Money for nothing?
It’s been estimated that the average home has nearly £1,500 worth of unused stuff lying around. The traditional answer
used to be to pass it off at Christmas and birthdays to unloved relatives (not that I’d ever do anything like that …),
give it to the charity shop or take it to the car boot sale. Now, there’s eBay.
Selling unwanted stuff on eBay is easy-peasy. Take a picture of the unwanted item, write a description of it and stick it
online. Someone makes a bid, you post it off to them and money miraculously appears in your bank account. Hooray! (OK, it’s
a tad more complex than that, but not much. Visit
Ebay for the full info.)
Some might think the whole picture-taking, description-writing thing is a bit of a faff. This is where the kids come in. First,
get them to find all the things they don’t want and pile them up. Obviously, rescue any dubious inclusions like school
uniform, your favourite shoes and younger siblings. To be honest, the last of these isn’t worth the postage and packing.
They have to take a picture of each article, and then write a description of it. How big it is, what it does, what it originally
cost and how much they enjoyed having it. In deciding how much you want for each item, you have to factor in how much it will
cost to post. The Post Office provides a list of costs depending on the weight and size of the item. Get the kids to weigh
(kitchen scales do the job fine most of the time, you don’t have to be too precise) and measure each piece, and then
wrap it up, ready for posting.
In true Blue Peter style, they might want an adult to help them with the next bit. Using the online instructions, upload everything
to eBay’s website. Most listings are on for about seven days so they’ve got the added excitement of going online
and checking how their things are doing. Once the bid has closed, you are legally bound to send the item so it’s time
to get down the post office. Depending on the age of your kids, they can go themselves, or they may need a chauffeur. Once
posted, all you have to do is wait for the money to roll in.
If you’re feeling generous, you might want to let them keep the spoils. It’s a good incentive to finally rehome
the Scalextric that’s been gathering dust in the downstairs cupboard for the last two years. You, of course, keep any
cash from Auntie Vi’s unwanted ceramic figurines you got as a ‘thoughtful gift’ last Christmas.
Note, eBay’s payment method means that you shouldn’t be able to do it unless you’re over 18 so don’t
give them the password, no matter how web-savvy they are.
Jellyfish - nasty little beggars
Britain isn't the most likely place to get stung by a jellyfish, certainly not severely. We'll leave that to the more tropical
countries. However, there are a few 'swarms' that float up on our shores from time to time. Sure as kids are kids, they're
going to run up to one on the shoreline and poke it with their toe. Sure as Jellyfish are vicious little sods, they'll sting.
Even if they're dead.
The classic Red Cross remedy to treat these stings is to use an interesting combination of vinegar and meat tenderiser. Now,
I don't know about you, but these two aren't exactly common ingredients in my picnic basket. So, what are you going to do?
Welllll...some suggest that you use what nature gave you to hand. That is to say, go somewhere discreet and, ahem, wee on
it. For everyone who says this works, someone else will disagree and claim it makes it worse. But when you've got a kid writhing
around in agony and nothing in your one piece to help you out. It's worth a try and the prospect of being peed on may be all
the distraction they need!