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Archive for January, 2009

Ebay Challenge Update 1/30

January 31st, 2009 at 04:24 am

I thought I was done for January a I didn't have any more ebay auctions ending this month. Then I checked my e-mail this morning and discovered that I had sold another book on half.com for $7.99. That brings me to $208.99 for the month.

I have 5 active auctions that end on 2/4. Right now, 2 have bids totaling $22.49, so I'll make at least that much next week. A 3rd item has 11 watchers but no bids yet. It is certainly getting a lot of attention, though. I would think at least one of those watchers will bid, so that should bring at least $4.99, my starting bid.

ETA: I got a bid on that item during the night, so that's another $4.99 at least.

BIG Ebay Challenge Update 1/28

January 29th, 2009 at 12:56 am

My last 5 ebay auctions of the month ended tonight. All 5 sold and 2 really took off from my starting bids. The 5 items sold for a total of $70.06!

That brings my January total to exactly $201.00. That means I've already met my sales goal for both January and February. If this keeps up, I may need to raise my goal for the year.

I just finished listing 5 more items.

$675 to ROTH

January 28th, 2009 at 05:49 pm

I sent another $675 to the ROTH last night. That brings us to $1,385 so far for 2009. Only $8,615 to go.

Ebay Challenge Update 1/27

January 28th, 2009 at 12:48 am

I just checked My Ebay. I forgot I had 2 items ending today. One sold. One didn't. The one that sold went for $19.99 to a buyer in France. It was actually an item I bought a few months ago at a yard sale to resell. I paid $5.00.

That brings my January total to $130.94 so I'm well past my January goal and have a good running start on February. I have 5 auctions ending tomorrow. 3 already have bids and all 5 have multiple watchers.

Casino visit and Decluttering update

January 25th, 2009 at 06:26 pm

I thought I'd take a break from the Ebay Challenge posts.

My daughter had a youth group event last night so my wife and I dropped her off and headed to the casino for a couple of hours. As usual, I took a seat at an electronic blackjack table and played for a little over an hour, winning $212.50 in the process, so I was happy with that. My wife didn't fare as well and lost $74, but that still made it a winning trip overall and a nice evening out.

On the decluttering front, my wife has actually been more inspired than me lately. Two main areas that she has attacked: We have a dresser in our hallway that constantly gets stuff piled on it. She has cleared that off to where we can see almost the entire top. Just a few things remain on there. Then today, while I was out, she cleaned out one set of kitchen cabinets where we keep storage containers, water bottles, cooling racks and a few other assorted things. She threw out a bunch of containers that we no longer have lids for, lids that we no longer have containers for, and water bottles that we don't like and never use and organized everything that remained.

I keep reminding all of us that if we can organize our storage areas - pantry, drawers, closets, garage - then we will have more room to store the things we do want and be able to find them when we need them.

Ebay Challenge Update 1/24

January 24th, 2009 at 07:13 pm

I shipped the one item to Argentina today. Postage was actually $2.75 less than I had charged so I'm going to give back a partial refund. I don't like to rip people off on the postage.

I still have 7 active auctions. 2 have bids. 4 of the other 5 have watchers. 2 end on 1/26. 5 end on 1/27.

Still no more half.com sales.

I need to order a roll of bubble wrap as mine is just about done. I'm debating about ordering more shipping labels. I like the convenience and clean look of labels but I know it is cheaper to print on paper and cover it with tape. I've found the labels on ebay for $13/100 instead of $23 at Staples, plus I learned how to only use half a sheet at a time instead of a whole sheet, so $13 would get me labels for 200 shipments. That's less than 7 cents per package. I think I'll probably stick with labels.

Ebay Challenge Update 1/23

January 23rd, 2009 at 01:45 pm

First, the good news. The buyer from Argentina who hadn't paid me yet finally paid yesterday, so I'll ship that tomorrow morning. It was a $26.00 sale so I'm glad it didn't fall through.

As of this morning, I have 7 active auctions. 2 have bids. 3 others have watchers (which I know means nothing). Also, I got a question this morning on one item asking how much it would be to ship it to Singapore, so I need to figure that out tonight and reply.

No action lately on Half.com. I did get an e-mail a couple of days ago that my most recent deposit for $77.34 was on it's way to my account.

Ebay Update 1/22

January 22nd, 2009 at 02:38 pm

I listed 2 items Tuesday night and 5 more last night, so I've got 7 active auctions. Surprisingly, 2 of the 7 items I listed last night at about 7pm had bids on them by 9pm. That's pretty unusual but I'm certainly not complaining.

I also added one more book to Half.com (actually 2, since I listed 2 copies of the same book).

I still have not heard from the person who won my auction last week. I gave them until today to contact me. If I don't hear from them, I will report it to ebay and send a second chance offer to the runner up bidder.

Ebay Challenge Update 1/21

January 21st, 2009 at 02:07 pm

I listed 2 items on ebay last night and plan to add a few more tonight. I listed 4 books on Half.com this morning. Three are books I've sold before. One is a medical text that may or may not sell, but it didn't cost me anything.

I might have to revise my January total. One buyer has not paid for her item yet. I've sent her an invoice, a reminder e-mail and yesterday I sent a final notice giving her until tomorrow to contact me. If she doesn't, I will offer the item to the 2nd place bidder. Hopefully, that person will still want the item.

I'm glad to read that a few of you have been inspired to take up the Ebay challenge. Keep the updates coming.

Our house is falling apart

January 19th, 2009 at 02:24 am

This is going to be an expensive year around here.

Our garage door spring broke recently. I haven't gotten it repaired yet because it has been too darn cold to clean out the area in the garage that the service guy will need to reach to make the repair.

We have a cold water supply pipe in the basement that has sprung a pinhole leak

The toilet in my daughter's bathroom needs a new flapper.

The side entry door to the garage needs to be replaced. It is an old wooden door that is warped and won't open and close easily.

The washing machine is on the fritz. My wife went to get a load of towels out earlier and they were still all soapy. She had to run an extra rinse cycle twice, so something's wrong.

One of our alarm keypads is worn out and it is getting hard to get the keys to register, which is a problem when you've only got 30 seconds to disable the alarm.

Fun, fun, fun. The joys of home ownership.

1st Roth Contribution of 2009

January 17th, 2009 at 02:10 am

I sent $710 to Vanguard yesterday toward my 2009 Roth contribution. I send money every 2 weeks (from each paycheck), alternating between my account and my wife's account, until they are both maxed for the year, usually around the end of June. Only $9,290 to go.

Ebay Challenge Update 1/15 - GOAL!

January 15th, 2009 at 03:02 pm

Well that didn't take long. Last nite, I posted that my auctions this week were kind of disappointing. Today, I check my e-mail and find 2 books sold on half.com. The total for those is $15.43, bringing my total for January to $110.95. So that meets my $100/month goal for January.

Ebay Challenge Update 1/14

January 15th, 2009 at 12:42 am

My first batch of auctions for 2009 are over. I'm a bit disappointed as only 2 of 6 sold even though 5 of 6 had watchers. Such is life.

Add $35.99 to my total. That puts me at $95.52 for the month, a few dollars short of my $100 goal.

I usually list on Wednesday nights but I ended up having to go out tonight with my daughter (I'm not home now) so I'll try and list tomorrow night instead. I do still have one active auction. I also have a few books that I may list on half.com (older stuff, not new books like I've been listing).

I've got half a month to make $5.00. I think I can handle that.

Ebay Challenge Update 1/13

January 14th, 2009 at 03:17 am

As of tonight:

7 active auctions
6 items have a total of 12 watchers
1 item has a bid

6 items end within 24 hours so I will have an update with new sales totals tomorrow night.

Ebay Challenge Update 1/12

January 12th, 2009 at 08:49 pm

I listed one more item on ebay last night, so that makes 7 active auctions. No bids yet, but I've got a total of 10 watchers on 5 items. The first 6 items end on Wednesay night.

I just sold an item on half.com for $18.59, so that brings my January total to $59.53.

Ebay Challenge Update 1/11

January 11th, 2009 at 08:54 pm

No sales yet.

No bids yet, but I've gone from 5 watchers on 4 items to 8 watchers on the same 4 items. Two items have 3 watchers each so pretty good chance that those 2 will sell. They end on Wednesday.

I just listed one more ebay item.

Ebay Challenge Update 1/10

January 10th, 2009 at 07:38 pm

Nothing too exciting to report. I added 2 items to my half.com inventory and adjusted the price of one other. I lowered it by 4 cents to make it the cheapest one listed.

I have 6 active auctions on ebay that I started on Wednesday night. Four have watchers. No bids yet. If all 4 sell, that would get me almost to the $100 goal for the month. I may list some more tomorrow.

Join the 2009 Ebay Challenge!

Ebay update 1/8

January 8th, 2009 at 02:27 pm

Join the 2009 Ebay Challenge!

I listed 6 items on ebay last night. As of this morning, 3 items have 1 watcher each and 1 has 2 watchers. I also sold a book on Half.com yesterday for $21.95. That makes $40.94 so far this month.

Join the 2009 Ebay Challenge!

January 7th, 2009 at 04:58 pm

A while back, I had blogged about my ebay sales and goal for 2009 and someone suggested I post it as a challenge to encourage others to do the same.

Here's the deal. Set a personal goal for how much you'd like to generate each month in ebay sales. I would also include half.com and craigslist in the challenge. Where ever and how ever you want to sell your stuff is fine. You can even throw in your yard sales if you'd like.

My goal for 2009 is sales of $100/month average for the year. I've already had one half.com sale this week ($18.99). I haven't listed anything on ebay yet. I plan to start tonight.

Let's hear everyone else's goals and keep updating us regularly on your progress.

ETA: I remember on another site, what we used to do was put "Proud member of ..." at the end of our listings. Then we could look up each other's auctions. If you'd like to do that, just add, "Proud member of SavingAdvice.com" to the end of your listings.

2008 Credit Card Usage Totals

January 7th, 2009 at 12:24 am

It's that time again. Time to look back and review the spending for the year. This entry covers our credit card usage for 2008.

Marriott Visa: $31,652.26
AOL Visa: $5,831.72
Discover: $3,265.06
--------------------
Total: $40,748.04

That's just about $300 more than 2007 which isn't bad at all considering we had the Bat Mitzvah this year and spent a lot of money on that. The only major expense that wasn't charged was the caterer.

As for rewards, we earned 35,287 Marriott points. That would get us 6 nights at about $90/night, so $540 in rewards.

From AOL and Discover, we earned cashback of $258.21.

We also got a free night certificate from Marriott Visa worth between $150 and $200.

That gives us total rewards earned for 2008 of $950-$1000.

As always, all bills were paid in full and on time, no interest charges or late fees. The Marriott card does have a $65 annual fee, but since we got rewards worth over $700, I think it is well worth the price.

December and year-end survey income

January 4th, 2009 at 04:55 pm

For the newbies: I'm a doctor. I get to do various online surveys for doctors only, not available to the general public. They pay well. Some are easy. Some are quite tedious. Most pay me in cash. Some pay with Amazon gift cards. Some shorter ones give me some type of merchandise (books, USB drives, laser pointers, computer accessories, etc.). I also do Harris polls, Pinecone and AOL Opinion Place surveys that are open to everyone.

For the month of December, I earned $429.00 in cash and Amazon credit.

For 2008, I earned $5,068.50 in cash and Amazon credit.

It is a little hard to track the non-monetary rewards. Some of them, I've sold on ebay or half.com. Others, I've kept and used for myself or given to friends or family. There was probably at least another $200-300 worth of stuff like that.

All in all, a pretty good year. I slacked off on doing the surveys in late summer because we were busy getting ready for our daughter's Bat Mitzvah in September. In fact, my lowest income for the year was $160 in September. My best month was June with $760.50.

Here's to 2009 being at least as good if not better.

Adding up the 2008 bills

January 4th, 2009 at 04:01 am

I've started the process of adding up all of our bills from 2008. I'm not nearly ready to post any final numbers yet. Maybe by tomorrow night. So far, I've done water, gas, electric, cable, cell phone and our main credit card (Marriott Visa). I'll try and do the rest tomorrow. I also need to add up what we earned in CC rewards. That's always an estimate because we have reward points that haven't been redeemed yet so I don't know for sure what they'll actually be worth - depends on how and where we use them - but I can come up with an approximate value.

More to follow.