September 11, 2017

Swagbucks: Swago plus Spin + Win

Swagbucks is hosting a Swago (like online Bingo) to celebrate reaching $200,000,00 in gift cards and cash being given away. Starting Monday, September 11th at 9am PDT, ending 12pm PT/3pm ET on Tuesday, September 19th, fill in as many squares as you can

Sign up here.

The concept is simple: fill out squares when you earn points on their site. Fill out the board in a pattern, and submit your board pattern to redeem your points. You can choose any pattern to submit but make sure to submit before the game ends or you won’t get your SBs.

Bonus 1: Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin & Win Wheel.

Bonus 2: when you submit your board for a bonus you’ll get additional spins.

Bonus 3: If you sign up through me this month, before the end of the month and earn 300 SB, you’ll get a 300 SB bonus!

Here’s a handy tutorial if you’d like to join Swagbucks and earn. I track my earnings here.

September 4, 2017

Swagbucks: September sign-up bonus

If you’re not using Swagbucks and sign up using my link this month, then earn 300 total SB before 10/1/17, you get a 300 SB bonus.

It’s worth it if you have a few minutes a day to earn some SBs – I just redeemed my monthly $25 gift card for 2200 SB, and will probably redeem $50 in Paypal cash later this month.

Here’s a handy tutorial if you’d like to join Swagbucks and earn. I track my earnings here.

June 26, 2017

Side Money Experiment: selling on Swappa

Selling old phones on SwappaAfter spending an astronomical amount on my phone replacement last year, and PiC’s third replacement trying to crap out, it was way past time to recoup any of our cost possible.

Note: this review is months after my actual sale experience so it’s a little dusty, but you’ll see the reason for that below!

I first signed up for Gazelle but they offered a whole $8 for one of our old phones which is absurd. The phone works well enough if you’re not a power user, which I am.

After poking around good ole Google for a while, Swappa looked promising, so I gave it a try with one of our Androids.

This process is a little bit less straightforward than selling on Poshmark, but nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Useful tips

  • The buyer pays for shipping – you have to build into your selling price.
  • The buyer pays the Swappa fee – you don’t need to build in your price.
  • Sellers are expected to ship within two business days of receiving payment.
  • Swappa’s return policy: Sellers define their own return policies on their listing pages.
    All seller return policies are based on the pre-condition that the device is received as advertised and in accordance with Swappa policies. No seller may deny a return / refund when a device is not as advertised.

To list and sell your phone

  1. Factory reset your phone. You could do this later, but it’s best to do it before you take the photos so buyers can see that it’s reset and turns on.
  2. Supply photos of your phone that show it can turn on, along with the sale code they provide you.
  3. Supply the ESN (which was incredibly hard to read on our phones because it was printed so tiny) so that the Swappa staff can verify that your phone is in good order.
  4. Write an accurate description of your phone and what it comes with. I’m still using my charging cord and wall plug for the Kindle, so I only listed the phone for sale with the protective screen cover and the phone case.
  5. Set your price. I used the current listing prices of the other equivalent phones as a baseline, plus a fee for shipping.

After several weeks of renewing my listing, I had a buyer!

I was notified first of the Paypal payment, then the instructions to ship arrived. I gave the phone one last going over to shine it up nicely, wrapped it securely, and took myself off to the post office where I decided to send it USPS flat rate for the tracking and the confirmation.

The buyer was a bit weird though.

I updated the sale when I shipped and provided the tracking number but there was no reply. Swappa sent him a comment asking him to confirm receipt and formally complete the sale – still no response. The buyer had a week to do so, but didn’t, and didn’t leave feedback either, so Swappa formally completed the sale for me.

A MONTH later, he emailed saying that the phone didn’t work, even though it was in working order when I shipped it.

Since it’d been 5 weeks since I sent him the phone and it was in good condition when it left my hands, as advertised, I offered some basic troubleshooting options and left it at that. He could have attempted to charge it back through Paypal, so I kept the money on the side to wait and see. It’s now been six months with no further communication so it might be safe to say that this one has been put to bed. I think.

Final verdict: My listing sold for $63 less the $7 paid for shipping flat rate with insurance. $56 blows the Gazelle offer out of the water, even with the minor inconveniences and irritations.

:: Do you sell your old tech or recycle it? Do you have a favorite site or store for resale or buying used?

April 7, 2017

How to Make Money before Going to College

College is an unforgettable time in any young person’s life, and while you leave with a qualification and clarity on your career, you are also likely to leave with a hefty student loan that you need to pay off. Knowing that you are going to take on such a large debt before you even start working can be daunting, but it also gives you ample time to save as much money as possible to cover your costs. Here’s how to get money before you go to college so that you don’t graduate with tons of debt.

Become a Tutor

If you are considering college, then chances are you are doing well enough academically to teach and tutor younger students. Running after-hours classes at your school library or even your house is a great way to make extra money, plus it is an impressive addition to your college application form. If you aren’t sure how to get started, then look for a tutoring service in your area, and apply to become a part of their tutoring team.  All that practice might even help you with your SATs.

Invest Early

Most children receive an allowance or money as birthday or holiday gifts. The standard response is to rush out and buy that toy or spend it on a new outfit. But investing any amount of money over a long enough timeframe will reap rewards.

If you start saving in your freshman year, you can earn significant returns that can help cover basic costs or can be reinvested to earn compound interest. Even though this calls for you to have money to invest in the first place, it is a smart way to grow your wealth before going to college.

Hold a College Clear Out Sale

Going to college represents a significant milestone as children move on to become adults. This means that it’s time to leave the comforts and clutter of home behind, and start fresh.

Leaving high school is the ideal time to clear out your bedroom and sell all the stuff that you don’t need anymore. From sports equipment and textbooks to old clothes and collectibles, holding a garage sale is a great way to clear out and make some much-needed money.

Skip Spring Break

You will need to make sacrifices to make money before you go to college, and one ritual that you can skip if you’re looking to save is spring break.

While this rite of passage may be tempting, it is also very expensive. Travel, food, and accommodation add up. If you’re serious about saving and making money for college, skip this party and use the break to earn money doing any jobs that you can. There will be plenty of parties in college and it’s best not to not have money when they come around.

Ask for Help

A lot of high school children ask their parents for new phones, cars, or lavish birthday parties. The easiest way to make money before you go to college is to ask for it. Set up an account when you’re in high school and encourage your family to make deposits for your birthday, or over the holidays.  You will be surprised at people’s generosity, and if you start early this little investment could go a long way when you finally need it.

Do What It Takes

Whether you take work on Fiverr, work at your parents’ shop or sell artwork on the corner, the essential point is that being committed to making money before college will pay off. Play to your strengths and push people to help you – they will respond because you’re helping yourself.

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