Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Memorabilia collecting facts

We know some things about you. You are a sports fan. You love sports. You like some sports more than others but you respect all sports. You appreciate “the good old days” but you stay current with every new player that comes along. It’d be safe to assume, now, that you also like collecting everything that is related to the sport you follow the most. Here are some things to think about regarding your sports memorabilia activity:

Which one is worth the most?
Even the oldest and most avid sports memorabilia collectors won’t be able to answer that question about their own collection! There are those items that are worth a lot of money right now because they’re from players that are very famous, or from very successful particular seasons. But even that does not answer your question because emerging players can become famous overnight; and the things you were considering buying before but didn’t (an autographed t-shirt or baseball, uniforms, etc), because the player wasn’t “successful enough”, can now cost twice as much. So, keep an eye on those players with the most potential that may not be appreciated at this point. 

Hidden treasures
If you started your collection or are planning on starting now, you can probably think of a lot of places where to buy memorabilia that will be valuable in a few years. How about finding pieces that already have a lot of value but may be overlooked? You can browse around every state or auction sale available. The family members may not even care about those things and may not even know the correct worth of the piece. Every kind of sale for that matter, yard, sidewalk, garage sales even. But auction and state sales will most definitely guarantee that the piece was kept in mint conditions.

Dealers will pay attention to you
It’s always recommended to deal with reputable dealers that you can trust. If you build yourself as a known collector and deal with them in a regular basis, they will keep an eye on you and your collections and will most definitely reach you with potential clients.

Is it a hobby or is it an investment?
If you collect as a hobby, you may find difficult to part with some particular memorabilia that may hold emotional meaning to you. However, if you are looking to make profits and expand your collection as well as your gains, you need to let go of a few pieces and get new ones in order to keep the flow going and still appear as an active collector. The best way to do this for it to be easier for you to part with them is maintaining a mix between the items that you buy that are special to you, and the ones you buy because you see potential. That will keep the cycle going and you can make more rational decisions with your own items.

Why buying sports equipment online is the way to go

You decided that is time to start exercising. You’ve promised this to yourself several times over the last few weeks, months…years? And now that you found your wind to do it, you can’t decide whether to do it online or go to the actual store.
We think that buying online is the way to go for many reasons. Maybe you are not used to it yet, but once you realize the advantages you’ll buy everything you can online.

A store has a limited stock available at the one time.
When you buy online, even though they do handle stock as well, they have more ways of finding the equipment and shipping it to you at once. Say you go to an actual store. You drive all the way there, to talk to a real person (sometimes that’s all that someone is looking to find as an advantage, and we get it!) but it turns out that the precise equipment that you were looking for is out of stock. They can order it, sure, but sometimes that whole process takes much more time. They need to have it shipped to the actual store to process it for stock and then send it to you. You thought that going to the store would guarantee that you would walk out of there with something in your hands. That’s may not always be the case.

Narrowing the search
As far as sports equipment goes, there’s so much to choose from. Say you walk into a huge mega-store, it can be overwhelming, right? You first need to find the right section, and once you’re there, even in your category of sports, you can’t really decide. Forget even about having someone trying to help you!
Shopping online lets you narrow your search according to price range, type of product, brands, features, you name it!

Comparing products
You have to do your research first and know what you need. Once you know that, a website will let you easily compare the products. You may prioritize brands, prices, sizes, guarantees. You will be more able to find what’s right for you.

Real stories from real people
Sure, a salesperson can tell you what they know about the product, they may have even used it themselves. But have they used every brand? Every type? A common practice in online shopping (and a great feature) is customer’s reviews. Most sites will ask customers to write a review, rank the product according to their experience with it. Most users will do it out of habit from buying online. If you found that the reviews helped you in your choice, you might as well give a little back. It’s sort of a way to help each other out.

I want to know all about it!
A salesperson can be quite knowledgeable, and it may make you feel more comfortable. However, there’s only so much that they can learn about each product, right? Online sites give you the full information, because it’s nobody’s job to memorize anything, it’s only up to you to read it to further know about the product you’re looking for.

We’re big on buying online and think that those reasons are more than enough to not even get the car out of the garage. It’s much better to buy from home than to pay for gas money since you’re already paying for the internet bill!

Advices before you buy the RV that’s good for you!

First of all, you need to know what you want and need from this RV. Only then you can start your search.

The buy
If you’re considering buying it online, make sure you can contact the actual seller in order to ask them as many questions as you can think of and for photos of the vehicle. Is it ever been in an wreck? Why did they decide to sell the RV? Has it been well maintained? Can they guarantee their answers?
Using your e-mail, nobody can back out from something they wrote!
If you buy locally, carry with you this list of questions and specifications, you’ll look like you absolutely know what you’re talking about. The salesperson will think that you know your stuff! We know you do…

Pretty both inside and out
Tap around with your fingers to see if you can feel if there has been any filling that you haven’t been informed of. Look on the roof for caulking around the air conditioner. Check the windows, do they show any cracks? How about the benders? any rust?
On the inside, look for leaks or water damage. If you can spot stains ask if something was spilled or if it’s plumbing problem. How about the walls? Is the laminate rippled or separating? Check the appliances to see if the work properly. Look under the seats of the dining table.

The perks
You should have your “expert” list with you and see if you can find all the features that you were looking for: awnings, kitchen supplies and extras, types of stereos, among others.

Check if the Grey Water Cap and the Black Water cap, neither of them should leak.

Start your engines
It’s no different than a regular car, you want to check engine, transmission, brakes, tires, electrical; but for a motorhome, also check the drive train, and the water supply and plumbing systems.

What’s the score??
Rate it according to your needs and don’t panic if the score is low because it may be related to things that you can easily fix and you still want to buy it.

For potential landlords: everything you need to know.

There are many reasons why you can find yourself in the situation of being able to rent out a property. Maybe you need to move to a new house and don’t want to get rid of the previous one; maybe a relative left you a property as inheritance; perhaps you bought a house as an investment opportunity. A lot of people would love to have a house to rent and make some profit, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. There are a few things to take into account:

Are you fit to be a landlord?
It may seem easy, but not everybody is ready to take in the responsibility and the time that being a landlord takes. You need to be able to deal with people that in most of the cases will reach you with a problem. You have to be able to answer quickly and figure out how to solve it. If you have a job and do this on the side, there will come a time when you’ll be overwhelmed by the situation.
You may run into not-so-good tenants and you have to be ready to evict them if you must. Of course that a lot of things have to happen before you reach to this point. But, it’s not easy to deal with people that may or may not be homeless after your decision.
If you don’t see yourself in this position, consider hiring professional help. They are used to dealing with issues on a daily basis and that is their job!

The house is in order
Before even putting the house on the market, you need to make sure that everything is perfect as far as the plumbing, the wiring and the appliances. Everything needs to be completely safe.
Develop relationships with electricians, plumbers, carpenters; you will need to be in touch and in good terms with them throughout all of your renting experience.

It all comes down to money
Having a house for rent will cost you money in different stages. First of all, getting it ready and safe for people to move in. Then, all the maintenance that goes into it. Sure, some months you may not have to fix anything, but some other months you may have to make big changes. So make an estimate in your head to keep in hand.
Now, it’s time to know how much you’re going to charge for the space. A way to do this is to check for online classified ads and compare spaces, what they offer and what they charge themselves. Maybe you want to charge more, but keep it in competitive figures. If a person wants to rent, they will have done their research so they know where the market is at.

Screening out
You may think you don’t need this and that you can tell just by looking at a person to see if they’re good or not. Don’t let that fool you. You have to set screening policies, have them in a written form and most importantly, stick to them no matter what.
First things first, get the credit check. This may mean an extra expense on both parts, but it’s a necessary one. Let your potential tenants if you intend to run a credit check and have them agree on it in writing.
A way of taking care of yourself is to get an application form as thorough as possible: credit, references, full name and information, previous landlords (that can eventually give you better references, however, don’t just call the previous one, make sure to dig a little deeper).

Law facts
Although you need to have screening policies, you have to treat everybody equally. If you don’t, you will most definitely encounter some problems ahead.
You have rights and so do your tenants, so check for laws. Some states favor one more than the other, but there are some basic guidelines that everybody share.

If the money that you’ll get from this is more than the money you’ll put in, it’s a good way of keeping the property’s value and to make money for yourself.

Picking a pet: Dog vs Cats

Maybe you found yourself needing some animal life in your apartment, something to lighten up the mood. Cats and dogs seem to be the go-to pet. But, if you’ve had neither of them, how do you choose? Well, we’ve done some research and there are some good differences to take into account:

Faster than the speed of sound!
Well, there’s a reason why people go to dog races and not to cat races. Greyhounds are known for reaching up to 40 miles per hour and don’t need to speed down when turning. A funny fact is that the animals that usually run faster are those that have small guts, heads and light limbs. It would be good to have more cats tested for speed, but they usually can’t be persuaded to run around a track, though they have been known to reach as much as 30 miles per hour.

Long live the king
Pets are very often so well maintained and pampered that they are the kings of the house.
Both species have factors that determine the average of years that they live. For dogs, it depends mostly on the size and breed. Larger sized breeds tend to live much less than smaller breeds. A mastiff is considered old by the time it’s 9 years old, while miniature poodles can live 15 years, even more if they’re mongrel.
For cats, it will depend on the environment. Some indoor cats have been known to live 18 to 20 years. Outdoor cats might average between 13 and 14 years.

Who’s the smart cookie
A dog is known to be able to learn up to 165 words, while cats go by somewhere around 35 words. Among the smartest breeds you can find: german shepherds, golden retrievers, border collies and poodles.
The fact that cats are more independent and natural loners actually makes this point valid. Creatures that have a complex social life are known to be considerably brighter.

Hunting material
This might be a shock but although the dog is the one that is famous for being a common fixture in hunting trips, cats are the ones that are better at the actual hunt. When dogs are finally met with the prey, they might not know what to do with it; but cats, however, will most definitely go for the kill. They have a larger ability to focus on the task.

Wake up and smell the coffee
Cats have up to 80 million olfactory receptors to detect smells. An average dog, however, holds up to 300 million receptors. That’s why they are used to detect illegal drugs, gas leaks, and even help in the search for missing persons.

So, it will entirely depend on what you’re looking for in a pet. Maybe before looking for one, you can try going to animal shelters, they will most of the time let you hang out with the cats and dogs so you can make a better choice. 

Adult’s first approach to playing instruments

Some say that it’s much easier for kids to learn how to play an instrument. Sure, their brain in a sponge and they can do it faster, but if you’re not one of those folks who had to spend every afternoon after school practicing your violin, dreading the practice, this is your chance. Think of the advantages that you have at this age, you manage your own time, you’re more focused and you know the kind of music you like the most. Here are a few tips on choosing the right instrument.

That’s my song!
By now you know what kind of music you like the most and you weren’t lured into any specific kind of instrument just because it was somebody else’s dream. Though earning to play an instrument is a beautiful thing any time, it seems much better to relate it to something that you really like. If you like classical music, a ukulele might not be the way to go. Many instruments are more versatile than others.

Size matters
Sorry to crush your dreams, but, you need to think of your surroundings. Do you have a good space to practice? Do you live with roomates? Do you live in an apartment building? Do you live in the middle of a prarie? Answering that question will make you decide between a tambourine or bagpipes.
Another thing to consider is the physical limitations you may have. Think about lung capacity; about being able to lift heavy instruments (such as a bass); a tricky elbow would torture you to play the trombone; neck pains will be awful with a violin.

Money issues
Among the wide variety of instruments available, there are price ranges within as well. You can find a guitar for as little as $50 and you can also buy it for thousands of dollars. Some instruments that are more rare are maybe harder to find because they may not be imported to your local music store, but you can always have it shipped.
Also, depending on the instrument, it’ll be easier or more difficult to find a proper instructor. You can find someone to teach you how to play the guitar around the corner, but playing the didgeridoo? That’s a whole other thing! Distance and difficulty to find a teacher will make it more expensive.

Putting in the time
You are an adult, you manage your own time. But you also work and have other activities that consume your time. An instrument takes a lot of practice but it will depend on how good a player you intend to become. Excellent? Adecuate? Just have fun? If you don’t really have a lot of time to put into learning how to play that much, consider rhythm instruments, they might require a bit less from you.

Singing in the rain
If you want to play and sing all at once, you should consider the classical instruments such as guitar and piano. Both instruments give you a fullness and larger range of sound that will go well with human voice.

How-to guide for buying a used motorcycle

You’ve wanted a bike you’re whole life and the time has come. However, don’t let all those years of wishing and wanting, cloud your vision. You need to figure out what kind of bike you want, what you look for in a bike, what you’re going to use it for, among others. On top of that, if you’re buying a used bike, the whole thing needs to be further prepared. Here are some advices and things to keep in mind when buying a used motorcycle.

Prep yourself and do some research
Figure out what kind of bike you want, read about it in magazines and online. Participate in forums and clear any doubts and questions you may have. Bikers keep a friendly community, they help each other out. They share the love for bikes!
Some brands of bikes might have specific problems. Research if there’s anything that some particular problems that a certain batch of bikes might have had. For example, some Hondas had problems with their lubrication system.

How much are you willing to spend?
You might buy a bike from a regular Joe, but you may also want to do it through a dealership. The thing to take into account about the second option is that dealerships take used bikes as part of the payment and maybe do a little bit of work on them, but sometimes they put no work at all in order to make a bigger profit. The bike might look perfect but it’s up to you to really look at it and see if there’s anything (at least fairly obviously) wrong with it.

Before the actual appointment
  • ·       It’s advisable to bring along someone that is bike-savvy (that is if you personally are not). They might be able to tell you things you might be overlooking.
  • ·         Bring the pertinent gear. The owner might be able to let you take the bike for a test drive. Safety first! Bring or borrow a helmet.
  • ·         Ask the owner to have the bike “cold”. Basically it means not to have it pre-warmed. You want to test how long it will take to actually start, especially when it’s cold.

Face to face with the bike
Not to be superficial, but appearances do matter! If you are looking for a used bike, the outside will tell you a whole lot about the bike’s history.
First, the fastest and obvious step is to check for cracks and scratches. Then you have to move along to see how things “feel”. Are things sort of loose? This might be a sign of a crash.
Stand in front of the bike from a distance and check for symmetry. If things don’t look quite symmetrical (mirrors, turn signals) it might be a sign for a crash or a hard fall on its side.
Ask the owner if they did the service checks as advised by the manufacturer. If they did, they should be able to show you receipts with dates.
If you don’t feel quite comfortable just yet, it’s not completely crazy to ask the owner for a mechanical check at your expense. They may not want to go through all of this but then again, you’re the one who has to feel comfortable with the buy.
If you do end up buying the bike, make sure you take everything with you the first time. Coming back to the seller for spare parts they may have, set of keys and user’s manuals might be a pain!

An engagement ring you can afford

We definitely live by what was shown to us in movies and fairy tales. Even after life has shown us differently over the years and our own experiences, we still want that “and they lived happily ever after”! Don’t we? We picture ourselves in the big moments in life like the princes and princesses in the books. Well, hear me out now, I don’t ever see Prince Charming trying to make ends meet and pay for rent, groceries, and juggling with tons of bills. He just shows up with that little velvet case and sweeps the princess off her feet with a gigantic engagement ring. We never really see what the actual marriage looks like after that, so we can’t really rest assure that a big diamond ring guarantees a better life, can we?

The idea of the purchase
There’s the general notion, when it comes to these sorts of events, that what you should spend on an engagement ring is the equivalent of two month’s salary. Of course that the people that came up with this number is the same people who run the diamond and jewelry industry and who are the only ones that will profit from the purchase. They don’t take into account that this decision -they might call it investment and to a certain extent, let’s face it, it is! –needs to be measured against other expenses that are most real in your life.

The reality of the purchase
You might want to (and are willing to) spend two month’s salary or even more in an engagement ring, and you are absolutely free to do it. However, when it comes to budgeting and thinking this through affordable terms, ask yourself: a) will using cash to buy the ring mean to eventually live on an uncomfortable and binding budget for months? Or b) if you finance it, can you deal with the monthly payments that will now have interest? Will that make the ring considerably much more expensive?

The practicality of the purchase
We’ve established what people think you should spend on a ring, and we’ve made you ask yourself how much you can actually spend on a ring. Now, we need to consider the practical aspects of the purchase in order to give it a more realistic hue.
If you need to find an affordable ring it probably means that you have plenty of more expenses to come across. Getting married usually means starting to save up for a house, for the actual wedding, for the honeymoon. If you choose a cheaper engagement ring, you get that expense out of the way sooner and the both of you can start thinking of those possibilities.
How about your fiancée? Do you know what she likes? You might be underestimating her choice in this matter. Some women don’t pay that much attention to engagement rings and would much prefer to have a fancier wedding band as opposed to the classic simple gold band.

Now that we know that we don’t actually live in a fairy tale and that these decisions take so much more from us than just wishful thinking. Give it some time and think it through. Think of your expenses, what you like, what your fiancée would want, what else you can do with the same money, think it through!

Home Improvement’s "don’ts"

You’ve gone through all the trouble of making renovations and when it’s finally done, you don’t really feel relieved. You ended up with a ton of bills and the home value hasn’t exactly risen. Your expectations grew along with the expenses. Are we right? It may mean that you, without meaning to, made some common mistakes that are related to starting renovations.
Everybody has gotten to a point where they felt overwhelmed by the possibilities and the whole process, so don’t feel alone! Here are some things to avoid for future projects.

Think practically

Personal choices
If you have a personal and particular taste (velvet walls maybe?) that you may not find in every decoration magazine, think it through. Making changes that represent you, may not (and most likely will not) be appreciated by future buyers. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to make your house just as you like it, it just means that you need to think ahead as well.
Also think of fitting in with the rest of the surroundings. Building a super modern house in a colonial house neighborhood may not be the way to go. Again, it’s up to you, but future owners will browse also according to the neighborhood, so if your property has nothing to do with it, it may be overlooked.

Listen to the weather man
You may have dreamed of having a pool since you were a kid, but if you live in a cold or breezy area, it may not be the best idea. You can do it and fulfill your dreams! However, don’t do it if you are expecting it to add value to the property if it’s something that doesn’t really make any sense in the surroundings.

Getting a big picture
Thinking of a whole remodeling project may be overwhelming and you may think that going a little bit at a time is better to keep control. Wrong! The fact of the matter is, if you do this, the whole thing will seem endless because there’s no real schedule to follow and you’re contractors won’t feel comfortable committing to you. Having a big project, or all at once, will give you better dates and it may even lower the costs.

Pretty inside out
If you are making changes to increase the property’s value, don’t just focus on the inside. Heating floors and brand new carpeting may look great, but add some painting on the outside to make it look like a bigger deal. Improving the landscape is a good way to go as well. Remember, first impressions count!

It all comes down to money, doesn’t it?

Don’t make a make-believe budget!
There’s a bargaining feature to the whole process, it’s true. But if you constantly claim that you have no money, that’s how you’ll be treated. And it doesn’t necessarily means that you’ll get the price lowered, it just means you’ll get lower quality and that’s not good.

Don’t play architect
We know that the architect and designer fees can be tough, however, they are necessary. There’s a reason why we don’t do these things ourselves. For one, it’s not our job; but also, they know about norms and regulations that apply to each case (permits, licenses, etc). That alone can save us tons of problems ahead.

Don’t browse for discount contractors
The relationship with the contractor is very important. You need to trust them. So, if they are offering a price that is too good to believe, it may be hiding some sketchiness. 

A quick guide to selling furniture

You may find yourself overloading with furniture at some point or another in your life. It may be related to a bunch of things: you want to move and there’s not enough space where you’re going; maybe you inherited a whole house full of things but that are not really your style; or you may simple want to redecorate. Any reason is good enough to sell some furniture!

What’s my furniture worth? How much do I charge for it?
First you need to determine if what you’re dealing with is modern furniture that you bought a little while ago, or if you have a much more valuable item in your hands.

If you’re more inclined to the second option, ask yourself: is it an antique? (remember that although an -antique- needs to be at least 100 years old, what you have may still be really valuable) Was it made by a famous manufacturer? Have you had it for long? Has it had a lot of use over the years? If you don’t really know the answers to these questions you may want to pay a visit to your local library and hit the books to find similar objects. You’ll be able to determine the approximate date of the furniture. After that, you can check online or in newspaper ads for similar objects and how much is being charged for them.

A problem that you may come across is that people tend to value their objects according to their memories. Take into account that whoever is going to buy that from you doesn’t really care if it has been in your family for many generations. We know it’s difficult to separate those feelings, but you need to keep an objective and realistic view on it.

 How and where to sell my furniture
We think that the best way to sell things is posting classified ads on the internet. If you chose to do this, make sure you add a good picture of the object and as many details as you can. Don’t false advertise. Don’t claim mint conditions if it’s not the case. Only one look at it and the buyer will walk away if the furniture does not live up to the praises in your ad. Be ready to meet with potential buyers and set times that are appropriate for both of you.

However, if you don’t have time for the process of getting in touch with buyers and setting times to see and sell the furniture, the next option is to contact a furniture dealer. They can come and pick it up from your house and do the work for you. Of course that this option will leave you with less money because when pricing it, they will take into account their profit. But it is a good and fast option, though maybe not the most profitable.

Giving and taking a good bargain
As usual, this is a two way street. The buyer wants what you have, and you want to sell them your stuff. So, you need to negotiate the price and meet in the middle. A good bargain is the most exciting part of this business!

Do you know what you need to start your own clothing line?

You love clothes, you have ideas, you love fashion. Perfect! Yet the most important thing you need to have settled before you even start your clothing line is to develop a solid business plan. In order to make this work for both you and your potential customers, there are things you need to take into account.
You hear the word business and immediately think of numbers, right? Well, although creating a plan such as this entails a large amount of number crunching abilities, it is not only that. We will break it into several categories so you can start wrapping your head around it!

Crunching some numbers
Costs: You need to project how much it would cost to get your business going for a whole year. In fashion terms, that would be four seasons. You also have to think of profitability. Are you planning on doing this as a hobby, something that can slowly grow? Or are you planning on making this your sole income?
Fund it yourself or through a bank? : You have to take into account that if you do need to apply for a loan, you might need collateral as proof, and that’s not always an easy matter to come across.
Do you need extra hands? : will you be making the clothing yourself? Do you need employees? If it turns out that the business scale that you are thinking of is a large one, you might find yourself needing help. Will that help be part time or full time? How many hours a week? How much do you have to pay them?
Materials: will you be buying materials from your own country or will you outsource them? Many companies that are overseas tend to have a minimum for the purchase, so consider that beforehand and ask as many questions (and save the replies in written form for guarantee) as you can before you buy the fabrics and materials.

Knowing what’s out there
You need to get your research going. Get to know your competition, their product, what they charge for it. Figure out how much would your particular product retail for. Also think of the eventual wholesale price. Selling in large quantities is something that people don’t always think about.
Think of your target market. Where do they buy clothes? How much do they spend in clothes? How do they find out about what’s new? Do they big name brands or are they more inclined to new independent designers?

Who is that?
You need to figure out a brand. Yet, a brand is so much more than name: is how you portrait yourself, how people see you. You develop a series of values and principles that define you and you have to make sure that they come across to your customers through your brand.
Branding through your name: make sure you pick a name that really represents you. It can work to use your own name. Sometimes it can be a concept, a foreign word even; and then register it for trademark.
Branding through your product: you can add details to your product than can directly be related to your brand in your costumer’s minds. Use a clever label, tag or packaging.
Branding through your logo: you need to choose a font and/or icon that represents you. Think of this very well so you don’t need to change it. This is how you will be recognized at first glance. Make a choice and stick to it.

As far as business plans go, you have plenty to work from! We hope you found it useful and start your clothing line as soon as possible!

How much do you know yourself to buy a car?

We know that the way of picking the car for you doesn’t always respond to logics. Sometimes is more a matter of style, a hunch, a whim; and sometimes you pick a car taking into account every aspect of your life. Do you need practicality? Do you need speed and performance? Do you need a lot of room? Are you a loner? Do you want to save on gas?
We respect the impulse, we do! But if you’re in the rational-choice kind of user, here’s a list of different type of cars that will answer your questions when it’s time to change your ride. The choices rank according to the amount of doors and size.

COUPE/CONVERTIBLE: It sure is a stylish choice. This is the car you see in movies and want for yourself.  This car, however, has only two doors and it tends to be more expensive.

SEDAN: What this car might lack in style (though you can find very beautiful Sedans) it makes up in comfort. Two more doors come in handy when the family grows. Kids enjoy climbing up the seat, but then again, you are the one that has to take them out when they are fast asleep!

HATCHBACKS: The fifth door serves as a trunk but also as a much bigger space for storage or transportation of say, the four legged member of the family, your dog!
It’s the way to go if you need something bigger but don’t want to deal with the environmental issues of an SUV.

STATION WAGON: Sure, it might not be the best-looking of cars, but often times they result better than SUVs in size and performance.

SUV/CROSSOVER: It rises higher than the rest of the cars, which helps as it increases your visibility and it’s also better because the sitting is in a more natural height. You might find it especially useful if you tow often. The only negative side of this kind of car is that is has a low mileage per gallon.

MINIVAN: If you have a big family, a band, or maybe a family that is a band you need a minivan. It fits comfortably up to seven or eight passengers.

You have plenty to choose from, so have these in mind when it’s time to change your ride.

Do you know the difference between a boat and a ship?

Both terms are sometimes wrongly used interchangeably. Yes, they are both watercraft, but the difference lies in size, passenger capacity, where they operate, etc.

The difference between them grew as these watercrafts evolved in history consistent with the increasing transportation and travelling needs. Simple boat usage can be traced, according to recent findings, as far as 40.000 years ago in Australia, though the oldest boats found are from 9.000 years ago. The Egyptians, the English and the Spanish were three of the civilizations that most contributed to the life and evolution of boats and ships. The Royal Navy was paramount in the ban of slaves trading and the maping of the world.

A boat is a watercraft that floats and its main goal is to provide passage across, usually in inland water though sometimes they can run in protected coastal areas. A technical aspect of the difference is that a boat is small enough to fit and be carried in another ship.

A ship can be defined as a large vessel that floats on different bodies of water: lakes, seas and rivers. Traditionally they were considered vessels if they had a tight deck extending from bow to stern.
They can be used for a variety of activities: transportation of people or goods, public safety, entertainment, fishing, and often used in wars.

A way of categorize boats is related to the way that they run:

UNPOWERED: such as rafts and floats that are meant to go one-way.
 HUMAN POWERED:  such as canoes, kayaks, pole-propelled boats, gondolas.
SAILING BOATS: they are propelled by their sails.
MOTORBOATS: they are propelled by mechanical means or engines, either inside the boat, outside the boat, etc.

Ships can be categorized from a different number of criteria:

THE USAGE: such as commercial vessels, naval vessels, fishing Vessels, inland / coastal pleasure.
THE NUMBER OF HULLS: such as monohull, catamaran, timaran.
THE SHAPE AND SIZE: such as dinghy, keelboat, Icebreaker.

Well, now you know the difference between a ship and a boat. So if you’re looking to be a part of the water clan, you are now prepared to act and talk accordingly!

Tips for buying autoparts

Ever get the notion that when you take your car to get fixed you get charged so much more than what you were expecting? Well, you might be. It doesn’t mean that someone is ripping you off, it just means that there’s a middle man that can be removed.
If you have the time or maybe just need to save some money (let’s face it, in this economy, is almost a necessity!) you should buy the part on your own. And maybe, before bringing it to a professional, you might want to venture and install it yourself.

What do I need?
There’s something wrong with your car, but you may not know exactly what that is. Take it to a professional and have them diagnose the problem along with a quote (including the part they will need). Then, before agreeing to it, look for yourself to see if you can find the part for a lower price. Chances are that where you end up buying the part is where your mechanic will go as well. So, why pay extra? You might even learn something while you’re buying the piece.
Make sure that you provide the company all the information that they need, sometimes make, model and year, along with the name of the part, are not enough. You may need to provide engine size, the manufacturer’s part number, the production date, among others. This way you’ll know for sure that you’re not wasting any money buying the wrong part.

Comparing facts
There are obvious things to compare such as price. You have to look for the best price for you. However, there are things that may not go through your head when shopping for auto parts.
  • ·         Shipping: some companies will only ship after a minimal amount of money is spent. Find out if they would cover the expenses if the part is defective and they need to replace it by sending it back. How long will it take for the part to arrive? Do you have to sing for it?
  • ·      Warranty: There are things to consider if you are thinking of installing the part yourself. Some companies will give you a guide and steps to do it properly. If you don’t follow these guidelines, you will most definitely void the warranty.
  • ·    Customer assistance: even if you find the best price, if the company does not have a good customer service, you should better go to the next one, especially if you’re planning on doing the whole thing yourself. You want and need to be able to ask a person about any doubts during the process.

Buying online
Some people like to go to an actual store and feel more comfortable. However, buying online will give you much more options to choose from. In that case, there are things that you should check:
  • ·         Reputation: If you’re used to buying online, you know that every site has a ranking. If it’s a high ranking, this pretty much assures you that you can trust them. Another way of checking for their reputation is to read reviews, either in the site through the customers; or look in different websites to see if you can find them in list of recommended places to buy your auto parts.
  • ·         Protection: It’s difficult to trust enough to put in your credit card information, we know. But, usually sites have ways of assuring you that there’s no funny business. See what they offer to keep you safe.