What would you buy for a recent graduate
if you had a $200 gift card for eBay?
That is the question that was asked of me for the eBay "Dads and Grads" event. See what kind of answer I gave, and what kind of cool FREE STUFF you can win by participating in the "Dads and Grads" sweepstakes that end this week and the live chat that is happening on Tuesday.
When I was asked what I would buy from eBay for a new graduate, I immediately thought, "I would buy a Nook Color and some accessories for a new graduate." BAM! $200 spent. Post over.
But I thought for a minute about my own college experience. My parents made sure I had a computer to take to college, so any graduate I would be buying for would most likely have their computer taken care of by their parents. I began to remember what really made me love my college experience - PEOPLE. There were always all sorts of interesting people stopping by my dorm room. I had an open door policy - if I was in... my door was open (unless, of course, I was sleeping or spending time with my future wife). But an open door alone didn't keep people coming back. What was it that made my room the social hub of the hall? I was able to come up with a few things that set my room apart from the others, and that helped me put together the list of items that I would buy for a recent graduate if I had a $200 gift card to eBay.
I purchased a surround sound system just before heading to college. It was a last minute splurge from what money I had saved from my summer job, and looking back, it was one of the most important items in my dorm room. I had every possible entertainment device wired into it - DVD player, Play Station, CD player, *ahem*... VCR... *ahem* (yeah, I guess I'm getting old) - and everyone loved to chill in my room to play games or watch movies because their bones rattled when the sub-woofer kicked in. I was able to find decent surround sound systems on eBay for $70 - $80.
Anyone that has attended college knows that the school-supplied seating usually sucks. We had hard metal chairs with barely any cushion and no support. If you want your grad's dorm room to be the place where people love to hang out, great seating is a must. If you can't find the room for a couch, bean bag chairs and banana seats are pretty standard dorm room seating. I was able to find this deluxe dorm room bean bag chair with a drink holder and side pocket for $50 on eBay. This would be the ultimate college dorm room furniture piece, in my humble opinion.
Nothing sets the mood for entertainment like the right kind of lighting. Dorm room lights are typically a four-tube fluorescent fixture, and they are great when you are studying or cleaning up, but let's be honest, dorm rooms are supposed to be giant entertainment centers. Bright fluorescent lighting is only entertaining at an ice rink. Back when I was in college, rope lights were all the rage. My wife used to tell me that I looked like Harrison Ford in the dim glow of rope lighting (she doesn't tell me that anymore because Harrison Ford and I are both aging rapidly and any resemblance, if there was any at all, is fading). Kids today have so many more options! Check out this LED under-cabinet lighting kit for less than $15 that I found on eBay. Get one of the electrical engineering students to hook it up to a switch or sensor and you've got yourself some instant mood lighting. Winning!
No freshman can escape the wrath of the sophomore sneak attack. For those of you who don't know, this is typically an attack on freshmen some time during the first week of school. The guys from the other dorms gang up to sneak attack the freshmen dorms just so they know their place. This attack could potentially involve the following weapons: Nerf guns, water guns, silly string, or shaving cream. You want your loved one to be prepared, so get him and his roommate this pair of Nerf guns for around $40 from eBay so that they can at least fight back. They might still lose, but at least they'll have a good chance of getting in a few shots of their own before they go down.
Finally, you have two choices for what to do with the remaining amount of gift card money. You can use it to get the graduate on your list some Duck Tape. There are lots available on eBay starting around five bucks, and they will find a million ways to use it at school. Or, you could go the safe route and get them some extra Nerf ammo. Whether you're buying for dad or buying for a new grad, you will always find the best deals on eBay.
This post was made possible by Splash Creative Media and eBay. I was compensated with a gift card to eBay for my time and effort. All thoughts are my own.
***CHAT & GIVEAWAYS***
There will be a chat (which I will be helping to moderate along with @mochadad) using the hash tag #eBayDads on Tuesday, June 5th from 12-2PM, PST (3-5PM, EST).
Prizes ($25 gift cards) will be given away every 15 minutes during the chat. In order to win the prizes, you MUST be using the site http://www.ebay.com/partyfordad.
RSVP for the chat and be entered to win a $100 gift card to eBay!
Enter the two sweepstakes, with some pretty awesome prizes, currently being held on the eBay Facebook page.