Sunday, January 31, 2010

When you're good, you're good

But it's time once again to heap some praise upon a special someone for the successful completion of another successful semester.

Taking classes in the fields of both Business and Latin American Studies, Patricia pulled off two A grades and one A-minus in her three classes in the fall. The people who calculate some newfangled thing called "GPA" say that amounts to a cool 3.9 on the four-point scale. Phew, that's high! If only the economy/government/Hollywood movies were so good.

That's the look of a happy camper

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My first eBay sell

In the last few months I had the opportunity to make my first eBay sell. It was a re-sell of some books that my wife had acquired from eBay, read once, and didn't need any more.

So how did it go? Let's just say I made less than what we paid for the books. In fact, I paid more to ship the books than the buyer paid for the books -- including their shipping cost!

You see, when I posted the book lot online, eBay -- for some reason -- didn't let me charge more than $4 for shipping. Even though it was something like 15 books (maybe only 13)! I am wondering if it is because I marked a category such as "books" or "novels" in addition to "book lots." Maybe the category that was not for "book lots" assumes you are only selling one book and doesn't allow for any big shipping charges. Additionally, when I checked price estimates for shipping, there was very little difference between the costs for Priority Mail and other services. So I chose Priority. When I went to the Post Office, however, there was a BIG difference between Priority and Media Mail. Regardless, I shipped it Priority because that's what I said I would do when I put the item up for sale. It seems I made a mistake when getting the shipping estimates because I used a local or nearby zip code to calculate the costs.

In the end, I got less than $9 (including shipping) after my PayPal and sellers fees, while forking out $13 to send the item. Oh, well. Maybe I am meant to be more of a buyer than a seller :-)
...But this doesn't mean I will never make an eBay sell again. Perhaps I just need a little change in "strategery." Maybe I need more of those positive rating "stars" to get more bidders. Maybe it's simply a matter of finding an in-demand product to sell.

I guess I should have asked Dr. Dre to blow his nose for me.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cash for Clunkers in the style of Comedy Sportz

Chances are you heard about the "Cash for Clunkers" event the government instituted to try to jumpstart the flagging auto industry. It's a little less likely that you have heard of Comedy Sportz. Comedy Sportz is an improv comedy group with several locations across the United States. It is not about sports, but rather is comedy as a sport. Two teams -- wearing red and blue baseball uniforms -- challenge each other to improv contests where they invent songs and skits using things mentioned by the audience (this is somewhat like the TV show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"). Whichever team gets more cheers from the audience will receive more points ...

Anyway, what I am trying to do here is write a post that merges one of the Comedy Sportz skits, "Boo-Yay," with "Cash for Clunkers." In "Boo-Yay," a hypothetical character in the skit goes through both positive and negative experiences, thus eliciting a "boo" or "yay/yeah" from the crowd.

Here goes....

The government made it easier to get a new car ... YAAAAY!
But only certain people will qualify ... BOOOO!

You can save $4,500 on a brand-new car ... YAAAAY!
But to get this discount, you have to buy a car that gets 10 MPG more than your current auto ... BOOOO!

But you can still get the $3,500 discount ... YAAAAY!
However, this would still require trading in a car that gets 18 MGP or worse (combined highway/city), and buying a car that is at least 4 MPG more efficient than the "clunker." ... BOOOO!

But this will get some environmentally unfriendly cars off the road ... YAAAAY!

Look: the economy -- and the auto industry -- needs a helping hand. This may just be the proverbial "shot in the arm" to get businesses going again ... YAAAAY!
But the money for this has to come from somewhere. Hello, tax $$$ ... BOOOO!
But imagine trading in a clunker for a BRAND-NEW CAR ... YAAAAY!
But imagine, most people driving the clunkers still can't afford a new car, even with the discount ... BOOOO!