I paid $10 for My iPhone 5s

My current cell phone is an iPhone 5s. It cost me about $200 with a contract renewal. I paid for it using my Discovercard and earned 5%cash back, that more or less wiped out the taxes so I am sitting at about 200 bucks out of pocket.

My previous phone was the 4s, my very first iPhone. iphone2I owned it for over two years, a great little device. The iPhone has many strengths, I won’t go into all of them here, but one of the most appealing aspects of the iPhone is its high resale. No other phone commands as high of a price in the used handset markets. Say what you will about Apple products but they hold their value.

This allowed me to essentially use my old iPhone to buy my new iPhone. Some of my friend were shocked by the idea of selling your old phone, they simply toss their old handsets in a draw and forget about them. This is a terrible idea. As time passes the value of you old cell phone drops. Everyday you delay is money draining out of your pocket. Your best move is to sell your old phone as soon as you get your new phone.

To do this you have several options. The quickest and easier is to go with a company like Gazelle. You fill out some info on their site, send them your phone (free shipping), and get paid. This is a nice no hassle option, but it comes at a cost. Right now Gazelle is offering $100 for my iPhone 4s model.  Its good, but its about 1/2 of what I can get at other sites. I don’t mind doing a little extra work, so for me this wasn’t an option.

I choose to go with Ebay. Sure you have to create a listing, potentially answer questions, and ship it out, but to be honest I didn’t mind.

Before I listed my phone I watched a few auctions to see what a 16gb iPhone 4s in excellent condition was selling for. It seemed like $200 was the going rate. I created my ad and started a 5 day auction and it didn’t sell. My highest bid was $192.00. Frustrated I decided to take a different approach.

I created a fix price auction. This eliminates the wait time for buyers, they see your item and if they are interested they can grab it. I listed my phone for $220 knowing that if it didn’t sell I could relist and lower the price. I know it seems silly to raise the price of an item that didn’t sell, but I had a hunch.

As it turns out it paid off, with in hours of listing my phone was snatched up. Ebay charges 10% and Paypal another 3%. Thirteen percent is pretty steep, but Ebay is still the biggest game in town. The total of my fees came out to be about $30 and I netted $190 for my old phone. 

So when it is all said and done I paid about $10 for my iPhone 5s and all it took was a few pictures and a little bit of time. 

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A Drink on the House

I am a fan of Hess gas stations, I have explained why in the past. Essentially I find them to be cleaner, nicer, and more customer friendly then any of their competition and the fact that they gave me FREE Yankee tickets didn’t hurt either. 

All of that aside, I am also a huge fan of their app. It offers great deals on candy and food at the HessMart store and it gives me a free soda on my birthday. Some times it gives me free stuff for no reason at all. 

The other day I was filling up my work vehicle and I decided to check in, just for the heck of it. BriskI opened up the Hess am and tapped away. Then out of nowhere up pops a coupon for a FREE 24 ounce Brisk Iced Tea. Boom, a free beverage for me! 

I grabbed my drink, tapped my coupon, the clerk scanned it, and I walked out with a free drink. The Hess App, goat love it.

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday – Woof and Poof Christmas Stockings

Christmas Decorations have a unique staying power. You only use them for a few weeks a year and they tend to become more valuable to you the older they get. I have several pieces that go all the way back to my childhood. One of them is my stocking. My Mother made it for the year I was born and it has been hung up every Christmas for my entire life. Theses aren’t just decorations, they are part of your family’s Christmas tradition. Now that I am married and beginning a Christmas tradition of my own, I don’t just want any cheap old thing. I want quality made items that will last, possibly for the rest of my life. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith that in mind I have found some really fantastic stockings that I think you might like. They are made by a California based company called Woof and Poof. Their stockings are made from wool and include some stand out features like ivory color stitching and decorative trim.  These stockings sell for $45.50 and should provide you and your family with a beautiful stocking that you can cherish for years. 


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The PiggyBankBuilder New Year’s Giveaway!

As it turns out, New year’s Day is a wednesday so I decided to change up the title of our contest this time. Our very first giveaway began in January of this year so this is a big milestone for the site. We have hosted 14 contests since then, it has been a great tool to promote PiggyBankBuilder.com and I have really enjoyed the interaction with all of you. 

dardenThis time the prize of our contest will be a $25 Darden gift card. Darden owns several restaurant chains, they include: “Red Lobster”, “Olive Garden”,”Longhorn Steakhouse”, “Bahama Breeze”, and “Season 52″. An impressive range of dining options. 

As usual our giveaway offers you multiple way to enter. I believe the past two contest were won by people who used the “daily tweet” option, something to keep in mind. Best of luck to all of you.


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Made in America Cyber Monday – 3 American Made Christmas Gift Ideas

Any ones who reads this site can tell that supporting American made businesses is very important to us. I believe that buying item made in America pumps money it those small business and their local economies and eventually, as those companies succeed they hire more people at better wages and so on and so on. Let’s say that Americans are going to spend a trillion dollars this year on holiday shopping. What if we spent 20% off that and American made gifts? That would be 200 billion dollars that would be paid to American companies and workers, some of it would be collect in taxes,  and some would be invested in growing those businesses.  That is real positive change and it starts with you. With that in mind here are 3 gift ideas that you might want to consider.

  1. My Very Own CardBoard HousemyveryownhouseI am a big fan of this gift. Kids love cardboard boxes and this item takes it to the next level. You can buy a cottage, a castle, a pirate ship and it comes blank. Then your kids can color it in and play with it. Imagine the hours of fun your kids can have with this? Put down the iPad, turn off the TV and turn on your imagination. For $29.90 it might be the best value gift on your list. 
  2. Wolfgang CandyAmerican Made candyThe best gifts are the ones with that “wow factor”. You want to stand out. Don’t just give your loved ones candy, give them something unique. Wolfgang candy has been making delicious confections for nearly a century. They have a huge collection of offers that are sure to impress. Right now you can get one box off peanut butter kisses with your order, but act now it expires shortly. 
  3. American Personalized Products – The true sign of a great gift is thought. Vine_Coat_Hook_306When you see that someone has really gone out of their way to find that really connect with you. Here is one of those gives a beautiful forged sign, a centerpiece in any home. A sturdy well made gift that your recipient can keep for years and years. 

I hope this helps you, I will be posted more suggestions over the next two mondays.

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A Selection of Cyber Monday Deals for You

No mall, no crowds, no shoving, no madness, just you and your computer tackling that Christmas List on “Cyber Monday”. Black Friday sales figures were a bit on the weak side so the retailers are going to be looking to make up some of that lost ground. That means better deals for you, now all you have to do is find them. I have searched across the web and I found a few ideas that might interest you.

  • Roku 2 – I bought one of these for my Mom last spring and she really enjoys it. Rocku 2This device is simple and easy to use, the interface is clean, and the streaming is excellent. Some people are big fans of the AppleTV, I have used both and in my opinion the Roku 2 is a better device. It normally sells for $99.99, but the Google Chrome has changed everything. Tigerdirect is offering a refurbished model for  $49.99 with a $10 rebate.  That means you are getting it for $39.989, 60% off. Give it as a gift or as the ultimate stocking stuffer.
  • A 40 Inch Samsung LED TV – I am a fan of brands, I put a lot of faith in a companies reputation. Some companies want to sell you these no name TV’s at shockingly low prices. I say no dice. I don’t just want a big screen I want a reliable set with a good picture. Seven years ago I bought my current 40 Inch TV (a Panasonic) for $2000 and I got it on sale! samsung 2013Now you can get great TV like this Samsung for $377.99. A solid gift for a teenager or a college student. Not quite big enough for a raging football fan or a movie lover, but an excellent gift for a gamer or average TV viewer. For that price you really can’t go wrong.
  • HP Pavilion 17 Inch Laptop – I know tablets are all the rage, laptop 2013but if you are going to go work, I still don’t think you can beat a laptop. This 17inch Pavaliion form HP comes with 4gb a ram a 750 gb hard drive, a LED screen and a webcam. At $399.99 it offers a solid value.
  • Moving away from tech, how about a coat? cyber coat 2013 maMacy’s is coat 2013 cyberoffering a great price on this London Fog Women’s coat.  Retailing for $195, the price has been cut and cut again to $89.99. The reviews are very positive and the coat looks fantastic.
  • And Finally, who doesn’t like a nice pair of Pa-jams.  pjsThis set of Liz Claiborne Micro-fleece Pajamas normally sells for $45, now you can have it for $19.99.  A warm gift for your loved one on those cold winter nights. 

So there we are, a little something for everyone and in every case the price has been cut in half and then some.  I hope this helps you start to add some check marks to that list of yours. If you like what you see please bookmark us and check back tonight for my “Made In the USA Monday” Christmas list. A few American made ideas, great presents that support your fellow American workers. 

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Winner Winner Chili’s Dinner!

Our latest giveaway has concluded and it was a great success. ChilisWe had the highest number of entrants in our sites history. I was exciting to see all the activity on social media and I enjoyed reading all of your comments. A big thank you to all those who enter.  

Without further delay, the latest winner of the “PiggyBankBuilder Wednesday Giveaway” is Richelle, from Kaukauna Wisconsin. Congratulation to our latest winner, we hope she enjoys the gift card.  For the rest of you, there is always next time. Our next giveaway will launch shortly. Best of luck to all of you in the future. 

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Skip “Black Friday” Wait for “Cyber Monday”

As someone who spends a great deal of time looking for deals  the following statement might seem a bit unusual. saleYou should skip “Black Friday”. That’s right I said it, but I do so with good reason. I have been to the malls, I have scoured  the internet, and I don’t see the upside to waiting on those awful lines. Here are my reasons for opting out of “Black Friday”.

  • Black Friday is now bleeding into Thanksgiving- More and more stores are now opening up on Turkey Day. Personally I don’t think this is fair.  Why should someone be made to work on a family holiday?  Why would anyone want to leave their family and wait on a line?  As someone who values time with his family, I will not support businesses that take that time away from others and if we all agreed not to shop on Thanksgiving these companies would stop opening up on this Holiday. 
  • Anything You Can Get on “Black Friday” You Can Probably Get on “Cyber Monday” - I can’t make any guarantees, but logic dictates that most of the deals that you can get at the store you can probably get on the web. 
  • What About the Door Busters? - This is tricky, from what I can tell most door busters are a scam. They are either super low prices on cheaply made items or the quantities are so limited you will most likely never get one. In the end how much are you really saving? Fifty bucks? How much are several hours of your time worth? I’m not going to wait on a line for 8 hours to save 50 bucks. 
  • Patience - If you wait for it, it will come. Some reports are suggesting that this year’s sales will be on the soft side. With less days between Thanksgiving and Christmas retailers are desperate to get tour dollars.  I have a strong suspicion that deep online dissents are on there way.
  • NO LINES! - The best reason to skip “Black Friday” and wait for “Cyber Monday” no crowds, no pushing, no shoving, no searching for a parking stop. You can find deals in your pajamas sipping your favorite beverage and find almost everything on your list. 

So there it is, my argument. Some people view shopping as a sport. I view it as a task, something to be accomplished as quickly and efficiently as possible. I will have no part of the madness that is “Black Friday”. Please stay tuned for my Cyber Monday flea finds, I will try not to let you down. 

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday – A Christmas Ornament.com

With Thanksgiving only days away I have decided to focus on Christmas decorations for this weeks article. I have mention ornaments in the past and even bought a few of my own. When the bride and I get our tree up this year we will share some photos with you. Since this is our first Christmas together we are going to need a lot more ornaments to full up our tree. 

A Christmas Ornament.com is a Maryland based company that specializing in selling a wide range of American made Christmas ornaments. From metal to glass they offer dozens of handcrafted beautiful ornaments in various themes. From the founding fathers to modern president to pewter ornaments and the classic glass bulb, you could easily decorate your entire tree with their offerings. 

For my tastes I prefer the simple glass bulbs. SONY DSCThis set of three Cherry blossom crystal glass bulbs look fantastic. Made from hand blown glass these two inch ornaments look beautiful. They will catch the light on the tree and add an extra sparkle to your living room.  At $30 for the set they might seem a little pricey, but you have to remember that you will probably own these decoration for years and years to come. In time they might become a nostalgic mainstay of your family holiday tradition. Best of all they are made in America. 

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Free Satellite Radio – Till December 3rd

Sirius satellite radio is currently running a free trial promotion. siriIt is open to any one with an inactive satellite radio unit or a vehicle equipped with a satellite radio option. All you have to do is switch your radio over to satellite and a limited number a Sirius channels will be available for your listening pleasure. You can enjoy a nice mix of commercial free music and talk content in all its beautiful digital clarity. 

The idea behind the promotion is rooted in the belief that if you like the service enough and get used to having them,  you will sign up and subscribe. It must work because this is not the first time they have tried such a promotion.  

When I bought my 2012 Ford Focus it came with Sirius. I enjoyed it and renewed my subscription a few times, but recently dropped the service. I did so because of the auto-renew feature. Sirius subscriptions will often come with massive discounts to keep you from dropping the service.  With auto renew you are charged the full amount for your subscription. I would then have to call up an argue to get the price cut down to a more acceptable level.  I tried several times to get the auto renew feature turned off and was ignored so I cancelled. 

I have to admit I do enjoy hearing Sirius again. Will this promotion make me rejoin? Perhaps. Until then lets all enjoy some Free Sirius, at least for then next few days. 

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