Ask Company For a Coupon if They Can’t Fix Their Product

April 28, 2016 by Kyle
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Here’s a Cheap (and Brilliant) Way to Score a Replacement Product:

So, this tip is short and sweet. If you have a product that is broken and out of warranty, and the company that manufactured it is unable to fix it (or it’s cost prohibitive), ask them for a coupon that you can use to save money on a replacement.

I recently had a friend do this quite successfully with Logitech. (See the screenshot of the email below) He ended up getting a killer 35% off coupon code to use at Logitech.com. I think many other tech companies will do the same if you politely ask. In any case, it’s definitely worth adding this coupon tip to your savings toolbox.

Logitech

From my friend Eric, here’s how the deal went down, “I emailed Logitech to see if they could fix my multi-year old universal remote. Thought it was worth contacting them just to see if MAYBE they could fix it for cheap. I had it for many years and have just dropped it too many times. Anyway, they said no but offered this 35% discount for a new one. Pretty cool discount I thought.”

Boom. Easy way to get a replacement product at a really steep discount. Other tech companies where I have heard rumors of this coupon tip working include Fitbit, Jawbone, Samsung, Apple, Nikon, OtterBox, and Motorola. Bottom line, it never hurts to ask and you stand a great chance of them throwing you a bone.

Ask the Reader: Have you ever scored a great coupon to use on a replacement product? Which company offered it?

Happy savings!


By Kyle James

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How To Ask and Get an Amazon Price Adjustment (Even On 3rd Party Items)

April 20, 2016 by Kyle
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(5/02/16 Update: It looks like this will only work on TV’s now, stay tuned to see if this new Amazon policy sticks. Because Amazon changes prices so frequently, I think they’ll get a lot of backlash for changing their policy)

One of my favorite blog subjects is Amazon, more specifically, how to save money at Amazon in ways you’ve probably never considered. One of the least advertised, yet most effective ways to save money at Amazon is to ask them for a price adjustment if the price of an item drops after you get it delivered to your home. As a matter of fact, you can’t find anything “official” posted on the Amazon website detailing their price adjustment policy. And furthermore, did you know that you can often get a price adjustment on items not sold directly by Amazon, but instead by a 3rd party seller? Yup, it’s true. Here’s the skinny so you can make it happen…

Amazon Price Adjustment

How to Ask For an Amazon Price Adjustment:

    1. You Have 7 Days From Delivery to Request Adjustment: – There’s been some recent discussion over how long you have to request a price adjustment at Amazon. To set the record straight, you have exactly 7 days from when the item gets delivered to your doorstep to request an Amazon price adjustment.
    2. Keep an Eye Out For a Price Drop: Nobody has the time to check daily if the Amazon price drops on something you bought. So use the free site CamelCamelCamel.com and they’ll do all of the leg-work for you and email you when a price drops.
    3. What to do When a Price Drops Within 7 Days: You can either call Amazon customer service at 1 (888) 280-4331 or start a live chat session to get the ball rolling on your price adjustment.
  1. How to Start a Live Chat Session: Starting a live chat session on Amazon can be a bit confusing but I feel it’s by far the best way to get a price adjustment. At the bottom of this customer service page, under Step 2, select “More order issues” from the first drop-down menu and “Other order question or issue” from the second drop-down menu. You’re then given 3 ways to contact Amazon: E-mail, Phone, or Chat. Simply select “Chat” and follow the instructions.
  2. Does the Item Have to be Sold Directly by Amazon? Officially, yes. But if you’re a loyal customer, the answer is surprisingly “No”. I recently ordered a product from a 3rd party seller and the price dropped by $23 the day after I received it. On a whim, I started a chat session and low-and-behold they gave me the $23 price adjustment anyways. So awesome. They explained it this way, “However since you are a loyal customer for one time exception I am refunding the difference to your gift card balance.” I had the $23 in my account gift card balance within 2 hours. Interestingly, this wasn’t a “one time exception” as they did the same thing for me back in December when I requested a price adjustment on a different item sold by a 3rd party.
  3. Moral of the Story? Always politely ask about a price adjustment, no matter if Amazon shipped it to your directly, or you bought it through a 3rd party, ALWAYS ASK. Whether you’re a new or longtime Amazon customer, the worst they can say is “No”. More often than not, with just a few minutes of work, you’ll end up with some extra money in your Amazon account for future purchases.

Here’s how my Amazon chat session went down (BTW, in case you were wondering, my wife is Aimee and our account is under her name, haha):

Amazon Chat Session

Ask The Reader: Have you ever requested a price-match from Amazon? Was the item sold by Amazon or a 3rd party? How did it go?

Happy savings.


By Kyle James

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Frugal Hack #34: Use New Google Tool To Score Great Travel Deals

April 11, 2016 by Kyle
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It’s called Google “Destinations”,  and it’s Google’s brand new way to find the cheapest travel destinations, including airfare and hotel. It’s important to note that this secret little way to find cheap travel spots will only work on your smartphone, either Android or iOS, via the Google search app. So don’t try it on your laptop or desktop, it won’t work. Below is my breakdown of how it works so you can start dreaming of your next bargain vacay today.

Google Destinations

Google Destinations How-To Guide:

  1. Enter Your Travel Destination – On your smartphone, from the Google search app, just enter where you want to travel, followed by the word “destinations” or “vacation”. For example, simply search “Hawaii destinations” or “Costa Rica destinations”.
  2. Think Broadly – I’ve had better success by searching more broadly. For example, instead of searching “Kauai destinations” search “Hawaii destinations” and then narrow your search from there. According to Google, you can search for the continent, country, or state you’d like to travel to.
  3. Or Enter a Specific Activity – According to Google, you can also search for an activity, “To find a vacation that’s just your style, search for a destination and something you’d like to do there, like “spain surfing,” “new zealand hiking,” or “colorado skiing.” Essentially they’ll suggest spots that fit your hobbies and special interests.
  4. Killer Information – Once you’ve selected your vacation destination, in addition to travel costs, Google will give you great information on suggested itineraries, local activities, and a brief description of the area. Think of it like a Yelp but with Google style and analytics.
  5. Find Cheapest Time to Travel – Perhaps the most useful feature of Google Destinations is the ability to see when it’s cheapest to travel to any given spot. Simply scroll down a little bit on the main page and use the bar graph slider and slide it around with your finger to figure out when you should travel to save the most money. Very cool.
  6. When Should You Visit? – Also on the main page, find the section called “When To Visit” which gives you a breakdown month-by-month of the average temperature and how many tourist will be there. If you can book your travel when it’s less popular you’ll almost undoubtedly get a better rate as well.
  7. How Do You Actually Book Travel? – Once you’ve selected your date of travel, and booking estimates, you’ll be redirected to either a travel booking site or directly to the airline or hotel in question to complete your booking.

Here’s a little video tutorial from the folks at Google:

Ask The Reader: How do you use the Internet to save money on your travel and vacation plans?

Happy savings.


By Kyle James

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8 Ways to Shop at Sam’s Club Without a Membership

April 7, 2016 by Kyle
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A while back I talked about the clever ways you can shop at Costco without a membership. The article was very popular and made me realize I should write the same article for Sam’s Club. Maybe you’re on the fence about dropping $45 for a standard membership, or you know you won’t buy enough in a year to make it worth it. Whatever the case may be, there are clever ways to get free access to the Sam’s Club warehouse throughout the year. Here is what you need to know to make it happen.

Sam's Club

1. Use a Free 1-Day Pass

The easiest way to get into Sam’s Club and shop without a membership is to Print a One-Day Pass for free. It’s a little tricky to find, on this page click on the File Attachment – Article #279 down toward the bottom of the page. Be aware that you’ll be charged a 10% fee on all purchases and the 1-day pass cannot be used on Black Friday. This is a great way to get in and check out Sam’s and not have to shell out $45 or $100 for an annual membership.

2. Shop Items That Don’t Require a Membership

Here are the items at Sam’s Club that you can buy without an active membership:

  • Alcohol: According to Glamour Living, “Because of a law that prohibits the sale of alcohol through members-only arrangements, all Sam’s Club stores will sell beer, wine, and the hard stuff to nonmembers.”
  • Prescription Drugs: From the Sam’s site, “You do not have to be a Member to buy your prescription medications from Sam’s Club. For pharmaceuticals with a script there is no fee for non-members.”
  • Optical Services: Also from the Sam’s Club site, “A Sam’s Club Membership will be required to purchase optical products. However, a Membership is not required to see the doctor of optometry.”

Do you know of any other items you can buy at Sam’s without a membership? Let me know if you do.

3. Shop During an Open House

Several times throughout the year, Sam’s Club hosts an open house event where all non-members are invited to shop the warehouse. The best way to be kept in-the-know of upcoming open houses is to sign up for email alerts (look at bottom of page) from Sam’s or follow them on Facebook as they always let folks know in advance when an open house is in the works.

5. Have a Member Add You

If you have a family member who has a Sam’s membership and is the only person on the account, they can add you to their account for free. You’ll get a separate membership card in the mail and be good to go (and save). Important note: You must be the primary account holder to add a complimentary cardholder.

6. Shop at Sam’s Club.com

Another smart way to take advantage of Sam’s Club pricing and selection is by shopping their website. You DO NOT have to be an active member to shop on SamsClub.com, BUT you’ll be charged a 10% surcharge on your online purchases. If you’re making a significant purchase from their site, and you’re not a member, consider asking a friend or family member (who is a member) to make the purchase for you.

7. Shop With a Friend

Avoid the 10% fee you’ll get charged with a 1-day pass, and simply shop with a friend or family member that is a paying member. They’ll use their card at checkout and you can simply repay them for your purchases. This tip seems fairly obvious but is often an overlooked way to shop at Sam’s without paying for a membership.

8. Earn Cash Rewards That’ll Pay for Your Membership

Okay, before you holler at me, this final tip does require you to buy a membership, but….it could easily allow you to get if for free in the end. It works by you signing up for the Sam’s Club Plus membership ($100/year) which earns you 2% cashback on all purchases. The 2% back can easily pay for your membership if you spend $420/month on average. While that number might seem big, if you’re buying all your groceries and household items for your family at Sam’s that number is fairly easy to reach.

Happy savings!


By Kyle James

Photo by Nicholas Eckhart.

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9 Killer Ways to Shop Smart and Save Money at TJ Maxx

April 5, 2016 by Kyle
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TJ Maxx is a favorite shopping spot for many discount shoppers. Not only do they have dozens of name-brand apparel brands at discounted prices, but they also have deals on home decor items as well as name-brand kitchen stuff. The best part? Most items are marked down 25% to 50% off the original retail price. But…there are some other ways to save big money at TJ Maxx that only employees and consumer insiders are privy to […] Continue Reading…

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The Best Buys at Trader Joe’s According to Employees

March 23, 2016 by Kyle
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Who knows a grocery store better than the employees who work there? Nobody. This is especially true when the store is Trader Joe’s and employees are munching on free samples along with taking home new items to try out. So when I stumbled upon an article over at Thrillist documenting the products that employees like best at TJ’s, I knew I had to share it with you. Here are some of the best buys […] Continue Reading…

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Frugal Hack #33: Use Paribus To Get Price Protection at Amazon (and 17 Other Retailers)

March 18, 2016 by Kyle
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In the past I’ve talked about how to get 7-day price protection from Amazon if the price drops after your purchase. There’s nothing worse than making a significant purchase only to notice a few days later that the price dropped and you could’ve gotten it cheaper.

But the problem with getting price protection is the time and effort it takes to constantly check for a price drop. So when I discovered a new online service […] Continue Reading…

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Employee Shares Best Tip to Score a Clearance Deal at Walmart

March 14, 2016 by Kyle
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I recently stumbled upon some great tips directly from a current Walmart employee talking about how to find clearance deals when shopping in-store. In particular, how to find the best clearance deals on consumer electronics. Hint: Stop looking in the clearance section. Here is what you need to know…

The Best Walmart Clearance Deals are “Hidden”
In other words, stop looking for good clearance deals in the marked clearance section, it’s mostly “unwanted or crappy” items.

From […] Continue Reading…

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Bulk Buying: All The Stores That Offer Quantity Discounts

March 11, 2016 by Kyle
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Whether you’re doing a large home improvement project, buying sports uniforms, or maybe stocking an office with technology and furniture, there’s bound to be a time when you can take advantage of a retailer’s “quantity discount” program. But often these bulk buying programs are a bit of a mystery and not openly advertised. Because of this, I’ve gone ahead and done the research and found a bunch of quantity discount programs that you can […] Continue Reading…

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Costco Shopping Tips That’ll Save You Time and Money

March 8, 2016 by Kyle
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I recently stumbled upon a Reddit forum with some great advice for Costco shoppers looking to maximize their membership. Smart Costco shoppers have definitely figured out the best times to shop and how to smartly navigate the warehouse in order to save time and money. Here are the key insider Costco shopping tips worth knowing.

How to Save Money at Costco (and Time Too)

Shop on the Right Day and the Right Time. Avoid weekends as they’re typically […] Continue Reading…

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