Compu-Tech Intl.

How to Start Selling Anything You Want Online

June 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

When you look around your house and see a lot of things that you’d like to turn into cash, you can either have a yard sale or put your stuff online. The great thing about online selling is that you don’t have to devote your entire weekend to dealing with the yard sale. Instead, you list the items on the appropriate Website (often an online auction site like eBay) and wait for customers to buy.

Online selling is not quite like selling in person, though. You have to deal with many types of fraud. Bad buyers won’t pay you. Your outgoing packages can be lost in the mail (or so the recipient claims). You have to give out personal information — your return address, for example —to strangers. Because of all this, some people think that selling online is not worth the risk. You can, however, safely sell your stuff on the Internet. These tips will help you make some money without worrying about fraud and other problems.

Read about how the selling site works. Before you sign up or list your first item for sale, you should understand how selling and buying work as well as the site’s policies about various types of fraud and dishonesty. You should know what, if any, recourse you have if something goes wrong. And if you read the information that the site posts for your benefit, you will also have a better idea of how to use the site. This will make it easier for you to create listings, view bids, etc.

Always use tracking numbers or other confirmation services when you ship a package. The United States Post Office offers Delivery Confirmation for less than a buck per package. It’s very difficult to claim that the item never showed up when the USPS tracking number gives the delivery day and time. Be honest about the item’s condition, your return policies and any other information you include in the listing. Otherwise, you could end up eating the cost of return-shipping fees, canceled listings and other such things.

Use a third-party payment system. This is good for buyers because they don’t risk giving you their credit-card numbers. Using one of these services is good for you because you don’t have to worry as much about credit-card fraud and other such problems. You should still, however, pay attention to what is happening. If something seems suspicious don’t hesitate to ask questions and investigate before you accept that bid or ship the package to that winner.

Don’t give out your home or work address. Though most of your buyers are innocent, good buyers, you really don’t have to risk giving away your addresses to somebody who isn’t so nice. Instead, use a post office box. Some, like the ones that you can rent at Mailboxes, Inc or The UPS Store, even let you receive courier packages — like UPS shipments—at that address.

You will probably have to give your credit-card or bank-account number to the selling site to cover fees. If this is the case, you should watch your bank statements. Resolve even the slightest discrepancy before it becomes a full-blown case of identity theft.

Before you finalize the sale, check the buyer’s feedback (if applicable). This is a great way to catch scam artists who have already conned other sellers. Not many honest people want to give you more than what you’re asking for your item. A common scam is to offer the seller a higher price if he or she will ship the product overseas. In reality, the seller gets bogus money orders or other fraudulent payments. In many cases, the seller loses the item: many also have to cover the bad money orders.

Using these safeguards — and common sense — will make sure that you have an enjoyable life as an online seller. Protecting yourself from scammers and bad buyers can take some work, but it’s well worth your time. You’ll be able to get some of your unwanted things out of your home and make a little money without devoting your entire weekend to selling.


Connecting an Old LPT Printer or Scanner to a USB port

June 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Many buyers of new computers think that they have to abandon their old hardware as soon as that new printer comes out of the box. But with the right supplies and the right knowledge you can make your old printer work with even the newest computer. In order to re purpose your old printer you will need to purchase a parallel to USB converter cable from your local electronics retailer or Internet shop. These converters are easily available, and they provide an excellent way to make your old printer work with your new computer.

After you have the cable in hand the next step is to connect your old printer cable to the parallel port on the parallel to USB converter cable. Make sure that the connection is tight and be sure to tighten the thumbscrews as much as you can. If the connection is not tight the printer may not work. You will next connect the USB part of the parallel to USB converter cable to a free USB port on your computer.

When inserting the cable into the slot make sure it seats securely. If the cable is not seated properly the printer may not work. After the cable has been connected to both the printer and the computer, plug the printer in to an available outlet and turn it on. As the printer warms up keep an eye on the lower right hand side of your computer.

Watch for a “found new hardware” message. That message means that your computer has detected the printer and is attempting to install the proper driver for it. Click on the “Start” button and choose “Printers and Faxes” from the list of options. When the box opens look for your new printer.

If you see the printer listed there it means the computer has already recognized and installed it. If you do not see the printer listed there move on to the next step. Double-click on the “Add Printer” link and choose “Local Printer” from the menu. Be sure that the “Automatically Detect” check box is checked. Your computer will attempt to find and install the printer. If no suitable driver is found you will need to supply it yourself, either on a CD or by downloading the driver from the manufacturer’s website.

That’s about it – in most cases, the old drivers will work and you can continue using your trusty printer with your new PC. Scanners and other LPT devices will work about the same – the only thing you’ll need to get is of course, the USB-LPT adapter.