Monday, March 19, 2012

Thrifty Time Again

I posted a blog last week that was SO long, I decided to cut it short. As I write this, I have just posted last week's blog. I wanted to make sure you got my info before I could forget about it. I mean, I'm on a roll.

Now that you have checked your ads, printed your coupons, and bought your groceries, you're done right? Not even close! What about all the other stuff you need to buy? Well if you live your life online like I do, you are probably buying a lot of stuff through internet shopping. When you go to check out, do you notice the box to enter the promo code? Don't leave that blank! RetailMeNot is one of a half dozen or so sites that offer you current promo codes for thousands of websites. From Pizza Hut to Think Geek, to Walmart, you can find coupons for things like free shipping, to percents off your order and more. Some stores won't let you double up on promo codes. So if you're going to save more on free shipping then 10% off, choose wisely. And obviously, if you're site charges tax, there's nothing you can do about it. I have only come across a handful of places that don't have codes posted, or have codes posted that are expired or don't work. You can thumbs-up/thumbs-down a code too if they do or don't work. It helps keep the site accurate and up to date. On one site alone, I saved $45 on a $70 total thanks to RetailMeNot.

If you register for an account, they will often ask if you want the weekly newsletter. Some sites use that to spam the crap out of you, but a good portion of them will send you deal in the hope that you buy something. I get a bunch of newsletters, and when I need something, I check the emails to see what I can get. Feel free to use these codes or deals, and then post them on sites like RetailMeNot for the rest of us to use. If you opted-out of the newsletters, you can often opt back in by adjusting your account settings. Only do it for sites that you care about though. You want to make sure your inbox isn't overloaded. I subscribe to 2-5 newsletters: Think Geek, E.L.F., and a couple others. I like seeing whats on sale and what new products are coming out. Simply use caution and good judgement.

When buying a any product, shop around. Google shopping is a great way to see what's out there and where. Some of the sites I've never heard of, but you can always filter those out. If you discover a website that has a fantastic deal, and you've never heard of it before, take some advice from my former boss. Do "the needful," which of course means, research the company. Type in their company name into Google with words like "reviews" or "ratings" to see what other people have said about them. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if they follow through of their orders or if they are have complaints filed on them. You can type in a phone number, a company name, or even the website. If all else fails, trust the old saying. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

You can file a complaint with the BBB, or even request a refund from your credit card company or bank in the event that you don't trust your instincts. There's not much the BBB can do besides try to contact the company and get your case reviewed. Even when you are proven right, they can't force a company to follow through. I'm still waiting on a replacement GPS from Magellan from a case with the BBB, even though it was deemed I was to be compensated. Some banks or credit card companies can charge a fee to refund your money. I usually see this with credit cards and banks versus credit unions. It generally ends up being a portion of the money that you are requesting back, but not always. Again, beware what you buy and where you enter your credit card info.

Okay so now you've checked your product on a few sites, entered in the promo code, and gotten the final price. Are you ready to pay and be done with it? Nope! Some places like Best Buy offer a price match plus. So if you find your product for cheaper somewhere else, you can print that out and get the exact same thing PLUS more. Usually about 10% more off. I don't know if this is offered year round, or only during the Christmas season, but you can always call and find out. If you're looking for car parts, Autozone offers 20% off if they can call the business and verify the price at another store. Even PepBoys will do a price match. It helps to get a quote in writing.

When it came time to get tires, I tried to price match Walmart, but Pep Boys said it had to be in writing. Maybe it's because I'm a female, and I went alone, but I can't prove that. Another time, I went to Walmart, and even though they verified the price, they would only guarantee the price on the tires. Not on the installation, or the recycling fee. So it wound up being $50-$75 more than just going to the business that quoted me in the first place. Keep that in mind. Truth be told, that actually happened to my sister, but I was there with her and called for all the quotes.

Well, I think that's enough for now. Again, please let me know how I have helped you. If you find any tips on your own, post them. I will gather the good ones and put them up for the rest of everyone to see. Happy shopping!

No comments:

Post a Comment