upcycling http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/17574/all en-US 12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_girl_diy_toy_000041049236.jpg" alt="Little girl learning ways to upcycle old shoeboxes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I wear shoes. You wear shoes. And you know what all these shoes come in? That's right, say it with me: shoeboxes. As it turns out, they can a do lot more than just house footwear. Check out of a few of these smart ideas, and feel free to share your own genius upcycling projects in the comments! (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects?ref=seealso">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a>)</p> <h2>1. Charging Station</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.tashachawner.com/diy-tuesday-recharge-station-for-all-of-your-devices/">DIY recharge station</a> will blow your mind. First, cut sections out of an old shoebox to thread your USB and other charging cables through. You'll connect these guys to a power board you'll place inside. Then spiff it up with paint and bookplates for a more finished look.</p> <h2>2. Wall Shelving</h2> <p>To add instant storage place to any room, try creating these <a href="http://www.cremedelacraft.com/2012/05/diy-wall-shelves-from-shoebox.html">shoebox wall shelves</a>. Just take the bottom of the shoebox, coat it in spray paint, and use patterned paper or other accents to decorate. Of course, you can't put heavy stuff in these shelves, but they'd work great for office supplies, small personal care items, and trinkets.</p> <h2>3. Play Guitar</h2> <p>Kids will love this <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/entertainment/crafts-hobbies/make-a-shoe-box-guitar">shoebox guitar</a>. You'll need your box, a paper towel tube, some rubber bands, some funky paper, and basic crafting tools. After you cut a space to thread in the tube fingerboard, carve out a sound hole, you'll add the rubber band strings, and personalize it. The <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/family/kids-parenting/toys-you-can-make/shoe-box-guitar">finished product</a> is adorable.</p> <h2>4. Ultra Organizer</h2> <p>Or try making this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu2pJLID0Ec">shoebox organizer</a> to keep on your desk. To get started, cut the lid off the box and save it for later. Draw a triangle on each side of the box and then cut it out. Fold everything over and use tape to secure the sides. From there, you'll make a few more cuts and attachments before covering the whole thing with pretty fabric and filling with whatever you need to organize.</p> <h2>5. Projector</h2> <p>When I first saw this project, I blurted out: &quot;No <em>way</em>!&quot; You can make a <a href="http://content.photojojo.com/diy/turn-your-phone-into-a-photo-projector-for-1/">DIY projector</a> out of a shoebox (and your smartphone) for just one dollar. All you need to do is cut a hole in the box that's big enough to accommodate a magnifying glass. Make a quick stand for your phone using a paperclip. To display your images, rotate your phone's screen, fool with focusing, and turn your brightness option all the way up.</p> <h2>6. Blackboard Art</h2> <p>Here's a project that's all about those lids. You can easily make portable <a href="http://stowandtellu.com/chalkboard-painted-box-lids-fall-decor/">blackboard art</a> using just a couple tools to help. First, paint your shoebox lids with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006BAEI6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0006BAEI6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YQPWWNM424YDLUF7">chalkboard paint</a>. After it dries, draw lists, signs, art, poems, quotes, or whatever else comes to mind. I've used chalkboard paint many times, and I love how it comes in all sorts of different colors now.</p> <h2>7. Mini Foosball</h2> <p>Keep this <a href="http://www.handimania.com/diy/mini-foosball-table-kids.html">mini foosball table</a> in your office or give it to your kids. This project is super easy. Clip wooden laundry pins to small dowels. Use a hole punch to make holes all along the side of your shoebox. Give everything a coat of paint or cover it with cool paper. Then play until your wrists get tired.</p> <h2>8. Cord Organizer</h2> <p>Here's another take on a <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/TP-Roll-Organizer-Box-instructable/">shoebox organizer</a>. This project is going to help you wrangle all those rogue cords strewn about your house. Gather up a bunch of toilet paper rolls, tape them together, and place them in the box. Place once cord in each roll. Make it pretty or keep it purely utilitarian. I might just have to try this one &mdash; my phone charger recently fell prey to my cats.</p> <h2>9. Shoebox</h2> <p>Stay with me here. This project to make a <a href="http://www.ikeahackers.net/2011/06/i-love-my-shoe-boxes.html">windowed shoebox</a> is written for an IKEA box. But you can easily apply the same idea to your leftover shoeboxes. Cut a rectangle in the side of the box using an X-Acto knife. Then use double-sided tape to fill that space with a sheet of PET plastic. Decorate the box however you like. Use it to store shoes, craft supplies, toys, and other small items.</p> <h2>10. Play Oven</h2> <p>I have a preschooler at home who would play with this <a href="http://madebyjoel.com/2014/01/diy-shoebox-pizza-oven-toy.html">shoebox oven</a> for hours. You'll cut some slots in your box to accommodate a door for the pan to fit inside. Then use excess cardboard to make a pizza peel. And if you don't have a play pizza, create one out of felt with an assortment of toppings.</p> <h2>11. Jute Bin</h2> <p>Skip the storage aisle at the store and make this cute <a href="https://southernflaircrafts.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/upcycled-kleenex-box/">storage bin</a> out of a box and jute. The project is written for a tissue box, but the idea is the same. Take the base of your shoebox and use glue to adhere the jute around it. Then use some canvas fabric to finish it off with a clean look. You can use it to store towels or anything else in plain sight. The cost of this project might only be a couple dollars versus the $10 or more you'd spend for something similar at the store.</p> <h2>12. School House</h2> <p>We'll end here with yet another crazy shoebox toy. Check out this <a href="http://mollymoocrafts.com/back-school-crafts-shoebox-school/">school house</a>! Cut windows out of your box using an X-Acto knife, finish off raw edges with duct tape, and take some time to make a few accessories (blackboard, posters, etc.). By the way, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=lego%20people&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=NVIAAEGJXAXAUNS5">Lego people</a> make perfect pupils.</p> <p><em>What do you do with your old shoeboxes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash">13 Scariest Halloween Frights You Can Make From Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living art projects cardboard crafts recycling shoe boxes toys upcycling Thu, 24 Sep 2015 17:00:15 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1567511 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000038268512.jpg" alt="Woman finding cool ways to make treasure out of trash" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before you drag your garbage and recycling to the curb, read this article! There's so much you can do with an old jar, can, or cardboard box. All you need to do is clean it up and get creative. Here are 12 crafty projects that will literally turn your trash into treasures. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-Shirts</a>)</p> <h2>1. Glass Jars</h2> <p>Martha Stewart shares that your <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/268444/bottle-beauty?czone=home%2Fsmart-savings-cnt%2Fsave-money">discarded glass jars</a> can be a beautiful feature in your decor. Simply rinse them out, let them dry, and then pour some dishwasher-safe enamel paint inside. Hang each bottle upside-down for at least 48 hours before using.</p> <h2>2. Wipes Containers</h2> <p>Do you have tons of wipes containers destined for recycling? I do. Try using them to make <a href="http://www.infarrantlycreative.net/wipes-container-reuse-and-a-giveaway/">plastic bag dispensers</a>! Clean out the wipe container, decorate it however you like, and then assemble your plastic grocery and shopping bags. Stash the dispenser in your car, in your kitchen, or wherever else you might need bags.</p> <h2>3. Coffee Cans</h2> <p>Transform all those kicked coffee cans into useful <a href="http://kelliskitchen.org/2013/07/cheap-organization/">storage containers</a> in your kitchen. Of course, you can use them whenever they end up empty. But spiff them up a bit with spray paint and chalkboard labels. First wash them in your dishwasher. Then fill with newspaper while you paint to keep the inside safe for your ingredients. Let them cure for five days before using.</p> <h2>4. Milk Jugs</h2> <p>Save one of your milk jugs to make this simple <a href="http://ajourneytoadream.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/helpful-yet-simple-diy-for-spring.html">watering can</a>. Your plants will thank you. All you do is wash out the jug, heat a needle to poke holes into the cap, and fill with water. Make a big one for outdoors, a small one for indoor plants, and a tiny one for your kid to play with in the bath.</p> <h2>5. Cardboard Boxes</h2> <p>Get a load of this <a href="http://smallfryandco.blogspot.com/2011/08/cardboard-storage-repurpose.html">cardboard storage system</a>! This project would work well with frozen food boxes or even pizza boxes. Make sure your boxes are clean, then cover them with colorful wrapping paper. Label them for easy organization, and you're done. I'd love to store some of my favorite record albums this way.</p> <h2>6. Bottle Caps</h2> <p>I love this project to transform plastic bottle caps into <a href="http://www.kiwimagonline.com/2010/07/the-abcs-of-recycling/">alphabet magnets</a> for your refrigerator. Collect at least 26 caps, then glue letters into them using cutouts from dated magazines. Stick some self-adhesive magnetic tape on the back and let your child go wild.</p> <h2>7. Toilet Paper Rolls</h2> <p>Save your toilet paper rolls and turn them into these adorable <a href="http://www.sweetcharli.com/2012/09/save-your-toilet-paper-rolls.html">gift boxes</a>. Pick off any remaining paper, flatten the roll with your hand, cut the ends into half circles with scissors, and fold the sides to close. Then decorate however suits your mood using ribbon, paint, stickers, and bows.</p> <h2>8. Liquor Bottles</h2> <p>Take an empty liquor bottle and turn it into something useful. For example, this <a href="http://thediyplaybook.com/2015/04/patron-art-life-changing-hack.html">Patron soap dispenser</a> looks great and helps you keep your hands clean. Drill a hole into the cork top of your bottle. Then take the top off one of your old soap dispensers and thread it through the hole. Fill with soap. For bottles that don't have cork tops, try just screwing the pump into place.</p> <h2>9. Rice Bags</h2> <p>We eat lots of rice in our house. A couple years ago, I turned one of the burlap rice bags into a nifty <a href="http://www.cremedelacraft.com/2012/04/diy-burlap-pillow-from-rice-bag.html">throw pillow</a> to decorate our family room. Just cut off the handles of the bag, stuff it with cotton filler, and close the zipper. If your bag doesn't have a zipper, simply sew it shut with a straight stitch. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-basic-sewing-tricks-that-will-save-you-money?ref=seealso">7 Basic Sewing Tricks That Will Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>10. Cereal Boxes</h2> <p>My daughter wants a piñata for her birthday this year. I saw this <a href="http://ohhappyday.com/2011/10/mini-pinatas-diy/">mini piñata</a> project a while back where the base is made from cereal boxes. Just use scissors and an X-acto knife to make your shape. Cover the whole thing with crepe paper, and fasten with glue and tape. Don't forget to make a trap door so you can fill it with goodies!</p> <h2>11. Wine Corks</h2> <p>I've seen a million and one different wine cork projects over the years. This <a href="http://www.craftynest.com/2010/03/wine-cork-bath-mat/">bath mat</a> may just be the most practical of the bunch. Now, you'll need some patience (or lots of vino-loving friends) to collect all 175 corks to complete this project. Cut each cork lengthwise, arrange them in a rectangle, and cut a piece of shelf liner to size. You'll then hot glue all the corks into place on the liner.</p> <h2>12. Juice Cartons</h2> <p>Corral all your change into one of these cool <a href="http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/milk-carton-coin-purse">juice carton purses</a>. Pull open the top of the carton and clean it out. Cut off the bottom of the container and measure for a few more precise cuts. Fold the sides in like an accordion. Then keep folding and fastening until you're done. Keep it in your car so you're never out of quarters for the meter again.</p> <p><em>What new uses have you found for your old trash?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash">13 Scariest Halloween Frights You Can Make From Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eco-capitalism-how-to-make-money-from-garbage">Eco-Capitalism - How to make money from garbage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living crafts garbage recycling repurposing reusing trash upcycling Thu, 17 Sep 2015 15:00:24 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1556350 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Money-Saving Tricks You Can Learn From Hipsters http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-you-can-learn-from-hipsters <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-money-saving-tricks-you-can-learn-from-hipsters" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hipster-woman-cafe-492403647-small.jpg" alt="hipster woman cafe" title="hipster woman cafe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Particularly if you live in a larger city, you've probably come across a few hipsters. These arty counter-culturalists tend to sport thick glasses, skinny jeans, and thrift-store inspired fashions. And, at least in the 20-30 year age group, they appear to rule. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-of-americas-awesomest-cheap-cities?ref=seealso">10 of America's Awesomest Cheap Cities</a>)</p> <p>I am not one of them. I don't use an iPhone, I own absolutely no chic, nostalgic memorabilia and, rather than wearing skinny jeans and an ironic T-shirt, I'm often found wearing running spandex and compression socks &mdash; in public. I do, however, think that my outsider status allows me to have a more objective view of hipster culture, and I've noticed that when it comes to money, hipsters have some great habits.</p> <p>Here are the top 12 ways hipsters stay frugal and ignore the status quo for spending.</p> <h2>1. Reuse Everything</h2> <p>Whether it's grandpa's pants, a vintage bicycle or the unicorn T-shirt your little sister used to wear, making old things new again appears to be what being a hipster is all about. (It makes affording the requisite iPhone a whole lot easier too.) (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-new-things-you-can-make-with-old-denim-jeans?ref=seealso">20 New Things You Can Make With Old Denim</a>)</p> <h2>2. Avoid Learning to Drive</h2> <p>Whether they're headed to work or out to the bar, hipsters tend to choose a bicycle. These are often vintage or vintage-style fixed-gear cruisers. They get you where you want to go on the cheap, and they look perfect with a basket &mdash; all the better for carrying your groceries.</p> <h2>3. Go Vegetarian (Or, Better Yet, Vegan)</h2> <p>There seem to be two strains of hipster: those who thrive on things like bone marrow and bacon-wrapped meatloaf, and those who abstain from meat and/or all animal products. In fact, in the restaurants where hipsters tend to hang out, you'll often find an interesting mix of bacon and coconut bacon, braised pork belly and fried tempeh. Oh and almond milk. Gallons of it. For the most part, a vegetarian diet &mdash; or at least one with less meat &mdash; can be considerably less expensive, especially if you do the cooking yourself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck?ref=seealso">10 Foods With the Most Bang For Your Buck</a>)</p> <h2>4. Do the Cooking</h2> <p>Hipsters love talking about, eating, and cooking great food. Cooking your own food &mdash; no matter how extravagant &mdash; is always cheaper and healthier than dining out. So pass the kale. Just be sure to share a photo of your latest creation on Instagram before you take the first bite.</p> <h2>5. Read</h2> <p>Reading is a classic form of hipster entertainment. Intellectual curiosity and individualism are hallmarks of hipsterhood. Reading also gives you something to talk about at parties. Plus, books are cheap, and old books look cool.</p> <h2>6. Listen to Newly-Emerging, Independent Music</h2> <p>The hippest of hipster music is played by a band no one has heard of. And since these bands are obscure, they're often dirt cheap to see live. Another thrifty tip: Buy a vinyl copy of the band's single or album and&nbsp;<a href="http://qz.com/103785/hipsters-are-buying-vinyl-records-but-they-arent-listening-to-them/">use it as art</a>.</p> <h2>7. Use Social Media</h2> <p>Whether they're sharing a yoga selfie on Twitter or posting quotes on Tumblr, hipsters can entertain themselves for days on end with social media. And why shouldn't they? It's free!</p> <h2>8. Skip the Clean Shave</h2> <p>For hipster of the male persuasion, looking like a lumberjack every day of the week is completely acceptable, especially if that facial fur is paired with a bow tie or horn rimmed glasses (vintage of course). If you've seen the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.allure.com/beauty-trends/blogs/daily-beauty-reporter/2013/05/allure-man-why-are-razors-so-expensive.html">price of a pack of razorblades lately</a>, letting that facial hair do its thing can be a real money-saver. You'll also have the honor of being referred to as &quot;that guy with the beard&quot; outside of hipster circles.</p> <h2>9. Keep Things Casual</h2> <p>For the ladies, while hipster style is carefully considered, it's never well-coifed. Whether long, short or in between, hipster hair is always judiciously, adorably unkempt (and often asymmetrical). That means les (or no) time at the salon. If you're having a really bad hair day, deal with it hipster-style by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pinterest.com/studioleft/beanie-hat-hipsters/">sporting a beanie</a>.</p> <h2>10. Watch Old Movies</h2> <p>Hipsters love old movies like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000A7DVR2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000A7DVR2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=P7KYPA2QBLKGYUU2">The Big Lebowski</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000A7DVR2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000A7DVR2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IPUYLJHUIBP77CYK">Ferris Bueller's Day Off</a> along with just about anything directed by Wes Anderson or starring Bill Murray. These movies aren't just fun blasts from the past &mdash; they're usually available on Netflix, which means they cost next to nothing to watch. You do have Netflix, right?</p> <h2>11. Get a Hobby</h2> <p>Whether it's photography, poetry, playing guitar or knitting, hipsters tend to have a hobby or artistic outlet. It's very hipster to devote yourself to something and be totally into it. You don't need expensive materials or formal instructions; hipsters just follow what interests them and do it, making for an inexpensive pastime. Not sure what to try your hand at? Check out this&nbsp;<a href="http://hipsterhobbygenerator.com/">Hipster Hobby Generator</a> for ideas.</p> <h2>12. Just Be Cool (Or &quot;Deck&quot;)</h2> <p>Hipsters tend to eschew mass consumerism in favor of individuality. So, at least in theory, if you like something, it's cool. That purple vintage T-shirt with a wolf on it? Cool. That bizarre orange couch you found on Craigslist? Cool. Those antlers you found in your parents' garage? Cool. Your great grandma's cardigan? Cool. As long as it floats your boat, it's cool. If you follow that logic, you can live by your own rules &mdash; and your own budget. As a hipster might say, that's a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.engadget.com/2014/07/22/totes-amazeballs-dictionary-yolo/">totes amazeballs</a> way to live, whether you're a hipster or not.</p> <p><em>Anything I've overlooked? What frugal lessons have you learned from a hipster?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-you-can-learn-from-hipsters">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-go-from-two-incomes-to-one">How to Go From Two Incomes to One</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-keeping-you-from-a-life-of-financial-independence">What is keeping you from a life of financial independence?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-live-like-a-celebrity-on-a-budget">5 Ways to Live Like a Celebrity on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Sloth Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle budgeting frugal lessons hipsters upcycling Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:00:07 +0000 Tara Struyk 1239948 at http://www.wisebread.com How I Saved $30,000 and Helped the Earth at the Same Time http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/environmental-superhero-470863339-small.jpg" alt="environmental superhero" title="environmental superhero" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="194" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over seven years ago, I joined <a href="http://sfcompact.blogspot.com/2006/01/new-years-resolution.html">The Compact</a>&nbsp;out of <a href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/march-madness-compact-free-stuff-edition/">green guilt</a> (and because everything I do in my life has to be a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-compact-mindfullness-and-frugality-through-buying-used">dare</a>).</p> <p>In brief, The Compact is an environmental movement that challenges members to step away from the consumer grid and take as few <em>new</em> resources out of the planet as possible for one calendar year. Compactors pledge to buy only used goods for twelve months, with obvious exceptions for things like food and health care products.</p> <p>I've stayed with The Compact for longer than one year because, in addition to allowing me to live closer to my environmental values, it's also a super fun challenge.</p> <p>As it turns out, The Compact is also a massive money saver.</p> <p>This week's horrible personal project is purging the filing cabinet. I have gone through all sorts of boring paperwork, fiddling with old receipts. Along the way, I've also been doing a little math (always a dangerous thing for me) and discovered that my effort to save the planet has saved me at least $30,000. $30,000! That savings is spread over 7.5 years, but still. $30,000! And that's a conservative estimate.</p> <p>Here are 22 ways I saved at least $30,000 while also saving the planet.</p> <h2>1. I Make Every Effort to Buy Only Used Goods</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/yard-sale-83590593-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Since I happen to like vintage clothes, old houses, and classic cars, only buying used goods is hardly deprivation &mdash; it's my aesthetic. That said, about once a year, I'll get dinged financially for buying used. For example, I could have bought a new, cheap pair of boots for less than the price I paid to resole my old ones. However, for most purchases, buying used is far cheaper than buying new.</p> <h2>2. I Spend Consciously</h2> <p>I can no longer shop without intention. When I buy something, I don't just think about how I will use that item, but how I will eventually dispose of it. This extra environmental awareness saves me a lot of money, because I can't unlearn my good shopping habits and go back to the days of mindless spending. The extra bit of inconvenience sourcing used versions of everything I want also gives me time to consider how badly I need something. Is it something I really need or can I get by with something I already own?</p> <h2>3. I Shrank My Living Space</h2> <p>One of the fastest ways I shrank my carbon footprint was to share my house with other people. When I lived alone in my 1000 square foot house, I took up all 1000 square feet. I also paid for the entire mortgage. While living alone was something I considered an adult achievement, having roommates, renting my house out as a B&amp;B, and ultimately moving in with my husband have all saved me money and helped lighten the load on the planet.</p> <h2>4. I Cut My Car Use to Under 5000 Miles a Year</h2> <p>To a lot of city folk I know, this doesn't sound impressive. But in Los Angeles, a gigantic metropolis, with iffy public transit, this is a huge challenge. My rule? If the destination is less than three miles from my house on surface streets, I have to walk or bike instead of getting in the car. In addition to cutting my gas costs by more than half, I also saved money on tire replacement, car servicing, and insurance. Also, because I now walk anywhere from three to 10 miles daily, I was able to cut my $40 a month gym membership.</p> <h2>5. I Bought a Used Car</h2> <p>As much as I'd love a gas-sipping Prius, the resource cost of creating a new car is much greater than the resources I will use to drive and keep up the 1989 Volvo station wagon my husband and I just bought from a friend for $3500. It's hard to see on the surface, but an old gas-guzzler, driven less often, can be lighter on the planet than the creation of a brand new car. Also, to quote my mechanic, &quot;You cannot buy a new car of this quality for $3500.&quot;</p> <p>I should note, too, that my parent's first generation Prius just died after 200,000 miles, and there is no way repair the hybrid engine. 200,000 miles on a Volvo 240 is nothing. Our other car is a Volvo 240 sedan that is still rolling strong after almost 400,000 miles of driving.</p> <h2>6. I Realized That Car Preservation Was Smarter Than Car Repair</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/car-polish-78751334-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>My husband's Polish relatives drive &quot;The Machine,&quot; the name they gave to their Iron Curtain-era compact automobile because it is so lacking in amenities. The Machine is in its 4th decade but still running smoothly because the family treats the car like it's the only car they will ever own. (And it is.) They do everything from driving the speed limit to regularly washing The Machine (to maintain its original 1970's paint job) to ensure that they put as little wear and tear on the car as possible. It's preventative medicine for automobiles.</p> <p>I used to drive, everywhere, like the cops where chasing me. Now I drive like an old lady. It's annoying to my speed-demon friends, but it saves wear and tear on my car and gives me superior gas mileage.</p> <h2>7. I Pay Attention to My Tire Pressure</h2> <p>The average driver who drives 12,000 miles a year on under-inflated tires uses an extra 144 gallons of gas and adds an additional 2880 pounds of green house gases to the environment annually!</p> <p>Properly inflating my tires saves me about $240 a year in gasoline costs, but it also extends the life of my tires. Under-inflation causes more rolling resistance, which adds substantially more wear and tear to the tires. This is also a safety hazard. A badly timed blow-out can kill.</p> <h2>8. I Became a Black Belt Composter</h2> <p>Dirty cardboard food containers cannot be recycled. However, the greasy pizza box, the butter wrappers, the take-out containers, and the wax paper from the cheese can all be put into the compost as the &quot;brown&quot; ingredient. In addition to dramatically cutting down on food related trash, the resulting light and fluffy compost is the perfect amendment for my clay garden soil, adding both nutrients and friability. Better soil equals a more productive garden. Beyond the food savings of a victory garden, using my homemade compost has saved me several hundred dollars in fertilizer and soil amendment costs.</p> <h2>9. I Mulched The Yard</h2> <p>California is in the middle of a severe drought. As a result, our water bill is sky high. To suppress weeds and keep our garden soil moist, I first laid down a layer of &quot;liquor store mulch,&quot; aka flattened cardboard boxes procured for free from my corner liquor store. For the delivery cost of $30, the stables at my local racetrack were more than happy to supply me with an entire truckload of wood chips and horse poop as a garden topcoat. Not only did this organic buffer cut the amount of water used in the garden by 50%, three years later we are still enjoying the results. The cardboard and topcoat have composted down to rich topsoil, and we have 90% fewer weeds.</p> <h2>10. I Got Hardcore About Wastewater</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/bucket-water-187371073-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Because fresh water is becoming scarcer and more expensive with each passing year, I am constantly on the hunt for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-water">more ways to save water</a>. One major component of this is recycling my waste water. Sadly, my home and yard is poorly configured to use the gray water from my washing machine. That said, I've gotten into the habit of cleaning my floors and my car with buckets of leftover bathwater, and watering my ornamental plants with leftover dishwater.</p> <h2>11. I Started Using Homemade Cleansers</h2> <p>Reusing my gray water got me thinking about how I clean my house. If a cleanser was too poisonous to pour into my garden, isn't it also too poisonous to pour down the drain leading to the ocean? Cleaning with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-awesomeness-of-sodium-bicarbonate-27-uses-for-baking-soda">baking soda</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace">white vinegar</a>, or removing the soap scum out of my bathtub with table salt and a grapefruit rind, is not only less toxic than any of the commercial cleansers, it is also far cheaper. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners?ref=seealso">How to Clean Everything With Just 3 All-Natural Cleaners</a>)</p> <h2>12. I Bought a Small (Used) Refrigerator</h2> <p>Every new home now seems to feature double wide, French door refrigerators. Unless you have a gigantic family, it is impossible to eat through 20+ cubic feet of food before it goes bad. This leads to poor shopping and eating habits.</p> <p>When <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-refrigerators">shopping for a refrigerator</a>, read the fine print on the energy usage. There are many smaller refrigerators that don't get an Energy Star rating but use less energy than the bigger refrigerators that do.</p> <p>Also, refrigerators and freezers run more efficiently when they are full rather than empty. Why pay extra to cool unused space? Consider ignoring the signage inside the fridge and arrange your food in the most space-saving way (like using the crisper drawer for canned drinks instead of vegetables), using every nook and cranny. My small refrigerator enforces smart shopping habits and saves me money on my energy bill all year long. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-fridge-last-almost-forever-with-these-8-tips?ref=seealso">8 Ways to Make Your Fridge Last Forever</a>)</p> <h2>13. I Exorcised the Phantom Load and the Vampire Draw From My Home</h2> <p>Here's a terrible secret: Many modern appliances <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hands-in-your-pocket-the-cost-of-standby-power-environmental-and-otherwise">leak energy</a> even when they are turned off. The Dust Buster, the phone charger, the video game console&hellip;I love them, but they were sucking up $20 a month in electricity while I slept. Those little monsters. To combat phantom load, I plugged my entertainment system into a power strip and then I put the power strip on a timer. From 2 a.m. to 8 a.m., the TV, the DVD player, and the game consoles get switched off automatically at the plug. All other small electronics are unplugged manually and religiously when they are not in use.</p> <h2>14. I Became a Beekeeper</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/beekeeper-178850019-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Beekeeping, unlike gardening, takes up very little space. I know over a hundred yard-less, urban beekeepers who keep bees on their tiny balconies, on the rooftops of their office buildings, or at community gardens. Honeybees increase the yield of gardens by 30% to 60%. This dramatic increase in productivity is an obvious money saver for the home gardener. More produce for less work!</p> <p>Since bees are in decline all over the world, giving a safe home to pollinators is good for the planet. My new skill set also gave me two more revenue streams: selling honey and doing live bee removal from public buildings and peoples' private homes. Keeping bees is a fascinating hobby job, and I learn something new about beekeeping every day. That said, the youngest member of my local bee club is five years old and the oldest is 96. It's an activity that people of all ages can learn and enjoy.</p> <h2>15. I Learned How to Preserve Food</h2> <p>Canning is the new knitting. And, as with knitting, canning is a fake frugal activity if you are paying retail for your supplies. Canning really only saves money if you are preserving <em>surplus</em> produce. Even though I have my own garden, I have yet to grow enough food that I can't eat it all myself.</p> <p>When I learned to can, instead of buying fruit for jam at the store, I put a want ad on my local <a href="https://www.freecycle.org/">Freecycle</a> group for surplus fruit. I got an insane response from my neighbors. The first year, I collected over 2000 pounds of free fruit. In exchange for gleaning privileges, I give my fruit-donating neighbors a jar of every new batch of preserves. My neighbors love being members of my Jam of the Month Club, and I've met so many new friends this way.</p> <p>Because I have access to so much free produce, I've started canning the surplus to sell and barter. I trade my jam with my neighbor for eggs and fresh poultry. I also make several hundred dollars a year selling my preserves at local craft fairs.</p> <p>Beyond my own grocery savings, making homemade preserves has saved me hundreds of dollars on gift purchases. People make birthday jam requests now!</p> <p>After the ingredients, the next most expensive aspect of canning is the jars. New jelly jars cost $1 each. I accidentally fell into a free source of canning jars last year when my friends got married. Apparently, the new trend in frugal summer weddings is to use eight-ounce jelly jars instead of buying or renting glassware for the wedding. After the wedding party, my friends offered to give me the dirty jars for free. For the cost of elbow grease I got 340 jars with new, unused lids, my friends had one less thing to deal with after the wedding, and the reusable jars stayed out of the waste stream for that much longer.</p> <p>It's old-fashioned etiquette to return jars to the cook when you finish eating the jam. My customers actually love this green aspect of my business, and I get about a 30% return rate of jars every year.</p> <h2>16. I Decided to Take Bottle and Can Recycling Seriously</h2> <p>Los Angeles has the largest recycling program in the country. I used to just throw my bottles and cans into the recycling bin without another thought. It's so easy. But then I realized that my laziness was costing me about $300 a year in easy money!</p> <p>While recycling for money versus letting the city recycle for money had a net impact of zero on the environment, the time spent dropping off bottles and cans at the recycling center myself pays for one entire month of water and power. For me, this is a huge deal.</p> <h2>17. I Became a Hard Core Trash Picker</h2> <p>Last week I made $120 at a garage sale. Most of the merchandise I'd found on the curb while walking through the neighborhood on trash day. I kept fifty items out of the waste stream for a little longer by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash">literally selling garbage</a> back to my neighbors.</p> <h2>18. I Moved The Cats Indoors</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/kitten-482462371.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Our two cats used to be indoor/outdoor cats. Although the cats loved the freedom, the injuries that they sustained from running around outside were costing upwards of $800 a pop at the vet.</p> <p>The most obvious way to save on medical costs and medical waste is to stay in good health. Veterinary waste might be smaller than human medical waste, but just like at the people version of ER, very few medical supplies at an animal hospital can be recycled or reused legally. All the tubes, syringes, and medications are single use items, and even washable equipment uses a lot of resources to keep clean.</p> <p>Although the cats still lurk by the door, hoping they can sneak outside without me noticing, I am resolute in my decision to keep them indoors. The <a href="http://www.cat-world.com.au/indoor-vs-outdoor-cats">average lifespan</a> of an indoor cat is 12 years, while outside cats often live less than five.</p> <h2>19. I Split the Cost of Tools With My Friends</h2> <p>I share a china pattern with my brother-in-law. I share a weed whacker with my friend Laura. I share luggage with my sister. I share a Cuisinart with my neighbor Alexandra. Why do I need to buy and store an entire set of tools that aren't in constant, daily use when I can split the cost and the storage space with other people?</p> <h2>20. I Stopped Eating Meat During the Week</h2> <p>Eating a vegetarian diet is an easy way to live light on the planet and light on my body. My husband and I eat meat twice a week, usually when we are dining out with friends. Eating meat is now an event for us, which is how it was for humankind for most of history. Monday through Friday we eat vegetarian meals. Cutting out meat during the week has allowed us to spend more money on organic produce and dry goods. As part-time vegetarians, we actually eat better quality food, and still have money left over to eat dinner at a restaurant twice a week.</p> <h2>21. I Reuse Paper Before I Recycle</h2> <p>American businesses throw away 175 pounds of paper per worker per year. Even though I run my business from my home, it would take me over a decade to use that amount of paper as I make an effort to use both sides of every sheet of paper that crosses my desk.</p> <p>In addition to making double-sided printing the default setting on my printer, I save myself a lot of hassle and misprinted documents by carefully labeling my printer, so I know exactly how to insert paper, envelopes, and labels for perfect print outs every time.</p> <p>I never use virgin paper as scratch paper.</p> <p>I can get two extra uses out of used envelopes! First, I like to write grocery lists on the back of used envelopes. That way I can store my coupons inside for easy access while I'm shopping. Once both sides of an envelope are used, I carefully pull apart the envelope and refold it inside out for reuse a third, or even fourth time! A little glue stick is all that's needed to glue everything back together.</p> <h2>22. I Use Second Hand Packing Material</h2> <p>I sell a lot of vintage goods on Etsy and a lot of books on <a href="http://www.half.ebay.com/">half.com</a>. I get all of my padded envelopes for shipping books and records from my local college radio station. College radio stations, with their eclectic music programming, receive hundreds of CDs and records from musicians and record labels for play on air every month. If you don't have this type of radio station in your area, think of what local businesses might receive a lot of packing material they aren't reusing. It never hurts to ask.</p> <p>My go-to source for small, heavy-duty boxes is my local hardware store. Hardware stores have a huge variety of boxes of all shapes and sizes because their merchandise selection is so broad. Every day, the owner of my local mom-and-pop hardware store puts all the unwanted cardboard boxes next to the dumpster in their back parking lot. The hardware store pays less for trash pickup, and my neighbors and I get the pick of free storage and shipping containers.</p> <p>Has anyone else had this sticker shock, but in a good way?</p> <p><em>What do-gooder things for the environment did you do that ended up saving you a lot of money? Please share in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dumpster-diving-101-6-strategies-for-success">Dumpster-Diving 101: 6 Strategies for Success</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-recycling-is-my-lowest-priority">Why Recycling Is My Lowest Priority</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Lifestyle buying used recycling reuse saving upcycling Tue, 03 Jun 2014 15:43:34 +0000 Max Wong 1141613 at http://www.wisebread.com From Dumpster Diving to Garage Sales, Turning Trash Into Cash http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/1357082362_f34c658249_z.jpg" alt="yard sale" title="yard sale" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last year I made over $1,200 off of other people&rsquo;s garbage. But then, I'm serious about reusing and recycling. I'm not afraid to yell, &quot;Stop the car! That's good garbage!&quot; in a crowded intersection. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-compact-mindfullness-and-frugality-through-buying-used">The Compact: Mindfullness and Frugality Through Buying Used</a>)</p> <p>Some of the garbage I find is actual money. Every year I manage to pick up around $20 in change off the ground. My favorite places to find lost change are in front of the counter at the post office and under the CoinStar machine at the grocery store. Last year I got lucky and actually found a $20 bill on the street, so my found money total rose to $44.03.</p> <p>I don&rsquo;t know what makes pennies not real currency in the eyes of so many people. A penny saved really is a penny earned, but a penny found is a penny that isn&rsquo;t taxed. Do I even spend ten minutes a year bending over to pick up an average of $20 in small change? You would think that most Americans, especially in this economy, would be stoked to do an activity that pays $120 an hour. But no. Even total strangers laugh at me when I lean down to pick up coins off the ground. Yep, I am <em>so</em> embarrassed that the $44.03 I found bought a very nice dinner for my husband and me.</p> <h2>Bottles and Cans Are as Good as Cash</h2> <p>Although Los Angeles has the largest recycling program in the nation, and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">bottles and cans are redeemable for cash</a>, I was still able to recycle $340 worth of glass and plastic bottles and aluminum cans that I picked up off the street. $120 of that $340 came from one alcoholic neighbor who decided that throwing her wine bottles onto the parkway from her window was easier than walking them to her recycling bin. Sadly, I don&rsquo;t think that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-recycler-utah-man-saves-70-000-beer-cans">my neighbors are particularly terrible litterbugs</a>. Many students at my local universities appear to have problems putting their recyclables into a recycling container, even when the container is right next to the trash. Classroom trashcans are full of plastic water bottles and Red Bull cans.</p> <p>For me, $340 seems like big money for bringing a box of recyclables to the grocery store every week, but I am not even Junior Varsity when it comes to recycling income. There&rsquo;s a family in Los Angeles who put <a target="_blank" href="http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=1787254&amp;page=1#.UU6Z1I73BdQ">three of their kids through college with the money</a> they earned collecting cans.</p> <h2>Found Textbooks Are Educational (and Redeemable)</h2> <p>Speaking of college, I live within walking distance of one university, work at another one night a week, and am a student at a third. Last year, I earned $468 from selling back textbooks I&rsquo;d pulled out of the dumpsters at school. This paid for my tuition and my textbooks for my Italian classes. My education was paid for with garbage.</p> <h2>Found Objects Are Garage Sale Inventory</h2> <p>Last year I made over $400 selling things I&rsquo;d found on the street on Craigslist and at <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-successful-garage-sale">garage sales</a>. I paid for my wedding ($159) with the earnings of one garage sale. This is hardly my greatest feat of trash picking. I <a target="_blank" href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/alternative-lifestyle-hand-life-featured-jeff-probst-show/">paid for two entire years of my life by collecting stuff</a> that my neighbors had curbed on trash day &mdash; and selling the stuff back to them at monthly garage sales. While my monthly expenses during 1996 and 1997 were only $1,000 a month, that&rsquo;s still $24,000 I made at my part-time trash picking &ldquo;job.&rdquo;</p> <p>Depending on the laws regarding trash pickup and garage sales in your area, my success may or may not be achievable everywhere. Some cities like West Hollywood, California cap the number of garage sales a household can have each year, while other municipalities prohibit &ldquo;dumping&rdquo; usable items on the curb. Check the laws in your area so you don't get saddled with a hefty fine.</p> <h2>Keeping What You Find</h2> <p>In addition to making money from the cast-offs of others, I also save around $1,000 a year by reusing items that are destined for the dump.</p> <p><strong>University Finds</strong></p> <p>At the end of every school year, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/college-move-out-days-the-best-time-to-dumpster-dive">university dumpsters are full of everything from textbooks to clothes to electronics</a> &mdash; items deemed too inconvenient or too expensive to ship home. While I have yet to get up early enough to nab a last generation iPod or mini fridge like my neighbors have, I rarely pay for laundry detergent and can&rsquo;t remember the last time I spent money on a spiral notebook, manila folder, mailing envelope, or three ring binder. School dumpsters are full of half used cleaning supplies and stationery products. Some schools like NYU actually have a garbage amnesty day that encourage community recycling, so if you live in a college town, check into your school&rsquo;s end of the year trash picking policy.</p> <p><strong>Hardware Store and Nursery Finds</strong></p> <p>My local hardware store is my shipping box supplier. Hardware stores carry a lot of heavy products that come in sturdy, tiny to small cardboard boxes that are the perfect size for shipping etsy sale items. Since the hardware store has to pay for trash collection and recycling per dumpster, the owner encourages people to take the boxes by stacking them neatly by the back door. I get a steady stream of cardboard boxes (one less thing that I have to hoard in my house), and the store gets a lower garbage bill.</p> <p>One of the local plant nurseries has a similar policy with their pony packs &mdash; those segmented plant containers that hold four to six seedlings. Apparently it&rsquo;s cheaper to trash the entire pony pack if just one of the plants is dead or missing, rather than going to the trouble of replanting the plants in single containers or putting the pack on sale. Unlike the big box stores, which chop up the plants before throwing them in the garbage, ensuring that everyone and the planet gets screwed, the local nursery puts the &ldquo;damaged&rdquo; pony packs by the dumpster in the back alley every Sunday night before closing. There is a dedicated group of frugal gardeners that show up at 5:05 pm every week to divvy up the plants. Since I don&rsquo;t mind growing mystery vegetable and flower varieties, this is a great way to get free landscaping and food.</p> <p>The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/green-hack-repair-antique-furniture-trashpicked-antique-wood/">2012 trash to treasure project that I am most proud</a> of was using wood that I harvested from a damaged dresser, to make a shelf for my vintage armoire.</p> <p><em>Are you a trash picker? Why or why not? What&rsquo;s the best thing you&rsquo;ve ever found in the garbage?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">Make Money Recycling: Get Paid to Recycle by 15 Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way">Make Your Hobby Pay Its Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Extra Income Dumpster diving garage sales recycling upcycling Tue, 09 Apr 2013 10:00:35 +0000 Max Wong 971473 at http://www.wisebread.com 18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5961812412_091bb7ec47_z.jpg" alt="craft supplies" title="craft supplies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I like to make stuff.</p> <p>I sew or knit a lot of my own clothes. I cook from scratch. I try to only give handmade gifts. But, because I am on an itty bitty budget, I am constantly on the hunt for ways to reduce the cost of my crafting habit. Seriously, if you look at my checkbook it looks like I have a drug habit. All my money goes to La Knitterie Parisienne. I spend more money for yarn than I pay for gas every year. And I live in Los Angeles. Making stuff by hand can be wildly expensive. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>One of the easiest ways to cut craft costs is to source inexpensive supplies. My favorite source of free supplies happens to be the recycling bin in my house. In addition to providing me with free supplies, by upcycling craft materials from the waste stream, I&rsquo;m doing the environment a favor.</p> <p>Well, okay, I&rsquo;m doing the environment a favor if my finished craft is actually a beautiful and functional item. As my friend Katy, who blogs regularly about treasures (and trash) she finds at Goodwill says, &quot;Just because you can glue glass floral pebbles on something, doesn&rsquo;t mean you should.&quot; Garbage with some glitter glued on it is still garbage.</p> <p>When I&rsquo;m trying to decide whether or not an upcycled craft project is worth my time, I ask myself three questions:</p> <ol> <li>Would I love getting this item as a gift?</li> <li>Is it something I would definitely use?</li> <li>Can it replace something I would pay money for?</li> </ol> <p>If the answer to all three of these questions is yes, then I know that the project is worth my time. However, since any type of crafting involves some level of hoarding &mdash; I mean collecting &mdash; I also ask myself a fourth question:</p> <ol start="4"> <li>Will I generate more trash in the process of upcycling this item than if I just threw it away or donated it?</li> </ol> <p>What follows are 21 upcycling projects that recently made it through my selection process.</p> <h2>1. Upcycled Egg Carton Wreath</h2> <p>I made a <a target="_blank" href="http://homemadeserenity.blogspot.com/2011/04/make-it-egg-carton-wreath.html">similar egg carton wreath</a> with my mother when I was in pre-school. Instead of tempura paint we used the cheap watercolor paints that come in the plastic palette box. If you don&rsquo;t have a glue gun, regular old Elmer&rsquo;s glue works just fine. You can get remarkably <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-christmas-wreath-ideas-with-style">sophisticated results from the humblest supplies</a>.</p> <h2>2. Coasters From Woven Magazine Pages</h2> <p>When I travel, I collect foreign language magazines, maps, and cardboard packaging.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-use-old-newspaper">Newspapers </a>and maps get recycled into wrapping paper, cardboard packaging gets cut into postcards, and ephemera like museum tickets get laminated and turned into luggage tags, bookmarks, and placemats. I like <a target="_blank" href="http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2009/06/recycled-magazine-coasters.html">these woven coasters</a> because they are a good way to use up magazine pages that aren&rsquo;t visually that interesting, are a good travel craft that can be assembled while waiting at the airport or train station (just fold and tear the pages instead of using scissors), and are cheap to ship home.</p> <h2>3. Corrugated Cardboard Lamp</h2> <p>Instructables.com is a great resource for upcycled projects. I am going to use their instructions for <a target="_blank" href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Cube-Lamp/">this cardboard lamp</a> to make a nightlight scratching post for my cats. (I&rsquo;m replacing the bulb with LED tea lights for fire safety).</p> <h2>4. Plastic Toys Transformed</h2> <p>You don&rsquo;t even need to know German to understand these instructions on how to turn a small plastic toy into <a target="_blank" href="http://gesehenundgesehenwerden.blogspot.de/2013/03/spielzeugkettenanhanger-tutorial.html">a chic pendant or watch fob</a>. This is a good way to use that lone army man or plastic circus animal you found hiding behind the sofa.</p> <p>And this $1 plastic dinosaur toy plus succulents <a target="_blank" href="http://www.inhabitots.com/how-to-make-a-recycled-dinosaur-succulent-planter/">becomes Upcyclasaurus Rex</a>.</p> <h2>5. Eccentric English Grandma To-Do List</h2> <p>Yes. I know this <a target="_blank" href="http://kinderscherestoffpapier.blogspot.co.at/2013/02/einkaufszettel.html">tea bag shopping list</a> looks vaguely <em>hoardy bag lady</em>, but as a heavy duty tea drinker, I&rsquo;m so happy to have found a way to reuse tea bag wrappers before I recycle them.</p> <h2>6. Cavity-Free Christmas Light Shades</h2> <p>I started buying Tom&rsquo;s of Main toothpaste because it was the only toothpaste that was still sold in metal, recyclable tubes. So I was really disappointed when Tom&rsquo;s switched to plastic tubes a few years ago. Luckily, the recycling geniuses over at Terracycle have figured out a way to turn plastic toothpaste tubes into cute, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.terracycle.com/en-US/pages/diy-seasonal-projects">flower-shaped shades for holiday lights</a>.</p> <h2>7. Upcycled Travel Art Kit</h2> <p>I usually recycle DVD cases by bringing them to my local video store for reuse, but this upcycled <a target="_blank" href="http://stacyvaughnblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/dvd-coloring-case.html?spref=fb">mobile sketch pad and pencil case</a> is pretty slick.</p> <h2>8. Custom Jigsaw Puzzles</h2> <p>Are you tired of your old puzzles?</p> <p>Spray paint over the design and then <a target="_blank" href="http://familycrafts.about.com/od/puzzlegamepiececrafts/a/upcycledpuzzle.htm">redraw your own</a>. Or make a two-sided puzzle by creating a new design on the back of a puzzle.</p> <p>I've been pricing custom photo puzzles as a gift idea for my mother-in-law. Instead of paying $75, I am going to enlist the youngest grandkid to help me convert an old 2000 piece puzzle that I already own into a truly brag-worthy piece of kid art.</p> <h2>9. Secret Book Safe</h2> <p>Where do you stash your secret <a target="_blank" href="http://www.artofmanliness.com/2010/12/07/how-to-make-a-secret-book-safe/">book safe</a>? On your <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Create-Invisible-Shelves"><em>book </em>bookshelf</a>, of course.</p> <h2>10. Citrus Peel Starter Pots</h2> <p>Before you compost your citrus peels, put them to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/garden-hack-citrus-peel-starter-pot-seedlings/">work nurturing seedlings</a>.</p> <h2>11. Old Slide Glass Windows</h2> <p>Transform old slides into a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/yarnzombie/4357020886/in/pool-93628034@N00">modern &quot;stained glass&quot; window treatment</a>. I don&rsquo;t know if this will keep out nosey neighbors or create them.</p> <h2>12. CD Spindle Bagel or Cable Holder</h2> <p>Keep your sandwich from getting squished in your bag. Turn a CD <a target="_blank" href="http://inhabitat.com/recycled-cd-spindle-bagel-holder/">spindle into a sandwich keeper</a>.</p> <p>Or use one to <a target="_blank" href="http://begoodtime.tumblr.com/post/25473197247/old-cd-cases-to-store-and-organize-cables">store and organize cables</a>. (The CD spindle. Not the sandwich).</p> <h2>13. Suitcase Toolbox</h2> <p>No garage? <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bhg.com/decorating/storage/projects/flea-market-storage-ideas/#page=18">Organize your tools in vintage suitcases</a> as a cute storage alternative. No one knows that my grandmother&rsquo;s old train case is <a href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/luxury-recycling-sewing-box-vintage-luggage/">really my sewing kit.</a></p> <h2>14. Plastic Spoon Mirror Frame</h2> <p>Martha Stewart Living has nothing on Marie Claire Idées, the French DIY decorating magazine. This <a target="_blank" href="http://www.marieclaireidees.com/,un-cadre-fait-de-petites-cuilleres,2610153,1190.asp">mirror&rsquo;s mid-century mod frame</a> is made from spray painted plastic spoons that are affixed to the inexpensive mirror with epoxy glue specifically designed for glass.</p> <h2>15. Friendship Rug</h2> <p>Did you ever make friendship bracelets at summer camp? Well, you can make a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.thehousethatlarsbuilt.com/2012/02/diy-friendship-bracelet-chevron-rug.html">giant rug or table runner</a> version out of old bed sheets.</p> <h2>16. Party Favor Gift Tubes</h2> <p>My goddaughter is hosting a tea party to celebrate her confirmation in May. I&rsquo;m saving up toilet paper tubes to reuse as <a target="_blank" href="http://crissyscrafts.blogspot.com/2012/01/tp-roll-pillow-box-favor-vintage-style.html">little gift boxes for party favors</a>. I&rsquo;m overly pleased that this project will help me use up all my leftover doilies and paper flowers from Valentine&rsquo;s Day, too.</p> <h2>17. Fabric Covered Hangers</h2> <p>No more wire hangers! Even Mommy Dearest would love these <a target="_blank" href="http://www.designsponge.com/2009/09/made-with-love-fabric-covered-hangers.html">fabric covered wire hangers</a>, but don't mention that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">the fabric is upcycled old t-shirts</a>.</p> <h2>18. Weensy Photo Fridge Magnets</h2> <p>I&rsquo;ve always loved miniatures, so these <a target="_blank" href="http://www.ambrosiagirl.com/blog/tiny-polaroid-magnets/">tiny &quot;Polaroid&quot; magnets</a> are right up my alley. This tutorial includes a downloadable Photoshop template for the Polaroid frames, but these could easily be replicated with just a ruler and matte knife.</p> <p>What&rsquo;s so great about this project is that you can customize this idea for gifts that are personal and easy to ship. I&rsquo;m going to make a set of these for my mom and my mother-in-law for Mother&rsquo;s Day. These would also make a super cute wedding gift.</p> <p>OK, I will admit that this is one of those times that my insane hoarding of craft supplies pays off. Instead of buying adhesive backed magnet tape at the craft store, I am going to use the business card magnets I keep getting in the mail from various local businesses and real estate agents for this project.</p> <p><em>Do you think upcycled crafts are worth the time and effort? What upcycled craft project would you recommend to others? What's your biggest upcycling fail? Share your genius in the comments section.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-use-old-newspaper">17 Ways to Use Old Newspaper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash">13 Scariest Halloween Frights You Can Make From Trash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living crafts homemade gifts projects recycled upcycling Mon, 08 Apr 2013 10:36:37 +0000 Max Wong 971591 at http://www.wisebread.com The Business of eBay http://www.wisebread.com/the-business-of-ebay <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-business-of-ebay" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother-daughter-business-82557784-small.jpg" alt="mother daughter business" title="mother daughter business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Thinking of quitting your day job to sell on eBay full time? Everybody and their mothers seems to be able to eke out a living doing that. Sounds like a fantasy: no more time cards to punch, no more bosses to answer to, no more personal grooming necessary. So here are a few things you should know before you make the jump.</p> <h3>1. Capital C</h3> <p>You will need some cash. You have to be able to have cash held up in inventory... at all times. Even after you've sold your first few batches and made a profit, you will need to buy more inventory. In fact, once you've sold those batches, you will be thinking of buying bigger batches at a time, creating a bigger cash flow problem if you don't have enough cash set aside to be constantly held up in inventory. How much do you need? It depends on what you are selling, of course. But have a good nest egg to fall back on if business is slow. Especially at the beginning when you are experimenting with prices and products. Also, there are no guarantees in life. Just like when you put money at the casino table, make sure it's money you're willing to lose.</p> <h3>2. Winning and Losing</h3> <p>Part of the risk of running your own business is taking losses. If you've never worked for yourself, you've never experienced the ache of having lost money on a business decision. You need to be prepared to take losses &mdash; sometimes accepting returns for refunds (for valid reasons), knowing when you've got a dud product and need to sell it for less than you paid, or other things that just happen.</p> <p>One of the things I sell is concert tickets, and each year I lose thousands on concerts I thought were going to be good but ended up selling for less than cost. Once in a while, tickets even get lost in the mail. Of course in the end, I make more than I lose, which is what's important.</p> <p>But you have to know that taking losses once in a while is part of running a business. You can't take it too hard, or else the stress will overwhelm you. Sometimes it's a learning experience and it won't happen again. But if you are constantly losing more money than you are making, either you've got a bad product or you're not a good business person.</p> <h3>3. Monthly Cycles</h3> <p>No one should have a credit card that doesn't give them rewards anyway, but for your business, using the right credit card will add to your profits.</p> <p>I use a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">cash back card</a> and each year I get at least $500 back for the purchases I made. If you travel a lot, use the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">card that gives you mileage</a>. But you have to be diligent in paying it each month! It will cut into your profits deeply if your inventory has a 15&ndash;20% markup because you don't have enough cash set aside to pay for it.</p> <p>Also, keep note of when your billing cycle ends. If it ends on the 15th each month, make your inventory purchase on the 16th (most of the time you can even charge it a day or two before since it doesn't get billed right away) and you won't have to worry about having to pay for it for another six weeks. Don't forget not to spend more than your available credit, though!</p> <h3>4. Netting Is Everything</h3> <p>So you stood in line for hours to get a Nintendo Wii for $250. You post it on eBay and sell it for $400. You made an easy $150, right? Well, actually, your Wii cost you more like $270 (depending on your sales tax), and eBay fees for that listing were close to $20, and PayPal fees were about $15. &nbsp;And did you offer free shipping? Your $150 profit went down to about $95. Still good money, but a chunk has been chopped off.</p> <p>eBay and PayPal fees, shipping and packaging costs, taxes, and miscellaneous expenses add up when you're not looking. Be sure that what you are selling is worth your time and effort.</p> <h3>5. Ups and Downs</h3> <p>Another big lesson about running your business is the seasonal cycles. When you worked for The Man, you got the same paycheck every two weeks. When you work for yourself, you're never guaranteed where your next dollar will come from. Sometimes business is booming. Sometimes it slows down...a lot. If you are an intense obsessive compulsive like me, you'll keep detailed records year to year to see the trends and history. If you are more laid back and don't need to worry about the money, as long as you're making some, then this won't concern you.</p> <h3>6. Using PayPal</h3> <p>Under PayPal's policy, the seller is always guilty until proven innocent. A buyer makes a complaint (I never got the item; I didn't authorize use of my funds; I'm just an ass trying to screw you over), and PayPal will place your money on &quot;hold&quot; until you provide proof of delivery (sometimes signature proof) to their confirmed address. This doesn't sound very difficult until you realize that A LOT of people don't provide confirmed addresses (they want it sent to their work; they want to send it to their friend's/mother's/boyfriend's, etc.). Also, you are completely unprotected when shipping to an international address (there's a new policy with Canada and the UK but details are sketchy).</p> <p>In a perfect world, everyone would send you a check or money order. No chance of funds reversing (after a check has cleared). No exorbitant PayPal fees (I pay thousands in fees to PayPal each year). But everyone wants to pay with PayPal. Some sellers are really strict. No unconfirmed addresses whatsoever. I make case by case decisions, depending on the cost of the item and eBay feedback ranking. I also had a product that sold really well internationally and I was accepting a lot of overseas payments. Three times I had to refund because of lost mail, but had I not accepted international buyers, I would have lost much more profit than the amount I had to refund.</p> <p>The most important thing to know about PayPal is they don't protect you. So don't be surprised if you get a few reversals out of the blue once in awhile. Just keep as much information on your buyers and transactions as you can. I believe PayPal doesn't allow reversals after 45 days.</p> <h3>7. Customer Service</h3> <p>How important this is to you depends on your personality. I'm a people pleaser. I want everyone happy. I've never gotten a negative out of a total of 2899 positive feedback received to date. But there are as many nice buyers as there are unreasonable ones. Many people are suspicious about sellers on eBay and constantly fear being ripped off. They'll assume you are crooked if they don't get their item the day after it was paid for.</p> <p>My suggestion is to be the peacemaker and provide good and fast customer service. Even though it's not a place where repeat buyers will make or kill your business, it still gives people who are choosing between your listing and an identical one a few lines down that much more incentive if you've got a history of happy customers. So try to be nice.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lin">Amy Lin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-business-of-ebay">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/effective-ebay-listing-0">Effective eBay Listing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clear-out-that-clutter-15-places-to-sell-your-stuff">Clear Out That Clutter: 15 Places to Sell Your Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-weird-things-to-sell-on-ebay-for-extra-cash">6 Weird Things to Sell on eBay for Extra Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ebay-s-non-paying-bidders">EBay’s Non-Paying Bidders</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-making-activities-you-can-do-today">5 Money Making Activities You Can Do Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Extra Income eBay selling upcycling Fri, 08 Dec 2006 04:11:34 +0000 Amy Lin 56 at http://www.wisebread.com