Selling your excess stuff: eBay

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I’ve commented before on my journey toward a more frugal lifestyle, one with more experiences than stuff. Getting rid of things you don’t use/need is one step in the process.

Honestly, I enjoy giving things away much more than selling them. But money is a handy thing to have. And besides, I spent my hard earned cash for many of items I no longer use and they are still useful for someone. If your goal is to live a simple, frugal life and/or get rid of your excess stuff you may be in the same boat.

So I targeted a few items to sell off. They money will go straight into my “future adventures” fund. In the past I’ve written about other possibilities. Here’s my first foray into eBay.

eBayeBay

I started with 4 items I wanted to sell on eBay, a service I’ve never used before. My criteria for selecting things to sell:

  • Excellent condition
  • I wouldn’t use them again
  • Easy to package and ship

Three of the items I selected are used backpacking gear that is still in great shape, but I won’t be taking on my AT Hike next year. I did my best to focus on what the item was worth now, not what I paid for it when I bought it new. That way lies madness. And it will break your heart.

Signing up for eBay as a seller is ridiculously easy. I already had a Paypal account, so I chose to link it to eBay to make and receive payments. After that I found or took photos of each item and wrote a description. The more info and photos the better in every case. The one item that I couldn’t write much about (a perfectly good sleeping bag that was more than a decade old) was the item that I priced the lowest and had the hardest time selling. Make your descriptions really good. Spend some time working through the shipping concerns. I chose for the buyer to pay shipping but used a set shipping price (not a range). That worked for me. An alternative would be to set your minimum bid higher and pay for shipping yourself. In every case I set the items at a 7 day auction with a minimum bid and a “Buy it Now” price. Only the older model sleeping bag was rolled over for a second auction and eventually purchased at the minimum bid. All of the items were posted for sale on 6/26/13.

Don’t want to do the work yourself? You can use the eBay Selling Assistant, but they take a deep cut.

Kelty IllusionWhat I sold

Kelty backpack, Illusion 3500: Starting price: $25.00 Buy It Now price:

$45.00. Sold for Buy it Now price in 7 days, plus $16.85 shipping.

Mountainsmith down sleeping bag Vision 15FMountainsmith down sleeping bag Vision 15F:  Starting price: $60.00. Buy It Now price: $100.00. Sold the same day it was posted, for the Buy It Now Price plus $10 for shipping.

Garmin Nuvi 1300 GPS: Brand new, original packaging, never used. Starting price Garmin nuvi 1300 Automotive Mountable GPS Receiver$32.99. Buy it Now option, $55. Sold in 2 days for Buy it Now price, plus $8.75 shipping.

Caribou Mountaineering, synthetic fill sleeping bag: Used, over a decade old, but in very good condition. Starting price: $25.00 Buy It Now price: $40.00. Sold after 2 weeks for minimum bid with $12 shipping.

So all total on four items I brought in $271.60. Not bad, right?

Well…..we aren’t done.

Additional costs and considerations

You have fees to pay. Paypal charges about 3%. So far I’ve paid them $7.79. And eBay takes their share too, about 10%. So far I’ve paid them $17.37 (my July bill added an additional $10.08 to eBay for a total of $27.40) . I still have to settle up with both of them for the last item, which will probably be about $3.70.

That final sleeping bag. Now if the buyer will just pay for the item....
That final sleeping bag. Now if the buyer will just pay for the item….

I had the seller pay for shipping, but you still have to print the label and packing invoice, package the item, and take it to the post office. If your item is over 13 ounces, you have to deliver it to the post office desk. I was lucky that my day job is in an office with lots of boxes and packaging that would otherwise be thrown out. Packaging cost me nothing. I got very close on guessing shipping costs, but it’s easy to lose your shirt, so be very, very careful. I’ve paid out $43.75 in shipping so far.

You won’t get your money right away

Paypal put a hold on my payments for about a week. Not an unreasonable time period, but it could have been a hardship if I needed the money desperately. And they can hold it for up to 20 days.

Final

All in all, a fairly good experience and profitable. I’ve made $188.96 (give or take). That’s OK by me for items I would have given away otherwise.  I call this a win!

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Taste of Atlanta, new website up and running for 2013 fest in October

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Taste of Atlanta event organizers have been busy cooking up details on the 2013 festival, which will take place October 25-27 in Midtown at Tech Square! To showcase the delectable fun and fare on this year’s event menu, Taste of Atlanta has officially launched its new 2013 festival website (www.TasteofAtlanta.com). Serving as the ultimate resource for Atlanta’s premier food+wine+beer+cocktail event, the site provides guests with the latest festival news and updates.

Helpful content, social media links, photos and videos come together to offer a detailed overview of what visitors can expect at this year’s three-day food festival. The website highlights the latest information on Taste of Atlanta, such as event programming, participating restaurants, community partners, pre-event schedules and promotions. TasteofAtlanta.com also features a variety of food blogs, so visitors can stay up-to-date on the tastiest culinary creations, the latest food trends and the hottest restaurants in town.

Guests are encouraged to visit the site for the most recent festival news, as event organizers will continue to update the site and dish out the details leading up to the festival.

About Taste of Atlanta:

Taste of Atlanta is a three-day festival that attracts food lovers from throughout Atlanta, the Southeast and beyond to enjoy tastes from more than 90 restaurants from all over the Atlanta Metropolitan area.  Guests can sample delicious dishes; sip robust wines, craft beers, and innovative cocktails; be entertained by demos from local celebrity chefs; and enjoy interactive sponsor experiences and family-friendly entertainment, all while uncovering the incredible dining treasures the city has to offer. Taste of Atlanta supports several Atlanta non-profit groups, including Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters, Atlanta’s Table, Georgia Organics and Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia and ProStart®. Join us Friday through Sunday, October 25-27 in Midtown at Tech Square.

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11th annual Grand Park Summer Shade Fest, set for late August

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home_page_top_banner2013The 11th Annual Grant Park Summer Shade Festival brings a weekend of diverse live music to the historic Atlanta neighborhood. While the festival has long welcomed talented local musicians, the 2013 lineup includes several acts with national recognition, assuring that the shady hills of Grant Park will be filled with audiences all weekend.

Bands confirmed for the 2013 stages include the rootsy Southern Rock of Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires, guitar hero Michelle Malone, the moody rock ensemble The Old Ceremony and the alt-country noise rock inspired New Madrid. Reviews for these performers can be found in the likes of Rolling Stone magazine, and the Summer Shade Festival offers a chance to see them for FREE.

Additional confirmed bands performing on one of Summer Shade’s two stages include The Wheeler Boys, James Hall, Cigar Store Indians, Roxy Watson, Blair Crimmins& The Hookers and the Higher Chair. More bands will be announced soon.

WHAT Summer Shade weekend begins with the Adams Realtors 5K Run for the Park on Saturday morning, allowing runners and walkers to enjoy the historic neighborhood on foot. The festival officially opens at 10 a.m. with tons of art, the Carla Smith Kids Zone, live music and food and beverage booths galore.

Sunday morning festivities start at 9:30 a.m. when the Grant Park Farmers Market opens, followed by festival hours beginning at 11 a.m. The al fresco party doesn’t stop until 7:30 p.m.

From families looking for the next great puppet show to adults hoping to whoop it up one last time before fall begins, the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival offers an ideal way to spend an entire weekend in the great outdoors. Proceeds from the festival benefit the Grant Park Conservancy, the organization responsible for maintaining Atlanta’s oldest city park. 

WHEN            Summer Shade Festival

Saturday, August 24: 10a – 10p

Sunday, August 25: 11a – 7:30p 

Adams Realtors 5K Run for the Park

Saturday, August 24: Registration at 7a, Race begins at 8a

Grant Park Farmers Market

Sunday, August 25: 9:30a to 1:30p 

WHERE        Historic Grant Park

800 Cherokee Avenue, Atlanta 30312  (Park Avenue/Berne Street intersection and the Boulevard parking lot)

Parking lots are located on Boulevard and Cherokee Avenue. Street parking is also available throughout the neighborhood.

For more info:                         www.summershadefestival.org

404-521-0938 

TICKETS The Summer Shade Festival is a free event. Some aspects may require the purchase of a ticket.                       

WHO The Grant Park Summer Shade Festival supports the work of the Grant Park Conservancy. Grant Park – the city’s oldest public park – was initially established by a gift of 100 acres from the estate of railroad magnate Lemuel Pratt Grant in 1883. Grant Park was once referred to as a resort area due to its natural flowing springs, carriage trails, shaded walking paths and big beautiful trees. Today, Grant Park welcomes more than 2 million visitors each year who still enjoy it as a place of respite in a now busy city.

The Grant Park Conservancy is a non-profit organization committed to the preservation, restoration and maintenance of historic L.P. Grant Park.

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Backpacking the Appalachian Trail, how to prepare

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Want to hike the AT? It's easy. Just follow the white blazes....for 2,200 miles.
Want to hike the AT? It’s easy. Just follow the white blazes….for 2,200 miles.

One of my life goals is to backpack the entire Appalachian Trail in one year. I’ve asked for the time off from my job next year in order to accomplish it. Though the odds of getting the time off from work are low, I’m still preparing.

The Appalachian Trail is a foot path, almost 2,200 miles long, stretching from Georgia to Maine. I estimate it will take me 6 months to hike the whole trail (that’s an average of 12 miles a day, 7 days a week). A healthy 18 year old boy could probably do it in 4, but…well…I’m not 18. Why would I want to do this? I wish I could say. It will be physically difficult. I’ll be cold and hot, wet and tired much of the time. I’ll sleep in three walled shelters that leak or my tent set up on ground that is never as level as it seemed before the night started. This is a young man’s game and I am neither young nor male. It doesn’t make a bit of sense. But I still want to do it enough to give up six months of my life toward the goal. Go Figure.

In addition to physical and mental preparation, I need to work through:

  • Gear—all the items I’ll carry with me
  • Food—and how to resupply along the trail
  • Daily Mileage charts—including locations of water and shelters

I’m starting with gear and lots of walking. I’m using several resources to select gear, but I’ve got two main sources. 1. The guidance of my personal backpacking hero, Skittles–who I met on his first long distance hike of the AT(he’s done it twice along with several other major trails) and 2. The advice of Mike Clelland, who has a website and book: Ultralight Backpackin’ Tips: 153 Amazing & Inexpensive Tips for Extremely Lightweight Camping.

backpacking, 2What is Ultralight?

Quoting Mike C: “It defines the base weight of a fully loaded backpack at the beginning of a trip. When you subtract the weight of consumables inside the pack (food, water & fuel) the remaining weight must be under ten pounds to be called ultralight.”

Short version: I can’t carry the 45 pound pack I used to. Ultralight is not just a goal, it’s a necessity. I’m not a kid anymore and I can’t abuse my body and still expect to finish. AND I want to actually enjoy this trip as much as possible. As I go forward, I’ll be posting about my changing list of gear and my goals to reduce the weight to just what I need to be safe, warm, dry and fed.

If you are interested in Ultralight backpacking, I highly recommend that you buy Clelland’s book and you watch all his videos. If you’re on the fence and not sure about the Ultralight idea, this is the video to watch. Mike shows you everything in his backpack:

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