Monday, April 30, 2018

Whoa, a free $35 just showed up in my account

I just logged into Perk, which I hadn't done in some time, and found that I had 36,000 points, or $35 in Amazon gift cards. There isn't any recent activity showing except for my points for having logged in, but I clicked around and found "my team," which is showing me people who signed up under my referral link and are earning me points. I've posted my link here and on a couple forums that do referral trains, so, thank you, people who have signed up using my account. If you aren't using Perk, click on the "PerkTV" tag below this post, and it will show you my posts explaining how it works. Click here to sign up using my code, and we both get free stuff. Like Swagbucks, Perk is one of those things where some of the tasks are worth it, and others are a huge waste of time that only make money for the site and not for you. Check out the PerkTV forum on Reddit for tips on which things do and don't work well.

At the moment, the best one is the Perk Pop Quiz app. Download the app on a mobile device, set it to "lightning mode," so the trivia game will just run on a loop without you attending to it, and leave the device while you do other things. The game will just run and you'll get 1-2 points for every game you "play" (because the games run ads that make money for Perk, of course). There's also the PerkTV app, which runs videos in a similar fashion. It will work for a time on my devices (old iPhones and iPods), then will go through periods where all it does is crash or freeze up. You can run the videos on a computer too, though mine is too old and just overheats and freezes. The site used to run on a lot less bandwidth, and I'd leave my computer, my phone, and some old iPods running it all night.

The $35 has motivated me to get back into running Swagbucks and Perk on my devices. I'm going to get back into the hang of running Perk overnight on my phone and seeing if I have any old iPods that still work and will run the apps. Tomorrow I'll post about farming Swagbucks on a mobile device.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Updated eBay first class postage rates

Like I talked about before, eBay charges the buyer the retail first-class postage rate based on the weight of the item, and charges the seller the commercial rate when the seller purchases the shipping through eBay.

The postage rates have gone up a bit since I initially posted about that, but the same idea still applies – if you charge the lower commercial rate for shipping, your listings look much more attractive. Especially when you get above 12 ounces or so – I think amounts under $5 tend to seem trivial to people, while amounts over $5 seem more substantial. I'm much more likely to bid on something charging $4.38 for shipping versus $6.70.

Just remember: eBay charges you, the seller, 10% of what you charged for shipping AND what you charged for the product in their Final Value Fee. So either add 10% onto what you charge for shipping or make sure the additional 27-50 cents is reflected in the price of the item, along with also remembering to include the PayPal fee.

I just made $25 net selling some random worthless crap I had lying around my house – some 1970s coins I found in change, an airline toiletry kit someone gave me, some drawer pulls, some discontinued IKEA picture frames, a passport wallet, and a halloween decoration. I shipped the stuff using eBay shipping and printed it out on my printer, so I can just drop it in any mailbox or drop it off on the post office counter without standing in line. I packaged it with boxes, envelopes, and bubble wrap saved from things I've bought in stores or ordered on Amazon. All I paid for was tape, which I got from Dollar Tree. It took me under a minute to list each item and about two minutes or so to prepare each one to mail. I also listed another few items that didn't sell, but you can list hundreds of items per month for free*, so no worries.

It's a seriously easy way to make money, once you get the hang of it. And it's generally non-taxable income if you're selling your own possessions and are averaging a net loss overall (meaning if you sell mostly your own clothes and books and things, the few items you do flip for more money end up being cancelled out by all the times you sell a shirt that was $30 new and went for $5 on eBay). It's more money in your pocket though, since most of us would usually just donate all the things in our house that we're done with.

*The base amount is 50 free listings per month, but every time I list items, eBay suddenly sends me an e-mail offer giving me 100, 200, or 500 free listings during that month.

Monday, April 9, 2018

So BookScouter is pretty cool

I actually found out about Bookscouter from an annoying ad that covered up most of an article I was trying to read. Hey, sometimes there's a silver lining, right? I have this collection of books of various sorts that I've been selling over time on Amazon Marketplace – both books my family and I are done with and books people have given us to get rid of because they know we do Amazon/eBay/etc.

So, the way it works is you enter books you have, and it checks several book buyback companies and tells you if they're buying it and what they're paying.

The book buyback companies all generate a pre-paid shipping label to ship the books. You just put them in a box and drop them off at the post office, UPS, FedEx, or wherever it says to. They all pay you via PayPal, within about 10-14 days of entering the books on the site and packaging them up. is by far the company that is looking for the most books. They were buying about 80% of the kids' books I tried, 50% of the nonfiction/text/professional books I tried, and about 20% of the bestseller/mass-market books I tried. Their prices are really good for things like kids' books and bestsellers. They gave me 26 cents each for a whole bunch of board books, paperback early reader books with like eight pages, and mass-market paperbacks. A number of the textbook and professional books were only a bit more than that, around a dollar each or so. I also check the used prices on Amazon, and if it's going for more than $4 or so (pretty much the minimum to make a profit), I list on Amazon. SellBackYourBook also has one of the lowest minimums to meet to create a shipment – $7.50 – so it's probably the best one for regular people cleaning out shelves or freebies.

Powell's offers the best prices by far, often 50% or more of list price. Their condition guidelines are extremely strict though, and they aren't buying a lot of titles. Check there though if you have unusual books, expensive books, or books in really nice condition. I didn't end up selling anything to them.

These are the ones I ended up using. The were each 2-3 books. Most were textbook-type books as one might guess (not as in the ridiculously expensive textbook-only books used in math and so forth, but as in books on education and psychology and such that are fairly pricey, but have a market outside of universities), but they also randomly took a board book copy of I Love My Hair as well, so, yeah, it can be pretty random. They accepted all of my books (in decent condition, but certainly with scuffed corners and sometimes even more wear).

Ez Book Recycle Inc. is That shipment was 12 books of all sorts, ranging in value from $0.07 to $6.96. They accepted them all.

Textbook Rush was for 14 books, ranging from $0.10 (paperback short kids' books that I honestly would probably have no problem recycling if I didn't have a donation box going at the time) to $6.96 for a scholarly type book. They accepted everything.

CKY Books was for 20 books, mostly older scholarly, religious, nonfiction type books. One was rejected for having a tear on the dust jacket.

So, yeah, $65 for 51 books that I acquired for free. Honestly, I probably would have gotten only slightly more on Amazon, and it would have taken me a year or more before someone bought all of them. I didn't have to provide customer service or package them other than just shoving them in a reused Amazon box and slapping on the label. I do still have books listed on Amazon; I wasn't going to sell back books for $1-5 that are going for $10+ on Amazon. But for most of the books someone might be looking to get rid of, BookScouter is definitely a way to do it.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Monday, April 2, 2018

Free Little Caesar’s Pizza today

Little Caesar’s is giving away lunch  There’s one in Roslindale if you aren’t familiar.