Saturday, March 16, 2013

Beware of eBay listings that state clothing is New With Tags.

Some eBayers will list clothing or shoes that are new but the tags have been removed.  But I recently bought a pair of leather boots that were supposedly New, albeit without the box, and here's what I received:

How did she think I would not notice this?

One boot had a footbed liner that appeared to have been worn.
The other boot didn't have a liner at all.

The Lesson:
If you ever place a bid on eBay for "new" clothing without a tag or box, you might want to inquire about it first.  Get the seller to guarantee you that it is, indeed, a new and unworn garment, as the eBay rules state.  They are not allowed to list something as new if it has been worn.

Or to play it safe, only bid on clothing that is New With Tags.  Even then, you can get burned, because some people find a way to wear something with tags in place.  Or they remove the tags, wear the clothing, then replace the tags with one of those retail guns that attach tags.

I have filed a complaint through eBay and hope to get this resolved soon.  If the seller pays for return shipping, I will ship them back.  If not, I will donate them to charity.  But I just can't bring myself to wear used boots.

UPDATE August 6, 2013.  eBay was very cooperative.  Their buyer protection plan is wonderful and I ended up getting my money back, even though the seller completely ignored my emails.

UPDATE October 5, 2017: I have had many other disputes with sellers who list merchandise as New Without Tags and, in fact, the product is not new at all.  I am avoiding any seller whose feedback score is under 99.9% positive and I am avoiding all merchandise other than NEW WITH TAGS or NEW IN BOX.

dj runnels
Life's an Expedition on Etsy does not sell used shoes or new shoes or any kind of shoes at all.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saving money on smart phones.

I am better at saving money than perhaps 95% of Americans and I've decided to start sharing my money-saving tips with others.

Today's topic is smart phones.  You've probably seen articles about comparing costs of cell phone plans.  But another way to save money is by not buying the latest smartphone within five seconds of it hitting the market.

If you want to update your cell phone, talk to your neighbors and friends until you find somebody who has a fairly current one they aren't using.  This shouldn't be too difficult.  According to this Wall Street Journal video, there are roughly 34 billion extra cell phones out there, nine billion of which are iPhones.

The federal government is taking a stand on that whole unlocking of cell phones thingie.  Until they get that settled, you can also search online for unlocked cell phones at bargain prices.

Consider, too, that your old cell phones are probably worth money if they still work.  Newer ones are worth more than older ones, obviously, and will run more apps.

Personally, I think it is wise to continue using a phone until it no longer works.  My cell phone is the kind that flips closed.  It's not connected to the internet and it doesn't run apps.  No one has made fun of me for it...yet.  But when they do, I will point out that I have never had a broken screen as a result of dropping it.

And I don't pay all those internet connectivity fees for my phone.  Honestly, I am on the internet all day because I run an online business and would scream if I had the internet in my pocket every time I leave the house.  I don't want to be on the internet any more than I already am.

Not many people feel this way.  But then again, not many people pay $0 for car payments each month.

UPDATE SEPT. 19, 2013:  Sadly, this aged, antique flip phone began malfunctioning. I would press send on text messages that somehow didn't go through.  That sort of thing.  It held up for something like ten years, but it was finally time for a new phone.  After reading reviews of smartphones and "dumb phones," I realized that the phones that do not require data plans are not very reliable.  One of them was notorious for hanging up on incoming calls whenever the user retrieved the phone from a pocket.   So after considerable debate, I decided on an iPhone.  But instead of rushing to buy the top model, I waited until one week before the newest iPhone was about to launch and picked up an older iPhone for a lower cost.  I realize many of you reading this think I am either being cheap or antiquated, but so very many of you are in debt, I hope you will at least listen and have an open mind.  Some of you have spent hundreds of dollars on a cutting-edge smartphone that will be eclipsed in a couple of years, whereas I have an iPhone that has many amazing features that are new and exciting to me.  And I probably still pay less per month than you do.

UPDATE OCTOBER 1, 2017:  What the hell was I thinking when I wrote this post? I cannot live without my iPhone. It helps me run my business.  (Deep furrowed thought.) But if I had never owned a smartphone, I would not feel this way.  We want what we are used to.  Once we are used to it, we think we cannot live without it.  But there was a time when people didn't have cell phones, text messages, air conditioning, cars, indoor plumbing and nobody screamed, "I can't live like this!" They just dealt with it.

dj runnels
Life's an Expedition on Etsy.
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