Last Minute Bidder – (Almost) Always Win the eBay Auction

esnipe_ebay.gifA couple of months ago, I wrote about how eBay changed my life as a seller. However, much more often, people proclaim how eBay turned their lives around as consumers. They not longer get excited when they see a sale in the Sunday circular, look in the clearance aisle at Wal-Mart, browse a garage estate sale, or shop at the local Salvation Army. I mean, these low prices are a normalcy on eBay. The other day, my dad excitedly informed me that the Computer Show was coming to town. But I told him, “What’s the use? I can get even better prices on eBay. It’s not worth the gas money and admission fees.”

eBay is great and all, but who has time to keep up with an auction? Often, it may seem like you could save just as much money by visiting financial advisory sites such as, which don’t require you to sit around waiting for an auction to end. Auction-style retail seems like such a waste of time if you’re considering petty items like Beanie Babies or computer memory. They only appear relevant for big-ticket purchases like computer systems, cars, and famous works of art. Because of this, I love eBay’s Buy it Now, Express, and Make an Offer formats. They allow bidders to just cut to the chase and flat out purchase the item without the mess of a long, drawn out auction. Unfortunately, the majority of eBay listings are still in the auction format.
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June 25th, 2007 | 6 Comments | Buying and Selling, eBay, Internet, Money

Nearly-unlimited Commission-free Online Stock Market Trade Investing

When I was in middle school during the late 90s, I was obsessed with learning everything I could about investing and stock trading techniques. I was pumped, ready to make my first real trade on penny stocks and watch my wealth grow out of nothing from dividends and capital gains. Sadly, when I saw the price tag on a single stock trade, my heart sank. I was even more disappointed when I read the minimum initial investment.

Despite the fact that discount brokerage firms were in vogue back then, the stakes were still kind of high. If you were lucky, you could carry out stock transactions at about $10 per trade. Alas, those discount brokerages wanted serious, wrinkled, grown-up investors who could easily pluck down the $3000 minimum initial investment at a moment’s notice. Come on! I was only in middle school! All I really wanted to do was to invest $25 and see what would happen.
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May 29th, 2007 | 14 Comments | Internet, Investing, Money

Hear Ye! Rules of the Restaurant! – 5 Guidelines to Follow When Dining Out

rules_waiter.jpgI enjoy eating out. I mean, who doesn’t? I love basking in the entire dining experience of waiters, menus, “a la carte” dishes, credit cards, and tips. It just feels so much more upscale and sophisticated than the McDonald’s or Taco Bell drive through. Every week I make sure that my friends and I dine out at least once at a restaurant. The week would be incomplete without it.

There are a couple of things that I learned after these many out-of-the-house dining experiences. I call them my “Rules of the Restaurant.” They are as essential to follow as the minimum 15% tip. Don’t disdain these guidelines like restrictions. They are designed to help and save you undo grief. You’ll save money yet feel like you’ve eaten a full meal. They’ll keep you from any buyer’s or eater’s remorse.

I give you the Rules of the Restaurant.
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May 10th, 2007 | 1 Comment | Miscellaneous, Money

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