Does it flip 
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Does it Flip? Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4

Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4
Yesterday we outlined our latest money experiment which involves us trying to resell Xbox One and PlayStation 4 preorders for a juicy profit.

Our buddy/coworker Keith was smart enough to grab a preorder for each console months ago and now we want to evaluate the market to see what we’re getting ourselves into.

Let’s take a closer look at the Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4 and analyze their respective markets on eBay.
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 Personal Finance 
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How to Find the Best Place to Sell Your Gold Jewelry

We Buy GoldIf you pay attention to financial markets, you are probably aware that the price of gold has been skyrocketing. Not to long ago (the end of 2003), gold sold for $400 an ounce. Now, gold is above $1,400 an ounce. Gold has risen rapidly since the financial crisis, thanks to a number of factors. First of all, gold is seen as a safe haven. Many investors piled into gold for its “tangible” value in the wake of a financial crisis that had many uncertain over an economy based on fiat currency.

On top of that, gold is also seen as a hedge against inflation. With central banks around the world engaging in practices designed to kickstart inflation, gold seemed a good choice. And, of course, now many are worried about what happens to countries with large debt burdens. Debts left over from before the financial crisis, plus the new debt created to create economic stimulus, have some looking to gold. All of this means that gold prices are through the roof. Many, hit hard by the economy, are thinking that now might be a good time to sell their gold jewelry. After all, you can get $1,400 an ounce, right?

Not so fast. Chances are you won’t be getting $1,400 an ounce at all.

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 Shopping 
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We Can’t All Be Slash: 6 Ways to Sell Your Stuff Online

Famed Guns N’ Roses (and Velvet Revolver) rock guitarist Slash is auctioning off a ton of personal items in March. He is using Julien’s Auctions to sell his stuff, and it is possible to bid online. The sale doesn’t start until March 26, but you can still look through the items owned by this electric guitar virtuoso. Some of the items up for sale include Slash’s Corvette, his lighter collection, guitars (of course), top hats (also of course) and even toy dinosaurs. There is also the opportunity to bid on clothing, including his outfit from the Super Bowl XLV. (Slash’s appearance was arguably the best thing about the Halftime Show.)

While your stuff probably won’t be as cool as Slash’s, it is still possible to make some money selling online. Here are 6 ways to sell your items over the Internet:

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 Frugal Living 
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Where to Sell Old Unwanted Stuff

Stuff for Sale HereAccording to Wikipedia (and they don’t cite a source), there were 50,000 self storage facilities and 2.35 billion square feet of self storage at the end of 2009. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are 307 million people in the United States. That’s over seven and a half square feet of self storage for every man, woman and child in the United States.

It’s clear, we have too much crap and not enough money. So the only solution is to get off your butt and sell some of that unwanted stuff. If you rent a storage space, clean it out and save yourself even more money.

If you aren’t sure how to sell your stuff, here are a few suggestions:

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 The Home 
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8 Great Frugal Tool Options for Home Improvement Projects

You probably already know that tackling home improvement projects on your own (or with some friends) is one of the best ways to build equity in your home. Skilled construction and remodeling labor commands a premium price in the U.S. By doing it yourself, you save the cost of that labor; plus you get the added satisfaction of showing off your improvements to your friends.

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 Personal Finance 
36
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13 Quick Ways to Make Extra, Easy Cash Money

$1,025 in credit card offers!If cash is getting a little scarce around your household and you’ve cut back as many expenses as you possibly can, it’s time to look at the other side of the equation – the income side. There are many ways you can earn some extra cash and below I’ve listed thirteen that range from really quick and easy with no headaches to a bit more cumbersome. There’s no order to the list other than that’s how they came out of my brain.

1. Rent out a room. If you have a spare bedroom in your home, you might consider renting it out to someone. While this may not qualify as a “quick” way, it’s certainly something that can really put a lot of extra cash in your pocket. The only downside of this is if you select a bad roommate, always a distinct possibility, because it could be difficult getting rid of them.

2. Rent out parking. If you live in a parking-strapped city and have a parking pad, consider renting out any “extra” spots you may have (or even your spot). You incur the headache of finding a parking spot every night but you may be richly rewarded for doing so.

3. Baby-sit. Teenagers do it, why not adults? Baby sitting is a great way to earn easy money without dealing with a lot of headache. Just brush up on your first aid skills, know your emergency contact numbers (or better yet, program them into your phone), and start offering your services to friends, neighbors, Craigslist, etc.

4. Hold a yard sale. The weather up in the Northeast may not be accommodating to this particular idea but yard sales are a great way to turn your clutter into cash. If you don’t have a lot of stuff to sell, round up your neighbors and see if you can scare up enough stuff for a community yard sale.

5. Sell high dollar items on Craigslist or eBay. If you have any valuable items, consider listing them on Craigslist or Ebay rather than going the yard sale route. Yard sale aficionados are looking for deals more than they are looking for specific items, chances are a customer won’t value items as highly as you will. By going online, you stand a better chance of finding someone who really wants what you’re selling.

6. Return stuff you bought but haven’t used. This is more of a stretch but if you have anything you bought and haven’t used and can return it, just return it! That’s immediate cash money in your pocket that you didn’t have before and it took almost no effort.

7. Participate in focus groups. I participated in a 90 minute focus group in Baltimore about windows and was paid $100 cash. Do a search for local focus groups and you might be able to score some easy cash if you qualify.

8. Take paid online surveys. There are a lot of junk survey sites out there and I’ve stayed away from most of them but my experiences with Opinion Output and Pinecone Research have always been positive.

9. Donate plasma. I’ve always heard about donating plasma but really learned more about it when I was reading Adam Shephard’s Scratch Beginnings. Donating plasma doesn’t seem like fun but it pays and you can do it twice a week. (Men can donate sperm as well, but you’ll probably have to go somewhere else for that)

10. Put advertising on your car. If you do a lot of driving, especially on highways and in very crowded areas, considering getting your car wrapped. Advertisers will pay a few hundred bucks a month to get your car draped in their logo, colors, everything. The nice thing about this is that the wrap can be removed without any damage to the car. This option may not be as easy given economic conditions but it’s certainly worth considering.

11. Tutoring. Are you particularly strong in math or verbal skills? Did you crush the SATs or the SAT IIs? Are you a maven in the sciences? Consider tutoring either online through services like Tutor.com or locally in your area. Check your local area for opportunities to educate our nation’s youth (for a modest fee of course).

12. Seasonal labor. Check out the stores at your local mall, grocery store, and even the post office to see if they have any seasonal labor opportunities. Retail sales are expected to be weaker this year but you may still be able to find some work since there should be an increase in activity, especially at the post office. (You can always get a part time job or become a temp too)

13. Start a part time business as a dog walker, errand runner, or handyman. The easiest “business” you can start is one that uses your existing skills – everyone’s capable of running errands, walking dogs, and, for some, by a handyman (or woman).

If you have any good ideas I’ve missed, as I’m certain there will be plenty, please share them in the comments! Also, if you’ve tried any of these and could share your experiences, I’m sure everyone would be very appreciative.


 Personal Finance 
8
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8 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Sell

One of the best things about the internet is that you can buy and sell practically anything on the web. You can find a buyer for anything whether it’s the vision of Virgin Mary on your toast or it’s a piece of America’s excess. A lot of sites will show you a list of things that have sold and point out how ridiculous it is. This list isn’t that.

This is a list of things that you might have sitting in your house that you can sell for money.

1. Company Schwag

When Lehman Brothers tanked a couple weeks back, employees were royally screwed. It wasn’t hyperbole to say that the stock wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on because all manner of Lehman schwag was up for sale on eBay. Lehman’s not alone, you can find awesome reminders of this year’s financial collapse on eBay:

Funny thing is that we went through this once before in the dot-com bust, where the most valuable asset a company had was the box of t-shirts stuck in the corner of its closet. There’s always a buyer for company schwag.

2. ADT Lawn Signs & Window Stickers

ADT SignSome people love security systems, some people hate them. The ones who love them say it keeps them save, the ones who hate them say the false alarms consume valuable police resources that otherwise would be out fighting crime. Either way, one thing is for certain, crooks will break into a home without an ADT lawn sign before they will break into one with the sign. (It’s like The Club for cars, it’s as much a visual deterrent as it is an actual anti-theft device!)

As you might imagine, the signs themselves have value and you can buy them on ebay! (and obviously you can sell them too)

3. Copper

Copper PipeA few weeks back, we replaced our dishwasher and managed to crimp the copper pipe that connected the water source to the new dishwasher. Once you crimp a copper pipe, it’s pretty much game over for the pipe. I replaced it with a flexible hose from Home Depot but now I have a copper pipe sitting around with absolutely no use for it. Solution? Sell it.

In fact, if you remember the news a few months back, there was a whole rash of copper thefts all over as commodities prices were soaring. People were breaking into homes to steal copper to sell. Just go into Google and look for metal scrap recyclers in your area. You might not get a lot but, in my case, it sure beats taking up space in my basement.

4. Geo Metro

With soaring fuel prices, Geo Metros are coming back in style with their great gas mileage. Don’t believe me? CNN did a story and The Consumerist broke it down nice and easy for us. The stats on a 1992 Geo Metro XFi is comaprable to a 2008 Toyota Prius, except the Geo Metro costs only $7000 versus the $21k+ Prius. Have one of these sitting around?

5. Nintendo Systems (and Games)

Have a Nintendo or Super Nintendo? How about the Sega Genesis? There’s a whole generation of video gamers looking back at their childhood and remembering the years of Tecmo Bowl, Megaman and Altered Beast. That generation is now working and willing to pay a premium just to get the game systems (Nintendo NES? Super Nintendo? Genesis?) so they can play the games as they once did, so many years ago. Selling it won’t make you rich but it’s probably worth more than you expected!

6. Ugly 80′s Vintage Dresses

My wife told me about this one at dinner the other day but apparently ugly 80′s vintage dresses are all the rage nowadays. People are having old prom-theme parties, trying to out do one another in terms of the ridiculousness of their dress. I tried to find some verification of this but it was difficult. Apparently between the old ugly prom dresses and the downright criminal bridesmaid dresses, there is a little niche market for those. Fashion goes in cycles right?

7. Really Old Expired Credit Cards

Old AMEX CardYep, you can actually sell really old credit cards as they’ve become collectibles! Don’t believe me? Check out these eBay auctions for some gems. I’m not entirely sure why they’re popular or if there’s a true market for it (other than people wanting to get some old schwag) but if you have some old cards, you could scrape up a few dollars for it.

And of course…

8. Worn Underwear

Yep… you can buy worn underwear. Gross.


 Personal Finance 
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Best Site To Sell Your Stuff

Recently I’ve been doing some cleaning around the house and thinking about how to unload some of the stuff we’ve acquired over the years. I have a ton of junk that’s just taking up space in closets, on bookshelves, in basement rooms, etc. Fortunately, with the power of the Internets, it’s actually quite easy to sell the stuff you don’t need. Here are my favorites:

Textbooks

Everyone knows the school store is the worst place to sell a textbook but there are easier and better alternatives. First, I’d check the bulletin boards of your school, both online and offline. By selling it through the bulletin boards you save on shipping and selling fees. My online favorites are Amazon.com and half.com because you can list in minutes once you setup a Marketplace account. Then, you can enter the ISBN number (the numbers underneath the bar code), product quality, sale price and Amazon will set up the rest for you. For the convenience you do pay a price, Amazon.com takes a 15% commission on the sale price, so try offline first.

“Commodity” Goods

I’ve always said that eBay is the prime place for anything that can be considered a commodity. A commodity is a DVD, watches, a car part, or any number of items in which one of them is is essentially interchangeable with another. What you get with one particular I Am Legend DVD is going to essentially be the same as any other, minus different scratches and the like. For items like that, eBay is king. eBay is king because they have useful tools to help in the listing process of commodity goods and because you get access to a huge buying community. Commodity goods also ship well, which means that geography isn’t a liability as it is with furniture.

Clothes

Used clothes are always difficult to sell but if it’s a particularly unique piece then you can always try local consignment shops. If it’s a suit, consider snapping a few photos, getting the dimensions, and listing it on eBay. In college my friend used to buy suits from Goodwills in affluent neighborhoods and sell them on eBay for a tidy profit, so it’s certainly possible. In general though you’ll probably get a better return donating them and taking the tax deduction.

Furniture & Other Large Items

Craigslist baby. Furniture (and other large items) is often big, difficult to ship and transport, so you’ll want to keep the buyer in the same geographic area. eBay isn’t a good option since shipping will make something too expensive. You can often find a major city Craigslist site near you but expect a lot of false positives. I recently gave away a dishwasher and had many false positives (and it was for free!). If you do have a weaker piece of furniture or a larger item that you don’t think you can sell and you don’t think Goodwill/Salvation Army will accept as a donation, giving it away on Craigslist is a good alternative to the dump or recycling facility. (large items can include basically anything heavy like tools, appliances, etc.)

There you go, four major clutter categories and the places you can unload the loot you’ve acquired all those years.


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