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eBay Selling Guide

With so much of businesses and interactions taking place online, it is no surprise that eBay is a location that is popular. In order to sell products on eBay, there are some steps that you should consider.

First, you must set up a seller’s account so that customers can write you positive reviewers to showcase your hard work and that transparency you have with your customers.
After setting up you seller account, you can then start listing your items. Make sure that your items are in a good enough condition for selling and describe said condition in your listing of the product. For example, if it is a book, you can describe how its spine is worn, pages slightly bent or marked with pencil lines here and there.

From there, you have to factor in some shipping costs. You can talk to you local federal express officer and find out the shipping rates per item to whichever destination. Once you figure out the shipping rates, it is time to determine the prices of the products themselves. You can look up competing prices and make sure your price is within the range of the products already out there. On the other hand, you can also come up with prices that compete with those prices, being much lower as a fixed price, than the products already out there.

If you decide you want an auction style sale, you should determine  how long the sale is going to be and how long the sale will last. The shorter the sale, the more likely competition for the product will be intense. Make sure you check your email and product page often, since people may post questions, concerns, needs for clarification and so on. Being readily available will give you more credibility and more of a sense of trustworthiness for your customers.

Remember, customers will be rating and ranking your efforts as well as the product, so you want to do everything right. You also want to communicate with customers until a product is shipped to them. If you are holding an auction style of sale, make sure you keep an eye on how the prices rise (or fall) so you can call off the auction when you have a suitable deal.

No matter what you do, make sure you are honest, sincere, and genuine with your customers on eBay. There are many scams and hoaxes on there, and everyone will appreciate a new honest seller so much, because they have been ripped off or heard horror stories regarding online shopping. Be the change in how eBay and all online stores work by being honest, transparent, and full of positive energy. Like attracts like!

How Can I Purchase a Home with Little to No Down Payment?

You may have seen advertisements online or on television about getting a home mortgage for little or no money down and wondered how you could obtain one. There are a lot more people pondering the idea of becoming first time homebuyers because mortgage rates are at an all time low. However, many of them become discouraged when they are met with the idea of having a huge down payment.

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Even though the task of paying nothing and moving into a home are slim to none, there are ways for borrowers that are qualified to receive a mortgage at a very low down payment costs. What’s also great is that qualifying is not as difficult as you might have though. Below you will find a look at the most major option for owning a home.

FHA Mortgages

If you want to pay next to nothing and move into a home the first place you should try is through the Federal Housing Administration. FHA only requires you to pay a down payment as little as 3.5%. They also have decent mortgage interest rates and fairly generous credit requirements.

The downside to an FHA mortgage is that there are fees involved. The FHA insurance costs can add up over time. When the loan is taken out the borrower has to pay an initial fee of 1.75% of the amount borrowed. From there they pay an annual insurance premium of about 1.25% on a 30 year mortgage. With that being said, in the first year of owning a home you could end up paying in insurance what you would have paid for a down payment. However, because you don’t have to pay it all at once, it is still beneficial to most.

VA Loans

For veterans and others who might qualify there is a mortgage that is supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Not only is this one of the best avenues to get a home with no money down, but there are also no requirements for house insurance as it is covered by the government. Interest rates are considerably lower than conventional mortgages.

Ideally, VA loans are only available to active duty or honorably discharged members of the armed forces that have served for at least six years. It also qualifies surviving spouses who lost their loved one while they were in the line of duty.

You are asked to pay a funding fee of about 2.15% of the loan if you decide to take out a mortgage with no money down. However, the good thing about it is that the cost can be rolled over into the loan amount so that you’re not paying it all upfront. However, you can also avoid the funding fee by agreeing to pay 3.5% down payment which is still pretty reasonable.

Meet with a Professional

There are other local programs that might be beneficial when trying to get a low down payment mortgage. Many states have programs that will provide you with down payment assistance and credits. Talk with a professional real estate agent in your area to learn what you might be eligible for.

How does a person make friends easily?

Making friends is not really my area of expertise. I mean, I can make acquaintances, but keeping friendships is difficult. However, I think I have finally discovered how to make friends and stay friends.

Here are some tips for making friends:

Mingle:
Try to make conversation with people at work, people at the bus station, at school, at the grocery store. It may sound scary (and kind of crazy in our personal space bubbles nowadays), but it is worth a shot. I met one friend when I overheard her coming out of the closet to her mother. She was a friend of a coworker of mine. They ended up both being my friends.
Succeed Socially.com explains, “This won’t apply to people who have just moved to a new area and don’t know anyone, but often you’ll already have the seeds of a social life around you. You don’t necessarily have to go out and meet ten strangers to have one. It’s often easier to turn existing contacts into full-fledged friends than it is to meet new ones.”

Interests:
Make sure that you choose someone who has similar interests as you. The person does not have to be an exact replica of you, by no means, no. But you have to share some things in common. For instance, for me, a lot of my friends were teachers like me. We had an interest in helping people. So, we bonded over that. Succeed Socially.com shares, “Being into hobbies or communities where you’ll naturally meet a lot of people, ones you already have something common with and a built-in activity/conversation opportunity to do with them.”

Tolerance:
Sometimes, you can make friends with people you have nothing in common with, though, being tolerant of new and different things. One of my friends is Wiccan and I had to come to understand what that means to her. The key is to try to be tolerant of different faiths, ideologies, ways of living. I think of friends like fruits or spices; the more variety of people you have in your friendships, the healthier and more interesting your life becomes. Your life becomes enriched with their various opinions.

Initiative:
I have passed by so many potential friendships because I did not take the initiative to keep in touch or to be introduced at all. Succeed Socially.com explains, “Once you’ve met those people you seem to be clicking with, ask them to hang out and do something outside of the situation you met them in. This is the most important step in my experience. You can meet all the people you want, and they can think you’re great, but if you don’t take any actions to do something with them in the future, then you won’t form many new relationships. People will stay as the guy you talk to in class, or the girl you chat to at work in the break room.”

Good luck!

What should I look for in a good digital camera?

By Surrogacy-UK (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

There are a few things to keep in mind when buying a digital camera. First, consider the lens. CNET.com “Many digital cameras are equipped with a 3X optical zoom lens, and some provide as much as a 6X or 10X zoom. Don’t put too much stock in digital zoom, which is a software feature that has nothing to do with the lens.” When it comes to lenses, you have to consider how much you can do with the camera. CNET continues, “Most consumer digital-camera lenses are permanently attached to the camera body, but many are compatible with wide-angle, close-up, telephoto, or even fish-eye attachments.”
Furthermore, CNET explains, “Once light passes through the lens of a digital camera, it’s captured by a CCD or a CMOS sensor. The sensor is covered with photosensitive pixels (short for picture elements); the more pixels on the sensor, the higher the sensor resolution.”

So, you have to consider the lens, and you have to consider the sensor. Next, you have to consider the media. “Unless you’re purchasing an inexpensive digicam that has internal memory only, you should expect to find some type of removable image storage medium when you open the box. When you press the shutter-release button to take a shot with your digital camera, the image that the sensor captures is saved on the storage medium.”

You want to be able to have a viewfinder, too. “Most digital cameras have an optical viewfinder that works just like the ones on film cameras: hold it up to your eye, frame the scene you want, and shoot. If you wear glasses, look for an optical viewfinder with a diopter so that you can adjust the viewfinder focus. If you’re buying a camera that costs more than a couple hundred dollars, you should expect it to have an LCD screen too.”

The camera needs to have a battery with it, though. “Every digital camera should ship with alkaline, lithium-ion, or nickel-metal-hydride batteries. Alkaline batteries are convenient because you can buy them anywhere, but they don’t have as long a life as other power sources. Cameras that use longer-lasting, rechargeable lithium-ion or nickel-metal-hydride batteries should also come with a charging module” but you have to keep in mind that this depends on the camera. “Some cameras can use more than one battery type, which gives you both the convenience of alkalines and the longer life of rechargeables. Most cameras also come with an AC adapter so that you can save some battery life while shooting indoors or downloading photos to your computer.”

The other thing to consider is buying an adapter, if needed, “If an adapter isn’t included with the model you want, it’s a good idea to buy one separately. Whatever battery you end up with, be sure to have enough spares when you take your camera on the road.”
And finally, your camera should have a good flash. “Shooting under low-light conditions can be tricky, so you’ll need a reliable built-in automatic flash. Look for a camera that offers red-eye-reduction flash for shooting people and animals. Other helpful features are forced (fill) flash, slow-sync flash, and adjustable illumination levels.”

How to Buy a Used Car

The key to buying a used car is to find a good car. If you have a good working knowledge of cars then you’ll be able to judge the worth of a car on your own. If you do not know much about cars you will want to find a friend who does. The biggest risk when buying a used car is buying a car that is damaged or broken in a way that is not obvious on the surface. You will invest a lot of money in the car and then it’ll break and you will have no way to get your money back. Or, you may end up spending more to fix the car than you would have spent just buying a new or different car.

Once you have your car expert to accompany you on your rounds of looking for a used car, you’re going to want to hit the car lots. Some car lots will specialize in used cars. This is where you’ll probably want to go first. You’ll have a wider selection and there is less of chance that the car you receive will be damaged. If the used car lot had made a habit out of selling bad cars they would not be able to stay in business, so they are more likely to be trustworthy. But, if they aren’t, that is why you have someone to help you look at the cars.

A second source of used cars are repossessed cars. Often, buyers will not buy their cars outright. They will sign some sort of monthly plan with a car lot or a bank. If the buyer defaults on their payments then the bank or the lot will repossess the cars and sell them. This is a good source of almost new cars. You can also stop by car rental businesses. They may have older cars that they want to get rid of and you can buy a used car from them. Lastly, you can find individual sellers. You can try to spot “For Sale” signs on cars, you can check the newspaper for personal listings, or you can check online market places such as Craig’s List. This is the most risky path as the seller has no real incentive to be truthful about the state of their car. If you choose this route, you’ll definitely want to ensure that you have someone to look at the car for you before you buy it.

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After you’ve settled on a car, you’ll want to discuss your payment options with the seller. If you have enough money you can buy the car outright. If not, then you can set up a payment plan that will span 2-3 years, with payments every month. When looking to buy a car and pay by monthly installments you’re going to want to know; 1) the price of the car, 2) the percentage that you have to put down upfront, 3) the percentage they are going to charge you in interest, and lastly 4) when they will charge you the interest. This will help you buy the car you want.

What Are Some Tips on Living a Green Life

When it comes to living mindfully of your carbon footprint, it can be difficult to keep a lot of different things in mind.  After decades of the same purchasing and consumption habits, it can be challenging to alter a routine you never gave serious thought to.  Once you start reading articles about the problems going on, however, it can be difficult to remain apathetic to large issues.  Certainly, the dialogues about GMOs and green house gases along have shifted the thinking of thousands of people already.

 

So what are some ways to starting thinking green more consistently?  Here are a few reminders on what subjects most green initiatives are centered around.

Gasoline and Oil: Fossil fuels burn and release a number of gases that are harmful to the environment.  While clean and safe alternatives are in development, there is no shaking our reliance on gasoline for the time being.  As such, it’s up to each person to make the best choices they possibly can when it comes to reducing their use of these limited resources.  Making smart choices when purchasing and repairing your car are the best ways to get started here.  Other options include car pooling, using your cruise control if you have it, and buying goods from local businesses as opposed to larger chain stores.  Why locally produced goods?  Chain stores like Wal-Mart and Target end up shipping in their goods from distance places, usually from locations that are overseas.  Cargo ships and 16 wheelers get these products to each individual location, as opposed to a couple of trucks from local business.  All of that extra travel equates to a lot of extra gas!

Water: Fresh, drinkable water isn’t as easy to come by as people seem to believe.  The process by which water is clean, purified, and made drinkable can be expensive, involved, and time consuming.  As such, it’s important to waste as little water as possible.  Avoid baths in favor of showers, and make them as quick as possible.  If you use a dishwasher, don’t prewash the dishes unless you need to do so to make them come out clean.  Don’t run the water while brushing your teeth, and put some dense stones in the reservoir of your toilet to make it consume less water with every flush.  Not only is this good for the planet, it’s good for your water bill as well!

Trash and Waste: Be responsible when it comes to making your purchases, and try to buy objects that use less packaging materials.  Don’t buy reusable plastic containers and, instead, buy products that come in plastic containers that are sturdy enough to reuse.  Avoid bottled water on the go, and use a reusable container filled with tap or fountain water.  The bottled water is often less clean than your tap water, and is certainly less regulated!  Try to find ways to recycle what waste you do end up with.  A lot of biodegradable food trash can be used for compost, or for fertilizing your soil.  Coffee grounds not only make your soil great for blueberry plans, they’re also a clean and easy way to remove unwanted smells from your fridge.

Finding a Cheap Vacation in the USA

jog_beachThere are thousands of vacation sites in the United States. Many of which can be experienced for an affordable price. The key is to visit sites that offer deals to these travel destinations.

One site that promises cheap flights around the USA is Travelocity.com. This site allows you to book vacations in Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco, and many other places. If you book your flight at the right time you may be able to save a decent amount. Travelocity offers many deals on a number of different locations.

Travelocity.com also makes it easy to plan your vacation. They have packages that include the price of the hotel and flight, as well as a rental car for transportation. These cheap vacation packages also come with free concierge service. Travelocity.com is a well known and highly reviewed site, and has been known to be rather user friendly.

Another site that may offer the vacation deals that you want is Expedia.com. Expedia is another popular site for those seeking a vacation here in the US. It promises many deals on all types of vacations, especially in the summer. Expedia has a 40% discount on this year’s summer vacations. Like Travelocity, Expedia allows you to create your own vacation plan, and offers a number of different locations in the USA.

Although these two sites are very similar, it would seem that Expedia has more discounts. This site promises more group deals and discounts on the hotel’s store than the previous site. This is not to say that it is the cheaper choice, but it is important to keep in mind if you plan on traveling with a large group or if you enjoy shopping at the hotel stores.

The third site that offers deals on vacation destinations is Orbitz.com. It has many things in common with the two previous websites. You are able to book your flight, hotel, and rental car together and perhaps save money, as well as find other summer deals. However, one thing that makes this site stand out from the others is that cruises are also listed among the deals on vacations section.

This is an important distinction for those people who would prefer to spend their vacation on a ship rather than on a plane and in a hotel. There are many cruises that go around and near the US and Orbitz promises deals on a number of them. Orbitz also offers weekly deals, which means they might offer the exact deal that would help you safe on your next vacation within the next few weeks. Some of their vacation packages are even half off the original price, of course, the other two sites also promised similar discounts.

When looking for a cheap vacation in here in the US, you must do some research. These are three sites that are well known and highly recommended. All three offer similar deals, but each has their own specifications. It is up to you, and anyone else who is looking for the right deal on a vacation to decide which one is worth it.

Valentines Day Gift Ideas?

Ah, Valentine’s Day. It is a day of many expectations and anticipation. Let us talk about some possibilities of gifts for Valentine’s Day.

First, there is the traditional approach: chocolate. Askmen.com says, “Chocolate is the standard V-Day gift, and it’s easy to see why. It’s rich, creamy and muy delicioso. Not to mention it’s an aphrodisiac. There’s a reason chocolate is the candy of love and Sour Patch Kids aren’t. But not all chocolates are created equal. Skip the drugstore variety and go for a high-end chocolate like Godiva, Leonidas or Teuscher. With cocoa content at 70%, these designer creations are much more decadent that your average chocolate.”
Investing your money in a good brand of chocolate will make a difference. It will make you come across as generous, thoughtful, and of good taste. It is like the quote shows, not all brands are created equal. A high end chocolate will taste richer and more flavorful than a drugstore chocolate would.

V-day gift

The other gift to consider is fragrance. “Perfume can be super-tricky, as every woman has a different preference when it comes to smell. Regardless, if you snag her something you think smells delicious, then she’ll likely enjoy it as well. Try Curve Appeal by Elizabeth Arden. It’s is a heady, sexy mix of mandarin, violet, apple, nectarine, jasmine, iris, amber, sandalwood and vanilla.” There are also other perfumes that are popular: Marc Jacob’s Daisy, Chanel’s Mademoiselle, Juicy Couture scents, and so on. If you take a look at her perfumes, you can probably tell the seller some of them and they will help you find his or her next new favorite scent.

Fancy sheets are also considered appropriate, “High-thread-count sheets are considered a luxury, not a necessity, which is exactly why they make the most perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Every woman wants to be pampered. They might seem a bit fancy, but once the two of you crawl underneath the covers, you’ll realize why they’re worth every penny. Plus, this is the gift that gives back; with sheets like these, she’ll never want to get out of bed. Look for Egyptian cotton in at least an 800 thread count.”

Another option is flowers. Flowers are a natural choice for your lady love on Valentine’s Day, and a pretty safe bet when all else fails. Unlike other gifts, flowers are appropriate, whether you’ve been dating her for one day or one year. And there are no calories involved. Stick to the classics like roses, or, if she’s not a traditionalist, go for something exotic like lilies or orchids. FTD has all your needs covered, and it can deliver to her home or office.

Finally, there are spa products as options to pamper oneself, “Put together a spa experience by getting her everything she needs to recreate a spa at home. Engage her sense of romance with scentedDiptyque candles . Swing by Bath & Body Works and throw in a loofah, body lotion and bubble bath. Arrange it in a basket and, voila! You have a home spa kit. For a luxurious addition, try SugarBath Lychee Cubes. The cubes foam into a froth of soapy bubbles while releasing a citrus-y sweet scent”

Simple Remedies to Relieve Stress

Stress Relief for Work at Home Dads

Working at home, although more convenient than staying put in the office for eight hours, can also be stressful. If taken for granted, stress can lead to more serious health problems. So every precaution should be taken and warnings should be heeded.

What follows is a guide for work at home dads who are looking for simple ways to fight stress while carrying on with everyday responsibilities.

stress

Stress is a major health problem in many parts of the world, and the causes of stress are not going away any time soon. What that means is that you need some simple remedies to relieve stress. The causes may still be there, but they won’t have a negative effect on you if you are able to deal with them in a positive way.

Here are a few simple things you can do to prevent stress from taking a toll on you.

(Always talk to your doctor about any health concerns you have, including stress.)

1. Reduce your sodium intake. Stress raises your blood pressure, which can be especially dangerous if you already suffer from hypertension. Reducing your sodium intake will help to keep your blood pressure under control, and will also minimize the damage that stress does to your body.

2. Get plenty of sleep. While everybody is different, there is no question that most people have a major sleep deficit. You should aim for about 8 hours of sleep, though you may need more. Set a regular time for going to bed and getting up, and stick to it (even on weekends). The quality of sleep you get is also important. You should only use your bedroom for sleeping so your body associates it with sleep. The tricky part to all of this is that stress can cause insomnia, which can lead to more stress. If you think this is a problem, then talk to your doctor about getting a sleep study done.

3. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine. It stands to reason that you’re going to be tired if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, and one way to compensate for that tired feeling is to drink caffeinated beverages. The problem is that caffeine is a stimulant that does not only put stress on your body, it also makes you more on edge and susceptible to stress.

4. Reflect on the positive. If you are the type of person who is worried and anxious on a regular basis, then reflecting on the positive things that have happened will help you to reduce stress. This turns your focus away from the things that causes you stress, and puts it back on those things that make you feel good. Recalling the positive things will take some practice at first, but stick with it and count this as one of the simple remedies to relieve stress.

5. Take a nap. We all have times when we feel overworked and stressed out. When this happens to you, take a nap and recharge your batteries. Studies have shown that naps can make you feel better, and there is even some evidence that naps in the workplace can improve productivity. A quick twenty-minute snooze should be enough to reap the stress-reducing benefits of napping.

6. Exercise regularly. A 15-minute regular workout can help relieve stress. Exercise helps relieve tense muscles, which can help you get more sleep. In addition, your blood flow improves. Regular exercise also releases endorphins into the bloodstream. This is essential in helping you achieve a more positive outlook that will lead to an over-all sense of well-being.

You will be able to calm down by using these simple remedies to relieve stress. Use them as often as needed and you will feel much better in no time.

 

For more information on stress and exercise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Good Movies: A Movie List for Dads

Movie Break: Watch A Movie, Dad!

A work-at-home dad also needs to relax and enjoy. From time-to-time, it is important to take a break. And what better way to do so than by watching a good movie?

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Below are five good movies that you, dads, can watch – alone or with your loved ones.

1. To Kill A Mockingbird is a classic. It is one of the best movies that explore relationships on a deeper level. Something that cannot be seen in many of the movies today.  The movie talks about a father who is determined to spend his life “in the service” of his children. Atticus Finch is an awesome role model. And the fact that he is a widower makes things all the more interesting.

Find a copy of the movie and you’ll realize that, yes, the American Film Institute had every right to call Atticus Finch one the 20th century’s greatest movie hero.

2. The Road stars Viggo Mortensen as a father who, with his son, does all that he can to survive post-apocalyptic United States. Father and son travel through every sight that tells them that life is over, and yet they continue to journey “down the road”.  They don’t even have any idea what awaits them, and they have nothing really solid that can protect them from anything or anybody, like the cannibalistic bands that they may encounter. It’s a father and son movie that tugs at the heartstrings without overdoing anything.

Based on the book of the same title by Cormac McCarthy, The Road is a movie that will redefine your view of the ideal father and son relationship.

3. Field of Dreams. “If you build it, he will come.” This Kevin Costner movie is about reconciliation; about a son who will do anything to mend his broken relationship with his father. And everything happens after his father passed away. Ray, the son, builds a baseball diamond upon the urging of a voice that acts as his guide. Eventually, Ray succeeds at reconciling with his father – in the most magical of ways!

Even the toughest man will tear up at this movie!

4. In the movie My Life, Michael Keaton finds out that he is soon to die. What makes things even worst is that he and his wife were expecting their first baby! Since he was sure that he won’t be around anymore when the baby arrives, he decides to make a series of videos of himself, so that his son can watch him and get to know him. The scenes where Keaton records the home videos are some of the most poignant.

An interesting side story is Keaton’s relationship with his father, with whom he reconciles before he dies.

My Life is one of the best and most underrated daddy movies that has ever been shown.

5. Finding Nemo. This is not in the list just because you will have something that you can watch with your little boy or girl. In all honesty, Finding Nemo is really one good fatherhood movie. This fish story – the story of Marlin and his son Nemo, is one of the best examples of an overprotective father and an adventurous son.

When his son goes missing, needless to say, Marlin does everything necessary to find and get him back – even when it meant dealing with fish from the other species and crossing miles and miles of ocean water!

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So, there you go! Some really good choices for you and your loved ones on movie day/night. Mind you, there are still a lot of good movies about dads! For starters, though, this movie list will do.

Happy viewing!