Check your attic: these old items could be worth some money

Old, vintage stuff has always been in. Some people like them because of their unique and antique look while others appreciate them as valuable collectibles. Either way, if you checked your attic or basement, there is a vast chance you would find something from the old days that has some value on it. So, grab your flashlight and start your adventure through time! You might make someone’s day by providing an opportunity to gain something they have been looking for their entire lives and you didn’t even know you had it. The plus side for you is that you could earn some real money.

1.  Vintage spare time mementos

If you decide to embark on the mission of digging through your old things, be sure to check whether you have some of the early editions of comics. You can get big bucks for them if they are in mint condition, but also if they have been taken out of their original box. Another example of possible hidden treasures are figures, especially Star Wars figures from the ‘70s and ‘80s. Nevertheless, if you or your predecessors were into music – you can make a profit out of it, too. Namely, vinyl records have made a major comeback and a large number of collectors seek out for these. So, make sure to check your collection because some of the records may be worth serious money. Among the things people are ready to pay a lot of money, particularly if they are in good condition, are vintage record players.

2.  Toys from the olden days

Dive into the toy chest from your childhood and check whether you have some valuables there as well. Remember those Polly Pocket toys and sets from the ‘90s? Well, if you still have some of those, you have the opportunity to exchange them for cash. Even bigger fortune lies in American Girls dolls with their clothes and accessories, an example being Samantha, which sold for an amazing sum of $4,200 on e-Bay! Boys’ toys aren’t to be overlooked either. Vintage He-Man, Transformer and G.I. Joe toys in the original box and even out of the box can earn some real money. Collectible Pokémon cards and many other regular toys from the 1950s onward can bring you a few bucks.

3.  Antique currencies, coins and banknotes

If you bump into an old coin bank (which can also be worth some money, by the way), check thoroughly what is hidden and probably forgotten inside. You don’t even know it, but you can be lucky enough to be the owner of some rare, old coins which can bring you a fortune with a proper old coins valuation. These include some coins with errors, which were retracted immediately after being put into circulation but they can still serve as a valuable printing error to you. Yet another type is extremely rare coins such as 1943 Lincoln Head copper penny which you can sell for an astonishing $10,000 or even more! Moreover, if you possess some of the paper money from the previous decades, be ready to appraise them and to be amazed!

4.  Fine dining

Everybody has that one cabinet where their grandmothers or even great-grandmothers keep a fancy china set that you never get to use, but is saved for some important guests, right? Well, if you are one of these people and want to offload some of these things, do your research because some of these sets can you bring you money. People also go crazy for the vintage Pyrex dishes! Another valuable thing: sterling silverware. Full sets of sterling silverware sell for hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Watch out for those dusty, old lunchboxes. Wipe off the dust and check if you have a lunchbox featuring cartoon characters, rock groups, superheroes or movie stars – and if you do, then you’re in for a real ’green’ treat. You could be in for a real payday if you possess any antique kitchen utensils such as upside-down ball mason jars, milk glass banana stands, ball jugs and many others.

5.  Valuable literature

You may have some cash sitting in your old, covered-in-dust bookshelf. Classic books and first edition books go for a high price online. Related to the topic of literature, the machine used for writing them can also be sold for much money. Typewriters that are both functional and fashionable can hold real value. The value goes even higher if you are an owner of a bubblegum pink color typewriter since these models are very rare.

As you can see, vintage things from every aspect of our lives can be worth some money. I don’t know what exactly is it about them that makes them so special, is it the mystery of past lives they were part of? Is it a prestige stemming from being a proud owner of something that not many people in the world possess or yet the idea that every patina or chipping that is a part of them acts as a unique color or shape? No matter the reason, it seems that vintage never goes out of style.

Lucas is a business consultant with a passion for writing. Doing his research, exploring and writing are his favorite things to do. Besides that, he loves playing his guitar, hiking and traveling.

Keeping Your Business Organized: 3 Tips for Owners

Part of running a business like a well-oiled machine comes down to superb organization skills and policies. When things are properly organized, this will save you and your employees loads of time. Items will be more easily found, and your employee’s work spaces will not look trashy and cluttered. So, if you are ready to whip your business into shape, then here are three organization tips you must follow for best results. 

Back of the Store 

The back of your store, where no one but you and your employees tread, is where you keep all your inventory and other business-related supplies. To keep these items organized, you will need shelving for products, heavy duty storage cabinets and bins for other supplies. Putting in a system for quickly locating what you need will also be a great plan. This way, anyone new that you hire on will be able to quickly orient themselves to finding what they need without wasting a lot of time searching without end. 

Front Customer Area 

Any time customers can see an area of your store, you do not want these areas to look cluttered or messy. This is especially the case if it is an employee work station. Unorganized areas like that will give the hint that you and your employees do not spend time carefully making sure your store is both neat and clean. By assigning an employee to go around to do regular checks and remind employees to clean up the areas they are in charge over, you will help to always ensure your store is ready for your customers to see. 

Digital Organization 

As with your physical products and supplies, your computer system and digital files need to be in order too. One way to do this is to install a quality database to help you gain access to any digital form or information you need at the push of a button. Often it is necessary for companies to have a couple of IT guys on staff to ensure that your digital systems are not only organized, but you also want them to be operating within acceptable parameters. In addition, these employees can help you keep your social media postings organized to ensure that your company is being properly represented online too. 

Your business is the foundation on which you plan to build your success. By using superb organization policies, you will help this effort along in a big way. Plus, you will help to make sure that your employees have everything they need at their fingertips to make you happy with their performance. Consequently, organization is a critical aspect of any viable business model.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Smart Space Management: Transform Your Home into a Proper Working Environment

Home trumps work any day of the week. So, logically a home office has more benefits than any other working environment. There is no commuting, no boss watching your every move, and balancing professional and private life is a breeze. Setting up an office at home may seem difficult, but with careful planning and research, you can save up money, increase productivity, and in the long run, be much happier with your job.

Things to Consider

When deciding the place of your future home office there are a couple of things worth considering. The space needs to be isolated from the rest of the home, and generally in a less active part of the house. This will significantly minimize distractions, since you want to focus on your job, and separate home and work hours. Also, your personal requirements and affiliations, as well as the nature of your work will guide the decision making process. So, creating a workshop next to the dining room, probably wouldn’t be the best solution, or having the office next to the laundry room.

Setting up Shop

Conserve space by changing the purpose of less frequently used rooms in the house and turn them into your home office. Storage rooms like the attic, basement, and garage can be easily transformed into a spacious, insulated working environment. Another way to go is to make a dual-purpose room. An extra guest room, and even the dining room are great due to their infrequent use. And by making small adjustments to the furniture, like adding pull-out couch, or getting a larger dining room table, you can have re-furbish the room to accommodate all your needs. Also, it is possible to find appropriate appliances online, like small fridge, which can complete the office design.


Office Comfort

Comfort is the main idea behind a stay-at-home office. Consider that you might put in long hours in front of the desk, so buy a chair that is enjoyable, but also drives you to work. Depending on the work, a desk should inspire and be able to handle all the tools of your trade (computer, printer, books, paper, etc.). Apart from being comfortable, your furniture should also be ergonomic. The chair should support your back, and have enough height, so your arms are parallel to the desk. And by borrowing, buying secondhand or re-purposing furniture, you can cut costs and invest in other aspects of your business.

feng shui office desk Luxury Ways To Feng Shui Your Desk

Light up Work

Your office should also have plenty of light. A well-lit room will make for an efficient working environment that is motivational, but also healthy. Utilize natural light sources as much as possible, whenever possible. By positioning the desk next to the window, so that the light hits you from the right-hand side, you will get the greatest amount of light, decrease shadows on your work area, and tone down outside distractions. Although natural light is great, it is in short supply. Although many rooms have an overhead light, a desk lamp should be an essential at your work station. Combining it with other light sources will mean that your work space is always well-lit and you don’t exert your eyes.

Break Time

Depending on space, create a relaxing comfy zone within the office. This will enable you to think, research, read, and plan, when you are not actively working. The corner will also provide a great break area. Get yourself a comfy armchair, or a couch, and soft rug will feel great on your feet when you take your shoes off. You should also include a lamp and a coffee table for those serene coffee breaks.

Office Storage

Storage is an issue with any office, so be sure to get creative and organized. Big stacks of paper, files, and office supplies, are not very inspirational, and the best way to removed them from sight is to put them into a closet. Another great trick to minimize office clutter is to store the non-essentials in a different room, such as a basement. On the other hand, keep the essential documents near you, by putting up shelves and storing them there.

In the end, the home office tops a regular cubical any day, so make it an enjoyable and motivational working area. And if you do it right, you will save money and nerves, manage your own hours, and ultimately be your own boss, working from the comfort of your own home.

Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls, passionate about traveling, marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: “Live the life you love; love the life you live.”



5 Questions You Need to Ask Before Storing Your Data in the Cloud

The idea of transferring data from on-site devices to cloud-based storage is becoming a more appealing alternative for many businesses. Improved cloud technology provides such benefits as savings on hardware and maintenance, better security, and more reliability. These are distinct advantages to smaller companies with limited IT support and financial resources.

However, storing your data in the cloud involves more than contracting with a provider, uploading your files, and handing off responsibility. Here are five key questions to ask before entrusting your data to the cloud.

What Is the Service Going to Cost?

Before signing off on what looks like a reasonable price, understand that real value comes from the services that are being provided. Take the time to fully understand what’s covered by your monthly fee and what will cost you extra. There may be additional fees added for services like data back-ups, data recovery testing, exceeding bandwidth or memory limitations, or specific SLAs (service level agreements).

It’s prudent to do some cost modeling based on your own budget and requirements, then start shopping around for the cloud provider that best fits your needs at the most affordable price. Also make note of the security measures that are in place, and whether additional security will cost more. Typically, free solutions will have less storage, support, and security, while premium cloud providers expect you to pay a sliding scale for extra features and services.

Are There Bandwidth Limits?

Bandwidth is the range of frequencies, or extent of communications, that can take place over a given channel. If you are planning to upload or download large files, such as extensive video or high-volume data backups, you may be using a lot of bandwidth. Cloud storage can involve higher costs because the provider has to utilize greater internet bandwidth to accommodate all of their customers.

Limitations on bandwidth may also limit the speed of data transfer. As part of your business continuity strategy, you must have a good estimate of your bandwidth requirements for data recovery should you need it. Ask your provider about features for data compression and bulk data transfers.

What Data Security Is Provided?

In a digital environment where any organization can be targeted by hackers, it’s important to get assurances that your data will be protected. This is particularly important if your data will contain sensitive information like credit card numbers and account passwords. Any responsible cloud provider will have protective measures in place for client information.

Data safeguards should include encryption mechanisms both for transferred and stored data. Messaging can be intercepted at either endpoint, so it’s crucial that all communication is encrypted before it’s sent. Server-side encryption is also essential when storing any sensitive information so that it’s worthless in the event of data theft.

Without encryption, enterprising hackers can embed spyware on computers or devices that enable them to capture, log, and read client-server communications. If they gather the right personal information, they can steal your identity and use it to plunder your accounts and destroy your credit and reputation.

What Are My Disaster Recovery Options?

Cloud services provide a convenient means for performing necessary data backups and initiating data recovery to replace lost or damaged files. Be certain to ask your cloud provider to explain their disaster recovery options in detail so that you aren’t hit by surprises when you need critical data restored. You should have clear directions on where and how to access and recover your data in the event of a system catastrophe.

Ask about where your provider’s data centers are, and how they’re protected and supported. Fast and reliable data recovery is an important feature of continuity. There should also be redundancies to ensure multiple copies of your data at different locations so that you aren’t out of luck if something happens to one of the provider’s systems.

What Kind of Technical Support Is Included?

Prompt, accessible, and expert support is also important. You, as the client, should be provided with opportunities to ask questions or get technical help as needed on an ongoing basis. Small companies with limited technical knowledge are likely to need advice and guidance, especially in the beginning.

Large companies may have the IT support to resolve their own issues, but this could be a complicated and lengthy process for businesses with limited resources. When contracting with a cloud provider, you need to know what level of support is available to you and how to reach it. Support should be available at all hours of the day and night, as inability to use your own data could be crippling to your business.

You need to determine whether technical support will involve extra charges for upgrades, any limits on service time frames, and the promptness and quality of the support you’ll receive. Making the right choice in support services could mean the difference between steady revenue streams and costly downtime.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, cloud storage solutions can provide many benefits to your organization. However, it’s crucial to determine which cloud providers can best suit your needs and provide the greatest value. It’s important to select a provider that ensures a high level of accessibility, data security, customer support, and effective solutions for data backups and recovery. If you take the time to obtain a thorough explanation of charges, features, and limitations, you can choose the best cloud services for your company.


About the Author

Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in the business world. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.

How the Internet is Boosting the Storage Industry

Numbers don’t lie and every savvy marketer knows this.

In the modern business environment, every business is scrambling for a piece of the internet market because this is where the customers are.

For instance, in self-storage, the industry is experiencing major growth; a fact that has been attributed partly due to increased use of internet technology.

Storage in Brooklyn has changed rapidly since the adoption of the new marketing techniques available online.

Below are some other pertinent factors that explain the relationship between storage facilities and the advent of online marketing.

Why the Surge in Self Storage Demand?

Today, there are more than 55,000 public storage facilities across the country and the industry is projected to keep growing.

Greater than 9.5% of the households in the U.S have rented self-storage and more businesses are also taking up these spaces to meet growing business needs.

With more storage facilities coming up in cities, smaller businesses are finding it cheaper to rent such units to cater for temporary storage as they seek rentals and leases.

What’s more, public storage facilities offer tailor-made solutions to suit different types of customers, a reason that makes them more popular with homeowners and businesses alike.

Impact of Internet on Self Storage 

According to the Pew Research Center, more than 87% of Americans are using the internet today and these numbers are incredible for any business seeking to extend its reach beyond the traditional catchment areas.

To the self-storage industry in Brooklyn, the internet is not a threat as most brick and mortar perceive this technology. Instead, established facilities have integrated this technology to remain relevant and add value to the customer experience.

Here are some techniques self-storage companies are using on the Internet:

  • Customer engagement: There is always a need for businesses to interact with their customers. In the modern business environment, social media has become the most important tool to provide feedback with their customers. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ are just some of the platforms self-storage facilities are relying on to interact actively with their customers. Real-time feedback is now more important than ever.
  • Internet marketing: There are different online tools that are being implemented to capture more customers. These range from social media, link building, video, email marketing, PPC among others. Most of these tools allow targeted marketing thus increasing conversion rates for self-storage facilities.
  • Online booking and scheduling: It is now easier for customers to book storage without even leaving their homes. This is a perfect solution for customers moving into Brooklyn from out of state or other cities. The best self-storage companies provide comprehensive description, virtual tours of the facility and easy online booking.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) says online retail sales are pushing beyond $427 billion and self-storage facilities are very much part of  this revolution.

If you are a customer looking for self-storage in Brooklyn, it is time to go online where you will find it easier to book and learn more about different storage facilities.

You will also find invaluable resources to help you make an informed decision.

For the storage business owner, make sure you are boosting your marketing efforts both on and offline, storing up more business along the way.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers consumer and business topics on the web.