Thursday, January 5, 2012

How Not Having an iPod Made Me Money on New Year's Day

My Mom just recently bought herself a mobile phone, oblivious to the fact that it was actually a Blackberry. All she knew and that was important to her is that the phone allows her to text us and receive/make calls from/to us here in the Philippines. That will hint you on how much my Mom knows about gadgets: She might know what the blasted things are for, but, like any other run-in-the-mill sixty-something mothers, she couldn't care less about the specifications. She knows a computer can send e-mail, but she doesn't know about Macs and PCs. She knows MP3 players play music, but she has the faintest idea of what the difference between an iPod and an iTouch is.

Incidentally, she bought me a gift for my birthday and shipped it to me. Before I even got the package, she sent me an SMS:
Anak, I bought you BOSE speakers. Ipinadala ko na at makukuha mo siguro by next week.
She had me at Bose. I've wanted to get my own set of speakers for a while now and the idea of getting one as a gift excited me. But when I opened the package, I saw no speakers, just a small remote-control and a funny looking device:

I read the specs of the supposed Bose "speakers":

This nifty Bose Wave Connect Kit that comes with an iPod dock and a remote control would've been great had I actually owned an iPod. My Mom, bless her heart, must've thought I could use this for any MP3 player. Or so I thought. I sent her an SMS to thank her for the gift, not mentioning the little unknown fact that I couldn't actually use what she gave me. Lo and behold, she replied:
Good! Kung hindi mo iyan magagamit, ibenta mo na lang. $99.99 ang value niyan. :-)
Apart from the reason that the message had a smiley at the end, it made me smile because I think Mommy realized her little gadget mixup.

Two weeks after getting the say-so from my mom to sell her own gift to me to somebody else, I hadn't successfully made any deal. I casually brought it up in random conversations with friends who I knew had iPods, but they seemed uninterested.

Seemingly at a dead end, I remembered something someone told me before: If you have something that you think will never sell, post an ad of it on Sulit. You'll be surprised. is website that provides free online classified ads service which allows everybody to make buy and sell transactions. It is different from as it: 1) does not offer bidding on goods as an option to buy and 2) requires less information from anybody who would want to sell. All one would need is a working email address to be an active seller on Sulit. In, on the other hand, in order to even just post an ad to sell something, the wannabe seller must provide bank account numbers and/or credit card details. This procedure makes transactions over Ebay more secure, I guess, but I was not willing to be inconvenienced by the sheer number of details they required of me.

I made my first sale over Sulit a few months ago. I successfully sold my old laptop, which already had a damaged LCD, for an acceptable price. Relying on such singular success, I again posted an ad on Sulit to sell my Bose "speakers":

I posted this ad first thing in the morning of January 1. I had no plans of leaving the house that day as I've always had this personal superstition that if I spent even a peso on the first day of the year, I'd be an outright waldas throughout the year.

That same day, after my siesta, I checked my phone and saw several missed calls and SMS messages. It all came from the same unknown number. When I read through the messages, the sender apparently was interested in buying the Wave Connect Kit. After few exchanges of SMS and a couple of calls, by 5pm of the first day of the year, I was P3,799 richer. I suppose that if spending on Jan. 1 is bad, getting money on Jan. 1 must be good. It should be telling of what the rest of 2012 will be, with regard my finances.

There I was, smiling like a fat buddha with my unexpected paycheck that day. I went to mass and thanked God for the nice man who bought the Bose kit from me. But more than anything, I thanked Him for my Mom--for giving me a very funny gift.

Ma. Eliza Christine Gomez, Entry #3

Previous posts: #1, #2

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