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Friday, 15 February 2008

New Site is Up

Just to let you know, I will no longer post on this blog, you can find me at
Along with all the current posts and plenty of new ones to come, so why not head over there and check it out!

Monday, 11 February 2008

New Site

Hey there

Sorry for the lack of posts over the past few months, I have been very busy with univeristy myself. Also I have been looking into new directions for this blog and I am glad to inform you that a brand new blog will be launched in the next week or so with its own domain etc! Don't worry all the current articles will be uploaded.

If you would like to get involved or have any suggestions, drop me a comment and I'll get in touch.

Watch this space, I will post info about the new blog and let you know when it's up and running over the next week or so, and of course let you know where you can find it!

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Mini-Cash ISA's - A Guide

Welcome to my guide to saving with a mini-cash ISA, I know I've been promising it for weeks now but it's finally here, so lets begin

If you're in an envious position for a student, and actually have left over money, maybe you work and could do with stashing it away somewhere, you should seriously consider putting some aside in a mini-cash ISA, this guide will tell you all you need to know about ISA's and some tips on the best one's out there, so keep reading.

What is an ISA?
Basically an ISA is a savings account, where the interest you earn isn't taxed, therefore you earn more interest for a year on up to £3000 cash. So to clarify, if you put your money into a mini-cash ISA (up to £3000), the taxman can't touch it.

ISA's Explained
A lot of people don't know much about ISA's, or often get confused about some aspects, so here are some facts: -
  • You may only put up to £3000 in your ISA during the year.
  • Money can be withdrawn at any time, without losing your tax benefits, for example if you put £2000 in, withdraw £1000, you will still have £1000 tax benefits left, regardless what happens after this.
  • You get a new ISA tax allowance each tax year
  • Only one mini-cash ISA account per year
The Market Leaders
As you probably have heard on the news, the bank of England have raised the interest rates to 5.5%, so these are some picks at the time of writing, just email me if you would like to know the latest best offers at a later date.

There are some good deals to be had out there, but also some poor one's, here are my picks.

  • Egg Cash ISA - Egg are an online bank who currently offer an outstanding 6.05% AER on amounts from £1 to £3000, not only that but they guarantee to at least match the bank of England base interest rate until 2009, so your always going to get a good rate. Other benefits include, you can setup online in minutes, keep track of your account 24/7, no charge for moving your money around from Egg
Other offers out there
  • ING Direct - 6.55% but only for 6 months, ideal if you want a short term measure
  • NSandI - 6.05%, but you'll need to invest an initial £1000
But remember offers are always changing as long as the interest rates keep changing, keep tabs on this site for updates, I'll do my best to alert you of the best deals out there.

So that way my guide, I hope you found it helpful and have encouraged you to start saving over the summer holidays for the all importance next year in university or collage. Have Fun!

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Haggle your Way to a Great Deal

Hello there! A slight change to the promised ISA's Explained post, don't worry, this will come tomorrow or the day after, just doing some last minute tweaks, Anyway....

Pretty good day today, basically my contract phone with three ran out last month, and to be honest I haven't enjoyed my experience with them at all, in fact it's been one of my worst, so I decided to give them a call to cancel my contract, they did the usual 'we have some great offers', and I did my usual stubborn 'I don't wanna know!' act. After a while they offered me a great deal (even though I wasn't going to admit that!), 500 minutes and 1000 texts, usually £35, mine for £27.50. Anyway, after a few minutes I got them down to £25, and then hey presto! A brand spanking new Sony Ericsson's k610i, a great contract, 6 months free insurance, next day delivery, all for £20 a month, I think this is a very good deal, and just goes to show what you can do by acting like a bit of an arse and being really grumpy on the phone.

So this has taught me a lesson....challenge people, and they will move just to keep your custom!

I will get going and create a guide for haggling yourself a great deal on almost anything!

Saturday, 5 May 2007

A Student's Best Friend

Sorry for the lack of updates lately, been very busy!

Anyway this might be an odd post but I find these little devices so handy and probably use it every day, what is he talking about? I hear you say.....
Yes, I'm talking about a USB Flash/Pen drive.
I'm not really sure what to call them because they seem to have numerous names and don't have an established name definition, pen drive, flash drive, usb drive...whatever, their brilliant.

They are very common these days, but in my opinion they are essential for every student

A student can use one of these tiny little devices for a wide array of uses, the most common would be to transfer your work from home/dorm to your university to keep working, submit or to print. It's quick, reliable and fits in your pocket.
Another use would be to transfer your music/files/movies to another computer to listen to or to burn.

Where to find one
As I said before, they are very common now so most electrical stores including computer hardware stores will stock them, they can now even be found in large supermarkets, although I would highly recommend looking online at such places as eBay and Dabs, even amazon

Available from 32mb to around 16gb, even more in some cases. It all depends on what you want to use it for

Prices vary from the amount of storage you want, the average price for the average user, say 512mb would be around £5-£10, where as a heavy user, say 2gb would look to pay around £15, even though there are some great deals out there at much lower prices, just shop around

I hope you do take my advice and purchase one of these things, they are truly so handy.

I am currently working on a number of posts which will go live soon. The closest one to the finished article which will be posted in a couple of days will be a free guide to saving and investing with an ISA account

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

A roadpath to eBay Success - Part 4

Well folks, here it is, the last post in our series of articles on how to succeed online with auction sites such as eBay. We have delved into picking your category/niche, sourcing your products and listing your items. Today we move on to customer care during and after sales, also we will be dealing with postage and packaging

Setting your P&P Price
When you list your items you will be asked how much you would like to charge for postage and packaging, let me get this straight, if there's one thing I hate it's people wildly overcharging for P&P. Sometimes you will see someone charging £4 for posting a DVD, it can get ridiculous so don't do it, trust me you will put customers off. So take into account how much it will cost to post and the packaging you will use, maybe round it off and stick to that price, the customers will have more respect for you and there is a higher percentage chance they will come back.

During Auction Customer Service
During some auctions, customers will ask questions. They will ask questions about the item itself, postage, payment, service etc. Answer these questions as quickly and as honestly as possible so the customer will remain interested and know what to expect if they win the item.

P&P your Items
Package your items as soon as you can, use strong packaging with bubblewrapp especially if you have fragile items. Also something I like doing is slipping in an invoice and a thank you message with your contact details, just to make the whole thing more personal. Once payment has come through, post your items as quickly as possible, people hate to wait a long time for something they have already paid for. Customers will be much happier if they receive their items quickly.

After-Sales Customer Service
Sometimes a customer will have a question or a complaint about the product you have sold. Again answer as quickly and as honestly as possible. It isn't a complaint, make sure you offer a return and refund, this will do wonders for your feedback and keep the negatives down. Remember the customer is always rite.

There we have it, it's all done now, some things maybe amended but I hope you have enjoyed the series and have found it helpful. Good Luck! Remember if you have any questions or comments to make, please don't hesitate to contact me on

Sunday, 22 April 2007

A roadpath to eBay Success - Part 3

Welcome to part 3, yesterday we looked at product sourcing. Today we will be looking at the next step, listing your items correctly and honestly.

I can't stress enough how important this part is if you want to be successful, this is the stage where you communicate with your potential customers and your listing will usually show how you come across to those potential customers. Your listing and description could also be important for when the customer chooses to buy an item from you or your competitor.

Before you do anything you will need to research your products correctly, this is because it will enable you to fully understand what you are selling and describe it as accurately as possible. You could do this by reading the information on the packaging or even check out the company website, write everything down and pick out the most important information you will need to include in your listings.

One part of the preparation is now done, so now to the next, you will need a digital camera to take high quality photos of the products, I always find when the seller takes their own pictures it's more appealing. Make sure the product is clearly visible and high quality.
Plan ahead before listing, take the information from your research and describe the item as accurately as possible so the customer knows exactly what to expect, remember if the item is not in very good condition or has any blemishes, include it as this makes you more honest with the customer and again there will be no surprises when the item arrives, if you have to, take a picture of the marks or scuffs. You may also want to use some powers of persuasion in your listing, but not too much or too heavy. It also doesn't harm to say who you are and what your all about, this will give you listing a personal touch.

Now to the actual listing, you will need to choose the relevant category remember, nothing worse than getting this wrong. Choose a title which describes the item in the best possible way. I always find flamboyant templates annoying so just try keep it clean and simple if you can which is usually easier for the reader, remember to also leave your contact details.
Your start price is very important or your buy it now price, you will need to think about it very carefully, I usually find 99 pence starts usually do the best as the bids get a chance to accumulate and people start bidding against each other.

That was part 3, the last part will follow shortly, which will deals with postage, after care and customer service, enjoy!
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