopped in to pick one up.  I was shocked to see the price to be $68.88.  I checked with an associate (and showed him the price on my phone) and he said it was pretty common for the online price to be lower than the in-store price.  I asked if he couldn’t just price match it..he couldn’t.  He said to order it online and they will usually pull it off the shelf and have it ready for pick up (at the online price) within a few hours.  How crazy is that.

So the next time you are wanting to buy something at a Walmart and have a smartphone, take a couple of minutes to research it online.  Doing so saved me $22.89.  That’s a pretty great savings for a couple of minutes of time.

How to leave feedback for an Ebay Seller – Seller did good, but product sucks!

Cheap Chinese LenseSo I really want to get this amazing macro lens to do some macro photography of my flowers and other such things.  The one that I really want costs between $800 – $1000.  I started doing some research and found that you could get very similar results with some macro extension tubes that you use with your regular camera.  It has all the sensors for autofocus, etc.  You basically then just plug your regular lens into those tubes (which are attached to your camera).

Well okay, I’m not going to spend $800 on this lens at this point, so I thought I’d shell out the $20 for these extension tubes.  Well, what happened is that as soon as I put these extension tubes on my $3000 camera (yea that’s right – it’s one of my full time work cameras), it fried the electronics on the camera.  Luckily this is my back up camera and I have another backup too.  The damage isn’t horrible, about $300 worth, I think (from what I read anyway).

So how do I leave feedback for the buyer?  He didn’t do anything wrong, it was a product issue.  Is neutral okay in this situation, so that I can just warn other buyers that this happened with my particular camera?

I sell quite a bit on amazon too, and I’ve gotten a low feedback rating that pertained more to the product and not the seller performance.

What should I do?

Water Conservation – Saving Money and the Planet by Reusing/Saving Water

Are we willing to sacrifice our planet for convenience?

After reading Do You Water Your Garden, I started to wonder if there was anything else I could do to conserve water.  I have a large flower and vegetable garden.  Below are some recent pics of what’s currently blooming.


We purchased several rain barrels (well they weren’t rain barrels as they were from a food company who had these barrels that used to be filled with sauerkraut and pickles).  We got them for $15 each and then made them into rain barrels.  This helps with the watering as it catches a lot of rain water from the gutters.  I also have buckets that I use when I know it will be raining so that I can use up more of the rain water and empty out the rain barrels a bit.

IMG_0703My hubby also bought this tank that he uses for a small koi pond as an overflow for the rain barrels.  The koi also add nutrients into the water!

IMG_0702It made me realize that I can take a bath instead of taking a shower and use that water to water all of my garden plants.  So when my rain barrels run dry (which happens quite often) instead of using city water, why let the water go down the drain?  Instead, use the bath water to water the plants.  I know it’s a little bit of work, running in and out of the house (several times) with a bucket or watering can full of water.  But you know what, it is physical exercise..why go to the gym?

Some people are concerned about use grey water because of the chemicals/salt in the shampoos and soaps.  You can certainly use organic products (which is better for your anyway), but it seems that it is so diluted that it doesn’t become an issue at all.  I don’t use it on my veggies, just flowers and other plants.  Click here for more info on using gray water.

Both these methods help our family save money on water and help the planet a little bit.

Have you seen this picture that was making the rounds in response to the ALS challenge?

als-waste-waterI know that this campaign raised tons of money and awareness for ALS, but it was quite a waste of perfect good water too.  Check out all the articles that pertain to the wastefulness of water for the ALS challenge.  So I loved when Matt Damon posted his challenge using toilet water.  Did you know that our toilet water is cleaner than the drinking water most third world countries have access to?

Just something to think about.  If each person/family takes one little step in helping our planet, it’s incredible what we can collectively do!!

Don’t you agree?

Sharing this on Simple Lives Thursday and Living Well Spending Less. 

What’s your ebay story? The many reasons for selling online

There are so many reasons to sell on ebay.  Some are purely business reasons as it gives a seller a worldwide audience at a very low cost.  No overhead costs, except a small commission paid to the company.  It really is a fantastic place to sell, whatever it is that you are selling. A lot of sellers are already large businesses that use Ebay as another venue to sell on.

I’ve been buying on ebay since May of 2000.  But don’t recall exactly when I started selling,  but this is my third year.  I primarily sell to get some extra income for paying off our debts (which we should be done with next year, except for my mortgage). Will I continue to sell on Ebay once we are out of debt?  You bet. I am seriously thinking of going full time with ebay. We’ll be paying off our house and saving money with any income from Ebay. Plus, it’s seriously fun.  I really enoy it!

I know some people who sell on ebay to save up money for a really nice vacation.  Others who sell on ebay to feed their shopping addictions without feeling guilty of using family money.  Others, like Jay and Ryanne from Scavenger Life, do it so that they own their life and their time (my goal).

So I really want to hear YOUR story.  Tell us why you sell on Ebay!!

Ebay Selling – How Our Personal Likes & Dislikes Determine What We Sell

Hubby and I were at an estate sale in the spring when I picked up this vintage brush and hand mirror.

I paid $20 for this thing.  Gasp!!!  I know it’s a lot, but I really, really loved it and felt someone else would too.  I took a best offer of $60 plus shipping!  :)

Same thing with this brass owl ruler.  Bought this at another estate sale for $2 and took a best offer of $30 plus shipping.  I tried cleaning it and even scratched it up a bit..but it still sold.

Both of the above items are things that my hubby would never even consider for resale..he would pass them right up or think they they are junk and no one would buy them.  I love proving him wrong!  ;) He’s usually right about everything, so it feels good when I do.  LOL


Same thing with these loveys too.  He actually made fun of me for buying them.  Sure these weren’t big sellers, but I paid $.49 each for them and it took just a couple of minutes to list (I too try to group things together…make a listing and then just duplicate and change a couple of keywords).  I was actually nervous about buying that top one.  It’s actually in not so great shape.  It’s been washed a lot and repaired already.  I made sure to point out all the flaws and it still sold.  Someone was trying to replace a beloved lovey!!

It really is true that “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure!”.  That’s the really cool thing about Ebay, there are so many unique items for sale and so many unique people to buy them.  I’m glad we are all different and have different tastes and likes..that’s what makes it so interesting!

Have you guys purchased anything that your spouse/so made fun of and then sold for a nice profit?  Do share!

Updated – Forgot to mention this Moses Basket that I bought and sold for $134.  Again, it’s nothing my hubby would even glance at!

 

The Sure-Fire Way to Get out Of Debt!

In January of 2013 we got sick and tired of being sick and tired and decided we would do whatever was necessary to get out of debt.  By this time next year we should be debt free having paid back about $90K of debt/loans.  One of the ways is selling on Ebay!!!

Anyway, I heard someone on the radio talking about this Steve Martin video and watched it.  It is hilarious.


It’s common sense, yet many of us are so used to buying stuff with credit cards and then not being able to pay off the balance before you are hit with interest charges.

If you haven’t yet, take a couple of minutes to read my post about how Your Dollars Are Your Employees.  How every dollar you spend on stupid and unnecessary stuff today, or give away in interest payments, is one less employee that you have making money for you in the future.  See, we’d rather have our money working for us today (okay, start working for us next year), so that we don’t have to in the future.  Wouldn’t you?

Today I’m sharing this post on Living Well Spending Less and Simple Lives Thursday.

Smartphones and Social Media are Truly Anti-Social!

I’ve been thinking about this topic for a long time and I thought it might be fitting to post about it since this blog IS called “Like Like No One Else.”  And it all really started from us wanting to become debt-free and not be like most Americans who use credit cards on a daily basis, have consumer debt and live paycheck to paycheck.

But I’m finding that we Live Like No One Else in many other areas too.  One of them being how we choose to raise our children in regards to today’s electronic toys.

FIRST, please do take the 5 minutes to watch this video.  It is AWESOME.  I could never convey into words what the creators of this video did…but it sums up my feelings exactly!

We live in a very affluent area (in the older part, but we still have million dollar homes a couple houses down from us and across the street).  My hubby loves this area as he grew up here.  It’s a couple of houses away from his parents.  It’s super close to the highways and can get us to places far away very quickly.

It may be a beautiful area to live in, but I would be happy moving.  Besides the real estate taxes getting out of hand, there is a lot of peer pressure to drive nice, big expensive cars, have nice expensive clothes, have big beautiful houses, the best and most recent toys and electronics, to eat out every single day, to run crazy from driving your kids around from one activity to the next (to name a few).  NONE of which we want to participate in.

We have one TV in the family room and I’m the only one that has a smartphone.  My oldest son, who just turned 15 does have a phone.  We got him the phone for Christmas in 8th grade (when he was 13) as we felt that we needed another phone since we got rid of our land line.  My nephews had cell phones since they were like 8 or 9,  When he started high school last fall, he started texting a little bit and I didn’t like seeing the extra charges.  I cancelled that feature on his phone.  He came to me and told me that he needed texting as some of his teachers used it to communicate with their students.  I told him that I would enable that feature on his phone as long as he pays the $10/month for it.  The was the last I heard about it.

It’s probably easier for me as I have 3 boys and they seem to have no problem actually calling and talking to their friends on the phone.  Neither my 12 yo or my 15yo are on any of the Social Media sites either (no Facebook, no Instagram, etc.)  How do I know.  Well they have laptops, but they stay in the family room and each one has Safety Eyes on it. So we can monitor the usage of their online activities.

I do understand it would be harder and that there is more pressure for girls and if we had girls, they still would not have smartphones (here’s a great article if your kids do have them:  Some rules to follow when your kids have smartphones and To My 13-Year-Old, An iPhone Contract From Your Mom, With Love).  But WE, as parents, need to make decisions that are in the best interest of our children. We can’t have today’s society raising our kids and telling them and us what is and what isn’t okay. 

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. ~Jiddu Krishnamurti

My hubby was at a family party last Saturday (I was out of town) and said all the kids were like zombies (some of the parents too)..sitting there with their faces glued to the screens.  Very anti-social.  My hubby said to me, “Smartphones should be treated like drugs and alcohol..it’s such a strong addiction.”  I agree whole-heartedy!

You might think that we are mean parents.  An really, I don’t care.  God gave us these children to raise, love and protect and that’s what we’re going to do!

You may disagree with me, yet I cannot think of any GOOD reason for children to have their own smartphones.  What do you think?

 

Ebay Selling – Owls & The Real McCoy – Selling Imperfect Items

I was at a garage sale about a month ago when I came across two owl planters.  You guys probably know that owls are still hot in today’s market.  And I’m always on the lookout for unique owl art, pottery and figurines.  So when I saw these planters, I knew I had to have them.

Click to enlarge

I accepted a best offer on this one for $35 plus shipping and it sold within the first week.  I still have one more for sale.  The gentleman that was selling these was selling collectibles and knew the value of these items.  He wanted $5 each for them and said that I could resell them at my garage sale if I ever wanted too and make money on them..LOL  But he gave them to me for $4 each.

I’ve read about the McCoy pottery company before and knew that it is a good seller.  I was just worried as both of these planters had one side that was slightly cracked.  But I figured that if they didn’t sell, I would just keep them.  I highlighted the crack and make reference to it in the description and it still sold.

Have you been selling any owl related items or McCoy pottery?

 

Ebay Selling – Finding Higher Priced Items for Resale

 

We’ve been doing a lot of garage saling recently (and a little bit of thrift store shopping) and finding some cool stuff.  I’m glad that my hubby likes to treasure hunt as much as I do..if only the kids did too.  Sometimes we drag them with, and sometimes we leave them at home (how nice to have them at that age).

I’ve been real happy with some recent sales as most of them have been higher priced.   I’m willing to spend a little more $ on some items for a better return.

This vintage bottle opener was $.10 in a bin with kitchen utensils at a thrift.  Accepted BO of $34.99 (shipping was under $3).

This sweater was purchased at a thrift for $4.99.  Accepted BO of $80 (shipped in legal flat rate envelope..$5.35 ish). Found this Men’s sweater in the women’s section.  The really interesting thing about Hilda sweaters is that this company went out of business over 20 years ago.  The reason?  Their sweaters were so well made that they lasted for over 20 years.  Once you bought one, you had no need for another one.

Purchased at a thrift for $10.  Sold for $134.99.  I had a best offer, but the buyer paid full price.  Shipping was $29.  This thing was huge!  I would have asked a higher price, but there was a rip by the foot of the basket.  Had it listed for only a few days before it sold.

These shoes were $10 at a garage sale, sold for $62.99 plus shipping.  I’m starting to list more and more without bo price.  These sold within 2 weeks.  I wasn’t too familiar with this brand, but they were new and had a bag..gotta be worth some $, so I took a chance and was happy with my ROI (return on investment).

Bought for $10 at a local school’s toy consignment sale.  Accepted bo of $35 plus shipping.

This is one of the ties that my son photographed for me.  I’m slowly getting through the listings.  This sold within a week at full asking price of $34.99, even though there was a bo on it.  Someone wanted this bad.  Shipping on ties is about $2.50 ish.

This month I’ve grossed almost $600.  I’m so excited as I didn’t do much last year or the .  beginning of this year.  But I’m getting into it again! Thanks to all the inspirational blogs, podcasts and videos.

I know some people have been mentioning slow sales this month, mine have been really good (for me)..and I attribute it all to listing often.  ABL (always be listing), as Jay and Ryanne of Ebay Scavengers always say!

What have been your best recent sales?? 

Ebay Selling – Getting My Neutral Feedback Removed

I smuggled this NERF Dart Drum away from my kids.  The gun was broken, but they were keeping this thing around for no reason. Kids get a little too attached to material things..LOL

Thanks to Lorraine at We Are Clamco, I knew these sell pretty well on Ebay.  I had gotten quite a few lowball best offers on this thing, but I waited for the right buyer to come along.  And he did..Offered me $20 and paid for international shipping to Switzerland.  I had free shipping to America…I LOVE international sales.  However, I forgot to put the weight information in for international shipping (I usually do this, so this was clearly my oversight).  But I accepted the BO and immediately went to send him an invoice when I realized this mistake.  So within 5 minutes of accepting the BO, I had all the weight and shipping information calculated and emailed to him.

Within that 5 minutes, he had already left me neutral feedback and this is what it said “please add shipping”.  That’s it.  That made me a tad bit mad..I didn’t want a neutral.  I talked to hubby about it, but he was no help and said that it was our oversight..just let it go.  But I couldn’t.  So I thought I’d give Ebay a call.  Explained the situation and got it removed. Yes!!  It was covered under the Ebay Seller Feedback Protection.

So when in doubt..don’t hesitate and just give them a buzz and see if they can’t help you out!