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Archive for March, 2007

March ebay totals

March 31st, 2007 at 11:02 pm

Our last auction of the month ended today. We sold 5 items for a total of $108.48. Not bad at all since we did it very casually and made no serious effort at all.

I was a little disappointed with today's auction since there were 7 watchers and it ended with only 1 bid. I was hoping a few of those watchers would be competing at the end and boost the price.

Of course, I know from experience that with a little effort, we can do far better. My best month ever on ebay I took in nearly $3,000. I've been training DW how to do ebay and a couple of the sales were hers, so she's getting the hang of it. I'm sure we'll gradually ramp up the number of items we post. I'm going to set a goal of $200 in sales for April, nearly double this month. That should give us something to shoot for and still be easy to accomplish.

Anything to save $15

March 29th, 2007 at 09:43 pm

In preparation for Passover, we are in the midst of our annual major house cleaning. A couple of days ago, my wife said she wanted to make a very frivolous purchase. I could tell from her tone that she was kidding, so I asked what this frivolous purchase was going to cost me. She said it would be more than the new bathmat she bought last week - that was $5. Now I knew I was in trouble - LOL! Turns out she wanted a new kitchen trashcan since the one we have is quite dirty. She figured about $15 to replace it. Being the cheapskate that I am, I promised to clean it for her and if it didn't come out clean enough, then she could buy a new one.

I just took it outside and scrubbed it with a Brillo pad and it is bright white, as good as new. Wife is satisfied and said, "Boy, you'll do anything to save $15, won't you."

Yup!

Got a check from Discover today

March 29th, 2007 at 01:40 am

I only use my Discover card when they have a good 5% cashback bonus special. As a result, I haven't used it for a few months. But a few months ago, I also redeemed my cashback bonus for $20 to be applied to my account. The only problem was I ended up having a zero balance when that occurred, which left me with a $20 credit. I kept meaning to use the card since I had a credit, but I forgot. Yesterday, I got a check in the mail from Discover for the $20 credit. I guess it is better for them to pay out the money than to keep tracking it on my account. Honestly, I'd rather have the money and not have to worry about using the card to utilize it.

Made a sale on Half.com

March 27th, 2007 at 04:46 pm

I've used Half.com several times in the past but hadn't listed anything lately. The other day I was packing old clothes to give away because Purple Heart was coming. I found my wife had put a book in pile. Rather than give it away, I listed it on Half.com. It was a novel with the dust jacket. I priced it at $2.89 which seemed to be the going rate. Less than a week later, it sold! Certainly not a big windfall, but it couldn't possibly have been easier so it's found money as far as I'm concerned.

Just booked caterer for DD's Bat Mitzvah

March 23rd, 2007 at 12:26 am

Well I had an expensive day, but for a good reason. My daughter will become Bat Mitzvah in Sept. 2008. We've already booked the DJ and photographer for the party that will follow the ceremony. Today, we met with the caterer we wanted to use. We know him and his staff well as they frequently cater events at our temple and we have attended many of those affairs.

We spent about an hour discussing menu options and how to structure the evening and ended up giving him a $1,000 deposit to reserve the date. Since he knows us well, he gave us a nice break. Rather than booking us at the 2008 anticipated prices, he booked us at the 2005 prices. So we will be paying $58/adult and $38/child. The bar will be another $3/head if we provide the alcohol or $18/head if he supplies it. That would bring the total to $76/head. Not bad when you consider that our wedding in 1992 was $72/head. And I know I'll get the alcohol myself and save a few hundred dollars.

Yes, we've had money put aside for this for years. I've got $25,000 earmarked for the affair though I'm hoping we don't need all of it.

Latest ebay sales

March 20th, 2007 at 01:21 pm

Little by little, I'm trying to get back into selling on ebay. I used to sell regularly, even full time for a stretch in 2000, but I got away from it for quite a while.

I listed 2 items last week. I had 4 vintage department store credit cards that we found when cleaning out my wife's aunt's house in 1992. I knew there were folks who collected them but even I was surprised by the final price: $46.00. I was happy with that.

The other auction was for a bin full of rubber stamps that my daughter hasn't played with for years. There were a total of 79 items including stamps and several stamp pads. That sold for $24.50.

And two weeks ago, we sold a kitchen knife that we had recently replaced with a better one. That went for $7.99.

So in just 3 auctions, we brought in over $78 on stuff that was just lying around the house taking up space.

Booked our summer vacation

March 19th, 2007 at 11:01 pm

We finally figured out our summer travel plans. In my last post, I said how we were looking at New Hampshire, Boston, and Rhode Island. Well, the more we researched New Hampshire, the more things of interest we found throughout the state. And after checking the Boston guides again, we realized that on our last visit, we had hit almost all of the sites that we were really interested in.

So the final decision is that we will be spending the whole 2 weeks in New Hampshire. We're starting with a 1-night stay in Hartford, CT to visit family. Then we will move on to Manchester, NH for 7 nights. We'll use that as our base for exploring the whole southern part of the state. Then we'll do two nights in Lebanon to see some sites along the western border before ending up in Franconia in the White Mountains for 4 nights. Everything but the Franconia part will be free with Marriott Reward points. So the grand total hotel cost for 14 nights will be under $400.

For anyone planning a trip to New Hampshire, the state tourism guide is pretty worthless as it is horribly disorganized. The site that we found that was extremely helpful was www.newhampshire.com. They break the state down into several regions and have a list of 10 things to see and do in each of those regions.

Now we just need August to come soon.

Planning our summer vacation

March 8th, 2007 at 02:40 am

I realized that I haven't made an entry for a couple of weeks. It seems like we've been busy non-stop with one thing or another. I'm on a few committees at our synagogue, busy with work, attending some school things with DD, etc.

One thing we've started doing seriously is figuring out our summer vacation. We've been tossing around ideas for a few months but I think we've finally narrowed it down. Now that DW isn't working, we can do a 2-week vacation rather than 1 week. That helps a lot in the planning. My main criteria was that I wanted to use our Marriott points as much as possible. We usually use them every other year to pay for at least part of our trip. We currently have over 100,000 points. If we plan it right, that may well cover just about all of a 2-week trip.

Anyway, last summer we went to Stowe, VT and loved it so we want to head back to New England this year. As of now, we're planning to start in New Hampshire. We've been paging through the state tour guide (which is really poorly organized) and the AAA guidebook (which is very well organized) to get some ideas of what sites we want to visit.

A couple of weeks ago, DD asked if we could go back to Boston some time. We were there 3 years ago and though we had a great time and saw some neat stuff, we barely scratched the surface of all the area has to offer. So after NH, we will head to Boston for a few days.

Finally, as we move toward home, I want to spend a few days in Rhode Island - Providence and Newport. We've never been there but looking through the guide books, there are numerous places of interest that we'd like to see.

We haven't worked out the exact itinerary - how many days in each place - but we're getting there. The main thing I want to figure out is where we want to stay in each locale so I can book the rooms. So that's where we stand for now.