Ebay, Mercari, and Etsy

I kept myself busy this month listing items online for sale.  As of the 21st I’ve sold every item I listed on Ebay and Mercari, plus several Etsy orders.  This is just a numbers post for me to keep track of.  🙂

Ebay

  • # of Items Sold: 9
  • Payments Received: $134.00

Mercari App

  • # of Items Sold: 12
  • Payments Received: $168.30

Etsy Store

  • # of Items Sold: 13
  • Payments Received: $247.41

Ebay is the easiest, because you don’t have to get fancy with SEO, the traffic is already there.  I just snap pictures, throw up a descriptions, do a fixed price with best offer option, and wait it out.  Free to list, final value fees around 11% plus Paypal fees.

I’ve been selling on Etsy for 10 years now, on and off.  This is mostly passive income as I sell off craft supplies.  Etsy has this horrible habit of “improving” the website every spring.  The “improvements” are never good and always negatively affect traffic/sales.  Etsy is already difficult with traffic, store owners need to handle their own marketing, while Ebay basically handles it for you.  My store was dead for months as a result of the latest tweaks, but August brought me a random rush of sales all within 3 days.  Fees are 20c to list, 3.5% final value fee, plus either Paypal fees or Etsy checkout fees.

The Mercari App is new for me.  I decided to branch out and have my items listed on multiple venues.  All items I posted on Ebay I also put on Mercari.  Whenever something sold, I would delete it from the other venue.  Mercari was easy!  No listing fees, only 10% for each sale.  Paid out via direct deposit.  Great place to sell clothing and accessories!

That’s a total of $549.71 in extra income this month!  I have more items I want to list on Ebay and Mercari too.  Just need to set aside some time to do the pictures and measuring.

I’m hoping to put a bulk of this income, if not all, towards our debt.  Depends on if our renter pays us soon (7 days late for August and still owe $150 for July), otherwise it’ll be used to front the mortgage and utilities.  At least we won’t have to dip into our savings!

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Water Heater Flood Update

Two months after the water heater flood at our old home (current “rental” property), I finally have an invoice from the water mitigation company.  What a joke!  That company is one gigantic scam and I regret feeling pressured to call them in by our shady insurance adjustor for such a minor flood.  (He made me feel obligated to do it to process the claim.)

Well, “minor”, as in it was not an emergency situation.  I was charged an additional fee for emergency services.

$2,600!  For mitigation services.  Being a stickler for fine print and details, I requested an itemized invoice.  Originally they never even sent me an invoice and just started calling me for payment.  I refused to pay a dime before receiving an actual bill.

I got my invoice today and went line-by-line finding multiple discrepancies.  I was being charged for services that were not provided.  A few examples:

  • $79 to move “top loading washer and electric dryer” – False.  My appliances were never moved.  Not only that, but I do not have top loaders at that property.  They are stacked front loaders.
  • $140 to remove trim.  No trim was removed from any of the three affected rooms.
  • $125 to remove wet drywall.  No drywall was ever removed.
  • $1467 for nine “air movers” aka FANS.  There were only six set up at the property.
  • $49 to remove wet carpet and carpet padding.  No carpet or padding was ever removed.

Unbelievable!!!  Pay attention people.  Read every thing, question every thing.  I still haven’t heard from insurance after stating I wanted to appeal their decision back in June.  Now I’m having to fight the water mitigation company over a plethora of false charges.

While on the phone with the billing department, the woman assisting me also informed me that the $2,600 bill was for mitigation services only.  That I should be expecting an additional bill for repairs.  What repairs?!  They never repaired anything!  They never came back!  We made THREE appointments to get repair estimates and not once did their service person show up.  We gave up and will be doing some repairs ourselves, while Lowes is handling flooring.

I mean….wtf, people.  Just wtf….

Oh, and did I mention I received a cancelation notification for my homeowners insurance in the mail?  Was it from my insurance company?  NOPE.  It was my mortgage company letting me know they received the cancelation notice.  Traveler’s couldn’t even be bothered to contact me and let me know they dropped me.  This has been my ONLY claim EVER on this property and they drop me.

I planned on switching companies after this ordeal anyway, but to drop me!?!?  Over a measly $5500 claim?  That number is what they want to send a check for, minus my $1000 deductible, but it doesn’t come anywhere close to covering the costs of repairs.

I’m tired of shitty people and shitty business practices.  I’m ready to stuff my face into a pillow and scream.  Rant over!

Let my terrible experience be a warning for you all.  Document!  Take pictures!  Names! Numbers!  Don’t trust anyone.  Thank goodness I took pictures of it all.

Posted in Expenses, Real Estate, Rental Property | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Amazon Work At Home – What To Do?

I completed the training seminar for the Amazon seasonal work at home position.  It was easy to follow and informative.  I am expecting my contingent offer email at any moment.  From that point I have 48 hours to authorize a background check.

This is a seasonal position that will lasts 3-6 months, possibly longer.  The pay is $10 per hour, paid biweekly.  It is a W2, not 1099.  Benefits after 90 days.  Direct deposit.  No paid time off.  You can select your work shifts after training.  Either 8 hours for five days, or 10 hours for four days.  Weekends required.  November through January you are not allowed any time off.  You can work up to 60 hours per week, and anything after 40 pays time and a half ($15/hr.)

Now for the problem.  The mandatory training.  It requires 100% attendance or you’ll forfeit your position.  This didn’t bother me, until they gave out the training schedule.  It’s four weeks, Monday through Friday, 3pm to midnight.  This is problematic for me, since DH works nights (8pm-6am) and I have two kids.  Once he leaves at 7:30pm, I get the kids to bed, and the youngest (age 2), gets up a few times per night.  I can’t multitask this demanding job and the kids.

I checked out Care.com but people are wanting $15 per hour, to sit here.  That’s more than I’d be making.  My mother in law is unreliable.  My mother cannot drive at night, nor can my youngest stay at her home due to severe animal allergies.

It’s like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.  If training were anything before 8pm it would be perfect.  I can select my work schedule after training, but have no say in the training schedule.

I’ve posted for friends and family, which has resulted in one lead.  A teen looking for part-time work, friend of a friend.  Just waiting to see what she would charge for sitting here from 8pm to 12am 5 days a week.  What would you expect to pay?  Or be paid?  DS1 will be in bed.  DS2 is the main concern.  While he should be sleeping, he may very well awake during this time and require a diaper and time to settle back down.

I can’t believe I’m struggling to get a $10/hr job these days.  It’s more than I make now, but I have to admit it’s a depressing place to be in.  At what point do I just withdraw my application, because childcare is too high….or impossible to find.

Posted in Work | Tagged | 12 Comments

Amazon Job Update

I received an email Friday night that training sessions had reopened.  I was able to snag an appointment for Monday afternoon!  Wish me luck!

It’s not the original position I applied for – Part Time Flex at $10/hr training and $12.50/hr thereafter.  This position is seasonal full time, $10/hr flat.  I’m going to go through training and see what happens.  I’m not sure how flexible the schedules would be, but hopefully I can make it work with DS2’s weekly medical appointments.

I’ve also applied for two additional positions locally.  Feeling a little more hopeful these days, but I won’t hold my breath.  🙂

Posted in Work | Tagged | 3 Comments

July Debt Update

Summer flew by and school starting in July threw me off track.  I just realized we’re over a week into August and I haven’t updated the numbers.   Quick rundown:

Our combined May/June updated debt and savings amounts:

  • Starting Debt: $76,733.22
  • Starting Savings: $16,210.85*

*I’m only accounting for our regular liquid savings account.  Not the apps, investments, or Digit.

I laid out all of our current credit card debts in this post here.  That post also briefly mentions our mortgage on a rental property that is just under $60k.

  • Starting Credit Cards: $11,186.44
  • Starting Mortgage: $60,185.80

New Numbers

As of August 8th, our debt and savings are currently:

  • Current Debt: $75,945. 03
  • Current Savings: $16,600.00

July breakdown…

  • Credit Cards: $8,054.85
  • Mortgage: $58,480.90
  • Auto Loan: $9,509.18

We made a little headway this month, far better than May/June that’s for sure.  As long as ‘Murphy’ cuts us some slack the next few months, I think we can continue making progress.

  • Debt decreased by $788.19 (including mortgage)
  • Savings decreased by $1,244.39 (including investments)

Overall…

Minimal progress, but I’m happy with it after the last couple of months.  We didn’t add any debt, that’s always a plus.  My only concern right now are DS2’s medical expenses.  We’re still awaiting bills for various appointments.

I’m a bit at a crossroads with savings.  My goal was $17,500 for the year.  We’re only $900 away.  With an average of $110 per paycheck going into savings automatically, and only 10 paychecks left this year, that means we’ll hit our goal in December.

Should I change this up?  Put that automatic deposit towards debt for the rest of the year?  That would knock off $1,100 before January 1st, but delay the end goal for savings – which amounts to 12 months of living expenses.  Thoughts?

All the numbers on my debt progress page have been updated.  How did everyone else do with their debt payoff and/or savings for July??

Posted in Debt, Monthly Update, Savings, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Monday Meal Plan

I haven’t done a meal planning post since February.  I started this blog with motivation and life got in the way.  Hopefully as the cooler months approach, I’ll be back to posting more consistently.

Anyway, I did my weekly Wal-Mart Grocery Pick-Up and picked it up this morning: $62 for the week.  Not too shabby!  I kept it quite minimal, and about $10 of that was non-food items.  Here’s the dinner menu this week:

  • Chicken Fajitas w/Cheese Dip
  • Teryaki Meatballs w/Fried Rice
  • Hot Dogs w/Corn on the Cob
  • Ziti w/Garlic Rolls
  • Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuits (aka breakfast for dinner)

We’ll have at least one night of leftovers (ziti).  Not the healthiest stuff, but I have a lot of appointments this week with DS2.  Quick and easy is what’s for dinner.

DS2 brings his lunch to school every day.  I try to give him variety: sandwiches, DIY lunchables, and hot meals – such as leftover ziti.  The hot thermos I bought was worth every penny.  The cost to buy lunch at school is $2.10, for crap honestly.  Plus they get 25 minutes for lunch.  By the time the kids go through the line and sit down to eat, they have 10 minutes.  My seven year old is a slow eater, soooo slooow, bringing his lunch is not only cost effective for us, but less stressful for him.

DS1 is home with me.  He’s hit that picky toddler stage where he’ll only eat 3 things:  fruit, mac n cheese, and cookies.  Somedays I just have to pick my battles!  Terrible 2’s!

DH sleeps through breakfast and lunch, only eats dinner at home on work nights.  He brings a lunch to work.  Our breakfasts are simple during the week: cereal, oatmeal, bagels, etc.  On the weekends I might be in the mood to make pancakes, scrambled eggs, all that stuff.  Realistically that happens maybe once a month.

Ideally I’d like to eat better.  We do eat a lot of fruits and veggies, I always load up on fresh produce.  I’m working on finding more recipes to add to our menu, with healthier options.  Pinterest is my friend these days!

Anyone have a favorite go-to meal??  Feel free to share.  I need some ideas!

Posted in Expenses, Family, Food | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Frustration Free Friday

After weeks (months!) of Murphy’s Law kicking our behinds over here, I’ve decided to take a step back, and breathe.  Bad stuff happens, albeit more frequently to us it seems!  But we’ll survive!  So today I’ll focus on 10 positive things that have occurred recently.

01 – DH took the bee situation into his own hands this week.  After zero help from bee guy.  It seems to be working – knock on wood – and I’ll have an update next week.  Let’s just say, we haven’t seen bee’s in 2 days now!

02 – Before our road trip in June, my mother in law gifted our kids $1,000 “spending money” for the trip.  Of course, we spent nowhere near that on anything for the boys, and when we came back we tried to return the remainder to her.  She refused and told us to put it towards something we need.  We were able to buy a new fridge for $500, which is normally $3200, all due to a small dent on the side you never see!  And a new dishwasher for $100 that retails for $899 – also due to a dent.

03 – We just sold our “old” fridge for $650 cash!  I’ll list our old dishwasher for $50ish once we install the new one.

04 – I’ve also been doing well selling little things on Ebay and the Mercari app.

I’ve been selling things for just under three weeks now and already made $124.00 on Ebay, with another $10 pending, before fee’s and shipping.  The 5 unsold shown on the Ebay image are listings I removed, because they sold on the other venue.  On Mercari I’ve made $68.40 after fee’s, but before shipping, and have another $25 pending.  Not bad for getting rid of things we do not need or use!   I also sold an outfit on a FB group for $22.

05 – DS2 accomplished some milestones in physical therapy this week.  He was able to balance enough to lift his leg and kick a ball.  Huge accomplishment for him!  Worthy of celebrating.  Let me tell you, PT with a 2 year old is exhausting.

06 – DS1 is loving school, he has deemed everyday as “amazing” or “excellent”.  This is a relief, since just days prior to the year beginning, he was in tears about having to go to school.

07 – DH completed his FAFSA form and is officially applying to college.  Mechanical Engineering!!  I’m so proud.  This could be a life changer.  He’s still waiting to hear back from the registrar’s office, but I believe the FAFSA granted $6,000.

08 – I had an Olive Garden gift card and was able to meet an old friend for lunch recently.  Olive Garden has their buy one take one promotion going on, so not only was my meal “free”, but I was able to bring home a meal for DH to take for lunch to work.  It’s the little things, so this one counts!  😉

09 – DH has dropped nearly 40lbs in just over two months!  I’m so proud of him!!  He stopped drinking coke and snacking.  I need to follow in his foot steps, except my addiction is diet coke.

10 – Someone used my referral code for Wal-Mart’s Grocery Pick-up!  This gave me $10 off my groceries for next week.  Thank you to whomever did that!!

Have a great weekend everyone!  Remember, the sun always shines again after it rains.  Stay focused, don’t over stress – like I do.  😀

Posted in 5 Things Friday, Extra Income, Family | Tagged , | 5 Comments