Thursday, February 23, 2017

There sure are some crazy mofos on eBay

Someone bought something after business hours last week. E-mailed me the next business day stating it hadn't been shipped, asking "is there a problem???" My policies say I ship within two business days. It was still the first business day. Also, if they had used their adult words and just told me they really needed it quickly, I would have happily upgraded the shipping.

Speaking of, I've discovered that most buyers don't read the seller's policies or read the description of the item. Part of this is due to eBay hiding the description. On mobile you have to click into it, and on the computer you have to scroll all the way down. So when I'm selling anything with an open package, not in package, doesn't include accessories, scuffed, ripped, blah blah blah, I've been putting it in the title and then printing out the packing slip and enclosing it. (I don't usually include packing slips; hardly anyone seems to.) So then they get the packing slip right with the item, and they see that the item they bought is "Ralph Lauren hoodie with wear on cuffs," and they're less likely to complain.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Has anyone gotten their MA or federal tax refund yet?

Both of mine are saying they were received mid-January and are being processed. I know federal refunds with EITC or child credit can't be disbursed until after February 15 this year. Not sure what's going on with MA refunds. Last year I got state on February 2 and federal on February 10.

I'm thinking that federal will be about 15 days later than last year, since they're operating off of February 15 instead of February 1, so I'm expecting it any day now. I don't know what's going on with the MA refund. I hope this doesn't mean I got audited or some crap.

Which reminds me...I'm not sure I ever posted about that time I did get audited by the state. I can't find it through a search, and I don't seem to have a "MA DOR is a trainwreck" tag. Anyway, I got audited, sent in all the stuff. In addition to W-2 and 1099 work, I had done an odd job for someone one time, the person paid me about $1000, and I declared it and paid taxes on it. The DOR kept insisting I didn't have a record of the income, and the record of the income showing up in my bank account wasn't enough. I had to talk to several people on the phone and explain to them that if they weren't satisfied with my documentation, I could just delete that income and they could give me a bigger refund. It took probably 10 people before one finally got it. Amazing. OK, I'm making a tag for DOR just to be safe. I'll probably need it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Good Neighbor Energy Fund, for people who make too much for fuel assistance

I just got a call from the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, asking me if I wanted to apply, since we have done so in years past. For the past few years, we've qualified for fuel assistance, but Good Neighbor is a great program if you make too much for fuel assistance. The website has the income limits listed right up front on the page, so if you didn't qualify for fuel assistance and still need help, check it out. It works basically the same way, where you bring in your documentation and they pay the utility company directly. It's administered by the Salvation Army, which, yes, I know is problematic in many ways. The people who administer the program are much much more user friendly than the people at ABCD fuel assistance.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Swagbucks has this new MyGiftCardsPlus thing that gives you free money

I just signed up for this and got 975 Swagbucks ($11.08 if you redeem in batches of 2200 SB for $25 Amazon gift card).

The deal requires you to buy a $50 gift card. They have a ton of options, though most of them are things like mid-price/high-price chain restaurants where we wouldn't generally be spending money. They do have several places where most people would spend money regardless, like Lowe's, Home Depot, clothing stores, etc. I noticed that the GAP gift card earns you a larger number of Swagbucks than Old Navy, even though you can use the gift cards at both places since they're the same owner. So I bought a $50 GAP gift card, because I typically spend that much at Old Navy a few times a year.

If you haven't checked out the huge Old Navy clearance section at South Bay mall, do it! It's the biggest one I've found so far. Women's and men's is in the back corner of the store, and kids' is in a separate section in each kids' section. Old Navy tends to sell things for a very short time before they're out of season or out of style, so there's always a lot on clearance. The stores have more than the website does, because they also seem to move things to clearance as soon as they're low on certain sizes or they want to take down the display. If something stays on clearance very long and they're down to only a few of them, they'll often mark them down to a couple dollars. The stuff is often cheaper than thrift stores, and you can get things that wear out quickly and don't usually make it to thrift stores, like tanktops and leggings. 

Also, Old Navy is one of the furthest ahead in terms of seasons; right now they mostly have swimsuits and sundresses. This means that the place is pretty useless if you suddenly need snow boots or swimsuits during the correct season, because they'll likely all be gone, but it means things go on clearance before you actually would need them. We've gotten coats and gloves at a major discount when they clear them out in October or so, and swimsuits when they clear them out in about May.

So, get yourself a $50 GAP gift card (plus $11 in Amazon money), and go check out the Old Navy clearance section. And if you don't have Swagbucks yet, click the Swagbucks label to find all my past posts, which explain how to use it and contain my referral link so we can both get extra free stuff. Thanks!