The Dos and Don’ts Of Finding Bargains At Yard Sales

Finding Bargains At Yard Sales

Lovely yard sale finds

Finding Bargains At Yard Sales for your eBay business or for your own home and family

Yard sale season is upon us once again and this means that mainy happy shoppers will be out scouring the neighborhoods for the best bargains. There will be many two main types of yard sale shoppers out there, the ones that are looking for some cheap bargains for the family and the ones that are looking to replenish supplies for their eBay inventory. Personally, I fall into both categories because while I feel that yard sales are the perfect environment for finding a great range of merchandise at great prices, which is a must when looking to sell it on at a profit to my own customers, I also like to find items for my family. The problem with yard sale shopping is that there are many traps that buyers can fall into and a great bargain isn’t always guaranteed. Luckily, I have learnt plenty of tricks and have lots of tips on what to look for, what to avoid and how to make the most of a yard sale.

The dos and don’ts of stocking up and finding bargains at yard sales:

Do:

look to repeat previous successes. This is probably the best piece of advice to start with because it always pays to look for items you have successfully sold in the past as you know what kind of price you can get. Having said that, you should not be too cautious either because it does not hurt to take a gamble on an item that you think might sell if you have a good hunch and the price is right. At worst, I’ll try to get the investment back if I can’t sell for a profit.

keep current trends in mind as you buy. Be aware of what antiques and collectibles are hot in décor magazines, such as the industrial style that is currently very popular. Browsing eBay sold items, Pinterest and reading a lot will help you get a better understanding of trends and what sells: use that to your advantage! Even if you are not looking to resell items and are shopping for yourself, yard sales can offer unique, attractive, vintage items that will spruce up your interior like no-one else’s.

take the time to research brands before getting sucked in by “designer” names. Buying second-hand clothes from yard sales can be a great idea (I buy a lot, especially kid’s clothes) but if you are going to resell clothes and shoes you have really know your brands – such as the difference between a real Vuitton bag and a knock-off – and be be extremely picky about quality. Personally, I don’t touch anything that is on the high-end scale because it is too much hassle; it will only pay off if you get it exactly right and know you have bought a bargain. On a related note,while kid’s clothes are not alwayd easy to shop for, especially when it comes to young boys that always seem to end up putting holes through their knees, it is still it’s worth having a look because you can find quality brands and sometimes even unusual, eco-friendly ones.

keep an eye out for specialised rarities that are not available to costumers overseas. My international buyers often send me special requests for hard-to-find items so I try to maintain that relationship by searching for them where I can.

think about gifts for friends and family. It never hurts to plan ahead and think about next Christmas a little bit early and it is easy to find like-new toys still in their boxes, or even new books and DVD’s! All you need to do is double check their quality before you buy, make sure they are the real-deal (not some cheap bootlegged knock-off) and you have a great present lined up.

Don’t:

get drawn in by the big brands to the point where you end up paying too much. There are some classic toys that will pretty much guarantee you a sale because of their popularity – Lego, Playmobil and Littlest Pet Shop being prime examples – but sellers at yards sales are fully aware of this too and can catch out unsuspecting buyers that are looking at the name and potential rather than the high ticket price. Lego and Playmobil are great buys but only if you get them cheap.

buy items that you can’t handle. There will be plenty of items at yard sales that will catch your eye, especially if you are looking with interior décor trends in mind, but they will be no use as a profitable resell item if you cannot store it and ship it to another buyer. Don’t buy furniture, even if the price is ultra cheap, unless you have a use for it in your own home.

assume that just because an item is old that it’s worth something! The worst culprits are stamps because I have seen far too many ridiculous price tags on them in garage sales and I have friends that bring me some they bought at a premium price at a yard sale, thinking they hit the jackpot, only to find out they are worthless. These sorts of collectibles – stamps, coins, etc – should only be bought if you are knowledgeable on the subject.

buy personal care items from garage sale. To put it simply, you never know where they’ve been. Used perfumes and half-empty pots of skin care cream are far more likely to bring you an allergic reaction than a profit. If you must go in for toiletries and beauty items, they should be bought new and from a legitimate source.

It is all about being yard sale-savvy.

Some of the tips listed here may seem like common sense dos and don’ts; however, it is far too easy to get swept away by the prospect of bargains, top sellers and unusual collectibles and end up leaving your common sense in your own front yard. All you need to do is undertake a little research on what sells and what it hot, have a clear plan of what you want and what has worked for you in the past and stick to it without getting distracted by items that are overly-expensive, unlikely to sell or completely impractical. If you can do that, chances are you will come home with exactly what you want for your home or the ideal items for reselling on eBay rather than purchases you will later regret.

Before You Quit Your Day Job | 7 Things You Should Know

You really can quit your day job and be very happy and still be able to take care of yourself and your family.  I did and I know many people who have done it, too.  But you can’t just put in your resignation and then hope everything turns out ok.  There are some things you should keep in mind.

Before you quit your day job, here are 7 things that you should consider:

1.  Income

No matter what, you still need to have an income.  You need to feed yourself and keep a roof over your head and pay bills.  How much will you need?  Well, that depends on you.  Is it just you that you need to take care of or do you have a family that depends on your income?  Know how much money you need to get by before you go ahead and quit your day job.

2.  Time

You obviously have some idea how you’re going to make money when you quit your dayjob but when are you going to do it?  How much time do you have to dedicate to your money making idea or a business?  If you have children you are going to have to figure out how you are going to get work done while they are around or you’re going to have to make arrangements for child care.  Either one can work so just figure out which solution works the best for you. Believe me, working when the kids are around is not easy and will hurt your productivity badly; paying for child care may not be a better option.

3.  Don’t Forget to Schedule

Just because you have quit that day job doesn’t mean that you don’t need to have some sort of schedule.  Many people think that they can start up a home business and just run it when they have time but the truth is that there is a reason why bricks and mortar businesses run on a schedule.  It is because it makes them more efficient.  Having a schedule will allow you to get more done in less time and ultimately that is what you are after isn’t it – more time, less work?

4.  Be Open to the Options

Don’t leave your job like a teenager and tell your boss where to go. They won’t like that.  Don’t burn your bridges when you leave a job.  Be polite.  Give them time to find a replacement.  Leave everything on as nice a note as possible.  You might decide a few months down the road that you miss your job and want to come back but that isn’t going to be possible if you act like a big baby and tell them where to shove it!

5.  Save Up

If you know you are going to quit your job, make sure you prepare ahead of time by saving up some money before you leave.  Even if you have a plan to start a business or something else that will make money, you never know how well it is going to work out so try to save up at least a few months of money that will cover your basic needs. 

6.  Don’t Forget Taxes

If your plan is to run your own business, remember that you will be expected to pay your own taxes.  If you forget about this you might end up with a hefty bill to pay come tax time.  You should put about 25% of what you earn into a savings account just for taxes.

7.  Enjoy!

You may have quit the day job so that you can do work from home but don’t forget to find time to enjoy yourself.  Many people don’t know this but people who work from home often work much longer hours than those who work a day job!  They don’t always have weekends off and they don’t always get to quit at 5 PM!  But you need to make time to enjoy yourself and enjoy your family if you want to make quitting your job worth it.

How To Find Freelance Writing Jobs Online

The three main ways that people find freelance writing jobs are:

  • Content mills – At these job you would write for a specific company and choose from a list of articles that they want to have written.  You must follow specific guidelines.  You would be paid at predetermined times. Sites such as iWriter, PPH, Odesk etc.

  • Residual income – You can earn money as a freelance writer by joining sites like Squidoo, Hubpages and others.  They allow you to make money through Google Adsense and payout would be determined by the type of programs they are using to generate income.

  • Private clients – This is when you do freelance writing jobs for an individual or a company.  You are usually paid by word, by article, or by the hour.  You are usually paid after a job is completed and approved or at predetermined times.

For this article, I am going to focus on Private Clients.

Places Where You Can Find Freelance Writing Jobs Online with Private Clients

Throughout your online searches will discover that there are many places where freelance writing jobs are advertised.  Some of them are better than others though.  It will also depend on what kind of writing jobs you are looking for, but these ones are a good start:

  • Freelance Writing Gigs – This site is run by SplashMedia and publishes a list of writing jobs daily (Monday to Friday, minus holidays).  They have a policy of only publishing jobs that pay $10 or more.  They have a selection of writing jobs including blogging, article writing, magazine writing, resume writing, and more. 

  • ProBlogger Job Board – This is the job board associated with Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger site, which has an excellent reputation.  You’ll find reputable companies that are looking for bloggers here.  These jobs tend to pay well.

  • Craigslist – I know a lot of writers are wary about applying for jobs through Craigslist but there are a lot of great jobs advertised here.  You have to watch for the warning signs and be careful about the information that you provide but I have gotten several good writing jobs through Craigslist.  When I first started out in writing online, this was my main source of jobs.

  • Write-Jobs – This site is a newer one to me but I’ve seen some great jobs here.  It has jobs for freelance writers as well as magazine jobs and places that are accepting manuscripts for fiction, too.  And there are contests, which can be a good source of income, but the competition is much higher.  Definitely worth checking out on a daily basis.

  • About Freelance Writing – Anne Wayman has been writing longer than most of us and she has a pretty good eye for the jobs.  You’ll find a nice list of writing jobs several times a week.

  • Freelance Job Openings – This site has all sorts of jobs for freelancers and there a lot of freelance writing jobs included.  You can use the filters to find what you want more specifically.

The key to getting freelance writing jobs online with private clients is that you have to apply for the job. You need a good resume and a cover letter that focuses on your writing skills.  And you need to dedicate some time to searching for and applying for writing jobs on a daily basis.  Once you have put in the work, you will find that writing online can be very profitable! 

9 Tips to Finding a Great Writer on Fiverr

Finding a Great Writer on Fiverr

If you have not heard of Fiverr, it is a site where you can buy a wide array of “gigs” from people all over the world. Gigs start at $5 but many Fiverr sellers have extra options where you can get other services added on for additional costs. If you are looking for a writer at an affordable price, this can be a good place to start.

Most people will tell you that you need to be careful on Fiverr – especially when buying writing gigs. There are many people who do not deliver the kind of quality content that you want to display on your blog or anything else that has your name attached to it. So, how do you find a good writer on Fiverr? Here are a few tips:

  1. Look at the reviews. While it is true that anyone on Fiverr long enough will have a couple negative reviews, you should try to find someone that has a 95% rating or higher.

  2. Use the search option to find gigs that are relevant to the topic that you are looking for. If you’re looking for sports writers, search for “sports writer”, “sports blogger”, or something similar and you will be more likely to find someone that is knowledgeable about sports.

  3. Remember that quality is more important than quantity. Someone that is offering to write 1000 words for $5 is likely not going to give the content the attention it deserves and you’re more likely to end up with something that is completely unusable.

  4. Read the description. Fiverr suppliers will often provide details in their gig about what they can/will do or what they can’t/won’t do. Pay attention to this because if you order something they aren’t able to do they are likely to request that you cancel the gig. Also, those who are upfront about what they can/will do and what they can’t/won’t do are more likely to deliver quality.

  5. Don’t hesitate to contact the seller directly to ask questions if you’re not sure if they are able to deliver their gig the way you want it. Most people will be honest about their abilities when they know that not delivering what the buyer wants can result in a negative review.

  6. Don’t order 50 of the same gig at once when the turnover time is only one or two days. No one can write 50 articles that fast!

  7. Ask for recommendations. If you work in the online world you likely know others that have bought gigs from Fiverr (even though they may not talk about it publicly). If you find someone that has used Fiverr to find writers, they will likely be more than happy to give you a recommendation.

  8. Look for sellers that provide all the information you need in their gigs and also has a bio with a description that reveals some of their experience and has a picture. Professional writers generally have a picture of themselves.

  9. Google search their Fiverr name. Many writers use the same name all over the Internet and you may be able to find samples of their writer or social media accounts that can lead you to information that will help you to make a good decision.

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