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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in laterlife 


You can do IT is a regular feature of aimed at trying to help laterlife visitors make the most of Information Technology on or off the web. 

Jackie Sherman who runs the You can do IT Question & Answer section is an IT trainer and author. Jackie has spent her career in education and specialises in teaching IT to adults. Her courses for adults include such topics as MS Office, the Internet, e-mail and basic web page authoring.  

Jackie has also written several books - you can find more details about these by clicking here. Jackie has also been running a course specifically for over 50s.

Via Jackie aims to particularly help those new to IT and the web to build up knowledge and confidence, so no question is too basic. At the same time she will cover Q&As for the more experienced user. 

So if you would like to ask a question of Jackie, why not email her 

Or if you have discovered something which may be of interest to others in making the most of the web, then she would love to hear about that too.

View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers

November 2013

Selling unwanted books online and Buying currency online


Selling unwanted books online

Q:  Where is the best place to sell unwanted books online?

A:  Although you can always sell books on eBay, an alternative place to offer your books is Amazon.  Here are some of the differences between the two sites:

Volume of customers – if you were asked the best site to buy books, I think most of you would say Amazon.  So, for numbers of visitors and potential customers, it is by far the best website for selling books.  BUT, there is more competition from other dealers.  So you may get a better price on eBay if you are lucky and browsers find your book and don't check the prices offered elsewhere before buying.

Listing – on eBay, you must add all the details and photograph of your book yourself.  On Amazon, search for the same book on the website, click the link to "Sell yours here" and you can quickly add your own price and other details to the page of listed books for sale.  Images and basic information will already be provided.

Postage – eBay allows you to set any reasonable price.  Amazon will only pay you £2.31 postage credit (£2.80 minus 49p administrative fee), and so you may be out of pocket if you want to keep the sale price down but the book is heavy.  Another disadvantage of Amazon is that you cannot bundle several books together and offer customers a discount on the overall postage. 

Payment – using eBay, you have to wait for the purchaser to pay you after the listing ends.  Amazon is more professional and you deal with them direct, so they handle the money and send the agreed payment direct to your bank a few days after your book is posted.

Problems – from my experience, Amazon is extremely helpful and easy to contact if you have any problems.  EBay tends to leave you to deal with the purchaser and it can take some time to sort out non-payment or other issues if you end up going through their arbitration system.

Holidays – if you are going to be away for a few days, eBay has auctions lasting 7 – 10 days and you tend to have quite a bit of leeway as long as you keep an eye on when auctions end.  Amazon can send you details of a new customer at any time and will expect you to post the book off within 3 working days.  If you know you are going to be away for more than a few days, the safest approach is to go to your Seller Account and disable it.  Unfortunately, this may lead to an unnecessary loss of sales during your holiday. 


Buying currency online

Q:  Is it safe to buy currency online and get it posted to you at home before a holiday?

A:  Having done this myself several times, I can only say that, if you take sensible precautions, it should be perfectly safe.

  1. Deal with a reputable company, ideally one that is authorised by the FCA.   Many are not covered, but one that is that I have used is Moneycorp and others include ICICI and FairFX.  
  2. Use a credit card and buy more than £100, so you are covered for any loss.
  3. Check exchange rates carefully before buying, as some "special offers" actually offer a lower rate.
  4. Buy more than £500 worth if you want to save delivery charges of £3 - £5.

A very sensible addition is to take a prepaid cash card with you.  It is amazing how many people still use their normal credit card abroad, even though there are huge extra charges and fees when using them at ATMs to take out cash.  Common cards include FairFX, CaxtonFX and Travelex – but read the small print before taking any of these cards out.

With a cash card, you add euros, dollars or £ sterling to the card online before you travel, so you can choose to buy any foreign money at the best rate.  When you are abroad, you can normally use the card for free at an ATM to take out money – in non-eurozone countries, your sterling card will give you the local currency from the machine.

You do NOT use the card like a credit card in restaurants at shops, but need to take out the cash first and then pay with that.  If you think you are going to run out of cash, go online or use your phone to top up.

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