Looking The Part For Vacation

passion-fruit-daiquiri-906099_960_720If you’re like me and live in a northern and land-locked area, then you know how nice it would be to get away from the cold and dreary areas and visit someplace more tropical and warm would be. This is why many people choose to vacation in places like southern California, Florida, and the Caribbean. The beaches are great and so is the change in culture.

But if you don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb, you’re going to have to look the part when you arrive to your tropical destination. This means that you’re going to need to have the appropriate clothes.

Now, you may be thinking that you’ll just go with a pair of shorts and call it a day. You could get away with that, but not all shorts are created equal. For example, maybe if you are walking around the boardwalks of California, board shorts would be the most appropriate. But that same look wouldn’t work as well in the Bahamas, where Bermuda shorts (https://www.venissac.com/collections/bermudas) rule supreme. A little bit of investigating into the local styles will yield some fashion ideas.

Another example is what kind of shirt to wear. If you’re hitting up Miami Beach, the a Guayabera shirt will have you looking like a local, no sweat. But that style isn’t quite right for the Gulf. There, something a little more casual would work nicely.

Obviously the style is going to very depending on where you go. The point is to do a little bit of research on what the dress is like for the area (instagram and pinterest are great places to find style ideas) and then get yourself what works for you based on it.

Beach Trip!

natural-1641791_960_720With summer fast approaching, there is only one things on the minds of many outdoors-type people, and that is a trip to the beach. Whether you are interested in getting out onto the water for some fishing, or getting into it for some snorkeling, or just relaxing on the shore, a beach trip is a great idea for those hot summer months. And if you live in a land-locked state, then this is an opportunity for a road-trip and vacation.

But to maximize your fun, you’re going to need to accomplish two things. The first is see how you can make your trip as economical as possible so there is still some money to spend while out having fun (and so there is still some left for the bills that will be waiting upon your return). And the second is to ensure that you bring everything needed with you.

For both, we have lists of ideas and things that will help you out:

For economy:

  • Find a destination that you can possibly drive to. You can bring a lot of things yourself and avoid having to buy items when you arrive which can be more expensive.
  • Pack food for at least the road trip itself to save money.
  • Instead of a hotel, see if there are rooms for rent in the area. Craigslist is a good place to look and so is Airbnb.
  • Do a bit of research and see what things there are to do at the beach you will be visiting. Sometimes there are free or inexpensive activities put on by the local city.
  • Remember that staying on beaches themselves are usually free, so bring games, toys and other things to keep you occupied to enjoy your beach stay.

And now, onto what to bring:

  • Beaches get hot, so bring plenty of cool clothes. Things like bermuda shorts and linen shirts are good beachwear.
  • Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen.
  • Towels are a given, but bring changes of clothes that you can keep on you so should you decide to eat somewhere, you aren’t having to stay in moist clothes.
  • Fun items to use at beaches include kites, volleyballs, boogie boards, inflatable rafts, footballs, metal detectors, etc. Even board games can be more fun at the beach.
  • Bring plastic zipper bags. They work well to keep your items dry and free of sand. Smartphones can also be used while still in the bag itself so they make for a great, cheap waterproof case.

What To Do With Old Stuff

We all have things lying around the house, just collecting dust. If you can get away from the sentimental value some things may have attached to them, you may notice just how cluttered rooms can get. So what’s the solution? Throw it away? Nope. That would be a complete waste. Donate to charity? Well, sure, you could do that. But you are giving away stuff that you had to pay for at some point. Sell it? Now we’re talking.

But how? Many people know about the tried and true yard sale and garage sale, or even the corner pawn shop in Hollywood, but there is a better way. The video below gives some great advice on how to sell your stuff online.

What To Pawn For Fast Money

dollar-726884_960_720Sometimes, one finds themselves in a financial crisis. There is some sort of emergency and money is needed, and fast. Whether it’s a few thousand dollars or a few hundred, the problem must be solved rapidly. So what can one do?

While there are things like loans from banks and friends, these are not always feasible options (especially if you need the money right away). So what does that leave one with? Well, the tried and true pawn shop.

Many people have a general misconception about pawn shops. They think of them as seedy businesses where lowlifes will go to sell stolen merchandise. While I’m sure that this does happen on occasion, it is not the norm. Pawn shops are actually required to check their items in case they are stolen and have to comply with many state and federal laws.

But enough about that, let’s get into how to get some money from Ft Lauderdale pawn shops quickly.

To be successful in this, you need to know what items to pawn. While many pawn shops will take most anything of value, certain items will yield you better funds. Things like jewelry are a no-brainer, but realize that an old ring with a lot of sentimental value may not necessarily be worth a lot. The actual size and clarity of the gemstones on the pieces will determine the value.

No jewelry? Power tools are another good item, especially if they are in good condition and cleaned up before they are taken in for pawning. Ensure that you include all accessories and batteries when you bring them in.

Bicycles can also get some good returns, but only if they are in good condition, and name brand bikes will do a lot better. So if you have something that qualifies, then bring it in.

Collecting Classic Video Games

atari-2600-1548365_960_720A recent trend (well, at this point I guess it’s not so recent) is to have vintage items. For example, vinyl has made a big resurgence in recent years, and it is only getting more popular. So we have one of those “what’s old is new” situations. And it doesn’t only apply to music, but also video games as well.

Collectors will proudly show off their collections of old Atari games and stacks of Commodore 64 cartridges. Even more recent consoles like the Sega Genesis and SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) have their own cult following. It really depends on which one triggers that nostalgia factor for you.

So if you would like to start up a collection of vintage video game gear, or add to your existing collections, here are a few good places to look to find items:

Pawn shops will occasionally have these types of things. People often pawn their entire collection and then they just sit collecting dust. You may need to call around to find a pawn shop ft lauderdale that carries these types of things, but you could get lucky and find a nice-sized sampling of retro games and consoles.

Online is of course a sure-fire way to go, but items can be pricey because the seller is likely aware of the demand. You’ll be able to find exactly what you want, but not necessarily at the lowest price. Use this for when you’re absolutely stuck on finding that one piece you simply must have.

Garage sales and yard sales often contain great finds in terms of old video games. Again, it is a patience game and you need to be willing to look around for things. Flea markets could be put into this category as well.

How To Profit From “Junk”

carpet-1054566_960_720Did you know that there is a relatively stress-free job that nearly anyone can get that allows you to be your own boss, requires minimal equipment and education and can give one a flexible schedule? If this sounds too good to be true, then keep reading because you’re about to see just how real this can be.

The job I’m referring to isn’t a traditional job, but rather it is becoming a “picker”. A picker is someone who finds items and goods at thrift and secondhand stores, garage sales and even in a pawn shop in Davie, and then resells these items online for a profit. It may seem like a risky business to get into, but it is possible to make over $1,000 a week doing this.

All you need to start off is a little bit of cash (to use to buy your first inventory), a car (with which to visit places in your area to get your merchandise), a smartphone (that you will use to check the value of items you see) and that’s pretty much it.

How it works is that you go to any place where you can typically find cheap items, and as you browse, you’ll be checking the value of these items online. When you see something that sells well for more than you need to pay for it, you have yourself a winner. You purchase the item, put it on a listing, and wait for it to sell. Nothing to it.

This type of job does require that you gain a knowledge of what kinds of items sell well, and that will come with experience. There are also guides that you can find online that will give you a head start. But once you get the hang of it, this can be a viable source of income that will only require a couple of hours of work per day.

Selling Your Stuff For The Most

antique-1868726_960_720When our homes fill with clutter, and things that we no longer need start piling up, one can safely assume that much of it realistically needs to be gotten rid of. And while one can go on a rampage throwing things out, that is a bit wasteful, isn’t it? Donating one’s no longer used clothes, furniture and appliances is a noble route, but sometimes one just needs to make a little bit back from all of these things. In that case, selling your excess possessions would be the way to go.

So if this is what you have decided, then you probably want to make the most from your stuff, right? So how can you do that? Well, here’s a few tips to help you out in this endeavor.

First, ensure that whatever you are selling is presented as neatly as possible. This goes for any type of item, in whatever sales venue. Be it a garage sale, on an online auction site, or a place like craigslist, you need to make your stuff look attractive. This means cleaning it, folding it (if applicable), etc.

Next, you will want to ensure that you realistically see what that type of item sells for. Not what people ASK for, but what it SELLS for. Then you can charge just a bit more than that so that you have some wiggle room in terms of haggling.

Finally, you need patience. Listing items for less will yield faster sales, but not all the money you would like to make. So be patient with your listings. Remember that if you are totally unable to sell something, you can always take it to a pawn shop (http://www.uspawnjewelry.com/locations) later to get some fast money for it.

Ways To Save Money At Home

architecture-1836070_960_720Saving money should be an important part of anyone’s regular priorities. After all, we are living in one of the toughest economies in modern times. In most households, every adult has to work to contribute, and many are holding down multiple jobs. So cutting costs and reducing expenditure is something one and all should do.

But this is not always easy. Actually, one needs to get clever about saving money. So to help you out, here are a few tips that can be used for saving money regularly at home.

  1. Buy groceries in bulk. Thinks like meat, cheese, canned and dry goods, and even bread can be stored or frozen for long periods of time. Buying these monthly instead of weekly can really save some serious money on food.
  2. When buying things like electronics, furniture or things for the home, try to buy secondhand instead of new. Places like thrift stores and pawn shops can really make it easy to go out and get what you need, be it a TV or set of chairs on the cheap.
  3. Ensure that you save electricity by unplugging frequently unused appliances,and by setting the AC a few degrees higher than normal. You can also fit your home with ultra-efficient, and now inexpensive LED bulbs for even more electrical savings.
  4. Call your service providers (cable TV, cellular, internet, etc) and try to haggle for a lower rate. You can often call them with the “intent” of cancelling the service due to high cost and get a better offer. It’s worth a try.

With the above tips, you can really save hundreds of dollars each month.

Tips For Reselling Items

maxwell-street-market-62353_960_720A very simple business that virtually anyone could run is that of buying items and then reselling them at a higher price. Doing this only requires some knowledge as to what is valuable and also knowing how to sell.

Let me give an example. Let’s say one is at a flea market or garage sale. There, many items are for sale at pretty low prices. A person with an eye for old electronics may come across a real treasure for a low price. Knowing that he can sell it for more online, he buys it and then flips it for a profit. Now, knowing what is valuable and not is part of the trick, but the selling aspect is what we are going to focus on today.

So we will assume step one is done. You have already been out to a flea market, garage sale, pawn shop in Davie, or scoured craigslist and now have something of value you will to list and sell. Here are a few tips to help you to get it done.

  1. Clean the item as much as possible before photographing it for the listing. Clean items are obviously more attractive and will generally be perceived as having higher value.
  2. Take lots of well-lit photos from multiple angles. You won’t get far if you are trying to hide imperfections, so just embrace it and be open about it by photographing the whole item, blemishes and all.
  3. Don’t just guess at the price, but rather, look as what others are selling similar items for, and more importantly, what people are bidding. You can also see what items have sold recently and how much they went for giving you an idea of realistic pricing.

These simple tips can actually help to create a much better and viable listing for your goods. Good luck in the marketplace.

Finding The Best Deals On Tools

torx-272866_960_720If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person, then you aren’t one to shy away from a challenge. You get in there and tackle problems yourself. Many people do things themselves as they like the activity of it and get a sense of enjoyment from the accomplishment. Others do it as a way to save money. In any case, doing things oneself usually results in an end product that is cheaper than buying something outright.

But DIY has limitations. One is the skill level of the one doing it, and the second are the tools to hand. Truly, if one does not have the right tools for the job, then one will not get as good a result. So in the interest of saving money, let’s look at some ways to get tools on the cheap.

First, check out garage sales and flea markets. You can sometimes find people selling hand and power tools for a discounted price. Certain types of tools usually stay in good condition over the years so it is safe to buy them used.

Ft. Lauderdale pawn shops are a great place to find power tools as this is an often pawned item. You can find anything from drills to circular saws and angle grinders at your local pawn shop. So hunt around a bit and you should find what you need.

Looking online in places like craigslist in another great way to find the tools you need. You may have to go a bit out of your way, but sometimes the savings are well worth it.

Finally, if you just don’t have the wherewithal to get the needed tools, making friends in the DIY community can help as you may find someone near you with a whole garage of tools they would be willing to let you use.

Add Treasure Hunting Into Your Road Trips

pocket-watch-1637393_960_720One of the most fun parts about going out of town by car is the road trip. Having family or good friends in the car, and then nothing but the highway and conversation and music can make for a really good time. But there is another aspect of the road trip that can also be fun, and is often overlooked. And that is exploring new towns, and the occasional treasure find.

By that I mean stopping at a local flea market or Davie pawn shop and discovering something interesting or valuable that you would otherwise have never come across. This can be a great experience, and also give you a great and unique reminder of the trip itself.

But you need to plan accordingly if you would like to do this. A few things to do are:

  1. Give yourself enough time. If you are on a tight schedule, you won’t be making many stops at all. Just gas and restrooms. Give yourself at least an extra day if possible so that you can make the trip at your leisure. This also takes away from the stress and can make the road trip feel more like a vacation.
  2. Give yourself enough space. If you pack the car to the gills, then you can’t really take anything else along. Dont pack too much or take a bigger car if possible. You never know what you may find that you would like to bring along.

That’s pretty much it. Follow the above two rules, and you too can take advantage of all of the benefits and perks of a road trip. Now hit the road and have a great trip!

Modern Day Treasure Hunting

chest-1657362_960_720When we think of treasure hunting, we probably picture swashbuckling pirates and buccaneers, sailing the seven seas in search of treasure chests. Maybe that was how it used to be (though I doubt it as who on Earth would bury their fortune?) but today, it is very different. In fact, anyone can do it.

Treasure hunting can come in the form of finding valuable items and obtaining them for dirt cheap, ths giving one the ability to resell them for much, much more. These items can be found everywhere, one need only know how to look for them.

If this sound fun for you, then read on as I will explain the entire process in some detail.

First, one heads out to places like garage sales, flea markets, Ft. Lauderdale pawn shops, swap meets, etc. in search of valuable items. This takes a bit of intuition and a good eye, and anything can be valuable, no matter what it is. This is where having a smartphone comes in handy. See an item you aren’t sure about? Research it online and find out its value to see if it is worth a purchase.

Once you find an item you think you can resell for more, try haggling down the price (more profit in the end) and then buy it.

Now all you have to do is clean it up and list it online for sale. If you did all this right, you should be making a bit of profit on each item you sell. The treasure is literally the money in your hands.

While this type of thing certainly isn’t for everyone, those who enjoy it can actually do pretty well for themselves if they can get into the rhythm of it. I actually know people who do this full time as their primary job.

Children And Saving Money

child-817368_960_720One of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences in the world can be parenthood. Seeing and child you raised grow up can be very worthwhile. Unfortunately, this process also is probably one of the most expensive undertakings that most people will experience. If you thought college was expensive, just wait till you start a family!

But there are some ways that the cost of raising children can be offset. If you are willing to follow a few simple tips, then you can save quite a bit of money on some basic expenses.

First off, when it comes to small children and clothes, don’t buy new. Second hand clothes are a much better option as they cost less and your child will outgrow them soon enough anyways. This isn’t like when you invest in a quality winter coat that will last you years to come. Children’s clothes are downright disposable, so buy them used.

Toys are another thing that you can save a lot on. Most small children are easily amused with virtually everything. Rather than buy an expensive video game system for your little one, why not give him your old smartphone, loaded with games? Many toys can also be found secondhand. Things like LEGOs are very costly, but can be found used commonly.

Thrift stores, Ft. Lauderdale pawn shops, and online places like craigslist are great places to find furniture and other furnishings for your child’s room. Pawn shops are especially good if you need to buy them a musical instrument.

So by following the tips above, you can save thousands of dollars over the years. Yes, there will be times when you’ll need or want to get your kid the latest (and most expensive) thing. But for all the rest of the times, you can be frugal so that there is money to go around for the times of splurging and spoiling.

Unwanted Gifts: Making The Most Out Of Them

receipt-1274307_960_720It has happened to us all; either on a birthday, holiday or some other special occasion, we have been gifted something that was either  purchased by someone who knows next to nothing about us,or someone who really couldn’t be bothered to be the least bit thoughtful. Sometimes even, when we have a particular passion or hobby (like our cars or motorcycles), we get gifted the same things by everyone, like a helmet or riding gloves. These unwanted gifts are always received in the same way: a polite smile, and faking that you like it. But the truth couldn’t be further from that. So now you have the problem of needing to tactfully get rid of it.

You could simply throw it out, but let’s be smarter than that. Here’s a few ways to better get rid of those unwanted gifts.

First, if the gift itself isn’t bad, just not something you like, save it in the box as you may have a chance to re-gift it. If someone who hates the outdoors got a set of binoculars they may give them to a birdwatching friend. Just make sure that whoever you give it to isn’t connected to the original giver.

If the item is of any value, then you can sell it. Things like electronics can be resold very easily. But other things are a little more difficult to move. That’s why Hollywood pawn shops exist. Swing by one and see if they will give you anything for it.

If your friend was kind enough to include the receipt, then return it. Get the money and buy yourself something that you actually like. By including the receipt, the giver has essentially given you permission to return the item, so go for it guilt-free.

Now if the item came from a sentimental person who you see frequently, then you may need to keep it around for some time. Just be sure to save the packaging as that will make potential resale much easier.

Getting The Most Out Of A Road Trip

road-220058_960_720One of the best parts of owning a vehicle is getting the chance to take a road trip. whether its for a few weeks or just a day or two, road trips allow us to see new sights, experience new things, and meet interesting people. But to really maximize your experience overall, you need to know and have a few things. So let’s take a look at what those things are in order to give you the best road trip possible.

  1. You are going to want to know your route in advance, and research what cool things lie along that path. You don’t want to end your trip finding out that you skipped over a must-see location. Places like flea markets in Pittsburg and pawn shops in Miami can be interesting visits as you can find some really cool stuff there, especially in different cities and states.
  2. Bring enough money so that you have some cash to spare. Never mind the possibility of an emergency, you may just want some spending money to buy that cool item you saw for sale on the side of the road.
  3. Have a first aid kit handy. As you never know what can happen, you’ll want to be prepared. They don’t take up much space and are worth it.
  4. If possible, don’t bring anyone with you whom you find even mildly annoying. This will only get worse as the miles roll on. Trust me on this one.
  5. Give yourself enough time so that you are not constantly rushing. If you give yourself an extra day on a week long road trip you won’t fret the stops and can have a decent time.

And that’s basically it! Have fun on your next road trip.

Getting a Used ATV

motocross-1283243_960_720When you’re going to buy a used car, usually you’re doing it to save money. But, you need to know how to check out a few things to ensure that you’re not getting ripped off (see our earlier article here). Well, the same exact thing goes for buying a used ATV.

ATVs can be a lot of fun, and since they are by no means a person’s primary method of transportation, you may think that you don’t need to be as careful with checking them out. Well, if you don’t have any problem with potentially wasting money, then sure. But if you want to ensure that you are getting a quality item, then you really can follow most of the steps in our earlier article as many of those points are fully applicable to buying an ATV as well.

But where should you buy this ATV? Well, just like with used cars, you have a few options.

There are plenty of dealerships that offer used ATVs. Usually you can find them with a warranty as it is being guaranteed by the dealership. You’ll still want to check it out for yourself though…

Pawn shops will also often carry ATVs. You’ll probably want to call ahead before going in person as they all don’t have them. Best bet is to call a chain of local pawn shops (like this Hollywood pawn shop chain) and see if any of their locations have an ATV available rather than call dozens one by one.

Finally, search through the classified and find people selling their own older ATVs. You can usually haggle the price a bit when dealing with an individual, but this is where checking out the vehicle yourself comes most into play as you have nowhere to take it back to should something go wrong. These types of private sales are usually final, and once you leave, there is no recourse.

What To Do With Your Old Tools

keys-1380134_960_720If you’re a car guy, then chances are that you’ve amassed quite an impressive tool collection over the years while doing routine and not-so-routine maintenance on your vehicle. Perhaps you have a whole garage full of torque wrenches, spanners, jacks, socket wrenches, drills, etc. So what do you do when you need to get rid of some of them? Maybe you’ve upgraded to newer, better tools or possibly you no longer have the time or effort for all the DIY shenanigans. Well, unless you have someone you want to gift your tool collection to, you’re probably going to want to sell them.

Now, in terms of how much money you’ll get (obviously depending on what kinds of tools you’re selling), the fastest methods for selling will yield you the lowest amount, and the potentially slowest will get you the most. So it all comes down to how fast you want to offload your stuff.

If you’re in a hurry and don’t mind not getting top dollar for your tools, you could simply take them to a pawn shop. Once you’ve cleaned them up some, go on down to a couple of shops and see how much you’re offered and take the best price. You’ll be able to sell your tools in an afternoon.

A more lucrative method would be to post them all on a site like craigslist and try to haggle it out with anyone who calls you. It will take longer but you should be able to get more money.

Lastly, you can list the individual items (particularly the more expensive ones) and see if you can get buyers for them. This will take the longest amount of time but has the possibility to netting you the most cash.

So once you decide on just how much time you’re willing to invest in selling your tools you’ll now know which method will serve you best.

Getting Used Parts Cheap

engine-505489_960_720Sometimes you are in need of a replacement part for your car, or you are trying to make an upgrade. In either case, you’re going to want to get what you need for the lowest possible price. When people typically think of getting cheap parts, they think of after-market ones. And while this can be much less expensive than buying from the manufacturer, there is still a more economical option: buying used parts.

This may send chills down the spine of some car guys (with the risks of getting something broken or with only a little bit of life left in it) but hear me out. You may not want to go used for everything, but there are certainly things that can be bought used with no troubles.

Things like rims, radios, seat belt replacements, car jacks, hitch balls, etc. can all be purchased used with no worries.

So where do you get these used parts? Well, there are a number of places.

Leaving online sites aside (of course you can look online) you can visit a junk yard. If you have some know-how and can tell if a part is good or not, junk yards can be treasure troves for used parts. In some yards you’ll have to extract the parts yourself, but that can be part of the fun (if you’re a tinkerhead).

Pawn shops also have car parts occasionally. As pawn shops in Hollywood will usually accept anything of value they will accept some car parts. Typically things like car radios, speakers, rims, and things that will fit on a multitude of cars. So don’t rule them out when making your search.

How To Check Out A Used Car

car-show-1489322_960_720When you’re in the market for a used car, you can often find a better deal by buying from an individual rather than a dealership. You can sometimes find something nice for hundreds if not thousands of dollars less. The only caveat is that you’re taking on a potential liability in that once you make the sale, you have no guarantees or anywhere to turn if the car isn’t all that it was cracked up to be.

This is why you need to know how to check out a used car before buying. Now, I know what many of you are thinking, and no, you don’t need to be a car expert to be able to tell if there is something wrong with a car.

The people at dmv.org put together a handy guide and checklist for just this sort of thing and I have referenced it here:

Because private sellers are not bound to the same strict oversight as dealerships, you, to protect yourself, must adopt a scrupulous mindset when inspecting a used car of interest. To help you discern if the vehicle is worthy of buying, bring the following items with you for inspecting the vehicle:

  • A notebook and pen for taking notes and recording the vehicle identification number, mileage and asking price
  • Paper towels for checking the engine oil
  • A small flashlight for looking under the car for leaks and corrosion
  • A small magnet for detecting concealed body work
  • A CD for testing the car stereo
  • Inspection checklist (detailed below)
  • If possible, an auto history report

With these tools in hand, run down the following checklist. To make sure you hit everything, print this page and take it with you when conducting your inspection.



Windshield free of cracks
Body panel colors match
Magnet adheres to all steel body panels
Fresh paint job (if yes, it could be to conceal rust)
Seams where the trunk and hood close are properly aligned
Seams where doors and fenders meet are properly aligned
Free of body scratches
Free of body dents
Windshields wipers and blades fully functional
Headlights and directional lights intact and fully functional


Tires are a reputable brand name (Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear)
Tires are all of the same make
Tires are of free of any cuts, bubbles or cracks
Tread worn evenly (uneven wear indicates alignment and suspension problems)
Spare tire, jack and lug wrench on car and fully functional
Spare tire inflated


Free of fluid or oil leaks
Oil filler neck not coated with thick, black deposits
Battery terminals free of corrosion
Oil dip stick free of dark, black oil
Free of odors while engine is running
Exhaust pipe emissions are neither blue (indicates engine burns oil) or black (indicate excessive oil consumption)


Vehicle rests levelly
When bouncing the vehicle’s corners, no creaking noises are made
All corners respond the same when bouncing


Seats unworn and free of cracks
All doors open and close freely
Trunk opens and closes freely
Lacks a heavy scent of air freshener (may indicate something is being concealed)
All gauges work
No dashboard warning lights remain illuminated
Stereo works
Heater works
Air conditioner works
Windshield wipers work
Windshield wiper fluid dispenses properly
All seats equipped with functional seat belts
All seats adjust properly
Power windows operate properly
Sunroof opens and closes properly (if applicable)
Car alarm works (if applicable)
Trunk and driver-side door lock and unlock with key
Hazard lights function properly
Headlights, including brights, work properly


Chassis is neither bent nor cracked
No signs of crumpling or straightening inside the trunk
Frame holes just inside outer edge clean and free of scratches

Automatic Transmission

Transmission fluid looks clean, not dirty or gritty (no indicates possible internal transmission problem)
Transmission neither slips nor delays when driving

Manual or Standard Transmission

Each gear shifts smoothly
No grinding noises when in reverse


Vehicle steers straight and does not pull to one side when applying brakes
Parking brake engages and disengages freely

No grinding noises when applying
Wheels do not lock when applying antilock brakes (if applicable)


Vehicle does not drift to one side without prodding
Vehicle is stable; no shaking or vibrating
No resistance in the steering wheel when turning
No clicking or clunking when turning


Car manual located in the glove compartment
Instructions included for any accessories
Service and repair records available
Owner has title

Other Insights

  • Walk away if the seller objects to your inspection
  • Don’t feel rushed while inspecting
  • Try to get a mechanic to assess checklist results
  • Use any flaws against the asking price


So whether you’re buying the car from an individual, auction, pawn shop (yes, they do often have used cars: http://uspawnjewelry.com/#!featured-items/ncs0q), be sure to thoroughly check out what you’re buying.

Getting Rid of an RV

motorhomes-1206520_960_720An RV can be a real treat. The ability to go cross country and have some of the comforts of home with you sure is nice. But there eventually comes a time when you need to get rid of the old RV. Either because you’re planning on getting a newer model (upgrade) or because you’ve seen your fill of the countryside and no longer have a need for it. In any case, you’re going to want to get the best price possible for it. But selling an RV is a bit strange, it’s not exactly like selling a car, is it? Well, yes and no. There are a few things you’re going to want to do.

First, CLEAN THE THING! Just like when you’re going to sell a car, you clean its interior. Same goes here, but you’ll have a lot more work to do. Leave that thing spotless.

Next, ensure that everything is in working order. There are some additional systems that some RVs have, like electrical and plumbing and you’ll want to make sure that they work. If not, you’ll either have to fix them, or let any potential buyer know about them.

Finally, we come to where you’re going to sell the thing. You have a few options:

  1. Sell to an individual buyer by listing it on sites like craigslist or ebay.
  2. Take it to a dealership and see what you can get for it.
  3. See if a local pawn shop would be interested.
  4. Check with any friends to see if they are interesting in buying an RV

Those are your options. Typically the first one would yield you the most money. The dealership may be good if you are upgrading to a new one.


What To Do When You’re Done Riding

vintage-1283299_960_720There will sometimes come a moment in a motorcycle enthusiast’s life when they consider giving up the pastime. There are various reasons for this. Maybe you just don’t have the time anymore. Maybe you don’t feel it’s worth having to maintain a bike, and if you want a ride, you’ll just rent one. Or perhaps you no longer feel it wise to risk your well-being anymore (depending on what kind of riding you’ve been up to).

No matter the reason, should you decide to throw in the towel, you now need to figure out what you’re going to do with your riding gear and bike. The best options are:

Give it to a friend. If there’s someone you know that would like your stuff (and who you trust to be responsible with it), giving (or selling cheaply) to a friend may be the best option. This is especially good if you have any sentimental value attached to the stuff.

If you just don’t want the bike anymore but still plan on riding in the future, you may still give/sell it to a friend, but just posing an ad online should do the trick if you want to get a bit more money for it. Motorcycles get bought and sold all the time, and there’s always someone out there looking for a sued bike.

If you’re completely done with riding, you can sell the bake as in the above, but then you’ll need to get rid of your riding gear too. Maybe you can throw it in with the bike to make a few bucks more, but if the buyer doesn’t want it, you can always take the rest to a local pawn shop (http://uspawnjewelry.com/#!pawn-it—sell-it/cee5)so make the last few dollars and be done with the whole thing.

Setting Up For A Tailgate Party

tailgateOne of the advantages to being a truck owner is that you have the ability to bring along enough stuff to make for a totally awesome tailgate party. The bed space can easily fit a grill, but what else should you bring with you? And, how can you acquire these things without breaking the bank? After all, your money should mostly go to getting food! So let’s take a look at the items needed for a successful tailgate party.

First, you’ll obviously need the grill. You probably already have one, but if you don’t, a small grill can be purchased for a reasonable amount without the need to look for sales and deals. It should be one that uses propane as plain charcoal can take a long time (and even a propane grill can be used with charcoal if you want).

Next you’ll need a stereo. Don’t try to get away with using the speakers in your truck as that makes the sound a little off from certain angles. Instead, a little boom box action will get the mood set right. If you don’t have one, a used unit will work great and you can find them in Hollywood pawn shops anywhere.

A cooler is also a must as you’ll need somewhere to keep all your food. The larger the better, and styrofoam ones can be purchased for not very much money.

Lastly, you’ll need some toys to keep people occupied and having fun while the grilling is going on. Things like beach balls, footballs, frisbees, etc. will give your tailgate guests something to have fun with. So stock up and have those ready.

Lastly (and optionally) a TV would be fun to have. But carrying a TV around is a bit impractical. The solution is to get a portable projector. You can easily get a screen setup pretty much anywhere (careful with wind) and be ready to relax and watch a game.

Always Keep an Automotive Tool Set Handy

When you’re on the road, you’re at the mercy of your vehicle. Should you encounter a problem, it’s important to know what to do to fix it so that you can get going again. Just as important, you need to have the right tools to hand. This is why every truck owner should always have a set of automotive tools in their truck.

Think about it. Something as simple as needing to change a tire would be impossible without the proper tools. So for any roadside repairs, you need the right gear.

Here’s a little info about the proper tools you should carry:

You can get these tools from any hardware or automotive store. If you’re looking to get them for cheap, you can even try a pawn shop like this one: http://www.uspawnjewelry.com/#!uspawn-3—ft-lauderdale/apvuc

Don’t get caught off guard. Keep an emergency tool kit with you everywhere you go.

Selling An Old Truck

94-nissan-hardbodyThere finally comes a time when you need to law down your iron steed of old, and yield to the new. When the sun finally sets on your truck of yesteryear, and rises for a shiny new one with more bells and whistles than you ever before had. I’m of course talking about upgrading from your old truck to a new one. This can be a very exciting (and sometimes bittersweet) time. But now you need to decide what to do with the old truck. Well, this would depend on the condition.

Seriously Messed Up

If your truck is constantly breaking down, has cosmetic damage and will need thousands of dollars to fix, you may just want to junk it. You may be able to get a few hundred dollars for the truck. Now, you could try selling individual parts (provided there is a market for them) and then junk the remainder as that will yield you a bit more money. But it’s really up to you.

Not Too Bad

If your truck is still in running condition, with some cosmetic faults and some minor repairs on the horizon, then selling it is the way to go. Now, if you’re trying to sell it quickly, you have two options. You can put it up for sale at a really low price or you can just take it to a pawn shop. In either case, you’re not going to get a huge sum of money, but you’re walking out with some, quick. I did this at a pawn shop Hollywood based, and got a decent deal for my old F-150.

Good Condition

Sell that bad boy. Take your time. Do some research and sell it for as much as you can to offset the cost of the upgrade. Leave yourself some haggling room on the listing price.

Making The Most Of The Truck You Have

orange-67-chevyWe’ve all been at this point somewhere along the line (and if not yet, will be eventually): you get out of your truck at either a parking lot, campground or work site, and you see a newer, flashier, more powerful truck than yours. You stare back at you own iron steed and it lacks the polish of years past. No longer does it turn heads nor act as a symbol of raw power. It’s just another truck on the road. You remember the good times you’ve had with it and the work it’s helped you accomplish and you go on with you day. But the slight sting is still there: your old truck isn’t what it used to be.

Well, there’s plenty of ways that you can make an older truck feel like new again. Some ways are purely cosmetic, but they can help to make that old truck exciting again.

  1. Get a new radio. If your truck is over 5 years old, then chances are that it could use some upgrades in the radio department. Maybe it doesn’t connect to your phone, or maybe it still rocks a CD player, but no aux jack. Radio upgrades can really help to bring your truck up into modern times.
  2. New seat covers and floor mats. This may sound tacky at first, but only if you get tacky stuff. Floor mats ought to be replaced after a while and the seats may have seen better days. This helps to greatly improve the image of the interior of the truck.
  3. Something goofy but fun. I’m talking about anything that can bring a smile to your face. Whether it’s a funny hood ornament, decals, lights for your rims, anything. Give you truck a little bit of flash and it will make you feel good when you see it.

These items can be gotten relatively cheaply. You can even find some of these in a pawn shop in Hollywood.

Do You Really Need A Truck?

monster-wheels-pickup-truckI’m going to confess a pet peeve of mine. Every time I go out onto the road and see a large, heavy-duty pickup truck in completely pristine order, without a scratch on it, my blood boils a little bit. Now, there’s nothing wrong with taking care of your stuff and keeping a nice looking car. But in my belief, no pickup truck should ever be that pristine unless it’s brand new. Pickup trucks are meant to be working trucks, or at least be used for hauling heavy stuff. Not for pleasure rides around the beach with a completely empty bed.

This brings me the the point of this article: do some people even really need a truck? Well, there’s a fairly easy and short checklist to go through.

  1. Do you plan on using it for work? If you do any sort of construction, or work with heavy equipment or lots of tools, then yes, get a truck.
  2. Do you buy and sell a lot of goods? If you’ve got loads of stuff to carry around frequently, then yes, get a truck.
  3. Do you go camping or engage in outdoors-type recreation somewhat frequently? A truck could be your best friend. Get one!
  4. Do you work in an office and only haul the groceries? No, a truck isn’t for you.
  5. Are you trying to seem more manly by driving a truck? No, get a sports car. Good luck with your mid-life crisis.

See? Simple!

However, there are some who could make use of a truck every now and then. Maybe you’re a housewife who likes to go antiquing, or possibly you’re that guy that everyone asks to help move. In either case, a truck would be useful, but not an everyday item. You may consider getting a small, used truck just for these things. No sense in spending a lot of money on a brand-new one when you’ll only used it every so often. Check local listings for trucks for sale. Some used car lots may have a good deal. You can sometimes even find small trucks at a Hollywood pawn shop.

Motorcycle Riding Safety

Any experienced motorcyclist will tell you that the biggest danger on  the road isn’t weather conditions, debris, or even tricky turns and curves. It’s actually other drivers. As a motorcyclist, you are significantly less visible than cars on the road, and a cursory glance at a side mirror by a driver may not reveal your position to them, and this can sometimes result in catastrophe. To help you stay safe, here’s a few tips for staying alive on the road.

First, stay the heck out of blind spots. If you don’t already know blind spots are located on the sides of a car. On the driver side, somewhere around the read door and a bit further back. On the passenger side, from the trunk on back a bit. While many modern cars have sensors that will tell the driver if something is there, you don’t want to rely on that alone, so best to stay out of there. Remember, on trucks that spot is bigger.

Next, if you’re riding at night, wear visible clothing. I know that there is a certain attire that is desired, but maintaining visibility is more important. Also make sure that your bike’s lights and fixtures are operational and clean (toothpaste cleans the light casing surprisingly well).

You’ll also want to have some emergency reflectors and road flares. Needing to stop and make repairs on your bike sometimes needs to be done on the side of a road, and if it’s night time, you’ll need to stay visible. All that extra gear may require that you get a storage pouch, and you can usually find one at a pawn shop Miami for pretty cheap.

Taking the time to observe safety and keep up awareness of the drivers around you can go a long way towards keeping you on the road.

Needed Supplies for Off-Road Adventures

SUVSo you’ve got yourself a nice truck or SUV and have decided that you want to take it off road for a weekend. Maybe you want to go somewhere remote and away from it all. This can make for a really fun weekend getaway, but you need to remember to pack a few essentials.

I’m talking about more than just a spare tire. If you are going to be far from civilization then you need to be prepared. So here are a few items that you’d be wise to bring along.

First are your tools. This may seem like a no-brainer but some people actually forget them. This can make a simple repair impossible and can leave you stranded. So keep a basic tool kit in your truck at all times.

A spare tire should go workout saying but don’t forget a patch or plug kit. When going off road, you face the risk of multiple punctures so one spare may not be enough. Along with that needs to be a means of filling your tires. There are portable air pumps that can plug into your lighter adapter to make filling the tire easy and fast.

Finally, you’ll want to make sure that you have a phone with lots of battery power that will get a signal in the area where you will be. In the event of a real emergency you’ll need to be able to call for help. While a first aid kit can help, a serious injury will need real medical attention fast.

The good news is that most of these items can be gotten quite cheaply and often second hand. You can check out thrift stores, pawn shops, garage sales, etc and often find everything you need for very little money.

Inexpensive Upgrades To Your Car Stereo

man-driving-a-modern-carWe all know that the driving experience is made up of lots of different elements. It’s not only about how fast the car or truck can accelerate, or how tight the handling is. It’s also about the comfort of the interior, the little extra features, etc. Not to mention, the quality of the music listening experience.

The car radio system is a big part of the whole picture, and actually, nothing can make an older car feel like new like a stereo upgrade. Where one could only listen to AM, FM and possibly a cassette or CD, now one can integrate their smartphone, use an MP3 player, and other modern features. There are lots of little gadgets that you can get to augment your current system to include these features (like FM transmitters and cassette converters), but they lack the polish and quality of an actual stereo upgrade.

Unfortunately, stereos can be a bit on the expensive side. Getting a used one would actually be a good idea as these items are not subject to all that much wear and tear and can typically be found in good condition.

A great place to pick one up is actually a local pawn shop (like this pawn shop in Ft. Lauderdale). That’s exactly what I did. I checked into a few nearby Hollywood pawn shops and before long came out with a relatively nice stereo upgrade for my truck for less that $100. Installation will vary depending on your car and the stereo you get, but all in all, if you’re a tinkerer, then you’ll have no problems getting the sucker installed and rolling.

This really made me feel like I was in a new car. Add to this a thorough interior cleaning and it was a whole new experience. I strongly recommend that anyone looking to add a little new life to their current ride upgrade their stereo.

Customizing Your Ride

sports-carSometimes, having a nice ride, be it a motorcycle or car, is good enough. Rising around town worth the stock model floats your boat and that’s that. But maybe that isn’t enough. Adding a little bit of personalization is a great way to make your ride unique and feel fresh. This is why there is a huge market for aftermarket parts and accessories. But the unfortunate truth it’s that these things can cost a small fortune. And depending on your financial situation, you may be trying to save as much cash as you can. So this is why it’s good to know a few ways to find customizing items on the cheap.

Now, of course you can find things online. That’s a given nowadays. But if you prefer a more traditional approach, then try these suggestions:

Pawn shops are great, especially for motorcycle gear and parts. People will often pawn their bike great in a moment of need so this type of stuff will frequently be found in local Miami pawn shops. There are usually be done good deals to be had.

You may also consider checking out garage sales. While this one is more of a hit or miss, you can sometimes get lucky.

Car shows and bike shows are great because your can often get free stuff through contests or giveaways. There will be lots of vendors and they will usually have things on sale as part of their promotional efforts.

Finally, you could check out a flea market. There’s loads of odds and ends at those things and chances are someone will have something you are looking for.

What To Do With Your Old Bike

You’ve been riding for some time now, and as usual, you’ve upgraded your equipment with the passing years. Better helmets, better protection, and even a better bike. Now the questions is of what to do with your old one.

The usual thought is to sell it. But maybe that’s not the best option for you. Maybe this bike has some sentimental value. Well, in that case, there’s a few other options.

If you have a son or daughter of age, you may want to give it to them, and teach them how to ride. This makes for some great weekends of bonding time. You can ensure that they learn and use proper bike safety and introduce them to a great pastime.

If that’s not a route, then perhaps giving it (or selling) to a friend. Keeping it close somehow feels warmer than just selling the thing away.

But if you have no one to give it to and nowhere to keep it, then you may need to just muster yourself up and sell it. Taking it to a pawn shop (http://www.uspawnjewelry.com/#!faq/mu8qo) may be a good option. Get some cash for it and see how you feel. If you want, you can always just get it back rather than having it be lost to you. This will give you time to make up your mind, and yet not have the bike in front of you (you sentimental softie!).

Hopefully this will be of help for those too sentimental to just sell their first ride. Just remember, there’s nothing wrong with selling it. Each bike has its place and could be seen as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

Getting The Most For Your Spare Parts

old-car-engineIf you’re a car and motorcycle guy like me, then chances are that you probably have a garage full of spare parts. Maybe some of these will be worthless, old pieces of junk, and others may be some choice items. Either way, you’ve decided that it’s time to do a little spring cleaning and get rid of your inventory. While some things may be destined for the trash bin, others could be sold for some profit. So what is the best way to go about doing that?

For starters, you could list your parts on a site like eBay. People are constantly looking for automotive items and if you have a rare or specialty part, you may be likely to find a buyer. This will net you the most money as you will be selling directly to the individual who wants it. Just do a bit of research so you can set a good and fair selling price.

But what if the part isn’t in high demand? Maybe it’s valuable, but just not all that sought-after. You could always pawn it. Pawn shops will buy automotive parts if they believe that they can sell them. Sure, there may not be a huge demand right at the moment, but with a little patience the item could sell for a pretty penny. I went to a pawn shop in Miami near my home and successfully sold a few items that I’d been unable to move myself. I didn’t get as much money for them, but it was better than throwing them out for nothing.

You could also try selling your parts to a junkyard, but this will give you the least amount for your stuff. But if it’s not an items that has sold through the above options, then if you can get anything for them, it’s better than nothing.

Discount Motorcycle Parts

hand-toolsSometimes you need to make some repairs, They could be major, having to do with the engine and it’s various mechanisms, or they could be purely cosmetic. Buying aftermarket parts can be very expensive, and unlike with cars, sometimes you can’t simply go to a junkyard to find a replacement. This means that you need to get creative about where you find parts from.

A good place to start is where you’d go looking for anything: the internet. Auction sites, wholesale sites, and person-to-person sales sites may all be good places to look. You’ll be able to search by the type of part you need and see what’s around.

If that fails, you can always see if a local junkyard has what you’re looking for. The only problem is that they are not usually very convenient in that you’ll need to go down there yourself to see what they have. You may get lucky though, so don’t dismiss this idea just yet.

Pawn shops are also another good possibility. People frequently pawn motorcycles and if the motorcycle isn’t in working condition, you may be able to just buy parts off of it. Usually pawn shops, Like this one at http://www.uspawnjewelry.com/ will have an inventory of what they have, so you can just call and see if they have the type of bike you’re seeking parts for. This way you’re not having to run around town in search of what you need.

Hopefully with the above, you’ll find what’s needed. The part you’re after will usually be available somewhere, but the trick is to find it at the best possible price. With the above, you’ll have a few more options open to you in your search. Good luck and happy fixing!

Finding A Good Deal On Riding Gear

cycle gearAs any motorcycle enthusiast will tell you, it’s not just having a good bike. Sure, that’s the main part, and with that, you’re away. But in real bike culture, you also need to have the gear. Whether you’re the leather jacket type, or the armor bodysuit type aboard a crotch-rocket, you need the right cruising gear and apparel. And it also doesn’t stop at clothing. There’s helmets, gloves and other add-ons for your bike.

Now, if you scraped up every penny you had to get the bike of your dreams (or at least a stepping stone towards it), then you probably aren’t too keen (or able for that matter) to spend a huge amount of money on these additional items. This is where looking for good deals comes into play.

You have your basic options, just as with anything else. You can look online for deals in auctions and sites like craigslist. You’ll probably have some luck there, but another usually untapped resource for finding the right motorcycle gear is the local pawn shop.

The best pawn shops will have a lot of different items, and motorcycles (and gear) are commonly pawned. This means that there is opportunity to score a good bargain on some of this type of stuff. Sure, it’s used, but if you can look past that then you can really save some money.

Having a motorcycle and all the gear to go with it doesn’t need to cost a small fortune. Take advantage of deals wherever you can find them.

Finding Your First Ride

triumph-rocket-3-motorcycleOk, so you’ve decided that you want to get a motorcycle. Maybe it’s because you’ve always wanted one, or perhaps you’d like to try it out for recreational purposes. Or maybe you just like the look of it and want to be a badass. Either way, if you’ve never ridden before, it would be foolish to invest a lot of money on an expensive, brand-new bike. First of all, you may not like it as much as you think you will. Secondly, new riders often have small accidents, so it would be better to start off with a less expensive bike (consider it entry level) so that you can get a feel for riding without fear of damaging a high-end machine. So where do you find a cheap, yet working bike?

The internet is a good place to start. Sites like craigslist.org will yield plenty of used bikes. The only problem is that usually, all sales are final, and if you bought a lemon, you’re stuck with it. However, not all deals are duds, and you can sometimes find a good one amid the rest.

Another good source for used bikes are actually pawn shops. These things get pawned all the times, and you can usually find one in good condition. A good point about pawn shops is that some will offer you a few days to take the bike back if it’s found to not be in working order. Also, there are so many pawn shops (try searching for a Hollywood pawn shop) that you’re bound to find several near to you.