Two of My Recent Mistakes

Isn’t it nice to be able to learn from other people’s mistakes?

1. I upgraded a part on a friend’s car, which left us with a perfectly fine and functioning original part. He said he didn’t want it and told me I could sell it if I wanted to.

I listed the part on eBay to cast a wide net to prospective buyers and used eBay’s recommended shipping cost to let sellers know how much it would cost to ship it to them. That was the mistake. 

I had received a few bids on the part and it ended up selling for a little over $20, so the buyer sent me $30-something total to cover the shipping. Here is where the first mistake really presents itself…
When I got to the post office, I learned that the box was a little oversized for their standard shipping rates and that when that is the case, they double the shipping weight too. Shipping to FL from NY was $40 using priority shipping, which is what the listing said I would be using. I could have saved a little money using ground but that would have been 6-10 days, with the risk of receiving negative feedback on my eBay account, which has a lot of sales with 100% positive feedback.  I decided to eat this one and learn the lesson.  I will now weigh and measure every box to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

2. This touching story should have never happened. Remember the post where I found all of that scrap metal on a walk and was going to get paid after bringing it to the scrap yard?  Well, it wasn’t aluminum. It was steel, which is nearly worthless. Thankfully, I caught this before making the trip to the junker. I’m not great at identifying metals, but I should have known this wasn’t aluminum tubing while I was loading it into my car. It was too heavy.

The way to avoid this one is to keep a magnet in your car. If the magnet sticks to the metal, don’t pick it up.

Lessons learned. Do you have any that you’d like to share that might help someone out?

More Money

Here is a quick tale on how I made more money this weekend. We went for a family walk through our neighborhood and went past a pile of aluminum piping by the side of the road that someone was getting rid of.  Quite a bit of it. I went back home, got my car, and picked it up.

Always, always pick up stuff like this and find a way to get it home. Heavy metal like steel is a waste of time and resources but aluminum and copper should always be collected.

You then go to your local scrap yard with it and they give you money.

I usually have a little pile of metal in the garage that I save up to bring in.  If it’s just steel, it will only be a couple of dollars but my son likes to watch the construction trucks work and we get ice cream with the new cash.  Softer metals like aluminum and copper can get you much more money.  This pile might be worth $30 or so?  I’ll update this after I drop it off so that you know!

Don’t turn down free money.  Yeah, you have to get somewhere with it so it’s not really free, but you know that I mean.  Acts like this add up and when you slam the extra money on your bills, it makes a difference.

This is the mindset you want to have to get ahead.