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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

January
7
2009
9:41 am
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I sold a few things on eBay recently and was just plain AMAZED at the ebay/paypal/ups/usps partnerships that have grown over the past years.  I’m new to this “online postage” thing and “back in my day” (hehe) when we sold something online, gosh-darned-it we had to box it up and go to the post office and stand in line.

<Potter voice ON> And we didn’t even have a fancy computer drawing program to paint us a picture! <Potter voice OFF>

This time, however, I just accepted my paypal payment and from there saw the “print shipping label” link and figured, what the hey.  5 minutes later I was able to print a shipping label for USPS for $2.20, boxed up the item and could just stick the sucker in my mailbox at home.

That was convenience in a cup.

The second item I did?  Same deal, but even faster because now I knew what I was doing.  

Call me Shipmael.

Then I needed to ship a box NOT related to an auction, Paypal, or anything online.  Jaden (our 6yr old son) received a pair of Heely’s skate shoes for Christmas and was hella excited about them.  

And why wouldn’t he be?  I can’t recall how many times I dreamed of going through school halls or down the street with shoes that had wheels in them.  I knew I’d invent it when I got older and make a million dollars.  

Ooops.

Anyway, problem is, they’re a size too small.  So I go to the retailer’s website, and lo-and-behold, they have a great return policy for wrong size.  You just ship them the shoes with a note, and they’ll ship a replacement pair FREE.  They’ll do this only once, but that’s more than fair.  Did I mention they’ll ship us the replacement pair for free?

I box up the shoes and weigh the box – comes in at 3.8 lbs.  I go over to my trusty paypal account thinking I could just whip me up a neat shipping label and…. 

nope.  Paypal won’t do a shipping label unless it’s specific to a transaction.

Oh well.  So I go to USPS.GOV thinking I can just print me up another one of those fancy labels.  And sure enough, I can.

But only for PRIORITY MAIL.

What kind of crap is that?  For one, why is it more than eight bucks to ship a 3 lb box, even if it is just Parcel Post?

UPS Ground was about the same price, but I expected UPS to cost more – they’d get it there in 4 days vs 6 days.  Another issue is that I remember seeing a sign at the post office that said something like “packages over 13 ounces cannot have stamps on them” or some such, so it’s not like I was comfortable buying $8.62 of online postage and taping it to the box either.

A driving force in play here is that Jaden is without his Christmas present until the Heely’s can get to NY and back.  So the 4-day delta is a big factor, especially since I’m the one who picked out the original size and messed everything up in the first place.  Guilt creeps in, makes a bed in my soul and promptly starts snoring.

So I go with the $12.14 2-day Priority Mail option.

While I wait, I peruse the “features and benefits” of this shoe.  No-lie, these are ACTUAL PRODUCT QUOTES FROM THE SHOE.

  • Slice through the skate park – ninja style. 
    um, you have to be a pretty imaginative person to equate a 6yr old learning how to skate on just one wheel per foot, flailing about through the park, hugging on every stranger, pet or porta-potty they can get their hands on to not fall down… with a ninja.  Especially a slicing ninja.  
  • Synthetic suede and perforated leather upper with text-filled graphic. 
    mmmm, sythetic suede!  And what’s that you say?  The graphic is, hold me down from the excitement… TEXT-FILLED??!!?!! OMG!  I didn’t know graphics could be filled with text!
  • Padded tongue and collar add extra comfort and support. 
    I wish all the asylums had that.
  • Soft textile lining. 
    Hmm.  a lining made of textile.  You might as well say “this shoe is very shoe-like.” 
  • PU midsole. 
    So does this mean the feet come pre-filled with stink? 
  • Textured EVA outsole. 
    Best. Outsole texture. EVA. 
  • MEGA graffiti wheel. 
    Not just a graffiti wheel, but a MEGA graffiti wheel.
  • ABEC 5 608 bearings. 
    I have no idea what this means. 

Note: This blog post is also available via audio.  It is read by the author on Utterli.

My 14yr-old daughter is a little spoiled.  She got an iPhone for Christmas.

Let me explain.  The iPhone was not given to her, as you might justifiably think after that first paragraph, and that’s not why she’s spoiled.

In order to get most of her gadgets or relatively expensive things, she saves up and buys them herself.   And she doesn’t get an allowance.  So how does she get these things?

Well, she babysits, for one.  She also does pet sitting.   But that’s not why she’s spoiled.

She also earns money for grades.  You might think she “gets money for grades” but it’s more complicated than that. 

I probably should explain that one also – it’s a “grade earning agreement” we have.  She earns a set dollar amount for A’s and has to pay a set dollar amount (1/2 of the amt for A’s) for B’s and below.  She gets a bonus (50%) for 100’s.  Now that’s incentive, right?  And she always makes money every report card.  She has 6 grades per grading period, so that means she has to make 2 A’s and 4 B’s and below just to break even.

We as parents provide necessary clothing, household items and things a kid “need” to be a kid.  However, anything extra she wants beyond that, like designer clothing/shoes, going to the movies with her friends, going to the mall and buying stuff from top*kopi or whatever it is, comes out of her money.  I got this idea from my parents (kudos to them).

The iPhone definately falls into the “extra” category.  This 16GB iPhone 3G was $299.  She was able to contribute $212 towards the purchase, but she really really really really really wanted it.  She already agreed to sell us her 8GB video iPod nano for $60 (part of the $212) because I wanted a good MP3 for my wife, and she was already familiar enough with the iPod.   That still left $70+ to pay.   I offered to pay for the difference if she gave me her existing phone, the Palm Centro, and then I’d take the risk of selling it on eBay but I get whatever money I make from it.   (btw, she also paid for the Centro herself when she got it earlier in the year)

She agreed, and she got the phone.

She loves that phone.

We all love that phone.

We have a win-win situation here.  Mom gets a like-new ipod nano for way under market value, daughter gets her new iPhone, and dad makes some money selling off a Centro.  There’s still 4hrs left in the auction and it’s already selling for $40 more than I “paid” for it.

And that’s why she’s spoiled. 

Wait, maybe *I’m* the one who’s spoiled.


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