Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Speeding Up the Pony Express

Some folks may know about Heather & Brett's alter egos, arkansassparechange.  If you're wondering 'what the heck is that?' it's our little eBay business that we run on the side.  We started ASC in January 2007 after Heather read a news article about a man who dropped out of community college and made a gazillion dollars selling his stuff on eBay.  We decided, that with four college degrees between the two of us, surely we could figure it out.  With a few books from the library, a lot of online research and primarily as a way to clean out our closets, arkansassparechange was launched with a $50 investment from each of us.  Hope you're following us on Twitter for all the latest deets & deals!

Do I hear the Thong Song?
Over the years we've gotten pretty decent at finding quality products marked down low enough that we've been able to turn a profit worth our time.  We scored big money when Steve & Barry's started carrying Sarah Jessica Parker's Bitten line and it was not available nationwide!  Dr. Oz & Oprah launched the Neti Pot into cyberspace & the prices sky high when we found a health food store in Jonesboro carrying the highly sought after product.  But our best honey-hole was the Dillard's Clearance Center at the old Indian Mall...where fabulous finds just threw themselves at us.  There, with the help of the most wonderful store manager John Bunch, we found $5 Ralph Lauren cashmere sweaters, $1 Calvin Klein thong panties and $10 BCBG shoes. We personally thank Mr. Bunch for helping to finance part of our wedding and paying for all of our honeymoon!

Print that Postage!
All this eBay'n has made us mini-experts at using the United States Postal Service.  We make weekly, sometimes daily trips and have learned the in's and out's of the USPS!  (We know sometimes we're the person you hate to get behind in line.)  The cool thing about the pony express is that they're now online.  You can log onto their website and check postage options for domestic and international, plus order all of your free priority mail shipping supplies that are shipped straight to your house.  It's super easy and very user friendly.  You can print postage online, but we've never had a good enough scale that we've trusted enough to be that accurate, so we don't mind hitting the post since you've got to take the package there anywhere.  Plus it gives you a chance to make friends with new people...we really liked John at the Thomas Street Post Office in Tupelo, he was such a hoot!

So when we ventured to NY, the first thing we did was scope out where the Post Office was...but of course, things are just a little different up here.  The Clifton Park Post Office has regular desk service, but also an automated center as well.  No waiting in the long lines here buddy!  Just step right up, weigh your package, pay with your debit/credit card and wait for your postage to print.  So much easier and faster in most cases, plus you know that your package or letter is headed out that day.

The automated postal center works best for priority packages and first class letters, which is right up our alley!  It's amazing how impressed we can be with simple technology!  arkansassparechange plans on spending plenty of time out of line and shopping for great if we could just find another good Dillard's north of the Mason-Dixon line.