Posts tagged Money
As my regular readers will know, I’m always looking for new ways to save money (I am saving up for a house after all!), and I recently came across a brilliant app that lets me do just that, whilst still enjoying good food. CheckoutSmart makes ‘your supermarket shop more rewarding’, but rather than giving you coupons, it gives you money back on branded and own brand products that you’ve already bought.
The app basically consists of a list of offers on featured items which, if you buy them, you can then get a certain amount of money refunded to you via the app. To get the refund, all you have to do is select the supermarket you shopped at (Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Aldi or Lidl) and the date you were there, choose the offers you want to use, and then photograph your receipt. Once the photos have uploaded, you then submit your claim and wait for your account to be credited! In my experience, this can take everything from a few hours to a few days. Then, once you have at least £5 in your CheckoutSmart account, the money can then be transferred to you via PayPal or into your bank account.
I know what you’re thinking, sounds a bit dodgy… But no! I’ve used this app myself several times, and it is completely safe. I chose to have my balance transferred into my bank account, and all the app asks for is your sort code and account number, and the payment was made the following Thursday (payments are always made on Thursdays). Each transfer does incur a fee of 5%, but that’s only 25p off of every £5, which isn’t much really.
The variety of offers is really impressive too. They seem to be updated almost daily, and there’s a wide range of items to choose from, with everything from fruit and veg, bread and milk, and alcohol, to chocolate and ice cream, cleaning products, and even baby items. Admittedly, you only get a little bit back on most items – 10p here and 20p there – but trust me, it soon adds up, especially as a lot of the featured items are weekly basics. For instance, this week you can get 20p back on 4 pints of milk, 20p back on a bag of potatoes, and 30p back on yoghurt, amongst other things!
My favourite offers though are the freebies. Every now and then an offer will pop up that gives you the full amount back on certain items, so once you’ve made your claim you’re essentially getting them for free! Last week I got a big bottle of Volvic flavoured water and a little box of Cadbury chocolates, and today I got a free box of McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes. Such a great way to treat yourself, and everyone knows free food tastes better!
Now that I’ve started to use CheckoutSmart, I’m even going to use it to plan my weekly meals around, as a lot of the items featured could be put together to make a meal. This week, for example, you can get 20p back on Uncle Ben’s chilli sauce, 15p on Napolina kidney beans, 20p on supermarket own brand basmati rice, and 20p back on both onions and peppers. Veggie chilli anyone?
To grab this app for yourself and get saving, you can download it from the App Store or Google Play for free.
What do you think of CheckoutSmart? Will you be using it?
I’ve been selling on eBay for years and I’ve noticed that, over time, it has become increasingly more difficult to actually make any money from the things you sell. With postage costs rising, PayPal and eBay both taking fees, and the sheer volume of items for sale, if you’re not a savvy seller, selling on eBay can take a lot of effort with very little pay-off.
So, today I thought I’d share with you all my tried and tested tips and tricks for making money on eBay, with a few of my own success stories thrown in too. I can’t promise you’re going to make a fortune if you take my advice, but you can at least earn a few extra pounds!
1. Use Keywords
The words you use in your titles can really influence how many people are finding your item when browsing eBay, and therefore how many people are bidding. Say you’re selling a black dress… Calling it ‘Black Dress’ will probably mean it gets lost amongst a whole host of generic black dresses, but if you add detail with fashion keywords you can really tailor your items, especially if you know what’s on trend at the moment, and what people will likely be looking for. In my experience, popular terms include ‘Boho’, ‘Gothic’, and ‘Biker’. Just make sure your item actually suits the trend you are advertising it as!
My Success Story: I recently purchased a faux leather jacket on eBay that, though it was nice and very on trend, really didn’t suit me. I only paid £2 for it, so I put it back on eBay at a similar price and would have been happy just to make my money back. However, I listed the jacket using a few keywords in the title that related to its style (such as ‘biker’, ‘punk’ and ‘goth’), and in the end the jacket sold for more than £16!
2. Go Charity Shopping
One of my favourite ways to make money on eBay is to go shopping myself first… If you’re willing to spend time hunting, you can come across some real designer gems in charity shops at low prices, that you can then sell on when you’re done with them. You won’t find something every time you look, but when you’re lucky it’ll be worth it.
My Success Story: A couple of months ago, whilst browsing a local charity shop, I came across a men’s t-shirt from Liam Gallagher’s ‘Pretty Green’ range of clothing. It looked brand new, and at £2.99 it felt too good to be true, but I checked the labels over and discovered that it was 100% genuine. I snapped it up with the intention of giving it to my partner but he didn’t want it, so again, I put it on eBay at a low price in the hope of making my money back. Within hours the t-shirt had gained lots of watchers, and by the end of the seven-day listing it sold for a whopping £23.
3. Take Advantage of Free Listing
If you list an item for under 99p, eBay allow you to list 100 single-quantity items per month for free! But if you want to charge more (as I suggest in tip 4) it costs, and the higher your starting price, the more it costs. For clothing it’s usually around 15p per item, which doesn’t seem that much, but if you’re listing several items at once it soon adds up! Paying to list items just eats into your profits, so take advantage of free listing days whenever you can. eBay tend to run a free listing weekend every other week, so I tend to prepare everything during the week (gather items, take photos, plan my listings etc), then list everything during a free listing weekend.
4. Factor in Fees
Unfortunately for us sellers, both eBay and PayPal take a percentage of the sale price of your items, including from what you charge for postage. PayPal take between 1.4% and 3.4%, plus an extra 20p, and eBay take 10% of the final value. So, if you actually want to come out of a sale with something other than a few pence, it’s a good idea to factor these fees into your pricing. I personally never list anything for 99p, because once all the fees have been taken away you’re left with next to nothing, so I tend to start items a little higher. Perhaps £1.49 for small items, or for labelled brands a bit more.
It might also be an idea to up your postage costs too. It costs £2.60 to post a small parcel in the UK, but if you charge £2.60 you’ll end up paying some of the postage out of your own pocket, as some will be taken in fees. I usually put mine up to around £3.00 as P&P does also include packaging!
5. Take Good Photographs
Ever found something interesting on eBay, only to find there’s one small, low quality image of the thing, probably taken on a mobile phone in a badly lit room? Chances are you’re not going to want to bid on something if you can’t see what it looks like, so good photographs are always important in making a sale! I like to take mine with a digital camera rather than a phone, in natural light, and I always include a few close up photographs too so buyers can really see what they’re getting.
Do you have any tips for selling on eBay? Please comment if you do as I’d love to hear them!