Your Home, the Retail Store

By Jennifer Morehead

I have done a lot of research on making a home inventory. Most blogs and websites start by telling you how unimportant people say a home inventory is and that it lives at the bottom of any to-do list. Sure you might have been told by an insurance agent or friend to do it but you just haven’t gotten around to it. Then they sprinkle in a bit of fear to really get you motivated.

So I wanted to talk about why I put together a home inventory. Yes, I live in fear of one of those catastrophic events just like anyone else. We have insurance on everything, it seems, including pet insurance for our dog. But in reality, the likelihood of one of those crazy events happening is small (thank goodness).

I wanted a home inventory so I could have a running total of the value of our stuff.

I have this weird way of categorizing anything that crosses my path and needs money: is it an investment or an expense? Most items count as an expense (especially, sigh, those Rock & Republic jeans). You pay money for it once and you get the experience of using it, wearing it, eating it, etc. but basically the dollar amount goes down after you use it.

As I’ve gotten older, the shelf life on my clothes, purses, coats, and other items has gotten longer. But now that we have young kids, we’ve entered a phase where all of their stuff has a really short shelf life. Now we’re entering phases every 6 months where their toys should be different and they need new clothes.

In my ideal world I would run my home like a Gap or Zara store. Zara is famous for getting fresh inventory every 6 weeks and we know that the Gap is constantly letting us know we need skinny jeans, then boyfriend jeans, then boot-cut jeans, and then we’re back to skinny jeans (usually within a calendar year).

My husband Brad always gives me a hard time because when I tell him about my dreams to redecorate our bedroom or bring in a painting to the dining room he asks how we’re going to pay for it. I always tell him that I have a plan. He teases me because in my mind I truly believe our old bedroom set or living room set will sell for “something like $10,000 each on eBay or Craigslist.” I’m usually completely out of touch, considering we didn’t pay that much for either in the first place.

But wouldn’t it be nice if you could run your home like a retail store? You could have new, fresh items sprinkled throughout your home’s décor while efficiently getting older inventory out the door. Afterall, if you wait too long, certain items don’t carry a value at all anymore. Then you’re just paying for them to be moved or stored or you’re lugging them to the donation bin.

We’re aiming to help people create that type of efficiency with their stuff on Lockboxer. The Lockboxer tool starts with the price and helps people add as much detail as they want to their home inventory. Then they can sell, donate, or make that wish list for something new. That way, no one is caught being out of touch about the value of their stuff.

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Staying Safe on Craigslist

By Kylie Gilbert

Craigslist is currently one of the most popular sites for selling and buying stuff online and it has many advantages, which we talked about in our last blog post. However, this classified ad site has also opened up possibilities for dangerous situations.  Because Craigslist itself is not involved in any of the transactions, it is up to you to safeguard yourself while using this site either to sell your unwanted stuff or acquire a new treasure.

Keep your Identity Protected

One of the first precautions to take when using Craiglist is to keep your private information private.  Don’t give out your full name, address, or phone number.  By creating a separate email account without your full name attached to it you can help prevent identity theft.  You can also take advantage of the anonymous email address feature Craigslist offers.   Just as you wouldn’t tell a complete stranger on the street your social security number, you should never do this on Craigslist either.  Don’t under any circumstances give out your bank account information or credit card number.

Meeting Someone in Person

Before agreeing to meet someone in person, make sure you bring someone along with you or that there is someone else at home with you before agreeing to let someone come over.   You should also always tell someone about your meeting for added security.  If you are agreeing to meet somewhere besides your home, do it in a public place.  It is also helpful to do a bit of research be fore meeting someone, or to run a criminal record.  If this seems a bit too involved for you, even asking to speak to others who have dealt with them before can go a long way.

Payment

In order to protect yourself from forged checks, it is best to accept money order, cash or a cashier’s check, rather than personal checks.   You should also never agree to wire money when making a Craigslist purchase, because these transfers are not traceable and cannot be cancelled- a sure sign of a scam.  All goods should be sent via mail or a delivery system such as UPS or FedEx, don’t pay extra for the cost of a shipping or escrow service, which can also be a sign of a scam.

By following these basic guidelines and knowing what to look out for, you can protect yourself and navigate Craigslist with ease.

Sources

How to be Safe When Using Craigslist | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2006750_safe-using-craigslist.html#ixzz1O63UIq9J

How to Use Craigslist Safely | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2350839_use-craigslist-safely.html#ixzz1O62dRj00

Associated Content (this site was really comprehensive but it is four years old)

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/431843/how_to_stay_safe_while_using_craigslist.html

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2951044/how_to_use_craigslist_safely_and_efficiently_pg2.html?cat=15