8/2/19

Was Buying Chairs from Amazon Warehouse Risky?

We were in the market for a 12” kid chair - hoping for natural color solid wood, but not too expensive.  I was seeing options $50+ per chair for these tiny pieces of furniture.

I checked Amazon Warehouse, where you can get used and damaged items at lower cost.

There was a 2-pack of solid oak kid chairs listed there for $22!  They normally sell for $105, and have great reviews.

However, the condition description made me pause.  It read:

“Acceptable: Large cosmetic imperfection(s) on the interior of the item.Item will come in original packaging. Packaging will be damaged.”

Amazon warehouse grades it’s items by: 1) Like New, 2) Very Good, 3) Good, 4) Acceptable.  So these kid chairs were graded as the worst condition on that list.  So this purchase was a risk.

The great thing about Amazon Warehouse, though, is that many items are covered under Amazon’s excellent return policy.  Some things may not be, of course, so double-check before purchasing.

They chairs arrived in a huge Amazon box (picture 1), that contained another beat-up box (picture 2), that contained two beautiful chairs (picture 3).  Though the second box was damaged, the chairs were not, they were in perfect condition.

In this case the risk buying from Amazon Warehouse paid off.  We now have these beautiful oak chairs for only $11 each.

7/20/19

Moving to Tello Wireless; Goodbye FreedomPop

Our main cell phone is a little black flip phone that we’ve had forever.  I love it because it is tiny and a single charge can last up to a week!  It is a prepaid AT&T phone that costs $100 (+tax) for 1000 minutes.

Anyways, a couple of years ago, we decided to get a smartphone to be able to use services like Uber and Google maps.  Our research back then, led us to FreedomPop.  We bought a used Samsung Galaxy 5 Android phone through FreedomPop, and then our smartphone data plan literally was free!  It gave us 500MB of data a month, and that was fine for us, for the times we were away from WiFi. 

So thanks FreedomPop for 2 years of completely free data!

But now, FreedomPop is cancelling their free internet plans for Sprint-type phones.  So we needed to find a new cheap plan for our smartphone.

Our latest research led us to Tello.  They have inexpensive prepaid and monthly plans.  We chose a monthly plan that gives us 500 MB of data, 100 minutes of phone, and free texts for $6 per month.  With taxes added, our final Tello bill is $7.80 per month.  Not a bad price, under $100 per year.

After you use your 500 MB of data, Tello apparently lets you use 2G data (slower) for free.  We haven’t tested this out yet, since our Tello plan is brand-new but we will report back.

I’ve also read that there may be a manual way to roll-over Tello minutes and data? We plan to test that our and will report back on that also.

Tello’s prepaid plans seemed like a good choice too.  Tello’s prepaid rates are here.  At the time of writing, they were 1 cent per minute for calls or texts and 2 cents per minute for data, in the USA.

When you sign up for Tello, there is a box where you can type in a code to save $10.  The code is P34X9ZBC.   Click here to use this code directly at Tello.

1/30/19

Bali Secrets Deodorant Review

Bali Secrets is a a “natural” roll-on deodorant made in Bali, an island in Indonesia.  I have been using the Unscented version for about a year now and really like it.

Here are the Bali Secrets deodorant ingredients:

  • Seaweed Extract (Gracilaria verrucosa)
  • Natural Mineral Salt (Potassium alum)
  • Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) Leaf Juice
  • Aqua (Water)
  • Alcohol (Ethanol)
  • Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera)

The scented varieties also contain various essential oils.

One of the ingredients, Potassium alum, does contain aluminum (Wikipedia: potassium alum), thus this is not aluminum-free deodorant.

This deodorant product has some good features:

  • It works!
  • Certified as cruelty-free.
  • Helpful customer service – I had to contact them once, and they were kind and responsive.

and it has a few negatives:

  • It is expensive, with an Amazon price (at the time of writing) of $13.99 for one bottle
  • It is not uncommon to find an “out-of-stock” notice at Amazon when trying to reorder a favorite scent.
  • The roller has improved, but is still not perfect.  It can dry out and stick if you don’t use it for a few days.

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