Tag Archives: buy

How to Set a Good Price to Sell on eBay

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When you have things you no longer need, you may want to think about selling them on eBay. The problem is, where do you set the price at? You want to make money off of your item, but you don’t want to set it so high that no one will bid. How do you figure out what your price should be?

There are people who make a living off of selling things on eBay. Michael wrote in, saying that he’s one of those people. Well, actually, he’s hoping to make a bit more of a living by selling things on eBay. He thought that I was an expert seller. Sadly, I’m not. I’ve sold things on there, yes… but not often!

The way I do things isn’t very difficult. When someone wants to buy something from me, I have them get a point of refernce. Find me comparable items, and let’s look at the median there. Then I know that I’m giving the person a good deal, while not undercutting myself.

As long as you are average in terms of your base price – you’ll make money. People will buy your items, and you’ll have money in your pocket. You can steadily (but slowly!) increase your prices as you build a good customer base.

eBay itself has a ton of tools available you can use to help yourself become a better, more competitive seller. You’re crazy if you have stuff lying around that’s not being sold on eBay!

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Tips for Buying Hardware

Since I already posted the top five tips for buying a new computer, I thought I’d pass along Alex’s tips for buying new hardware.

  • Make sure your PC is compatible with the hardware you’re considering. This is perhaps the most critical part of buying new hardware. If you’re in the market for a new video card, know if your computer has AGP or PCI-Express when you shop for your card. Nothing is worse than getting home with a nice new video card only to find out you have a different slot. Also keep in mind power requirements. If you didn’t build your PC, you probably aren’t aware of your power supply outage unless you’ve had to check before. This can be critical information when buying a new piece of hardware.
  • Ensure that the upgrade will actually boost performance. There are times when you buy a nice new piece of hardware because you believe it will increase performance only to discover once installed that your PC performs no better, or, worst case scenario, your PC is actually running worse than it started. Research any parts you’re thinking about replacing plus the parts you’re looking to replace with. This knowledge will be extremely helpful in ensuring that you’re not blowing your money on an upgrade that will slow down your PC instead of speeding it up.
  • Shop around. Prices for PC hardware can be very flexible. Just because a price looks good doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the cheapest. Take your time and shop around. In the long run, you’re bound to discover there are competitively priced retailers out there to whatever price you thought was good when you first saw it.
  • If you’re shopping on the internet, know your vendor. There are a few shady vendors on the internet. Some internet stores will send you either nothing or a product they know is defective when it’s shipped. To avoid this, check around for reviews about any vendor you’re considering shopping from. If you cannot find any reviews, ask around various forums to get different opinions. Remember that it’s important to get a good number of opinions about any given vendor, as the worst vendors are still likely to have a small handful of good experiences. Also, if you’re shopping for hardware on eBay, check the reputation of the seller. Any seller with any negative feedback in the past year should be avoided at all costs. Pay the extra and ensure you’re not getting snaked.
  • Know what you use your PC for. If you’re a lightweight user who uses their PC to type email and browse the web, you most likely do not need the newest, top-of-the-line graphics card. If you do music or audio editing, you also won’t need the top-of-the-line graphics card, but perhaps you should consider the top-of-the-line sound card. Gamers will probably want top-of-the-line everything to ensure their PC is up to date for whatever game is thrown at it. If you’ve never really paid any attention to how you use your PC, you’re much better off knowing this information before you consider any purchases.
  • Know how to install your component before attempting to install it. It’s a bad idea to go guns blazing into attempting to install a component you’ve never installed before. Don’t be too proud to read the manual or go onto the internet for assistance. It will save you lots of time, effort, and possibly money.

Tips for Buying a New Computer that is Just Right for You

Trevmister sent me an email with the following tips on picking the right computer for yourself. There are a lot of excellent points here that you should try to keep in mind when you purchase your next computer.

  • Don’t just get something that just meets your needs. Go a little above just in case you decide sometime in the future that you want to do something that requires more than your computer can offer. If you don’t you will have to buy more computer parts later on and spend more money than if you got it when you got the computer.
  • You won’t always want to go for the newest operating system. If you want the new OS, wait about a year after release, that way they have some time to work out most (if not all) the bugs.
  • Do NOT download everything that you think is cool. Chances are you won’t use it for more than 3 days. Sure, you can delete them, but there are still small traces of memory left from the files that do add up.
  • Make sure your mouse will be compatible with the new computer. If you want a wireless mouse, make sure your computer can use it. An example is when you buy a bluetooth mouse and your computer doesn’t have bluetooth you will have to go back to the store and spend more money for an adapter which could have been avoided if you just got one with a USB receiver. If it is a wired mouse, see what it needs for it to be plugged in. Most likely you will have what it needs, but in some cases you won’t.
  • If you don’t want to get an external harddrive maybe you should get a CD or DVD burner to save important files. If you get the burner though you will have to buy blank discs. The external hard drive may save you money in the future, but the discs are a little more portable. It depends on what you need. If you need about 25+ GB of storage, get the external hard drive.

How to Sell on Ebay

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Here are some great tips for being a good Ebay seller. Building up an excellent feedback rating is critical to becoming a successful seller. Following these tips will help you do just that.

  • List your auction clearly. In the description, be as clear as possible. If the device is damaged, say that is is. If it’s new in box, say new in box. If still in mint condition, say so. If used and has wear, say so.
  • Start with a low bid price. You’d be astounded by how many people look at the starting price. If it’s high enough that one could go to walmart and pay a few dollars more more to get, then your starting price is to high. If you dont want under a certain amount, set a reserved price for the lowest you want to take. While this cost a little more in the listing, it makes it that you can be happy knowing that the item wont go for less than you really wanted it to.
  • PICTURES!!!! Pictures help sell. If someone cant see the item, or a version of it, they might tend to go to another seller for the item. If you can, take picutres of YOUR item, not a stock file photo of the device.
  • Set your shipping price fairly. If the shipping price is too much, people WILL balk at the item. The buyers will look at your item as crap. Now, if you specify what method you are using, they can then look and see what it cost themselves. Also, i have seen where some have automatic shipping calculators on the auction. This way, you can see what it cost for quicker shipping methods.
  • Allow buyers to ask question. If you answer the questions they have quickly, they are might be more tempted to buy your item simple because it looks like you cared about that they were asking about.
  • If the seller refused to pay, you can give the second highest bidder a chance to get the item on a “second chance”. This is good if someone was being the north end of a southbound mule and made a fraudulent bid near the end of the auction.
  • Use the ability for a person to “Buy it now”. This really helps. You can set a low auction bid, and an option to buy it at a certain price. It also allows for a person to skip the entire auction protions and buy the item from you. The only thing bad is that if someone sends a bid, the “buy it now option” goes away.. At least it did before. eBAY might have changed that recently.


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How to Buy on Ebay

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From a seasoned Ebay’er, here are some excellent tips to be a good buyer. Stay tuned for the video with being a good seller, as well!

  • Use good search keywords. An example, I have witnessed people using ebay looking for let’s say a “Logitech g15 keyboard” just search for the phrases “keyboard” or “logitech keyboard”. They were astounded when they had to sift through a ton of pages of different logitech keyboards or just plain keyboards just to find the ones they want.
  • Look at the sellers feedback. If they have a high rating then you can be more assured that when you pay for the item, you will get it. If the seller has quite a few negative feedback for not sending in a timely manner, or not sending the item at all, then you should avoid that seller.
  • Look in the description for the shipping cost and the payment options. Sounds simple enough, but a lot of people tend to just buy the first thing they see. After that, they are taken back after the five dollar dvd they bought has a ten dollar shipping cost to it, and the seller only takes paypal and they dont have an account there. If they take money orders, you can use them.
  • When sending money orders for items, send the money order via the USPS (united States Postal Service), send them Priority with tracking. This way, unless the USPS forgets to, the money order’s package is scanned along the way. You can log into USPS.com and enter the tracking number to see exactly where you money order is. This will help if the sellers claims “they have not received your payment”.
  • COMMUNICATE! Simple as it sounds, that is one thing a lot of people forget. When you send the payment, email the seller and let them know. If you send a money order via priority with tracking, send them the tracking number as well. Normally when the seller send the shipping information when they send the item as well. If you have not recived your item, or info from the seller, send them an email or ebay message asking if they have shipped it. Once in a while, a seller might run into unexpected delays due to illness, work, or personal reasons. If you remind them that you have not got your item, they should see that and let you know.
  • Use the feedback system. If the seller and you have a smooth transaction, leave positive feedback. This helps your “respect” on ebay as a buyer, and if you start to sell, it wont hurt either. If after few attempts to communicate with the seller for not sending the item, you can issue a strike against the seller. If that fails, leave negative feedback. Just be as polite as possible. Also, if the seller doesn’t ship the item as advertised, issue a negative feedback.

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How to Buy a Laptop (Notebook, Portable Computer)

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No matter which name you prefer to call it, let’s look at some ways to help you decide which one is right for you.

  • Get a laptop stand. Having the laptop on an angle and allowing air to move underneath will dramatically reduce the heat your laptop runs at! The stands can be expensive so a large book or piece of wood will do. I have a Targus port extender. It is a wedge shaped hub that has all kinds of connections and goes into my laptop via USB two. Its portable and handy as well as allowing my laptop run cooler by sitting under the back edge and raising the it up. Plus this is a better angle for typing.
  • Go for integration! Built in webcams and card readers are a god send! Chances are you won’t have loads of USB’s so the less external devices the better. This will be better for traveling, battery life and general desk clutter. Built in tv tuners can be great if you end up in a hotel room with decent tv reception. A laptop with bluetooth can be handy for syncing with a phone.
  • Get a good Laptop bag or case. If you have a mobility-based laptop, a good bag is essential. I have seen friends laptops die way before their time because they travel without sufficient protection for them. Often, the free case supplied won’t be up to the job.
  • Insure your laptop! I have nearly dropped mine a million times. They get moved around a lot, and the law of averages says sooner or later it will be dropped. Make it a less expensive mistake by having it covered. Also if you travel with it theft is a real threat!
  • Peripherals complete the package. Get decent headphones and a good mouse. Chances are, no matter how much you’ve spent on your laptop the speakers won’t be much good for watching films or listening to music. So, good quality headphones are a must. As for the mouse, track pads are great for keeping the laptop a “one price device”, but you’re going to want to use a mouse whenever its convenient, so a small travel mouse is a good idea.

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Buy a Computer

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Joseph sent in an excellent top five list of tips to keep in mind when preparing to buy a new computer. Keep sending in your top five lists… whether they are technology related or not!

  • Be sure to invest in an external hard drive. This is critical to keeping excellent backups of all your data. Think of how devastating it could be for a computer to suddenly die with no warning… and you lose several gigabites of data.
  • Carefully check into the terms and conditions of your warranty. Know when it expires to prevent misunderstandings down the road.
  • If you are a new user to the computer’s particular Operating System, read the user guide that comes with the computer to familiarize yourself with it. You can also go to the manufacturer’s website, and check out their FAQ’s and/or Help system. You can also wander over to the Lockergnome Help Forums.
  • If you haven’t bought the computer yet, and you will be changing Operating Systems, consider trying it out first. Check to see if a friend or colleague may have the same O/S you are wanting to buy. This way, you can try it out, and make sure it will be a good fit for you.
  • Make sure the computer suits your needs, but don’t go overboard. If you buy something with a lot of horsepower and then don’t use it all… you wasted money. Also, the way a computer looks should be your last consideration. Worry about what’s inside, and whether it fits your life.

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I Want to Buy a Monitor

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Buying a computer monitor isn’t an easy task. There is more to consider than just how big it is. Bigger isn’t *always* better. Here are some tips for you to help when you’re thinking of purchasing a new monitor.

Hi Chris, its Mool from the chat, and here are my top five tips for buying a new monitor 🙂

  • Know what you want. Your choice of monitor should depend on what you are doing. While LCD monitors tend to be larger and thinner (obviously), they sometimes lack respond time and overall quality of image. if you are a gamer, you may have to dish out a few extra bucks to get a monitor that is big but also can suit your graphical and speed needs. If you are just a generic user, and don’t do all the graphical stuff, you can sacrifice some resolution and speed, although i wouldn’t recommend dropping off too much quality in your choice, as you may wind up liking your old CRT monitor better.
  • Bigger isn’t always better. You may think when buying a monitor nowadays is all about size, but your wrong. The bigger you go, the more graphical power you are going to need, and sometimes the resolution suffers. Find the balance between size and resolution that works best for you and your style.
  • Brand names aren’t always the way to go. When going to buy things like computers and accessories, people tend to stay with big names, which isn’t always necessary. Small name companies usually have cheaper equipment, and it usually isn’t that far below brand-name qualities. You can get a larger, nicer generic monitor for the same price as a smaller, slightly higher resolution monitor from a brand name company.
  • Make sure your graphics card can support the monitor. This is probably the most important thing to do before you go out and make a purchase, as if you have a lower intensity graphics card, the larger monitors will not get up to the full resolution allowed. I made this mistake and now I have a 22″ monitor on second best settings, which isn’t bad, but could be much better. You want to get the best resolution set for your computer, so you aren’t stuck with blurry text and pixelated images.
  • Research before you buy. Before you go and honk out a couple hundred dollars for a new screen, read reviews submitted by people who have bought it before you. These reviews can have vital information on glitches in the product, or problems that have happened to them. You can find these reviews on many of the sites you may purchase these from, like Best Buy or Circuit City, whom i have personally seen to let customers write their own reviews. if you cant find it on any of those sites, use your google-fu and there is sure to be some one to have written a review on it.

Those are 5 basic tips to use before you go out and get yourself a shiny new monitor. Enjoy 😛

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Simple eBay Guide

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We’re using our GoToMeeting tonight to do videos. You can get a discount on the GoToMeeting software by using our special GoToMeeting link.

Tonight, I’m going to pass along to you some eBay tips that someone sent me.

I just bought a cell phone on eBay and thought I would like to share a few tips on making your eBay experience better.

  • “Let the buyer beware.” Look over the listing before you bid or buy. The listing can have important information about the product, the seller’s shipping and payment policies and important things like that. This avoids conflict later on.
  • Bid only if you have the money to pay for the item. This is important because if you don’t pay or defer payment for too long, then you can risk negative feedback and a bad reputation on eBay. Plus also make sure that the credit card or PayPal account works and the payment can go through.
  • Leave feedback on each transaction on eBay whether you buy or sell. IT helps build a reputation on eBay and people will want to conduct business with you.
  • Sellers: Please charge a decent amount for your products and a decent amount for shipping. This will attract more people to buy your products. Don’t charge an outrageous price so no one will buy bit not too cheap so you make nothing; find a balance. And also ship on time as well. Buyers get frustrated and worried when their items arrive late. Make all policies and information clear to the seller and have a good communication with your buyers.
  • Be nice; don’t flame other members and users in messages. They will make a note of that when comes time for feedback.
  • Remember: “The customer is always right.” Listen to what the customer is saying and take their advice. You want their business right?

Personally, I hate PayPal, but most sellers prefer and require PayPal. I try to pay with checks/money order. There are a handful of sellers who accept checks/MO, some who don’t accept PayPal. So as I said earlier, look carefully at the listing to see what forms of payment they accept and what their policies are, More can be learned from how to guides like the eBay Bible. I hope these have helped you and others in making a pleasurable eBay experience.


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Shopping Wiki from Overstock.com

Via Judd Bagley from Overstock.com:

As you may know, I’ve spent the past few months as director of social media at Overstock.com creating something we’re calling Omuse, which is an open environment for people with similar interests to find one another and jointly “write the book” on the activities that most inspire them.

We’ve just entered an open beta phase and I want to give you the opportunity to get acquainted with Omuse and, if you wish, be among our earliest contributors. At this point, the question we most frequently hear is: “what should I write about?” The answer is simple: Imagine you won the lottery tomorrow and never had to work again. What activity would you immediately set about doing day after day? This is likely the activity that most inspires you, though the one most people around you – spouses included – don’t entirely “get.”

It may be the same thing you blog about, but not likely. It’s almost certainly not the thing you do for a living, but if it is, you’re very lucky. Whatever that thing is, that’s what we want your guide to be about. As a guide’s creator, you are in charge of it. You may build it alone or – as we would recommend – with the help of others who share your passion. You get to decide who joins your team and the direction you take together.

Omuse is built on a wiki platform, so we’re frequently asked what makes it different from Wikipedia, for example. I’ve arrived at two answers to that question:

  1. Where Wikipedia forbids the inclusion of original research, we like to think of Omuse as being built exclusively on original research, recognizing that everybody is an expert at something, and it’s usually the thing they most enjoy doing.
  2. Where Wikipedia endeavors to be like an encyclopedia, where one version of the “truth” must be consistent throughout, we’ve built Omuse to be more like a library, where alternate approaches to the same topic set side-by-side are not only acceptable, but a sign of our success.

We expect Omuse to become the foremost source of practical and applied knowledge online, and hope you’ll help us accomplish that goal by creating a guide and encouraging others to help with yours or create their own. To get started, go to Omuse, register (free), click the button reading “Create a Guide,” give your guide a title, and you’re on your way.

Well, at least they’re trying. I’d be much more inclined to help if they, say, helped me furnish this damn house.