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Making Buying and Selling a Career

If you are like many people, then you long to be able to get away from the 9 to 5 grind, ditch the demanding and unreasonable boss and go and work for yourself. The idea of starting your own business may seem scary but it doesn’t have to be. Actually, there is a relatively easy way to be able to make money from home. It is buying and selling items online.

Did you know that most people will see items at a garage sale or flea market or even  pawn shops in Miami for far less than they are potentially worth? It’s true! And one can quite easily make a pretty decent living for themselves by purchasing these items and selling them online for more.

The first thing you need is a mobile phone. The second is an idea of what things sell for online. Here’s how it would usually go: you get to a yard sale or pawn shop or flea market and spot something that you think could be of value. You pull your phone out and check to see what similar (or the exact same) items sell for online. If the profit margin could be big enough, buy the item and take it home. You clean it up, photograph it and post it up for sale. Once you sell it you’ve made profit. See? It can really be that easy.

Obviously there is a bit more to this that just that. You will need to constantly have things to sell so that you can make steady income. You will also need a space to keep all the items you accumulate until sold. So if you are able to reconcile these things, then you have a potentially lucrative business on your hands.

So if you are really desperate to get away from the usual daily grind, then consider becoming a purveyor of used items and see how far you can take this sort of business.


The Haggle: Part 2

When you’re looking to get items on the cheap, you’ll for sure be checking out pawn shops and secondhand stores, as well as buying used items from individuals. And in this type of buying setting, one of the greatest tools you have at your disposal for saving even more money is the ability to haggle a price down. In our last article, we discussed a very basic type of haggle. Now, we’re going on to another technique: The 2 for less.

The 2 for less approach is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, but it needs to be setup a little bit to be successful. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Browse around until you find 2 items that you are interested in (preferably related items, but not a must).
  2. Call over the sales associate and ask questions about the more expensive item to show that you are interested.
  3. Look at the price and then ask if he can do any better (see last article for that one).
  4. If he says no, then seem to lose interest and continue browsing around.
  5. Then come back to him with the second item and ask about getting both for a lower price than individually (“How about $*.** for both?).

This can be a very effective way to talk down a price. The salesman will probably be interested in selling a larger quantity of items and since they already feel they almost lost you as a sale, they will usually agree provided you didn’t lowball them too much.

I’ve used this one in Hollywood pawn shops before and gotten away with a few really great deals, so I can tell you that this one works quite well.

Give this one a try and see how much you can save by using it. You may surprise yourself with your success.


The Haggle: Part 1

Whenever you’re on the hunt for secondhand items, you’re obviously trying to get the best possible price. Sometimes, you just have to search around for what you want, and try to find the lowest price available. This is what usually happens when you go shopping online. You search your favorite sites and spend some time trying to find the best deal. But when you’re going to a physical place to buy stuff, you have a whole other option for getting a better price: haggling.

Now, this isn’t something you can do everywhere, but there are lots of places where this is totally applicable. Like at garage sales, a hollywood pawn shop,  yard sales, flea markets, etc. So it would be good to brush up on your haggling abilities.

But first thing’s first, and that is that you have to be WILLING to haggle. A lot of people don’t like it as they feel that they come off as a cheapskate or something. To all those people, please just realize that the person selling the item wants you to pay the most money possible, and your goal is to pay the least. This is how business works and you shouldn’t be ashamed of it.

So, that’s the main first point. Now, let’s get into some haggling techniques. This first one is the simplest and requires you to only say one little, magical line: “Can you do any better?”

When you have selected something that you like, you need to get the sales associate to know that you are (mildly) interested in the item. Then, after some back and forth small talk about it, look at the price and ask them if they can do any better. More often that not, they will offer you a reduction right then and there. Now there are two ways this can go:

If they offer a reduction, you can take it or suggest a slightly lower price. Let’s say there is a TV listed for $50. You ask if they can do any better and they say $45. Then you could counter with, “How about $40?”. This can help knock another couple of bucks off the price.

If they tell you they can’t do better, say OK, and then look at some other things, as though you’d lost interest. Come back to it some time later and ask again if they still can’t do any better. You may get the reduction now that you’ve played a little bit of hard-to-get.


Places To Find Used Cars

When it comes to secondhand items, none will save you more money than buying a used car. Since the average call will depreciate about $5,000 once driven off the lot new, you stand to save big by going for a pre-owned vehicle rather than the latest model. Usually, very few changes are made to car models from year to year, so a two year old car will cost way less and still have most of the same basic features as this year’s model.

Now, when going to buy a used car, you will usually go to a dealership. This is usually ok, but there is going to be some markup involved and possibly some hidden fees. The plus is that there is usually some kind of guarantee on the vehicle should something fail. But this isn’t the cheapest place you can get a car.

Buying from the owner himself is rupiahqq usually the cheapest way to go. You will not get any kind of guarantee, but you’ll often be able to find an honest person who will be upfront with you. You’ll need to research how much it costs to get that kind of car repaired (American and Japanese cars tend to be cheaper) so you have an idea of possible costs down the road.

Another place you can find a used car is a pawn shop. Many pawn shops (like this one: http://uspawnjewelry.com/#!featured-items/ncs0q) have some used cars. This can be good when you need a car right away, and you may not have all the money you need (you can usually get one for some money and perhaps a trade from some other items). This can be great in the case of an emergency situation when you need wheels right away.

So save big and consider buying a used car.


The Best Places To Find Used Stuff

As you are probably already aware, buying used and secondhand items is a great way to save money. Not everything is really worth buying brand-new, as the premium paid isn’t justified. Ok, so you have a new TV. But it still looks about the same as last year’s model that you could have gotten for hundreds of dollars less. So unless you have to have the bragging rights about having brand-new stuff, you’d do well to save money by buying used.

But, this does present a slight problem. You can find new items quite easily, but not necessarily so with used items. Where can you pick up secondhand stuff knowing that it works or is in decent shape? Well, that will depend on what you’re trying to buy.

For things like electronics (televisions, stereos, game consoles, etc.) you may try a pawn shop. They typically test these items to ensure they are in working order before accepting them so you’re pretty safe here. You can buy things online from individuals, but these are usually all-sales-final type deals, and while you will usually find things a little cheaper this way, you have no guarantee.

Of course there are loads of electronic items available online. Sites like eBay and amazon have used offerings and they can normally be returned. The only caveat is the shipping costs. But for items like computer parts, I won’t ever buy a new computer again. Building up a system out of used parts is so easy nowadays and will literally save hundreds of dollars.

For things like furniture, you’re a little bit stuck with buying from individuals. Not many stores carry secondhand furniture unless it’s an antique and valuable (kind of defeats the purpose of buying used).


What Things Are Best Bought Secondhand?

When it comes to saving money, buying secondhand items can really make a difference in how much you’re spending. But while this sounds good on paper, in practice things can get tricky. There are some things that you’d be better off not buying secondhand while others (in my opinion) should almost never be bought new. So to help you out with this, here’s a brief list (using somewhat broad categories) of things you should buy secondhand.

Computers

Computers have become an essential part of our daily lives, but they can sure be expensive. While some may be weary of buying a used one, fear not as you can find many retailers (especially on sites like eBay) selling complete systems for less than $100. I’m not talking about something too antiquated either. You can find many systems with modern specs that will be more than powerful enough for everyday use.

General Electronics

Things like TV sets, video game consoles, stereos, etc. all can be purchased used for great discounts. Think about it like this: do you buy a new TV every year or so? Of course not. So if you get a used one from last year, you’re still going to have it for many years to come. The hundreds of dollars you save make an excellent incentive. Plenty of pawn shops (like this one: uspawnjewelry.com) carry loads of used electronics.

Clothes

This one may be more of a personal preference, but secondhand clothes are insanely cheap. While it does take some rummaging around, this is especially worth it for children’s clothes (as they outgrow them in a few months). So do a little digging and save a few bucks.

So take the time and look around for used items as you’ll be able to take your hard-earned paycheck a lot further.


Books: For A Literary Look

Sometimes, a home study just isn’t complete without some actual books. Sure you can pack the shelves with other items and trinkets, but a nice wall of books not only looks very literary, but also can expand one’s knowledge base. So if you’re going for a studious look for your home library or office, then you’d better hit the books!

Only problem is that books can be expensive. And you’re not going to fill the shelves with a bunch of paperbacks as that just doesn’t give the room the same feel. No, you need dust jacket-less hardbound books to create the atmosphere of a learned scholar. So where can you get books without breaking the bank?

Going to a mainstream bookstore isn’t a great option as most books cost between $20 and $70 a piece! You’ll have to hit up used book stores and usually you can find something a little more reasonable in terms of price.

Garage and yard sales are also a good place to get used books. Older books are also best as they usually have better quality binding and look great with the jackets removed.

There are also some pawn shops Hollywood located that have some old books as part of their offerings. You could try hitting up some of these as well.

Now, should you buy books just for the looks or try to get ones you’ll actually read? Well, that depends on you. If you’re a literary person then yes, try to get ones you may actually be interested in. Then in the future you’ll be able to take one off the shelf and have a good read. But if you’re only interested in the aesthetics of it, then it’s not important. In fact, you could just fake the whole thing!


Getting The Best Value At A Pawn Shop

When it comes to buying things secondhand, there is always a particular given, and that is that you’re trying to get something for the best price. No, you’re not looking for necessarily the newest model or edition, nor the best available. You’re simply looking for something that will fit your needs, and your budget. And whether you’re looking for tools, a TV, computer, gun, jewelry, or anything like that, a pawn shop is a great place to look.

You can usually find good deals right on the shelves on the listed price. But you can actually drive those prices down a little bit more. Here’s a few haggling tips:

  1. Always ask if they can “do better” on a price. You have to remember that a pawn shop is taking in items and selling them for more, so there is probably a little wiggle room on the price. The best thing you can ask is if they can give you a better offer, even if it’s only $5 or $10 you save, it’s still saving.
  2. If you want more than one thing, try haggling down the price of one first. If no results, ask if they can give you a deal if you buy the two items. You may be able to make them an offer. If you want the TV and Blu-Ray player, say, “How about $X for both?” You’ll find that the idea of selling two items will probably entice the sales associate to giving you that discount.
  3. Bring something in with you for trading purposes. If you have something that you don’t mind getting rid of, bring it. Like if you’re trying to get an internet ready TV, bring in your old DVD player. You may be able to use it to reduce the price of the TV. Remember that bartering plays a big role in the best pawn shop.

Where To Go For What

In one’s quest for finding secondhand items (whether it be for finding interesting, vintage things, or simply to save money) one will come across loads of different venues where these items can be purchased. Pawn shops, flea markets, thrift stores, garage sales, etc. all are good sources for these types of things. But which one is best for which? Well, let’s make it easy for you.

Clothes

Buying secondhand clothes is a great way to find interesting ensembles, and also save money. It’s also good for shopping for your children (as they usually grow out of clothes in a couple of months). The best places to find vintage clothes are thrift stores like Goodwill and The Salvation Army. Other places like flea markets don’t usually have enough of a selection of clothes to warrant going there specifically for clothing.

Electronics

Whether you’re looking for a television set, stereo, video game console or movie player, you’ll save a ton if you buy used. As the electronics market is huge and ever-changing, you have a lot of options here. You can hit up a pawn shop in Hollywood, thrift store, and even regular retailers will often sell used stuff (especially video game stores). Searching online for a refurbished item will also yield lots of results.

Furniture

This one is a little bit trickier as furniture varies. You usually won’t find a bed (though the frame possibly) but mostly old couches, chairs and tables. Garage sales and moving sales typically carry some furniture. Flea markets are good for this too. Some of the larger thrift stores may carry furniture but call before you make the trip. Honestly, sites like craigslist.org are the best for finding used furniture.


Upgrading Your Home Entertainment Setup

If a home had a centerpiece, it would definitely be the entertainment center. This usually comprises the television, disc players, stereo and video game consoles. It’s where the family and invited friends sit down to enjoy some entertainment together, be it a game, movie or some video game action. So this is obviously an area where people like to have the latest and greatest gadgets. Unfortunately, many will go out and needlessly spend thousands of dollars to buy upgrades. Here’s a little tip: you don’t need to spend a fortune to have a killer home entertainment system!

As the items you’ll be looking for are so common, you’ll be able to find them (often very inexpensively) in loads of different places. So let’s check out some of the best places to look for discounted home entertainment items.

First we have pawn shops. You can literally find everything on your list here. From TV sets, to Blu-Ray players, to video games, most every Hollywood pawn shop carries these items. So you may just look around various shops in your town to find everything you need that way.

Another great way to find these items is by visiting local garage sales. Moving sales especially. People are often trying to get rid of items as they will no longer have space for them, or they themselves are planning on buying the latest and greatest (and also most expensive). So this is another good place to find the devices you want.

Of course, with electronics, you have the option to frequently buy refurbished items. These are items that were bought, returned and then re-certified by the factory and are now being sold at a discounted price. An internet search like “refurbished *****” will yield loads of results.

So you see, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get the things you want.