Fears of selling on eBay?…Gone!…

As a relatively experienced online shopper, I have kicked myself over the years for not attempting to “sell” anything on eBay.  Often running across items I no longer use or like, I have thought “why not put this on eBay and get rid of it.”

Wrongfully, I assumed it would take more time to take the photo, upload it, write the item’s description, find an appropriate box with bubble wrap, prepare the label for shipping subsequently taking it to the post office, to make it worth the few dollars I’d make.

With over three months until our estate sale, I thought, why bother?  

Well, this week, I succumbed to the eBay selling frenzy, selling three items this week for a total of $139 less the $12.65 I paid for the free shipping I offered with the “Buy It Now” prices.   
The “handling” of entering the three items to eBay’s website, the packaging and postage prep required a total of 18 minutes of my time. With a  few calculations I tallied my average earnings at $421.17 per hour!  

Here are the items I sold:

SierraSil Joint Formula 14 180 caps NEW – Promotes joint health and mobility,
End time: Jul-13-12 12:05:52 PDT
Sale price: $45.00
Quantity: 2
Quantity sold: 2
Quantity remaining: 0

Coleman LED Quad Lantern — Battery Powered Outdoor Camping/Emergency Lantern
End time: Jul-13-12 20:42:16 PDT
Sale price: $49.00
Quantity:  1
Quantity sold: 1
Quantity remaining: 0

Here’s how they sold so quickly:

  1. The pricing for the items was determined by checking recent sales of the same items on eBay that were also “used.”  I decided to go slightly under these prices and offering “free shipping.”
  2. Researching the items at the manufacturer’s websites, I copied and pasted the photos and descriptions to ensure I accurately represented the items.  
  3. In a matter of a few minutes, the items were uploaded and active.
  4. The next morning, I received an email from eBay telling me the “Buy It Now” items had sold and was paid by the buyer of course, for the prices I had asked.  (Why didn’t I let the items go via an auction?  Simple, I wanted to spend as little time as possible paying attention to an ongoing auction, and I wanted to sell the items for my competitive asking price).  In the email from eBay, I was able to follow a link taking me directly to the printing of a mailing label.  All that was required of me was to weigh the items on my kitchen scale in the packaging materials and posting it online.  EBay subsequently calculated the price of the postage using USPS, my preference. My PayPal account was debited the cost of the postage with no mark-up.
  5. Printing the label on plain white printer paper, I taped it with shipping tape to the boxes I happened to have on hand, sealed the packages and took them out to my mail.  When I listed the items, I had arranged with my mail person to take the prepaid packages thus avoiding a trip to the post office.
  6. Within three days, I received another email from eBay stating that the total funds of $139 were now available in my 
    PayPal account. 

Continue reading “Fears of selling on eBay?…Gone!…”

We don’t like flying…

It’s not that we’re fearful of flying. We’re not. We both say a prayer upon take-off and landing, asking God to take us to our destination safely and praising God for the minds and skills of those individuals instrumental in creating and flying these beasts of the sky.

In our earlier discussions of the possibility of world travel upon retirement, we had this brilliant idea (so we thought) that we could avoid flying and cruise from location to location. In the planning of our first year, we are able to avoid stepping foot in an airport from October 31, 2012 (retirement/departure date) to September 1, 2013, when we will depart from Rome to arrive in Diani Beach in Mombasa, Kenya for our upcoming three-month stay.

In looking at a world map, it’s easy to ascertain that cruising from Italy to Kenya is challenging, if not impossible. The trip through the Suez Canal is wrought with dangers of political strife and rampant piracy, which prevent many cruise lines from sailing through these areas.  

Also, the seaports in Kenya are shallow as described in this link about the difficulty China has in importing goods to African seaports, not only due to its shallow ports, but also due to a lack of an adequate river system to transport the goods throughout the continent. As a result, smaller ships travel to Kenya, vulnerable to piracy.  Not an ideal scenario for cruising.

There are a number of cruises that travel through the Mediterranean to Egypt, but only a rare few that continue on into the Red Sea to Kenya. The cruise we have booked for June 4, 2013, doesn’t sail to Egypt. In the future, we will experience a cruise to Egypt. After all, we will have all the time in the world provided good health prevails.  

We selected this cruise which departs from Barcelona, Spain, after our one-month stay in Majorca, Spain, to fill a two-week lag we had to fill prior to the availability of our rental in Tuscany on June 16, 2013.  The cruise ends in Venice where we’ll either take a train to Florence or rent a car and drive to the Tuscany Region to our rental.  

When analyzing the cost of this cruise to the costs of two weeks of transportation through Italy, car rental, hotels, and meals, it proved to be slightly more economical. We’ll have plenty of time to tour Italy while staying in Tuscany for almost three months. 

12 nights departing June 4, 2013, on
Norwegian’s Norwegian Spirit
Brochure Inside $2,399
Our Inside $1,249
You Save 48%
Brochure Oceanview $2,599
Our Oceanview $1,499
You Save 42%
Brochure Balcony $3,299
Our Balcony $1,929
You Save 42%
Brochure Suite $6,399
Our Suite $3,929
You Save 39%
$$$ Early booking bonus! Book now and receive a FREE $100 per cabin onboard credit and a FREE bottle of wine on select categories. Book select penthouse suite or villa categories and receive a FREE $300 per cabin onboard credit (call for pricing).
Promotions may not be combinable with all fares.
The prices shown are US dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. They include port charges but do not include airfare or (where applicable) airport or government taxes or fees.
Important Note: Visas are required for this itinerary.
Tue Jun 4 Barcelona, Spain 7:00 pm
Wed Jun 5 Toulon, France 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Thu Jun 6 Florence / Pisa (Livorno), Italy 8:00 am 7:00 pm
Fri Jun 7 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy 8:00 am 7:00 pm
Sat Jun 8 Naples (Capri), Italy 8:00 am 7:00 am
Sun Jun 9 At Sea
Mon Jun 10 Mykonos, Greece 7:00 am 3:00 pm
Tue Jun 11 Istanbul, Turkey 9:00 am 6:00 pm
Wed Jun 12 Izmir, Turkey 11:30 am 7:00 pm
Thu Jun 13 Athens (Piraeus), Greece 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Fri Jun 14 At Sea
Sat Jun 15 Venice, Italy 2:00pm
Sun Jun 16 Venice, Italy Disembark

As always, we have booked a Balcony cabin.

And thus, we are limited by our transportation to Kenya. Train travel through Africa appears interesting and varied, but the uncertainty of train schedules and creature comforts didn’t quite fit our goal of “wafting through our worldwide travels with ease, joy, and simplicity.”  

Simplicity and ease would not include dragging our bags through various train stations, often waiting overnight while sitting on a bench awaiting the next train. That, definitely would not be “joyful.” After all, we aren’t in our 20’s any longer. 

We’ve discovered that careful planning, well in advance, better prepares us to handle the “unknowns” we will encounter along the way.  

Flying to Kenya and three months later to South Africa could result in sleeping on the floor in an airport with our heads on our carry-on luggage due to a delayed or canceled flight.  It could also result in delays at custom checks or as a result of overweight checked baggage. It may result in our being unable to sit together on the flight. We’ll take these risks, albeit hesitantly, and book the flights as the time nears.

Once we arrive in Diani Beach, unpacked our bags, and get situated on the veranda, we’ll be quite content.