What’s It Worth? TV Shows About Pricing Your Stuff

By Kylie Gilbert

If you turn on the TV, you can easily find that finding out what your stuff is worth is all the rage right now. These shows have become such a huge phenomenon and quite frankly some of them are addicting.  Let’s face it, just like those shows about extreme makeovers or home decorating, you can easily get sucked in thinking you are in fact the person who has just lost 200 pounds, or gained a new living room.

However, in the case of the History Channel’s Pawn Stars, it is huge chunks of cash that people often gain, and believe me, this can make for one exciting show-even if you’re only watching it happen to someone else.   Some customers have an idea of what their item might be worth and come in asking for amounts that can reach up to $750,000.  However, others have no idea that the item they may have found at a garage sale or retrieved from a dusty closet could be worth thousands.

Sometimes the Pawn Stars can’t wait to get their hands on an item, other times they just can’t offer the customer the price they are asking, and sometimes they just laugh in the customer’s face.  Regardless, watching one person’s trash turn into someone else’s treasure can definitely make for entertaining television.

PBS’s Antiques Roadshow is another popular show centered on finding the value of people’s stuff.  This year marks the 15th season of this “part adventure, part history lesson, and part treasure hunt,” which along with its eight Emmys and 10 million weekly viewers prove just how engaging this show can be.  Viewers are fascinated as they see antiques and collectibles appraised, and latch onto the fascinating stories behind each item.  Just like in Pawn Stars, what one person deems worthless can actually be worth thousands.  In one episode, what some left on the side of the road was picked up by others who saw its value- and the payoff was huge.

If you really want to talk trash to treasure, tune into the History Channel’s American Pickers.  In this show, ‘pickers’ Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz earn their living by travelling the country to find items in junkyards and garages everywhere and restoring forgotten relics.  If you’re a history buff at all you’ll love watching this show and seeing the great lengths this duo will go to in order to find the most interesting, quirky, and historic items out there.

There’s no doubt that people care about finding out how much stuff is worth.  That’s why all of these shows are so popular and exactly why Lockboxer is so valuable. Lockboxer gives you all the tools you need to find out how much your stuff is worth instantly, and then sell, donate, or add the item to a home inventory.

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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

Cracking the Code for Craigslist

By Kylie Gilbert

Along with sites like eBay and Amazon, Craigslist is center stage as a convenient method for selling items online. In addition to providing a huge community of online users, Craigslist is also a cheaper alternative, making this site an important tool for getting rid of all of that junk you no longer want, or buying something new for that matter.  Follow these simple steps to be a Craigslist master in no time.

Pictures and Descriptions:

Just as with eBay or any other method of selling your stuff online, you should include as many high quality pictures and detailed descriptions as possible to make your item stand out and build your credibility.  I don’t want to buy anything without seeing what it looks like, even if you tell me it’s in great shape.  This description should also include dimensions as well, especially when it comes to larger items like furniture.

What to Sell:

When deciding what you actually want to sell, people are most interested in buying items that are hard to come by, or often overpriced.  Bottom line: people want a deal, so if you can make this happen you’re on your way to a sale.  It is worth your while to sell larger more expensive items, rather than smaller items that take just as much time and effort to advertise and sell but don’t bring in as much money.

Finding the Right Price:

Price right, sell quickly.  That’s the name of the game.  Finding the right price is key because some people waste time listing items for way more than their worth, rather than being realistic about it.  This doesn’t mean you need to give it away either (well, unless you know it’s crap).  However, keep in mind the cheaper you go the more offers you will have rolling in.  You may also want to consider offering transportation for an extra fee depending on what it is you’re selling.

It’s important to make these conscious steps to sell your items as quickly as possible so buyers don’t begin to assume that there is something wrong with your item that is keeping others from purchasing it.   Even though you may think your item is worth all the money in the world, shoppers won’t think twice about buying a cheaper alternative if your price is sky high.  Think reducing the price to about 50% of new or less if you’re serious about selling.

Carrying out the sale:

People are flaky.  They might say they want something and change their mind the moment after they hang up with you. They may say they want to come take a look and not show up. That’s why you should make sure they come to pick up the item ASAP so you can complete your transaction with the least amount of hassle as possible.  However, patience is definitely key.

Some good sites to check out that helped inform this post:

http://findouthowtomakemoneyontheinternet.com/how-to-make-a-full-time-paycheck-selling-on-craigslist

http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/eug/957568595.html

Unique Ways to Dump Your Junk to the Curb

By Kylie Gilbert

By now you’ve probably all heard about how you can sell your stuff on Craiglist, eBay (directly through Lockboxer), or Amazon.  But there’s some new, less familiar sites popping up that can provide alternate means for getting rid of your stuff too.  And who doesn’t want more options?

Whether you’ve been berated by your significant other about clearing out all your junk from your frat star days, or if you simply know your closet will burst if you attempt to add one more pair of shoes, these sites can provide simple solutions to tackle your problems.

And, most importantly, at the end of the day you can get rid of all your junk and have a clutter-free space to do whatever you wish- even if it is just to run out and buy more stuff to fill it!

1. Garage Fairy

This is one site that has come up on my radar.  Box up the things you no longer want, schedule a pick up time and then wait for your check to come in the mail, all without having to sell a thing yourself.

The pros of this new site?  Easy and hassle free, and there’s no upfront charge.  If your stuff sells, you get paid.  Simple enough.

There are some restrictions however.  You must have at least $200 worth of stuff, and if you don’t you will have to pay a shipping fee. There’s also a $5 fee per item to offset overhead costs.  The more you sell, the higher percentage of the sale will go directly to you.  If you sell over $100 worth of stuff, you’ll see 85 bucks in your pocket.  If your stuff doesn’t sell you have to pay $30 per box to get it shipped back to you, or you can donate these items to charity (which will still indirectly benefit you).

So, if you’re one of those people who is dying to get rid of clutter and have some extra cash to play with, but don’t necessarily have the time to devote to online selling, this is a simple way.  However, you do give up some of the profit and don’t have as much control over the selling process.

2. Myusedcollege.com

Here’s another site I’ve come across that might be helpful to those recent college grads- or maybe those not-so-recent grads who still don’t want to part with their college memories just yet.

This newly launched website enables users, presumable college students, to sell to other students and there are minimal costs to do so. While I know I’d want to hold on to that ratty futon forever, this is a great way to let it go, and know it’s being passed onto someone else who will keep your legacy going.

It’s hard to give a final verdict on this site just yet- right now there are not very many items to browse through.  However, down the road this seems like a fantastic way for college students to find textbooks, college supplies, costumes, furniture, electronics, etc. right in one place- and for others to simultaneously benefit by selling stuff they no longer need.

Right now, they are offering new sellers no commission fees, or listing fees- only a small PayPal fee, which leaves more money for you compared to Amazon and eBay, which may make this site more worthwhile depending on the item you are trying to get rid of.

3. Freecycle

With a motto of “changing the world one gift at a time,” this site just had to be on my list as well. The Freecycle Network™ is a nonprofit movement made up of over 4,000 groups with over 8 million members worldwide.  It’s a fantastic way for people to give and get stuff for free in their own town and “keep good stuff out of landfills.”

Just search your town, become a member of the local group, and you’ll be able to post messages and get in touch with fellow members of the group.  It seems like you’re a bit on your own after that for getting the item to or from another person, so you should use caution like any other time you’re interacting with strangers on the Internet.  Overall, if you simply want to get rid of stuff without money in return, this is a great way to do so.

You Bought What on eBay?

 

 

 

 

By Kylie Gilbert

Ebay is widely known as one of the easiest and most useful sites to  buy and sell whatever it is your heart desires.  However, if you spend some time perusing the site, you’ll quickly find that the scope of items available covers a wide range.  Obviously many people turn to eBay for useful items they’d like to find for cheaper than in stores.  And of course there are also items that serve purely entertainment purposes like collectibles that can sell for significant sums.

However, separate from these categories you also have the just plain strange.

Take for example this heart shaped potato chip.  I’ve got to admit, it’s probably worthy of a Facebook upload, but… really? Someone saw that thing come out of the bag and thought immediately of the profit margin they could make on their potato chip? Clearly food is popular with others as well. For 99 cents, this “Amazingly normal piece of toast!!!” can be yours.

If food isn’t your style, you can also check out more creative items for sale like this hole.  Yes, you heard me.  This imaginative seller boasts, “item is in excellent condition you can put this hole any where you want, it doesn’t matter if you fill it in, fix it, block it up or try to remove it, it always comes back just in a different shape and place you will always have this hole for as long as you live.”

In addition to the plain silly, there are also items that are baffling for their sheer cost. Take for example this $21 million dollar painting from an Italian artist.  Or, for the same price you can buy this domain name.

Celebrity focused items are also huge on eBay.  This painting of Peyton Manning can be yours for just $2.5 million or for $800 you can start the bid on an Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirt ‘suspected’ to have been worn by Justin Timberlake.  In the past, items previously worn or used by celebrities have sold for thousands.  Britney Spears’ old chewing gum went for a whopping $14,000 several years back.

It turns out that as long as eBay is out there helping countless individuals make normal transactions everyday; there will undoubtedly be some ridiculous items out there as well.

More stuff to look at: http://business.solveyourproblem.com/buy-on-ebay/strangest_items_ever_sold_on_ebay.shtml

Moving Made Easier with Lockboxer

By Kylie Gilbert

People have mixed feelings about moving.  Sure, it can be one of the best, most exciting times of your life, but it can also be one of the most stressful and daunting tasks imaginable (take a look at this awesome checklist to make it easier.) However, for a number of reasons (mostly lifestyle changes like new babies, promotions, divorces, job transfers, etc. according to the U.S. Census Bureau), 1 in 5 people every year are forced to pack up all their belongings and move.

Since the average American moves 11 times during his or her lifetime, it’s something everyone could use a little help with.  If you’ve moved before, you know it can be extremely expensive, especially if you’re moving cross-country.  Lockboxer’s sell it tool is a great way to clear out stuff you no longer need in order to streamline the items you have to pack, ship, and unpack in your new home.  Plus, what better time to go through all your old junk than when you’re starting over fresh in a new home?

If you don’t want to sell your stuff, you can also donate it through Lockboxer. Since simply dropping off your items at a Goodwill store will only give you a receipt of the items you donated, and not how much they’re worth, Lockboxer can really come in handy.   We’ll help you donate your stuff by automatically giving you the Salvation Army and Goodwill locations nearest you, and then give you the average donation prices of your items.  Then, when it comes time for taxes you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

Of course, after you’ve cleared out all your old stuff and moved in, you may want to do some shopping. With a new home often comes a new wish list as well! Lockboxer can also be used to compile a list of all the new items you’d like for your home.  You can find the best prices on new dishware, linens, or whatever else your heart desires by searching on Lockboxer.  Then of course you’ll want to share it with all your friends and family so you get a housewarming gift you actually want- not something you have to re-gift or bury in the back of your cupboard, only to be returned from hiding when that lovely family member returns for the holidays.

Happy moving!

Feng Shui Expert Erica Sofrina Talks About Lockboxer

We spent time with Feng Shui expert Erica Sofrina to hear more about the practice of Feng Shui and what she likes about Lockboxer.

What are the principles of Feng Shui that you teach?

We can learn invaluable lessons by looking at our physical surroundings (i.e., our homes and the things that are in our homes). It can powerfully illuminate what and what isn’t serving us in our environment. You should ask yourself these questions about your things: Do you love it? Does it uplift you? Is it useful? Does it reflect who you are now in your life?

What do you like about Lockboxer?

I’m always talking about getting rid of stuff that is considered clutter and am a proponent of the reduce, reuse, and recycle philosophy. I also teach a lot of professional organizers for their own practice on how to reduce clutter for their clients. Lockboxer is just the perfect vehicle for this. Figuratively, it’s one-stop shopping, in a way. You have all of your stuff and you can assess it, find out what it’s worth, and then sell it. We might have gotten something that we liked at one point and it’s really not in our taste anymore. It would benefit us to get rid of it and Lockboxer helps us do it. Anybody who is working through their stuff will find Lockboxer useful.

What is so powerful about clearing out the clutter?

If we like something, we’re energetically connected to it. That item translates into positive energy in our lives. But I talk a lot about moving things out of your life that are no longer useful. Lockboxer assists people in doing just that. When you move something out of your life that isn’t useful, like clutter, then you actually open up places in your life for new things to come in. After all, small changes have a big impact on us.

Have people been more or less focused on accumulating things in our culture?

There has been a whole paradigm about getting more in our culture and our society, but we’re moving out of it. The whole economy is shifting dramatically. People are starting to wake up and change.

Erica Sofrina is a teacher, author, and speaker who focuses on creating inspiring environments using the principles of Feng Shui. Sofrina is the founder of the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui and wrote a book, Small Changes, Dynamic Results – Feng Shui for the Western World.