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Mar 312012
 


Before becoming a member of the eBay Parent Panel I hadn’t had much experience buying and/or selling on eBay. Since partnering with eBay I have definitely had some success selling nearly $800 worth of product. Not bad for things that were literally sitting around the house, right?

Selling on eBay can be a great experience and it’s relatively easy. However, there are some things you want to make sure you’re aware of before you start your selling experience. Today I’m going to cover two mistakes I made that would have yielded me more money and I wound up learning the hard way. Looking back what I’m about to talk about might seem like common sense but I got wrapped up in the excitement of selling.

Confirm Your Shipping Fees!

Now this isn’t really such a big deal with smaller items since you’re going to have minimal variance (generally speaking) with lighter/smaller items. However, when you’re shipping larger items things can have quite a bit more variance. I was selling my stroller with accessories. This was a relatively large item and with all the accessories certainly weighed a bit. To be honest I suppose I just felt lazy at the time so I used the tools eBay has to estimate shipping costs. Now you can use the tools they have online to calculate costs but like I said, larger items deserve more research. After I sold my stroller I took it down to my local UPS store to ship it out. I was expecting some slight variance perhaps. When all was said and done I was a good $60 off though! Yikes! It would have taken 30 minutes out of my day to have taken the stroller down to UPS FIRST! Had I done that, I would have saved quite a bit of money and frustration. To make matters worse, I actually left a vital part of the stroller in my car and had to ship that separately! That added another $20 loss to my shipping saga.

So, if you’re shipping a large item on eBay go to your local shipping company FIRST. Also, take the time to make sure you have ALL the parts of the item you’re selling together before shipping. Again, these things seem like common sense and in a way they are. However, sometimes you just want to get rid of whatever you have and/or you’re just wanting to get that extra cash in your pocket. Take a few more minutes to make sure you have solid ship numbers and I guarantee you’ll end the transaction with the most money in your pocket.

Test Before You Sell!

This was another lesson I had to learn the hard way. I was selling an older Wii System I had. I hadn’t used it in over a year and thought I could use the money instead of something else to collect dust. I placed the Wii for sale with all the accessories and someone won the bid. Just before I sent it out I decided to make sure everything worked. Everything worked the last time I used it but that was a year ago. As it turns out my kids (2 and 3) had gotten into some of the game disks and they were scratched beyond operation. I also found out that one of the controllers didn’t work. It turns out that the batteries that were in there leaked after being in there so long and destroyed it. I felt so horrible that I had already sold what was advertised as a perfectly working Wii only to find these problems. I emailed the winner and explained what I found. She was pretty disappointed and I actually wound up giving her back $50.00 as a gesture on my part to make amends.

So, even if you “know” something works make sure you test it out BEFORE you post your item for bid. My other advice has to do with accessories like the games I included. I would offer those for free in your listing. If an accessory doesn’t work great or is not in great condition it’s much easier to deal with it if it’s advertised as free. Had I advertised my games as free it would have been easier to claim that a refund wouldn’t be in the works. Of course, your integrity is the most important thing and going back to my original point as long as you’ve honestly tested everything and advertised the item as it is you’re in a good place. I made the mistake of not testing first and I was honest at the end and then made amends. Unfortunately, my amends cost me $50.00 extra bucks I would have kept had I done my due diligence.

Selling on eBay is fun and can yield you some great extra cash for items that might be just sitting around your house. However, as easy as it is to sell online it’s also easy to make costly mistakes. You may feel anxious to get the show on the road and get that product sold. That’s completely understandable and taking just a few extra minutes before and during the transaction will certainly pay off.

Happy Selling!

I am a member of the eBay Parent Panel which is a paid sponsorship between eBay and DadStreet. The views and opinions expressed on this site are mine and cannot be bought. However, I may want to buy yours if I run out of my own.

Mar 262012
 

As you’ve probably been aware from some of my more recent posts I’ve been doing quite a bit of “self discovery” work. In fact, I’ve been working through a very formal program over the last 8+ months in which I’ve logged well in excess of 200 hours. My time has been spent in both group and individual settings in which I’ve worked through so many old hurts.

In fact, I would say before I started my work I was an extreme co-dependent. I couldn’t identify very well with “who I was”, I had no boundaries, plenty of false beliefs about who I was and who I wasn’t and for the most part was just not “aware”.

Since then I’m very confident in who I am. I have great use, understanding, and awareness of my boundaries. I affirm myself daily and no longer hold false beliefs of not being good enough as well as others. I’ve rid myself (not all but a good majority) of old hurts, fears, and bad feelings. I now know how to identify with feelings and welcome all of them. I’m a much better husband, father, friend, and employee. In many ways I’m a completely different person. The last 8 months were certainly the hardest (in terms of self work) I’ve ever done. It would be akin to extreme dieting with mega workouts. I went places I never wanted to go (emotionally) and saw things I only wished prior would’ve stayed buried. I’ve learned that to get to the other side you have to go through hell first.

I would describe my journey as having been driven down the wrong road most of my life. Now, I’m on the right road. It’s a long road and one that will only end when I pass on. I will continue to learn and grow as I travel down this new road. The gift I have now though is the unlimited ability to not only love myself but everyone else around me. I’m so much more free now than I’ve ever been and plan to give more than I ever knew I was capable of.

With all this said, I’ve started another site called, www.TinyChunks.com. Don’t ask where I got the name. Have you tried searching the web for an available name that doesn’t sound completely horrible? Yeah, well that’s where I was left. The tag line as it reads today is “of Love” so I suppose “Tiny Chunks of Love” is a little more palatable and hopefully relatable to the content. So what is the content? Well I gave myself a challenge a week ago. I have a list of all the qualities of our inherent nature. All the qualities that you and I (everyone) are born with. I decided to take on the challenge of putting these single words into short sayings that could easily and quickly be read. It allows me to remind myself that I have these qualities and as important it’s a great reminder for all of you as well. It’s something that will ring true for you, your parents, your children, and everyone else around you. I’m hoping to put a little bit of a creative spin on them so they’re as interesting to read as they are to be aware of. Right now I’m planning to post one a day during the week. Of course, at some point I’ll run out and I’m not sure what will happen then. I’m also thinking of other things I might be able to do with the site as well. By all means if you have any recommendations I would love to hear them! 

Lastly, I want to mention that although I’ve been away a bit from DadStreet it’s still a site I have every intention on maintaining and posting on. I found myself talking more about “well being” as it relates to adults and DadStreet has always been about parenting. So in the future when I speak about “well being” I’ll do so in the context of parenting and our children.

I hope you check out www.TinyChunks.com and share whatever resonates with you. Of course, I also hope you continue to come back to DadStreet as I ramp up postings in the near future.

Much love to you all and thank you so much for your support!

Mar 082012
 

As a parent of 2 and 3 year old children I often find myself in situations where I just want to scream! Ever have that happen to you? How about wanting to pull your hair out? What about those times when you just want to throw something across the room, preferably not your child?

 If you can identify with any of these scenarios, as I do, it’s likely that you’re feeling helpless and/or powerless. For me, most of the times I feel this way involves some sort of situation where I’m trying to get one of the kids to do something and CAN’T! Allow me to list some times and you can let me know if any of these ring a bell:

  • Getting them to take a bath
  • Getting them to get dressed
  • Getting them to get undressed
  • Getting them to brush their teeth
  • Getting them to eat
  • Getting them go to sleep
  • Getting them to wake up
  • Getting them to respond to you
  • Getting them to stop hitting
  • Getting them to stop running away

And the list goes on…

There’s two things that are in common every single time any of these situations occur for me. First, I can easily get a charge in which I am PISSED! The second, is that if I really sit down and think about what’s going on the following thought occurs. I cannot get my children to do what I want them to do.

Hello Helpless and Powerless!

Many of us don’t want to think of ourselves as “being” helpless and powerless because that’s what you would identify someone as weak possessing or perhaps very old or even very young, like our children. Well here’s the good news! Helpless and Powerless are not states of being (they are not who we are) they are just feelings!

When we identify with helpless and powerless as feelings we can treat them as such and not become victims of them. When we find ourselves in the situations I mentioned above and turn to anger, isolation, etc. it means the feelings of “helpless and powerless” are now bigger than us and we’ve just become our own victim.

Just this morning my wife was running late for work. Jake (who is 2) just finished “going potty” and wanted to dress himself. Of course, he had all the time in the world and at the rate he was going it would’ve been Friday by the time he was done. I went to assist him in getting dressed. I sensed my wife’s distress around being late for work and wanted to help. Jake told me he didn’t want my help and the feelings came on! I started to feel really frustrated and pissed! I knew I couldn’t let these feelings mess up my whole day including my families so I removed myself from the situation.

I later thought about what happened and realized a couple of things took place. First of all, to some degree I did take on my wife’s distress. She was late (not me) and she was feeling stressed (not me) yet to some extent I took on her feelings. Obviously, I didn’t make good use of my boundaries as I could have respected her feelings and appreciated where she was but not let myself get worked up. In turn, when Jake wouldn’t let me help him I had feelings of helpless and powerless. Here my wife needed help and I couldn’t do anything (short of physically forcing him to get dressed, etc.).

So here’s the good news! All Parents FEEL Helpless and Powerless at some point. All parents respond (at some point) in a way that they’re not happy about.

AND…

Because we’re not actually helpless and powerless we can choose to accept this as a feeling and deal with it as such. So the next time your little one isn’t getting dressed when you’re running late consider the following:

  1. BREATHE!
  2. Acknowledge your feeling! Hello Helpless and Powerless!
  3. Acknowledge that you’re an adult and you’re not helpless and powerless, you just feel that way.
  4. Choose to respond in your adult reality which is in a calm, loving, respectful way not as a victim to your feelings in anger.

Remember, life is about progress not perfection. The very fact that you even consider this next time, EVEN IF you still get pissed off, is a great step in the right direction. Spending time loving ourselves is the ONLY way we’re going to be able to have a place to love our children.

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