Sunday, May 7, 2017

Rainy Day Sunday, Moving Preps, and Other Stuff

Getting some "Spring Rains" here in SoCal. Got about .15" last night/early today, and it just cut loose again.

That's a bit unusual here for this time of year, but not unheard of.

Total as of right now is about .38", and it's slowed from a pretty good downpour (for out here) to a nice steady drizzle.

I'm sloooowly getting the Radio Room cleaned out, and I've gotten rid of about 1/3 of the stuff that was stacked up in here. A lot of it is going on eBay, some on QRZ and eHam, some has been given away, and some of it is outside on the back porch on it's way to either the eWaste place, or the recycling place for anything aluminum or copper. It kind of pains me to scrap some of it as it's older, but perfectly functional, stuff that I know somebody could make use of, but that nobody wants.

Some of it's heavy, and not too many people will bid on a good, usable $10 item if the shipping is $25!

I haven't sold much on eBay in the last year or so, and when I took my latest bunch of stuff to get shipped I got hit with "sticker shock" when I had to pay the tab to ship it. Stuff that used to cost $10~$15 to ship cost $20~$25 this time, and I wound up losing money on a couple of items. The items I put on eBay last Sunday had shipping prices that I thought were a bit high, but people have bids on them, so I guess I'm not out of line.

I don't use the eBay Shipping Calculator as I've found it to be grossly low on the actual cost of shipping, even when I "padded" the dimensions and weight, and ADDED 10% to that! I lost my 10% discount at the place I use as my friend sold the business to a nice young couple so he could go full time into the coffee roasting/selling side business he had going, so that accounts for a small cost increase, but geez.....I'm paying DOUBLE what I did just a year or so ago.

As far as The Great Colorado Move goes, we talked with a couple of handyman guys to get some things done here that I can't or won't do ( I do NOT paint! Long story there....), and one guy never called back, and one guy has a big project remodeling the bathroom at The Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo that's paying him big bucks, and he can't squeeze us in within the time frame my wife wants.

We need some wall repair/painting inside, a driveway gate replaced, and a bunch of other stuff done. This week I'm pulling some antennas down and packing them up, and then the patio area is getting taken down due to dry rot and termite damage. The top of the patio area is where I have my 33' HF vertical, so I have to get that off the "roof" of the patio, pull down my elevated radials, and remove the remote antenna coupler, coax, and a bunch of stuff so my son and I can disassemble the structure.

My wife thinks she can just take my SawzAll and chop the thing down, but I know better, although there's been a few times in the last couple of weeks when I've been tempted to get the SawzAll out, and tell her to have at it........


  1. We have a heck of a time getting help out here, too.
    Good luck with it all!

    1. We called two other guys, and they haven't returned our calls. I suppose it's good that they have a lot of business, but it's throwing my wife's timeline out of whack!

  2. Hope you gett'r done as you want it done. I would give the SawzAll to the little woman and let her have at it.

    Good help is hard to find around here, not a lot of people wanting to do odd jobs, and the kids and grandkids are too far away to help.

    1. She'd hurt herself if I did that. She has NO conception on how to properly use big power tools like the SawzAll, and Heaven help her if she tried it on a ladder!

      Years ago, when I first moved in here and we were cleaning out the garage, she was up on a ladder wearing flip-flops! I told her to go put some real shoes on, and she pooh-poohed me. It was a damn good thing I was about two feet from her, because she slipped in those damn shoes, and would have fallen OFF the ladder if I hadn't been there to catch her.

      She has ZERO common sense when it comes to doing anything manual labor related.....

  3. I just completed that (really annoying) series of things to get the house ready to sell. It's on the market now. I was gone this past weekend and they had an open house in my absence, where look-e-loos paraded through the place. Did I say that the whole process is annoying?

    1. It's way beyond merely "annoying", as it requires uprooting your entire life to get outta Dodge!

      I'm both your place and our place will sell very fast. One of the reasons my wife bought this house is that it was the only place she could afford in a "good" Zip Code. As soon as we get the major stuff done she's getting a realtor in here, and we'll get it appraised. Preliminary estimates from Zillow show a "value" of around $530k, which I think is certifiably insane for this place....

  4. I've been looking for 20ft of 1 1/2" pipe to get my HF vertical a bit further up into the air. I can't believe what simple pipe costs now. Everything goes up.

    WRT ebay shipping calculator, I find the exact opposite to your experience. I've had shipping estimates that were double what the actual shipping cost was. This is especially true on combining multiple items. I have put text in my listings describing the issue and asking people to contact me if they have concerns about shipping cost. I do get a significant discount on USPriority Mail, and a decent discount on UPS. One thing the calculator rarely gets right, UPS adds $5 for residential delivery. I've had people argue with me about that until I sent them the receipt...

    The end result is that unless I can fit the item in Flat Rate, I use calculated cost and charge shipping. If I know my cost is limited by the flat rate, I'll include shipping as ebay says that will increase sales.

    Good luck with the clean up!


    1. Oh, yeah....priced a 500' spool of #10 wire lately? It's about $100!

      Maybe eBay has adjusted their shipping calculator. I used to get royally hosed before whenever I used it.

      I do the "flat fee" for shipping these days. I've gotten pretty good at it after the first go around when I recently started selling a lot of things.

      I've been listing my big items at a fairly low starting price, thinking that will offset my higher flat rate shipping cost. I'm sure some people are happy with that, as I'm around 20% cheaper than other sellers for the same item. Of course if it's a "hot" or hard-to-find item like some of my things, a bidding war ensues and the total cost is higher, but if they want the item that bad......

      Most of the things I've been selling are too big to put in a USPS Flat Rate box.

  5. Keep in mind that the med, large, and regional flat rate boxes all have two versions, one that is more 'shoe box' rectangular, and one that is 'flatter' more like the classic Fedex box.

    Another trick is putting a small box inside the padded flat rate envelope. That will usually save a couple of bucks. I use that all the time for stuff that is just a bit too big for the small FR box.

    Generally speaking if it won't fit in FR, and is 5 pounds or more, I use UPS. Otherwise, it goes USPSPriority.

    If I have to make a rough UPS estimate, I start with $12 and figure $1/pound, then take the greater of the two. That usually gives me enough. The only exception is when the bulk triggers 'dimensional weight' charges. those add up quickly.

    And yeah, to your original point, shipping rates have increased a couple of times in the last few years, once fairly recently and I had a bunch of listings with the shipping included at the old rates.



Keep it civil, please....

Thunder in October?

 I know Well Seasoned Fool has been snowed on all 12 months of the year here, but I'm not sure if I've heard thunder here in Octob...