cool site

My Gazelle.com Experience

I just sold a somewhat old gadget to Gazelle.com. It is the first time I've tried selling back an old electronic device - that still had considerable value - to an online service. I've heard good words about Gazelle.com. I am hoping I won't be disappointed.

It was easy enough to find the item I was selling to them on their website. They previously would take almost any electronic item, but they now have narrowed the selection down to mostly Apple products. Trying to find the configuration of my product was fairly easy. I put in the condition I thought it was in, the additional components that came with it, and bam! up popped up the price they were willing to pay me. It seemed reasonable (comparing it to Amazon.com's trade-in service). So I pressed on.

I got an email shortly after, giving me instructions and a shipping label. About an hour after that email I received another email from Gazelle saying my shipment option has been updated. Instead of me packing my item to ship back, I could simply go to a FedEx to have them pack it for me free of charge. Way cool!

I have to say my FedEx experience was a bit unnerving. I went to the shipping counter. They took my item to the back where I could not see the pack it. They then brought it back up to label in front of me.

I had to ask, "Was [the item I was selling] in this box"? After-all I didn't seem them place it in the box.

"Yes it is", she replied. How could I continue to doubt her without sounding like a douche.

And then a co worker of the girl who packed my item proceeded to put a label on the box. The wrong label! Luckily she caught her co worker's mistake. I eagle-eyed the correct label was applied to the package. The item is now out of my hands. The waiting game starts.

One Week Later

I was able to track my package though a link from Gazelle's website - which leads to FedEx of course. Once my package was received, Gazelle emailed me. Once they examined my item they emailed me again saying, "Hey guess what? Your item is in better shape then you thought it was. We're giving you more money!" Seriously? I chose my pay out option to be an Amazon gift certificate which gives you a 5% bump. Since my item was in much better condition than I thought it was they simply increased the gift certificate amount.

It's nice to know they were honest about the assessement. They could have easily gone with my assessment but did not. This "honesty" makes me want to use their service again - if I ever have anything else to sell.

When It Drops.com - A Site to See

Visit whenitdrops.com

In a previous life I was a record store manager. (Yes, I can hear Mia now, "What's a record?") Back then, I would enjoy new release Tuesdays, when new music and movie rentals would show up. It was easy to keep track of what was coming out back then. Ever since I've been out of retail, it has been a bit more difficult to determine when "this title" is available for rent or "that artist" is coming out with something new.

It looks as if When It Drops tries to help to provide this information. It's a simple clean site showing what came out last week, what is coming out this week, and what is being released in the next few weeks. The site covers theater movies, music, DVDs, games, and books. Check it out.

Cool Site - Pandora

You might have heard of this site already or not. It's called //Pandora, created by the Music Genome Project.  What the heck?  To sum up what the //Music Genome Project does, it is a group of people who break down the DNA of a song or musician.  They determine try to "capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song - everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony."  Pandora offers a way to listen to the fruits of their labor.

When you visit Pandora, you will be asked to enter in an artist or a song.  When the information is inputted, a song that exemplifies the artist's music style will play. After the initial song, similar suggestions from other artists will play.  You can choose to listen to the next song, skip to a following song, and even buy a song you have just listen to.  Suggestions are not based on the old "if you like this artist, you might like this next artist because  similar people listened to it as well", but is based on the DNA profile of the artist's catalog.

You can create a profile and save favorite songs, all it takes is an email address.  The service is free, but you can pay as little as $3/month for no advertising.  So try it out and see if you like it.  This is a streaming music service, so you might need to wade through some songs you may not like.  But if you are looking for new music, or just want to have a radio station playing in the background, you may want to give //Pandora a try.

[For more information on Pandora, please see the Podcast //Inside the Net 6: Tim Westerngren of Pandora Media All you need to do is download the Podcast and listen to it on your computer.]

[Also note: I was able to find most artists I searched for on Pandora.  Not all will appear though, as they do have a limited catalog that is growing each day.  So do not be discouraged if you are looking for someone that isn't currently there.]

TrekEarth.com - Visit It Today

Cool site: TrekEarth

Found this cool photo site as I was doing research for my new blog.  New blog?  More on it later.

Anyway:

"The underlying theme of TrekEarth is learning more about the world through photography. TrekEarth fosters this by allowing photographers to display their work grouped by regions in a supportive and orderly environment."

I found the site to be fascinating and inspirational, as I try to increase my photography skills and time spent taking pictures.  Sites like this make me want to do and learn more.

Take a look at [TrekEarth] and see what's happening around the world.