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Make Money Selling at Bookstores

Make Money Selling at Bookstores

Bookstores Aren’t Just for Books

When you are ready to leave college or move, you may end up with that giant pile of books that you are not going to move with you. While these books mean nothing to you anymore (in fact, some of your college books you may want to burn), that doesn’t mean that they aren’t worth anything at all. Selling items back to book stores is a great way to recoup a bit of your initial cost and cut down on your moving load. However,bookstores do not just take books anymore. These days almost all media is up for grabs at your local book store.

DVDs

You know those Dragon Ball Z DVDs that you hid in the closet lest someone notice them? They may actually be worth some money on resale for either brick and mortar or online book stores. Some sites have an app that will allow you to scan your DVDs and then give you an offer to purchase them. In much the same way, you can load up your car with some used DVDs and head over to have someone look them over. Typically these sorts of sales do not make you more than a few pennies on the dollar, however, twenty dollars that you can use for lunch isn’t that bad. And it’s twenty dollars that you didn’t have before you sold your DVDs. Be careful, however, with online offers. Some sites only pay you in points that you have to then use at that particular retailer.

Cassette Tapes

Yes, Ace of Base could be worth something. If you’re moving for the first time or cleaning out your basement, you may locate old cassette tapes. These are not used often anymore, though some music fanatics, artists, and collectors will pay good money for them. Looking for collectors can be very tedious and time consuming. Also, if you have used the tapes then their actual trade value will be vastly diminished. You cannot sell many cassettes without original cases, art, and sometimes still wrapped. This means that the cassette case in your basement isn’t exactly a gold mine. However, many different stores will accept them on trade. It’s important to remember that when you are trading things at stores like this that you realize you won’t be getting top dollar for these items. Instead you will be getting an undercut of what they would be able to sell the items for. However, there’s not much else that most people would do with them, so it is worth the shot.

Computers

Check with your local book seller when you’re upgrading to a new computer. Many times these stores will have resale programs or work with charities that give people computers for work or school. While this option is not going to net you any major profits, it’s a good gesture and will help someone out. It’s very difficult to apply for jobs, net interviews, and even go to college these days without a computer. By giving yours away to someone less fortunate you’re allowing them access to new possibilities that they didn’t have before.

Bankruptcy Basics

Bankruptcy Basics

Bankruptcy is something no one plans for.  No one thinks it’s a great idea.  Even though people do everything they can to avoid it, sometimes  good people have to resort to bankruptcy.

The fear, guilt and shame that come with bankruptcy are awful and if at all possible I recommend avoiding bankruptcy.  Sometimes it’s hard when you’re drowning in debt to think of ways out.  You’re emotional and your thoughts are consumed with getting out from under the weight that is holding you down.  Perhaps selling your car, taking an extra job (think pizza delivery), having a garage sale, and cutting extra spending each month will be enough to do the trick.  Most would agree that these sacrifices are better than the alternative.

 There are two main types of consumer bankruptcy:

  • Chapter 13 which means the court approves a plan for you to repay your debts over time.
  • Chapter 7  which means the court sells your assets in order to pay back as much as possible, with some exemptions that vary state to state, to allow you to keep some personal items and maybe some home equity.

Bankruptcy doesn’t eliminate:

  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Taxes
  • Student loans

Where to go from here:
If you’re serious about getting out of your financial mess start with the basics.  Don’t look at your expenses and try to cut here and there.  Start with a clean slate.  The basics you need to survive, yes survive, are food, shelter, clothing, utilities, and transportation.  First make sure you have food on the table and utilities.  I’m talking rice and beans not take out pizza.  Then make sure your rent or mortgage payment is up to date.  You already have clothes so make due with those for now.  That takes care of your basic needs now on too everything else.

Sell eeevveeerryyyythhhiiinggg.  Sell your old books, your old CDs, old toys, tools, home decor, anything that you no longer need or that you can replace later once you have your finances in order, sell!  As Dave Ramsey says, “Sell so much the kids think they’re next.”  With the money you get pay a little to each creditor you owe to show them that you are trying.  It’s better to pay your rent/mortgage in full each month than to pay off your credit card.  You need a place to sleep.

There is life after bankruptcy so if you have to go through it you will survive but it’s best to avoid it if at all possible.

 

10 Places to Sell Used Items for Cash

10 Places to Sell Used Items for Cash

 

This is the time of year where a lot of people start thinking about ways to de-clutter, organize, paint, and other ways to breathe new life into their homes.  If you’re like me, you probably have way too much “stuff.”  I never know where this stuff comes from but it always accumulates so quickly, doesn’t it?

As you’re spring cleaning this year, I want to challenge you to set aside the items that are still usable but just not useful to you right now.  Start keeping a box for donations in your garage or closet and  every time you run across an item that you no longer need just toss it in.

Now, once you have a good collection started think about ways that you could either give these items away (local Goodwill, Salvation Army, homeless shelter, etc.) or places you could resell these items.  I’m going to share a few places where you can sell your used items online to make a few bucks.  This won’t make you rich but you’ll have less stuff invading your home and a little extra money in your pocket.  Alright, let’s dig into this list!

– Amazon

Amazon is probably my favorite place to sell used books, CDs, DVDs, games, etc.  As Amazon’s logo shows, they sell everything from A to Z.  Once you have a sellers account set up, the simplest way I know to add a new item to sell is to search for that item on Amazon and click on the button that says, “Sell one of these” somewhere on the right-hand side of the page.  Doing it that way saves you from entering bar codes and I think it saves time.  Amazon is my favorite online place to resell items because there is no listing fee whatsoever and your item will remain for sale for 6 months or until it sells.  You only pay a small fee to Amazon if your item sells.  It’s an easy set up and hassle free.  I love it!

– Ebay

Ebay is also an obvious choice for selling used items online.  With ebay you have more options to make your item stand out from the crowd…for a cost of course.  Ebay allows you to add a large description with your items as well as upload your own pictures, change the background color of your page, as well as many other ways to make your items really stand out.  I’ve sold a few items on ebay through the years but I’ve mostly used it for buying rare items for personalized Christmas gifts.

-MusicMagpie

This is a company I’ve only recently heard of but from what I’ve been told musicMagpie is a great place to sell old DVDs.  If you have any experience or advice selling here please leave it below in the comments!

– Recycle

There are 101 places online that will pay you to recycle old electronics.  You can either do a simple google search for a place where you can mail it off to or you could check with your local computer store.  Most of the computer companies in my area offer recycling bins when you first enter the store.  There is no pay for these donations but at least your electronics won’t end up in a landfill.

– Local Facebook Groups

I’m a member of a few local Facebook groups where people list a picture of the items they have for sale and the cost of them.  People will comment on that thread if they are interested and then they will make private messages on where to meet to do the exchange.  Always, always, always meet in a public place for an exchange with someone you don’t know and I recommend bringing someone with you just in case.

– Craigslist

I recommend the same advice for meeting someone on Craigslist as I do with the Facebook groups.  You can never be too cautious!  Through the years I’ve sold and bought a lot on Craigslist.  It’s been a tremendous blessing and I’ve only had one semi-negative experience in all of my many dealings.  Be honest, be friendly, and set a fair price.

– Consign

Many consignment places will accept your items and pay you only if they’re sold.  The local place that I go to gives me a call when it’s time to  pick up my items and if I don’t want to bother with them they will donate them to Goodwill for me.  I don’t get the tax write off this way but it saves me time from running an extra errand so I like this option!  Some consignments will checkout your items and make you an offer for all of your items when you drop them off.  This is my favorite way to consign because it’s over and done with right away and I have money in my pocket….which I usually spend at the consignment store but that’s another story!

– Yard Sale

If you live in a neighborhood where a lot of people pass by it might be a good idea for  you to have a good old fashion yard sale.  Get out your sharpie and stickers and get to pricing!  Don’t forget to leave room in your price for some negotiation.  While I’ll never understand it, the truth is, most people love to haggle.  Also, make sure you advertise well and have spare change on hand for people who pay with bigger bills.

– Used Bookstores

We have a used bookstore in our area that I absolutely love!  They sell used books for very cheap but you can also sell your used books, dvds, cds, and video games to them.  It’s worth checking to see if you have a used bookstore in your neighborhood.

– Video Game Stores

Many video game stores will buy back used video games for either cash or store credit.  We don’t have a huge amount of video games to get rid of but we have a friend who does and they love to resell their old games back to the store.

There you have it!  That’s my list of places to sell your unwanted belongings.  Someone’s trash is another person’s treasure!  If you have any other places you recommend and would like to see added to this list please leave a comment below to let me know.

Happy Spring Cleaning, everyone!

Which side of the pond saves better, the British or the Americans?

Which side of the pond saves better?

Which side of the pond saves better, the British or the Americans?  I thought about it and I’m not sure I know who is better saving money!  Maybe some of my UK friends and readers could help fill me in but here’s what I’ve found so far.

 

Americans have IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts), and the British equivalent of that is a PPP, (Personal Pension Plan). British also have an Individual Savings Account (ISA) is a tax-efficient way to save or invest.  I’m sure a cash isa in the UK comes in handy.  I think those are all great ways to save for the future!

 

All British pay into the National Insurance Fund which is a weekly paid as a pension at age 60 so those, too, are very similar and are a way to save for the future.  Americans pay into and eventually collect {or hope to collect in some cases} Social Security.

 

Many Americans have both checking and savings accounts and utilize both for saving money and a British Current Account is what many use to do this in the UK.

 

I know that many Americans take advantage of 401-K plans offered by our employers and some times employers will even offer a matching donation.  For instance, if the employee gives up to 5% to their 401-K plan, then their employee will match whatever percent they contributed.  This is definitely something to take advantage of!

 

A few other money trends that I’ve observed here in America include Extreme Couponing {please see the banner on the right sidebar to learn more information}, parents have started saving earlier and earlier to pay for their children’s college, and elderly couples are investing in long term care so that the spouse who lives the longest will be taken care of.  American readers feel free to chime in as well and let me know if I missed anything.

 

Even though our currency looks different it seems that people on both sides of the pond use many of the same methods to save and spend money.  I don’t think it matters where you live, saving money is a smart idea to protect you in the futures.  As an old idiom says, “Save for a rainy day!”  I think that with a bit of discipline and common sense everyone can save money.  What do you think?

10 Tips to Save on Christmas Gifts

10 Tips to Save on Christmas Gifts

 

This time last year I wrote a guest post for MoneySavingMom.com entitled 10 Tips to Save on Christmas Gifts and I believe it was well received.  Lately, I’ve received quite a few emails asking about just that, how to save on Christmas gifts.  I’m hoping to feature several simple, inexpensive, homemade gifts that you can make to give to your friends and family.  Until then though, I’ll direct you to my Pinterest board that features dozens and dozens of crafty DIY gifts from other bloggers and to my post 10 Tips to Save on Christmas Gifts post on MoneySavingMom.com.

 

If you have a money-saving tip or an inexpensive gift idea that you would love to share with everyone you please contact me with the details.

Jingit: Get Paid to Watch Online Ads

jingit

 

Jingit is a super simple way to earn a little money online for watching ads or for taking surveys.

 

Just sign up for a free Jingit account, complete a quick registration process, and then you can then click on ads available to watch. You won’t get rich watching these ads but it’s a nice way to earn a little extra spending money.  Plus, with Christmas right around the corner, who couldn’t use a little extra cash?!

Legitimate Survey Companies To Sign Up With

computer surveys

 

Are you looking for something to do to earn a little income on the side?  You won’t get rich taking surveys but they are a nice way to earn a little extra spending money. This is something I enjoyed doing a lot when I was first married and I had a lot of free time on my hands.  While my time is much more limited now I still enjoy taking a few surveys a week.

 

If you’re looking for legitimate survey companies to sign up with, here are a few to check out:

 

Pinecone Research (not currently accepting new members):  If you polled my surveying friends they would say that this is their top rated survey site.  They pay $3 for every survey completed and they pay quickly.  While they’re not currently taking new applications I do try to post here every time they are accepting new sign-ups so keep an eye out for that.

 

Synovate: Is one of the most highly-recommended survey companies. Lori from Moms By Heart says: “Synovate sign up is FREE and you’ll get great paying survey and product testing opportunities each month. This one is famous for frequently giving free full size products! Most recently I’ve tested diapers (got a full pack for FREE), baby lotion and toothpaste (got three tubes!).”  Go here to Synovate to sign up.

 

Ipsos i-SaySimilar to the way most survey sites operate, you will receive preliminary surveys to see if you qualify for the full surveys.  You earn points for taking the full surveys and you can redeem those points for cash, gift cards or charity donations.  Go here to Ipsos i-Say to sign up.

 

TolunaWhen you sign up for Toluna, you will receive 500 points to welcome you to the site. When you have earned at least 60,000 points, you may redeem your points for a cash reward. Go here to Toluna to sign up.

 

MindFieldIs absolutely free to join and most of their surveys will only take between 5 and 15 minutes to complete and they pay anywhere from $1.00-$35.00!  One of my favorite features is that MindField pays you directly through PayPal {if you want} so you’ll get the money you earned in your hand quickly.

 

My Survey: You earn points for every single survey you take–even those quick qualifiers! This way you’ll never waste time on a survey you don’t qualify. You can redeem your points earned for cash or prizes and every 1000 points equals $10. Go here to My Survey to sign up.

 

Inbox Dollars: I used Inbox Dollars primarily for the few cents I earned for reading emails. The checks weren’t huge but it only required clicking on a few emails everyday. Go here to Inbox Dollars to sign up.

 

MyPoints: Here you can earn points for reading emails, taking surveys, and signing up for offers. When I was participated, I took an occasional survey but I mostly just read the emails and clicked on the links to slowly accumulate points. You won’t get rich quickly doing this, but you can earn enough points by reading emails to get free gift cards each year. We bought gas gift cards with the points I earned through MyPoints. Go here to MyPoints to sign up.

 

SurveySpot: You can earn up to $5 per survey and you can request payout at $5. It’s not hard at all to earn enough to get a check. Go here to SurveySpot to sign up.

 

MyView: In return for  your opinion, you will earn points which you can exchange for gift cards that you can spend at various online stores like Amazon, Target and more!  Go here to MyView to sign up.

 

CashCrate: Once you sign up, you can go to their “Daily Survey” tab and earn around $0.50 per survey you take. They usually offer 1-2 daily surveys. Go here to CashCrate to sign up.

 

Opinion Outpost: Pays in point rewards for every completed survey. You can cash these in for instant win opportunities, sweepstakes, or my favorite – cash. There are also opportunities to test products for free. Go here to Opinion Outpost to sign up.

 

Survey Head: This site rewards completed surveys with points. Once you’ve accumulated enough points, you can exchange them for cash, online gift certificates, music downloads, and hundreds of other prizes. Or, build up your points for bigger prizes in your Lightspeed Points Account. Go here to Survey Head to sign up.

 

Valued Opinions: Once you are a registered member, complete the 10 profile surveys in the member’s area. Completing these surveys will increase your chances to participate in additional surveys.  Based on your responses to the profile surveys, you will be emailed survey invitations to the email address you used for registration.  For each completed survey, you will usually earn a credit between $0.50 and $5. Once you’ve earned $20 in credit, you can exchange it for a gift card to spend with one of America’s best loved brands.  Go here to Valued Opinions to sign up.

Synovate: Free Samples and Paid Surveys!

Synovate is once again accepting applications!  If you’re one of the lucky ones and get accepted you’ll be able to try full-sized products for free and take part in paid survey opportunities.  I applied once a long time ago but I think I’m going to go and apply again now.

 

Lori from Moms By Heart says:

Synovate sign up is FREE and you’ll get great paying survey and product testing opportunities each month. This one is famous for frequently giving free full size products! Most recently I’ve tested diapers (got a full pack for FREE), baby lotion and toothpaste (got three tubes!).”

 

Thanks, Money Saving Mom for the heads up!

More Synovate Spots are Open for September!

If you missed your chance when Synovate had openings before, be sure to apply now!  This is a great way to earn some extra cash doing surveys in your spare time and receive free products to review.  Here is why Synovate is a great survey company:

  • In just a couple of minutes, a few times a week, you can earn extra money to use towards anything you wish.
  • This company is highly reputable and has one of the best pay-out rates in the industry.
  • They pay you in cash for completed surveys.
  • They send you new products to try out and keep in exchange for your opinion.
  • There are absolutely no fees or commitment.
  • While they say most surveys take between 5 and 10 minutes, I can usually take my time and complete them in around 3-4 minutes.

In order to sign up and to start receiving free products and cash in your pocket:

  1. Go to Synovate and enter your info.
  2. Be sure to click the verification link on the confirmation email they send you and then answer the next few questions they ask.  They will award you with 500 points just for doing this!
  3. Shortly after  you verify your account, they will send you a “Welcome Survey.” In order to start getting the best surveys and products to test, it is important that you fill out this survey as soon as possible.  After completing that initial survey you will get 250 points in your account.

Go to Synovate now to get started!

8 Ways to Save Money on Kid’s Clothes

Clothes Money

As I’m shopping for new kids clothes I’m finding that it is both a fun yet painful experience.  Kids clothes are cute but not worth going in debt for!   In order to save money I have sat down and tried to think of several ways that you can still dress up your little prince/princess without breaking the bank.

 

Here are a few suggestions I came up with but please, let me know if you have anything to add to this list!

ThredUp: Kids Clothing SwapThredUp

This is an online website that helps parents swap kids clothes.  ThredUp has extensive list of available boxes that you can buy.  They have a review system similar to eBay that allows users to be able to find popular swappers.  Many of the boxes I looked at included a picture along with detailed description of what was included (brands, sizes, etc.).

 

ThredUp.com also allows a listing of toys that fit in a USPS box so this may be a good way to look for children books or small toys.

 

Currently, ThredUp.com has a promotion going where you can get 2 months free of PRO membership when you use coupon code “mysavings”.  While ThredUp is free to use, the PRO membership does cost extra.  The PRO membership feature allows you to view detailed pictures of the items as well as a few other personalized features that are still being developed.

 

When I signed up a few days ago they gave me a $5 credit to use on my first box purchased.  I used the coupon code and the link above and I got an extra $5.  I’m not sure how long this extra bonus will last so if you are considering ThredUp you may want to go and sign up now.

Children’s Consignment SalesConsignment Mommies

I have had my fair share of exploring children’s consignment sales recently…and let me tell you, I scored big!  I think that consignment shopping is great way to shop for gently used clothing for yourself or your kids.  If you love to search and hunt for a great bargain then this will be right up your alley.  I’ve noticed that children’s consignment sales come twice a year, once in Winter and once in Spring.  So check local bulletin boards and church signs for consignment sales in your area.  You can also check ConsignmentMommies.com for consignments that have been posted in your area.

 

My only warning with consignment sales is to check and double check each garment for stains or holes before you leave.  The policy is usually unstained, like new items but some moms don’t listen or perhaps don’t notice and a few stains appear throughout the racks.

 

This is also a great place to score used pack n plays, books, toys, high chairs, etc.

Zulily: Daily Deals for Moms, Babies, & Kids

Zulily

Zulily is a daily deals site for mom and the kids.  It’s a free membership site where each day, you will be able to buy great products from brand you love at 50-90% off.  That’s right, 90% off!  I think this is a great place to buy fancy baby shower gifts at a fraction of the cost.

Once you are a member you can invite others and if they join you get $15 per person!

One of my favorite things about Zulily is that they have mom’s clothes too (even maternity clothes!).

 

 

Yard SalesYard Sale

Try not to turn up your nose at yard sales, they often have great items for amazing prices.  Baby furniture, books, toys, and decor are also usually for sale for peanuts.  This is the ideal place for play clothes here.  You may be able to find t-shirts or shorts for a dime or a quarter that have a lot of life left in them.

 

 

Totsy

Totsy

Totsy has been in the back of my mind for a while but I’ve recently checked it out for myself to see what all the excitement was about.  Totsy is a site that hosts flash sales – that is a sale that lasts a limited number of hours (usually 72 hours for Totsy) and where you can score an amazing 40-90% off retail on higher end goods that might otherwise be outside your price range.  This is great for companies who need to sell of their extra inventory, for Totsy who runs the company, and for the moms and dads who shop and score fantastic deals.

 

Totsy claims to be 100% and for every sale they make they plant a tree.  How nice is that?

 

Totsy has a great referral program, for every friend that you refer who makes a purchase you get $15.  For disclosure, my referral link is included above so if you sign up and make a purchase I will get $15 credit in my account.  Win-win!

Buy Quality ClothesQuality

Buying sturdy clothes will only save money if you get a good deal on those long-lasting clothes.  Be ready to shop ahead for next year, check out my post The Best Time to Buy Everything for a few more details.  Shop the clearance racks and become familiar with your favorite store’s sale patterns.  If you have your eye on something that isn’t on sale watch and wait approximately 6 weeks from when you first spotted it and come back on a Thursday for the best chance of hitting the clearance rack first.  Weekend sales usually start Thursday afternoons.

 

If you buy clothes online be sure to never, ever, ever shop without a coupon code or without shopping through a cash back site like Ebates.  Many online retailers often have good sales and clearances with a wider selection than a local store.

Care For The Clothes You HaveClothes pins

 

When you take care of the clothes you have you give them a longer life and a larger value.  Go back to the old-fashioned idea of play clothes and dress clothes.  At our house we often wear jeans a couple of times before they get washed.  Another way to care for clothes is to treat stains right away so they don’t have time to set it.  If you have a long sleeve t-shirt that gets stained beyond repair just layer a short sleeve t-shirt over top.

Trade with Friends or FamilyClothing Swap

 

This is probably the most obvious way to save money – don’t spend any!  If you have friends or family that are willing to pass on to you their hand-me-downs, graciously accept!   Do the same for them if they have another child that could benefit from some other clothes you have.  This is also a great way to encourage a new mom and get rid of clothes you just have sitting in storage.  My sister-in-law gave me some of her maternity clothes (2 big bags!) and I am very grateful not to have to buy too much else.