Tuesday, 19 March 2019

21 Cooking Oils Cheat Sheet

There are countless cooking oils to choose from beyond the original canola, vegetable, or olive oil. Especially with all the talk surrounding new oils like coconut and avocado. Oils are great for everything from cooking to getting a healthy boost in your diet.

However, between all the oils, you may wonder which is best for what cooking use? Which oil is healthiest? Consider the following factors next time you grab an oil off the shelf.

Be aware of the smoke point or the temperature and oil can reach before it burns. You can find the smoke point labeled on the bottle. Some oils can handle heat up to 500 degrees and are good for deep frying or high heat cooking. Other oils like hemp or flaxseed oil shouldn’t be heated at all and are best for marinades or sauces.

This leads to the next factor, cooking use. What is your intended use and which flavors are you cooking with? Peanut oil offers a nutty flavor that can handle high heat stir-fries, while hemp seed oil is better as a salad dressing.

To help you find the best cooking oil for the job, Kitchen Cabinet Kings put together a cheat sheet that visualizes 21 cooking oils. Organized from high to no heat, it includes cooking use, smoke point, heart health level, and storage. With this robust cheat sheet, you’ll know exactly which oil to grab for that next recipe.

AirBnB or House Guest Printables

Whether you have a rental property or entertain guests frequently in your own home, there’s nothing more important than making visitors feel welcomed, comfortable, and most importantly, want to come back again. One way to do this is to create a cozy oasis that has those added little touches that remain implanted in guests’ memories for years to come. The Zebra created adorable guest room printables that feature fun, customizable additions like WiFI information cards, welcome notes, house rules, recommendations, and so much more. Print these out and place them about the designated place of stay, and you’ll notice a very positive reaction from future guests.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

What CBD Products Are Available & How Do They Work?

What is CBD? It is one of some 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants, accounting for up to 40% of the plant's extract. As of 2018, preliminary clinical research on cannabidiol included studies of anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain. 

CBD oil has many different benefits and there are a number of amazing products for every type of health and wellness situation you find yourself in. 

Until recently, the best-known compound in cannabis was delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

This is the most active ingredient in marijuana.
Marijuana contains both THC and CBD, and these compounds have different effects.
THC creates a mind-altering "high" when a person smokes it or uses it in cooking. This is because THC breaks down when we apply heat and introduce it into the body.
CBD is different. Unlike THC, it is not psychoactive. This means that CBD does not change a person's state of mind when they use it.
However, CBD does appear to produce significant changes in the body, and some research suggests that it has medical benefits.

How CBD works

All cannabinoids, including CBD, produce effects in the body by attaching to certain receptors.
The human body produces certain cannabinoids on its own. It also has two receptors for cannabinoids, called the CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors.
CB1 receptors are present throughout the body, but many are in the brain.
The CB1 receptors in the brain deal with coordination and movement, pain, emotions, and mood, thinking, appetite, and memories, and other functions. THC attaches to these receptors.
CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. They affect inflammation and pain.
Researchers once believed that CBD attached to these CB2 receptors, but it now appears that CBD does not attach directly to either receptor.
Instead, it seems to direct the body to use more of its own cannabinoids.
CBD can help with:
  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fighting cancer
  • Neurological symptoms and disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Quitting smoking & withdrawals
  • Acne 
  • & much more!
You can get all of these great products to help you with pain management, anti aging and much more:

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Second Annual My Starlight Gown Contest


 Second annual design contest challenges kids and families across America to create winning designs for a new Starlight Gown to bring smiles to hospitalized kids 

Starlight Children’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to creating moments of joy and comfort for hospitalized kids and their families, announced today the return of its award-winning design competition, the ‘My Starlight Gown’ contest. Niagara Cares, the philanthropic arm of Niagara Bottling, has signed on as the official sponsor of the nationwide campaign which is launching this year with a special in-school educational campaign through Scholastic.

“We’re excited to invite America to join us for the second annual My Starlight Gown campaign and help us bring smiles and happiness to hospitalized kids,” said Adam Garone, Chief Executive Officer, Starlight Children’s Foundation. “The contest is fun, easy, and a great activity for kids and families to enjoy in school or around the kitchen table. We’re so grateful for our partnership with Niagara Cares and collaboration with Scholastic which will provide hundreds of thousands of school teachers and children with a fun and meaningful way to learn about philanthropy and support their hospitalized peers.”

 “We look forward to teaming up again and supporting the second My Starlight Gown contest and integrating our local schools with the help of Scholastic,” says Kristen Venick, Director of Niagara Cares. “We’re excited to bring more smiles to faces of hospitalized children while providing school children the opportunity to make a difference.”

 For the second year in a row, kids and families across America are challenged to create and submit an original design for a new Starlight Gown, the revolutionary children’s hospital gowns from Starlight Children’s Foundation that kids love to wear. There are two ways to participate:

  1. Contestants of all ages are encouraged to visit www.starlight.org to download a Starlight Gown template, create an original design and submit it directly to Starlight for consideration.
  2. Separately, children who are currently enrolled or homeschooled in grades 3-8 are invited to participate in a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) classroom-based curriculum created by Scholastic where they will learn about empathy and the importance of giving back to their communities. The lesson plan culminates in an activity to support their hospitalized peers by entering the My Starlight Gown contest at www.scholastic.com/mystarlightgown. For every design submitted to Scholastic by a child currently enrolled in grades 3-8, Niagara Cares will donate a book to a hospitalized child up to a maximum of 7,500 books. 

Design submissions are open now through April 18. Finalists will be announced on May 13 and the public will be invited to vote for their favorites. Winners will be announced on June 12 and receive the opportunity to have their unique design manufactured on a new Starlight Gown for hospitalized children. 

Starlight Gowns replace uncomfortable traditional children’s hospital gowns with ones that are soft and comfortable, tie on the side instead of down the back, and feature brightly colored fun designs that transform kids into their favorite characters. Originally launched in the fall of 2016, the program has already delivered almost 400,000 Starlight Gowns to hospitalized children across the United States thanks to the generosity of corporate partners, like Niagara Cares, and individual donors. 

To learn more about the My Starlight Gown campaign, or to donate a Starlight Gown for just $25, please visit starlight.org


Media Contacts

Chris de Haan, Starlight Children’s Foundation: chris.dehaan@starlight.org213-309-1867
Alejandra Sacio, Starlight Children’s Foundation:alejandra.sacio@starlight.org424-245-3660


Starlight creates moments of joy and comfort for hospitalized kids and their families. For 35 years, Starlight’s programs have positively impacted more than 60 million critically, chronically and terminally ill or injured children in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK. With your help, more kids and their families will enjoy Starlight Xperience, Starlight Gowns, Starlight Fun Centers and other Starlight programs at more than 800 children’s hospitals and other health facilities in the US. You can support Starlight's work by visiting www.starlight.org and by following Starlight on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.


Niagara Cares, a philanthropic arm of Niagara Bottling, is committed to supporting local and national community initiatives serving children and families in need by engaging stakeholders and investing its resources. Niagara Cares efforts include national strategic partnerships, local community grants, employee engagement, volunteerism, and the Andrew D. Peykoff, Sr. Scholarship Program. For more information, visit www.niagarawater.com/niagara-cares

Surprising Skin Sins That Age Your Face

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that smoking, not wearing sunscreen and going to bed with your makeup on hardly produces the coveted look of Instagram’s “glass skin.”  Aside from these three ‘skin sins’ there are many others that are not so obvious. 

We turned to Denver Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Manish Shah who is a big believer in pre-juvenation and a holistic approach to youth.  

Inconsistent Dieting

“Many people think caring for your skin is skin-deep,” quips Dr. Shah. “It is not.“ Inconsistent or inadequate nutrition that has your body mass and weight moving in a yo-yo motion up and down the scale can contribute to ruined elasticity and reduced collagen in the skin. This is part of the reason why specialists will recommend a two-pound maximum weight loss goal per week because your skin needs time to adapt to the loss of mass. Dr. Shah explains that the skin needs to be nourished from the inside as well and many of the trend diets like keto and paleo focus on one group of food and though it can help keep a caloric deficit, it can also create a deficit of the necessary vitamins and minerals you need to keep your skin looking healthy. 

Drinking Too Much Coffee

“Excessive amounts of caffeine can increase the levels of insulin and cortisol in the system,” explains Dr. Shah.  Insulin increases inflammation and cortisol is known as the stress hormone. This combination could mix up your sleeping habits and contribute to continued stress which can lead to sleep deprivation. “Sleep deprivation prevents that regenerative rest our skin and mind need to stay healthy.”

Neglecting the Skin Around Your Eyes

"The skin around your eyes is the thinnest and has very few oil glands," says Dr. Shah. Pamper your eyes and stave off signs of aging by choosing a daily eye cream that includes peptides. Dr. Shah explains, “They work to stimulate collagen production and prevent fine lines. Be sure to check the label.” Other notable ingredients that reduce puffiness, lines, wrinkles, and under eye circles are caffeine and nicotinic acid (a form of the B vitamin niacin). 


Expecting Instant Results from Beauty Treatments

Most of us are guilty of trying a face cream or anti-aging treatment once or twice and then giving up on it before it has had a chance to work. A majority of anti-aging treatments take up to a month to begin showing positive effects. Dr. Shah explains, “This is due to the cycle of your skin, which undergoes a period of cellular structure renewal over a span of 30 days. In our instant gratification mode, we often toss a product before giving it time to work.” 


Taking Medications With Side-Effects on the Skin

Certain medications like corticosteroids for asthma and arthritis cause the skin to thin and weakens blood vessels. Medicine to treat seizures can cause heightened sensitivity to sun damage in the skin which is a common perpetrator in premature aging. Blood pressure medications that block calcium channels have been studied in relation to their inhibition of collagen production by obstructing the absorption of vitamin C by the cells. Vitamin C is an important part of collagen production.  “If these medications are being prescribed to you by your physician then the benefits outweigh their effect on collagen production. There is no need to stress over this, as long as you take care of your skin in other ways you should be fine,” explains Dr. Shah. 


Consuming Excessive Amounts of Salt

“By all measures, an excess of salt in your diet is detrimental to your kidneys, your cardiovascular health and, yes, your skin,” says Dr. Shah. Salt absorbs moisture and it can aid in making your skin look dry and less vibrant. Reducing your sodium intake and sticking to a moisturizing routine should help your skin stay healthy and smooth. 


Facial Expressions 

Every time you move that beautiful face, your skin wrinkles a little bit. Most of the time your face bounces back and those little wrinkles disappear once new skin cells grow.



While you may think that soap is your skin’s best friend, this is actually not the case. The reason for this is that your skin has an acid mantle which is a natural protective barrier of the skin. When you wash with soap – which is generally alkaline – it can remove this protective layer of oils and dry out the skin, eventually leading to wrinkles. Dr. Shah says that “While it is not advisable to stop washing entirely, try swapping the soap for a PH-neutral and chemical-free cleanser, and bear in mind that there is such a thing as over-cleansing your skin.”


Tugging on Your Skin While Applying or Removing Makeup 

To minimize the damage to the skin around your eyes, follow these quick tips from Dr. Shah: 

Use your ring finger to pat on products around your eyes, including serums, oils, moisturizers, and concealers. Your ring finger is the least likely to pull or tug at your skin.

Apply eyeliner and eyeshadow by gently closing your eyelids, rather than by pulling them taut. If you’re struggling to apply without pulling, consider investing in products that are made to apply smoothly, like cream or gel formulas.

Have patience when removing makeup from the eye area. Use cotton or another soft product, coated well with your favorite makeup removing solution. Hold the cotton over your closed eye without wiping, allowing the product to break down the makeup. After a minute or so, wipe gently to remove the makeup.


Picking Your Skin 

You're not a dermatologist or licensed aesthetician. You should not be picking at your pimples, ingrown hairs, or anywhere else on your face. It's one of the biggest assaults against your skin and can have permanent effects. "The more people press and manipulate blemishes, the more inflammation they create underneath," explains Dr. Shah. "The result is scars, pockmarks, and discoloration that can become permanent.” 

Licking Your Lips Constantly 

There's a myth out there that claims people can get addicted to lip balm. "These people just have dry skin and miss the feeling of the balm when it's gone," says Dr. Shah. Lip licking can become a bad habit. But when you moisten your lips that way, you actually wind up making things worse. The water in your saliva evaporates, leaving lips dry and cracked. "Saliva can contain bacteria and irritants, so you can end up with a rash around the lips as well," says Dr. Shah. Try a lip balm such as Burt's Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lip Balm, Original Beeswax with Vitamin E & Peppermint Oil. 

About Dr. Manish Shah:


Manish Shah, M.D., F.A.C.S. was born in Canada and raised in the Washington, D.C. area. He graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania, receiving a degree in biomedical engineering. He then completed his medical training at the University of Virginia, earning his Medical Doctorate. During this time, he also completed a one-year fellowship in microsurgery research at the New York University School of Medicine / Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. As a prelude to his plastic surgery training, Dr. Shah completed a rigorous five-year training program in General and Trauma Surgery at Emory University and the Medical College of Georgia. His formal training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery was completed at the Univ. of Tennessee College of Medicine – Chattanooga Unit. After completing his plastic surgery training, he moved to New York City when he was selected for the prestigious Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship at Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital. He underwent extensive, advanced training in aesthetic surgery of the face, breasts, and body at the hands of some of the most renowned cosmetic surgeons in the world. This fellowship is widely considered to be the best of its kind in the world. Dr. Shah is one of only a select few plastic surgeons in the country who has undergone formal post-graduate training in aesthetic surgery.

Dr. Shah’s specialties include revision facial aesthetic surgery, rhinoplasty (“nose reshaping”), and aesthetic surgery of the breast (breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction). He is, however, well-trained in all areas of aesthetic surgery.

Dr. Shah’s aim is to obtain a natural appearing transformation that complements the real you!

Dr. Shah is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.  He maintains a private practice in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in the Cherry Creek neighborhood of Denver.

Dr. Shah is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the Rhinoplasty Society, and the European Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Shah is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.


Seasonal Home Upgrades: Preparing Your House for Spring

 After a long winter season, you’re not the only one in need of a little TLC to recover from colder weather and darker days. Your home certainly takes the brunt of nature’s many twists and turns and will be in need of some attention as spring rears its heads. Whether you’re preparing your home to be sold in the spring or simply looking to bring a breath of fresh air into your abode, these tips will help guide you in the right direction! 


Bring clean air into your home 


Your heating has no doubt been working hard throughout the winter, and cooling down your house for the Spring will no doubt require as much work. Give your HVAC (Heating, ventilation, Air Condition) system a full check up, replacing air filters, cleaning out dust and debris, and testing the functionality of your ducts. Ducts can be a tricky task and may not be entirely necessary to tackle. Educate yourself on signs that your ducts need immediate care before you begin or bring in a professional. You’ll be happily breathing in clean air in no time! 


Take precautions to prevent flooding


As the temperatures gets warmer, any ice or snow that may be stuck in your gutters will begin to melt. Even if you live in an area with minimal snowfall, springtime is bound to bring about rainier weather conditions that can threaten your home with water damage. Before the temperatures really increase, check your gutters for ice dams that create an excess pool of water, and use melting tablets to break them down. Don’t forget to pay close attention to how the water you’ve just melted drain out of your gutters. Harsh winter weather can bend your gutters, causing the water to pool around the foundation of your home. If this is the case, make the appropriate repairs to ensure the water drains away from your house. 


Check your pipes 


Transitioning your pipes throughout the seasons is oftentimes one of the most sensitive things about being a homeowner. Not taking precautions when temperatures drop can lead to frozen pipes- which can additionally lead to burst pipes that can bring about thousands worth of damage. If you had your pipes wrapped to protect from colder weather, unwrap them and check for any cracks or additional damage that may lead to leaks. Looking for evidence of any water stains in the surrounding areas can serve as helpful indicators of damage. Pipes are an important part of your home and lifestyle, so seek out the help of a local professional plumber in order to ensure your plumbing is in top health! 

 Repair winter damage 

Give your home exterior a once over to check for any damage that may have been caused by the abrasive conditions. Replace or repair missing and cracked areas of your roof, and check for deteriorating caulking around windows and door frames. If you have a deck or patio, get your favorite outdoor seating areas spring-ready by mending cracks in cement or brick, or replacing old wooden slabs and beams in the infrastructure. 

 Beautify your home 


Give your home a facelift in order to celebrate the new season! Whether you’re staying with the same color or switching things up, refreshing your siding or repainting shingles will give your house a fresh look. If you’re not looking to take on that much painting, opt for small painting projects, like refreshing the front door, shutters, or adding a new coat to the porch. Spring time is the ideal time to start up projects requiring painting as the perfect temperature for paint is between 50 and 90 degrees. Waiting until the sweltering summer heat can cause the paint to dry too quickly,, resulting in air bubbles and streaks. 

 Plan to start major renovations 

If you’ve been thinking about adding an addition (hello, new master bedroom with grotto shower) or embarking on other home improvement projects, this is the perfect time to do so. Starting in early spring will not only help you avoid oppressively hot working conditions, but also have your home ready to be put on the market by the season’s end or to be enjoyed by your loved ones throughout the summer! If your renovation is going to require hiring a crew of handymen, be sure to schedule your work before spring is in full swing to avoid waiting months for your dream home. 

Monday, 11 March 2019

What You Should Consider When Choosing Your Child Care

Choosing child care can be a nightmare, especially if you have more than one kid. You have to find the perfect person or team to take care of your children, within your budget, that can work with your schedule. Infants, young children and kids with special needs add more variables to consider. What should you look for when choosing child care?

Your Family

Before you start flipping through the phonebook, you need to take a look at your own family. Ask yourself these questions:

1.  How many children do I have that need child care?
2.  How old are these children?
3.  Will any of them need transportation to or from school?
4.  What about extracurricular activities?
5.  Are there any special circumstances that may require a particular type of child care?
6.  How long will I need child care every day?

Ideally, you'll want your children to be together, whether you choose in-home child care or a local day care center. If you have an infant or a child with special needs, you should find a service that caters to those specific circumstances.

School-aged children will need a caregiver or facility that offers transportation before or after school, or both, depending on your schedule. You will also need to find child care that works with your schedule. If you've got a career that has you working early mornings, late nights or overnights, you don't want to send your kids to a day care center that closes their doors while you're still at work.

Child Care Options

What are your options when it comes to child care? Depending on where you're located and your situation, you may have access to:
·      Extended family: If grandma lives nearby and doesn't mind watching the little ones, you might not have to spend anything on child care.
·      Day care center: This is one of the most common types of child care. These often offer before and after school care, as well as transportation to and from school.
·      Home day care center: Licensed day care professionals watch your children out of their own homes instead of a separate facility.
·      Nanny: A nanny is a professional child care worker who will live in your home. Nannies are usually local and may hail from your town or one nearby.
·      Baby sitter: Who didn't earn a little extra cash baby-sitting as a teen?
·      Au pair: This is a young woman from Europe who comes to stay with your family for a year to help you care for your children and manage other minor household chores, in exchange for room, board and salary. An au pair will help you with child care for up to 45 hours a week and will have a driver's license so she can chauffeur your children to and from school.

You're not limited to the stereotypical crowded day care center. When it comes to child care, the only limit is your budget.

Your Budget

The next thing you need to look at is your budget. How much disposable income do you have to spend on child care every month? The cost will vary dramatically depending on what kind you choose to use.

Day care, for example, will charge per child. For a single child, you can expect to pay around $10,000 a year for day care centers, and approximately $7,500 a year for in-home care.

Baby sitters can vary dramatically, depending on the age of the sitter and the number of days a week they're caring for your children. Utilizing a baby sitter for an infant, five days a week, could cost as much as $30,000 a year.

Nannies, as child care professionals, charge a bit more than baby sitters. On average, a live-in nanny could cost you as much as $40,000 a year.

Au pairs are unique. You're providing them with room and board in a foreign country, while they help with child care and chores related to the children. They may also want to study at a local college while they're here. They're one of the least expensive options if you wish to have live-in child care, costing on average $18,000 a year.

Take a close look at your budget and see how each of these fits into it. Keep in mind that these big numbers are annual costs. The actual payments will be broken down weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.

Selecting the Best One For You

How can you choose the best type of child care for you, with all this information at your fingertips?

If you only need child care during the day and aren't interested in having someone else living in your home, day care centers or in-home care can be a great option. They're less expensive, and while they do charge per child, many offer discounts for each additional child.

If you want an in-home child care professional, a nanny is your best bet. It's the most expensive option but offers a lot of flexibility with scheduling.

If you want to improve your children's cultural education while giving a young woman the chance to live and study abroad, an au pair is the choice for you. These young women bring their language and culture with them, so your children can experience them without ever having to get on a plane. Plus, experts believe it's easiest for children to learn a second language between the ages of 11 and 13, and there's no better way to do that than by immersing them by having a native speaker stay with you.

Choose Wisely

A lot of thought needs to go into choosing the best child care for you and your family. Make sure you're considering your family size, financial situation, and what kind of child care experience you want before you make a final decision.

3 Monetary Steps to Take if You're Facing Foreclosure

Facing foreclosure can be an extremely scary time in your life. But sometimes your financial situation changes and you may not know which steps to take to make your monthly payments. This is especially true for the 32% of people who are looking to buy their first home. Fortunately, there are a few things you can try to save some extra money and make your payments on time. So if you're struggling financially and are worried about facing foreclosure, consider the following tips.

Cut Unnecessary Expenses

One of the very first things you should do when facing the possibility of foreclosure is taking a closer look at how much money you're bringing in and how much you're spending. If possible, figure out a way to increase your income -- taking side jobs can go a long way. With 46% of two parent households having both parents work, it may be difficult to find the time to add a second job. And it's important to scrutinize your budget and see where you can cut spending. Cutting back on things like cable, clothing, and Internet may not be ideal, but it's better than losing your home. You may also need to keep a closer eye on utilities usage. With a family of four using over 400 gallons of water a day, there are probably a lot of opportunities to cut down on waste. Taking these steps can also show your lender that you really are trying to make a change and save money.

Consider Refinancing

The next logical step is to consider refinancing your home. Refinancing your mortgage can possibly give you more reasonable monthly payments that you can make over a longer period of time. This has a lesser impact on your credit and can help you keep your home. It's important to talk to your lender sooner rather than later about refinancing because there may be certain programs you're eligible for that can help refinance quickly and appropriately. Avoiding the situation is only going to make it worse, so take action quickly.

Ask for Help

When you're struggling financially, it can be really challenging to swallow your pride and ask for help. But when you're facing foreclosure, you may not have any other options. You may want to consider asking a family member to borrow money or help refinance your mortgage. If that's not an option, there are other organizations and agencies that can help you keep your home. These agencies work out arrangements with your lender and can do their best to decrease your payments until you can get your financial situation in order.

According to a Harris Interactive poll, 38% of people agree they would be scared if they were facing foreclosure. And foreclosure is not as uncommon as you may think. So hopefully, taking these steps can help with your financial situation.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Used phone scams: How to buy without getting ripped off!

Spring Break is almost here and people are looking to upgrade their tech for their vacation photos and communication. Here are a few quick tips about how to safely buy a used phone (without getting ripped off). With the Galaxy S10 hitting shelves this week, a flood of old Galaxy models will enter the used retail market – so it’s a great time to make sure people don’t fall for scams like these

  • A scammer steals a phone, then quickly sells it before the theft can be reported. Soon after, the phone is blocked
  • A scammer sells a phone, then reports it lost or stolen to claim an insurance replacement. The original phone is then blocked
  • A scammer sells a phone that is under contract but does not pay the contract off. The phone is blocked

Here’s how to avoid falling victim to these and similar scams:

1. Ask the buyer for the phone’s IMEI.Paste the number in a free blacklist checker, like the one offered by CTIA. This will tell you if the phone has been reported lost, stolen or otherwise blocked; however, it won’t protect you from every scam since the seller can report the phone lost or stolen after you buy it

2. Use payment protection. Insist on buying through a platform that offers buyer protections, or use a service like PayPal, which offers 180-day purchase protection

3. Ask the right questions. Ask the seller if the phone is paid off, if it has been jailbroken, if it still charges and if everything works. Honest sellers will be forthcoming; and though scammers won’t be, if you’re buying on eBay asking such questions can make it more likely disputes will be decided in your favor

4. Vet the seller. Research the seller: do they have positive reviews from past buyers? Do they have social media accounts you can investigate? Do they have references? Use your intuition: if a seller seems shady, pass. There are plenty of used phones out there

5. Inspect the phone. If you’re meeting in person, inspect it before money exchanges hands. Make sure it turns on, that you can make a call or text, and that you can connect to the Internet. If you’re buying online, inspect the phone immediately once you receive it. If something isn’t right, file a dispute with your payment processor right away

Flipsy.com doesn’t sell used phones, but we help people get more money when they’re ready to sell them by instantly comparing buyback offers from more than a dozen Trust Verified Stores. You can see how it works here: https://flipsy.com/sell/Samsung-Galaxy-S9-Plus?carrier=Verizon