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Winer’s Corner

Stop Underselling!

The article title "stop underselling" is layered over an old-fashioned clay piggy bank.

Side hustles are all the rage right now: MLMs, ride share, selling your old clothes and furniture via online marketplaces, “donating” plasma. You’ve got to do whatever it takes to make the rent, or just the extra spending money, short of dancing the pole or working the sidewalk corner. I get it; I live it.

My whole life is side hustles right now. I drive Uber and Lyft, sell for SeneGence, and occasionally declutter my closet on Facebook marketplace or Let Go or whatever is vogue for the month. In some ways, I love it: I can set my own hours, work as much or as little as I want, I don’t have to answer to a boss, and there are no annoying coworkers. But it’s incredibly stressful sometimes, especially when everyone wants a cheaper price.

For example: I was trying to sell a Blue Tooth Speaker that I’ve had for a few years but haven’t used once in the past six months. It was a declutter no-brainer. The speaker is in great shape–no dents or scrapes or malfunctions–and is a top-quality speaker that normally goes for about $200. Considering that it is a few years old and used, I listed it at $75, knowing in my head that I’d accept $65.

Holy cow, people were trying to haggle with me for as low as $40! What!? That’s almost half of my asking price!!

I get it: people are buying used because they want to save money. And I know that the asking price is always a bit higher than the actual price (hence why I set it higher), but asking for a 50% discount is just plain rude!!

If you’re in small/personal business or hustling on the side, OR if you’re a shopper of side hustles, please read my rant:

A sketchbook is open to a large dollar-sign drawing. The artist's hands are in the photo field, along with some decor such as a plant and pink coffee mug.

Haggle Respectfully

Asking for a few dollars off here and there is understandable. Expected, even! When I listed my car on Craigslist, I listed it for $500 more than what I needed, knowing that people would try to haggle; it made accepting an offer for $400 off my asking price easy and friendly. But my favorite kind of shoppers are the ones that just pay the asking price.

If you’re going to do a low-ball haggle (say you offer $55 on a $75 price tag), immediately offer something to make that price cut a bit more appealing, like going to the seller rather than the seller coming to you. Saying “Would you accept $55? I can meet you wherever is convenient today so that you won’t have to go out of your way” is more well received than “I can give you $55”.

Also, if you’re going to offer a lower price, be able to pick up and pay that day, preferably within a few hours. As a seller, I don’t want to accept a lower price that can’t be carried out for another two days, because someone might offer the asking price between now and then!

Remember: the reason someone is selling instead of donating is because they need the cash. You’re trying to save a buck, they’re trying to save a buck: try to meet somewhere in the middle so that you both win. Essentially: haggle the way you’d want someone to haggle with you.

Related Reading: When It’s Been a Long Week and It’s Only Monday

Stop Asking Your Friends For A Discount

I see this all the time: friends asking friends for discounted services just because they’re friends. If your BFF is trying to make it in the world as a photographer and you ask her for engagement photos at a quarter of the price, you’re not actually supporting her business: you’re hurting it! People gotta pay bills, y’all, and your request for special treatment isn’t going to help keep the lights on.

Now, I myself do offer a friends and family discount because I want to, and because I’m terrible at business practices, but whatever. That’s something that I chose to do, and I’m okay with it, but I don’t like feeling pressured to offer more and essentially just give things away. The same goes for if I/your friend works at a store or restaurant and you ask for a discount: newsflash, unless I/your friend is the manager, we have zero control over discounts. As much as we’d like to help you out, we literally can’t, so stop making us feel bad for just doing our jobs.

Related Reading: 7 Ways to Maximize Your Budget

Propped up against infrastructure rails along a sidewalk is a cardboard sign. Written on it is "Need some used books; $ helps". A plastic cup for coin collection, a water bottle, and a book are laid next to the sign. Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

Don’t Try to Undersell Your Competition

If you’re just starting out selling your own product or service, you might feel the itch to sell at a lower price than your competitors to draw customers to you. But this is actually a really really bad idea.

One: if you undersell, you’re trapped at a selling price that doesn’t bring in the big bucks and you won’t make a profit. A few weeks or months down the road, you won’t be able to grow and that means you’ll eventually fizzle out and die.

Two: if you undersell, they’ll undersell. Then you’ll have to undersell again. And again. Next thing you know, you’re selling at cost with zero profit. Not good.

Do your market research and figure out what the high point, median, and low point is. List your stuff somewhere in that low point if you’re just starting out, or go for the median and maybe offer some introductory discounts to get the ball rolling. But whatever you do, don’t sell a dollar’s work for a dime.

 

I want to hear your thoughts and stories. Did I hit the mark or am I way off? What do you think about discount services like Groupon? Let me know in the comments!

 

April 3, 2018
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Things We Hate

A snarling cat is overlaid with the title "13 Pet Peeves"

Last week we were all about the love, so this week we decided to share all the things we hate. And again, not all the things we always say we hate like traffic or money or dieting. These are more like pet peeves or just small things we tend to not like so much in everyday life. This time there are 13, because you should always have more things you love than hate.

 

Belle

I hate… being late, people that are late, and events that start late

I hate… when people say “good” instead of “well”

I hate… when a website says an item is in stock, but it isn’t

I hate… when people don’t use the Oxford comma

I hate… that English and language arts programs are underfunded and underappreciated

I hate… being told that I’m too young to understand

I hate… when my generation is criticized for our values

I hate… feeling like I have to choose between security and happiness/fulfillment

I hate… when my hair doesn’t work with me

I hate… running out of hot water in the shower

I hate… how expensive it is to dye my hair

I hate… when my knee hurts for no reason

I hate… the corner pieces of cake that are 80% frosting

 

Elena

I hate… getting honked at

I hate… not being able to fall asleep

I hate… the smell of Arby’s

I hate… when people say “huh” instead of “what”

I hate… when I fail

I hate… being cold

I hate… loud chewers

I hate… the sound of scooping gravy and mashed potatoes from the pan to my plate

I hate… mean/rude comments

I hate… when people make me feel stupid

I hate… having a dead end job

I hate… when something runs out and no one refills it (especially toilet paper and coffee K-Cups)

I hate… being single

 

 

What are some things that really drive you bonkers?

 

February 20, 2018
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W(h)ine About It: Blogger Communities

 

A laptop, book, and vase of flowers sit on a desk facing the winder. In a pink overlay box is the title "What they don't say about blogger communities"

Hands pulls a cork out of a wine bottle with the help of a corkscrew. The article title is overlaid: W(h)ine About It: Blogger Communities

So you’ve started a blog after reading four or five different “Start a Profitable Blog in 5 Easy Steps” tutorials. You bought your domain, set up your site, wrote several posts, created beautiful images for Pinterest… but your site isn’t getting enough traffic. Solution? Join blogger communities on Facebook!

Right?… Except it isn’t exactly what you expected, at least in the aspect of helping boost your views and encourage discussion.

Don’t get us wrong, the groups are wonderful! We’ve gotten some interaction, have discovered other great blogs to follow, and have learned some pretty nifty stuff. But there are six short-fallings that no one acknowledges. Until now:

 

Post and run

Blog-com pages generally have themes each day to help promote all aspects of your blog, things like “Twitter Tuesday” and “Feedback Friday”. You post a link in the comments for people to like, share, pin, comment on, retweet, etc. The idea is to post yours and then interact with other people’s blog posts that they’ve shared.

Except no one does.

Well, not no one. That’s harsh. But maybe one in ten actually follow through. We get that you can’t interact with everyone: ain’t nobody got time for that! and sometimes you just can’t connect. Example: we’re not going to comment on your mom blog where you wrote an article comparing plastic vegetable toys to felt ones. We’re not moms. We don’t have kids. We buy actual vegetables. As a result, we can’t pin your stuff to any of our Pinterest boards and can’t authentically interact with your post. So we skip it and put our efforts into someone else’s post about skincare, which we care about because we have skin.

Meanwhile, the content we posted hasn’t been touched by the 50 people that posted before it nor by the 273 that posted after. It gets to be a bit frustrating, and in turn makes us not want to engage in other posts because why should we put in so much work without it being reciprocated?

It should be as simple as it sounds: scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours, right? But no, their post hasn’t received any interaction and they’re so busy and don’t have the time to even GLANCE at another post before or after theirs. Well guess what, Sharon, maybe we don’t have the time to look at your recipe for your vegan, gluten free brownies that probably taste like sidewalk chalk with a side of suck. We get it if you don’t like what we write about, but comment on something else: what would you change about the appearance of the blog? was it easy to navigate? would you follow my instagram? are the images clear and organized? It’s not that hard to give some sort of feedback to people. We won’t follow them unless their topic somehow relates to my own (because that’s what I’m interested in–again, sorry mom blogs), but we can comment on the picture: the quality, the hashtags, etc.

 

Click on my ads (illegal and…no)

A way to generate revenue from your blog is to install ads. Depending on which agency you go through, you might earn money only if the ad generates sales, or if the ad is merely clicked on. On some blog-com pages, individuals will start “click for click” posts for people to literally go click on each other’s ads to generate income. Not only is this a bit spammy, but in some situations it fringes on illegal actions (misuse of the system, false number generating…thanks but no thanks). Some admins are really good about getting this kind of content removed. Other times, you just have to scroll on past it. Or you can report the post as well or comment (if you’re really not concerned about what others will think of you).

Photo by Henrik Dønnestad on Unsplash

 

Everyone is accepted as long as they have a blog…

In order to join blog-coms, you have to have a blog. Shocking, we know. In many cases, it doesn’t matter what kind of blog as long as it’s your blog. Great in theory, but not in practice. This means there are a lot of blogs that are amateurly done: it’s a free platform, it’s unorganized, and don’t even get us started on spelling and grammar….

Remember how we talked about not being able to interact with blog posts about plastic vs. felt carrots because we’re in our young twenties and are living off peanut butter and ramen? We don’t mind that because there are other mom bloggers in the group that do care about it! But 99% of us don’t care about your latest achievement on the phone app games you play (yes, there really are blogs dedicated to that stuff). And as much as we want to travel the world and interact with people from around the globe, we can’t read your blog if it’s written in Russian. So we’ll keep scrolling.

 

Where are the police!?

Hello, Admin, yes we’re pointing at you; if you’re going to start a fire, you should know how to control it. On nearly every page, there is a page or post stating what the rules and regulations are (these are often stated on the post too, a.k.a directions). This should be easy enough to read and follow, but for all those greedy people who simply “don’t have time” to interact with others, but have plenty of time to respond to comments on their blog or their post, it’s not worth following. The thing about the rules and regulation posts is that, even though they are intimidating (and there’s nothing more humiliating than getting kicked off a bloggers page on Facebook), they are RARELY followed. Hey, Admin, I’ve commented on 5 posts and I see Felicia hasn’t commented on any and yet she has 4 likes and 2 comments… Care to do something about that?? A simple “bye Felicia” would do the trick.

 

Is anyone going to answer my question? Hello? No?

Many of us are newbies; we aren’t going to know everything. But that’s why we joined a community. Odds are, someone out the the 500 bloggers will know how to create a “Contact Us” page with a good plugin. Or how to fix the SEO on a page. Or what backlinks are. And yet….*crickets*

One of the problems could just be because no one sees the comment. So turn it into a post! Boom, everyone has a notification that you need help. Except their notifications have been blowing up all day because of the 300 comments on the one post they commented on. And what do they have to gain by helping you? Nothing. So what do they do? Nothing. Meanwhile, our questions are still unanswered. So much for community…kaboompics_Young woman working in a cafe

 

Required interaction

Some blog-coms have heard our pleas and answered with required interaction. Theory = great, practice = thanks, but no thanks. If you’ve joined a few blog-coms, more than likely you’ve seen a thread that sounds something like the following:

“Comment Thread: Post a link to your blog post and then comment on ALL comments in this thread. This thread will close after ten comments”

Whoopee, a guaranteed nine comments on your post! If you get less than that, then someone is about to get the boot from the group. Done and done. But, oh, wait, three of the posts are to mom blogs, one is to getting over an addiction, and another is to some news story about a wedding in India. We can’t relate to any of this, nor do we have an interest to. We could comment, but it would just be fake and that doesn’t sit right with us. So it looks like we’re the ones getting the boot…

 

Related Reading: W(h)ine About It: The Little Things

 

Whenever we post on another post on the thread, we say what we’ve done–commented, liked, shared, followed etc.–and what our blog name is (so people know who the heck we are) because that’s what the POST SAYS TO DO. But the people who refuse to interact are so incredibly frustrating. So these groups on Facebook have been great when they actually interact, but be warned, there will always be people (and Admin) who don’t follow directions or enforce the rules.

**To clarify, we love our blog-com groups. Without them, we’d be three miles behind where we are now. We just want to call out some bull-shit that we see and hopefully get some laughs (and results). 

A laptop, flower vase, and book are placed on a desk facing a window. The picture is shot from a side angle. In a pink overlay box is the title "The Truth About Blogger Communities"

 

Male hands are seen on a laptop keyboard, shot from above. In an orange overlay box is the title "Blogger Communities: 6 Shortfallings"
February 6, 2018
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W(h)ine About It: The Little Things

Posted in Winer's Corner by

Hands work a corkscrew into a bottle of wine. The title "W(h)ine about it: The Little Things" is written over it.

I’m standing in line for a latte that was going to be hot but will turn out iced. I’m desperately peeling off as many layers of clothing as I legally can while trying to form a coherent sentence for the barista. It’s a warm January day (35-degrees) with the sun out, and knowing that I’ll be outside when it drops below 20 tonight, I’ve layered up like the well-prepared Colorado native that I am. Unfortunately, the building manager set the cafe temperature to a balmy 70-degrees and I’m starting to sweat. And I don’t like sweat.

I know, I know, 2018 is supposed to be about being positive and complaining less, but I need to get some things off my chest. There are so many little things–inconveniences, irritants, complaints, irrational temperatures–that get under my skin. Here’s my list:

  • People that walk on the wrong side of the sidewalk.
  • Websites that lead you in circles and never get you to the information destination you need.
  • Starbucks that don’t accept rewards on gift cards, like the one’s in Barnes and Noble.
  • Slow drivers in the left lane.
  • Groups of people that take up the whole damn sidewalk and then walk reeeaaallllyyy slooooowwwly.
  • Free trials that require a credit card.
  • Free e-courses that don’t actually give you any information, but tell you that all the information is available if you purchase their e-book.
  • Cashiers that insist on giving quality customer service by asking everyone about their family history when there’s a three-foot-long line.
  • People that say “Give me a smile” or “You should smile more” or any variation of that. I have RBF, and you telling me to smile is actually just going to make me want to punch you.
  • Drivers that don’t use turn signals.
  • When an app–especially GPS–takes forEVER to load.
  • Apartment complexes that don’t have guest parking.
  • People that post every single life development to their social media pages.
  • People that create networking groups and use it as a platform to post about every single life development.
  • When people ask you to work on a project or assignment before you’ve finished waking up. Especially if they know you don’t function until at least ten in the morning (ELENA!!!).

To be honest, the list could go on forever. But my body has finally adjusted to the cafe temperature and I was able to put my outfit back together, and I figured it’d be best to end here before the five shots of espresso catch up to me. Now it’s back to being positive and cheery and a good person. Or at least I’ll try to.

January 23, 2018
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A Millennial Job Interview

 millennial

A Millennial Job Interview

Recently, I noticed this video from Vimeo going around Facebook. One of my friends who is probably around the age of my parents posted it.

I was intrigued, so I watched.

 

 

Our Reaction

Do you feel entitled to get a job right out of college (if you went)? Are you on your phone during an interview? Do you have common knowledge of Microsoft Office? I feel as though the reason why older generations think this way is because we are starting to demand more change in the professional world. I can’t tell you how many times a week someone in my office asks me how to do something on their computer or phone, whether it’s backing up a device, creating a PowerPoint, creating a signature on email, digitally signing paperwork, or converting attachments. These are all things I know how to do proficiently because we learned it in school or we taught ourselves because everyone else was doing it.

I realize this video is supposed to be making a point, but it’s too exaggerated. It makes me wonder if this is really how other people look at Millennials. I know there’s a lot of slander about Millennials feeling “entitled” to things like a career, working 9-5, getting promotions etc. In all honestly, I don’t believe that to be true. The main reason why I wanted a career was because that’s what everyone said I could get if I went to college. They said my chances were higher in getting a good, stable job if I graduated with a four-year degree. So that’s what I did, and I started at the bottom. Which was okay, because I needed to gain experience. But I had a job and I was grateful.

I honestly don’t want to know if this is even a close representation of what Millennials are perceived as. It’s not like we go into an interview thinking we are high and mighty and already have the job. I approach an interviewer with respect, knowing that they are a veteran in this professional setting and I’m not. They know more than me with the business, but I may know more than them about various aspects, like technology. But not like the technology in this video. Yes, I do know about social media, but I am experienced in Microsoft Office, Google Drive, Apple products. Those are all things that will be taking over each industry at some point. We should be seeing each other with respect,  knowing that if we combine our knowledge, that is what will make us succeed.

So please raise your hand if you or someone you know would do any of the things the girl did in the video, in or out of an interview. My hand is down. So far down I’ve slid out of my chair and onto the floor to make it very clear that none of this happens in real life.

Related Reading:

7 Ways Millennials are Changing 

11 Tips for Managing Millennials 

Share your thoughts

I’d like to know your thoughts on this video.

Please share in the comments below.

 

December 8, 2017
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