Jewel Review: A Cashback Site for Luxury Goods (Is It Worth the Effort?)

February 20, 2018 by Kyle
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As most of you already know, I’m a huge fan of cashback websites. I mean why not earn some money on the online shopping you’ll be doing anyways, right? So when the cashback site called Jewel came along, with a “luxury brand twist”, I was definitely intrigued. Here’s exactly how Jewel works along with some insider tips for cashback success.

Jewel Review: A Cashback Site for Luxury Goods

What Exactly is Jewel?

Jewel is a cashback site that specializes in luxury brands.

Jewel founder Andrew Landau (formerly with Google and Jet.com) realized that “just because people spend a lot of money, it doesn’t mean they don’t want a good deal.”

As frugal becomes the “new chic”, this makes total sense and is a pretty darn smart business model.

How Do You Sign-Up for Jewel?

Well, it’s pretty darn simple.

Just Click Here to Sign-Up for Jewel and you’ll start earning cashback on your purchases.

To start off, you’ll only need to enter an email address and password.

Then you can add your mailing address to your profile when you’re ready to get paid.

See Also: The 11 Best Cashback Sites Worth Your Time

Which Retailers Participate?

Jewel Brands

Over 250 luxury brands presently work with Jewel to give you cashback on your online purchases.

Top brands include Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Tory Burch, Blue Nile, Kate Spade, Net-A-Porter, and Kiehl’s.

Why Not Just Use Ebates or Another Cashback Site?

Jewel boost Payout

Because of something called the “Jewel Boosted Rate”.

This “boosted rate” is where the magic happens with Jewel and is the distinguishing feature.

In short, it’s a significantly higher cashback rate on luxury brands that the Ebates and TopCashBack’s of the world simply can’t match.

Here are a few examples…

  • Adrianna Papell – 5.6% cashback (3.5% at Ebates).
  • Armani.com – 6.1% cashback (3% at Ebates).
  • Hugo Boss – 7.1% cashback (3.5% at Ebates)
  • Kenneth Cole – 5.9% cashback (3% at TopCashBack).
  • Lancome Paris – 8.1% cashback (4% at Ebates).
  • Michael Kors – 6.7% cashback (2.5% at Ebates).
  • ModCloth – 5.1% cashback (2% at Ebates).
  • Nordstrom – 1.6% cashback (No cashback at Ebates or TopCashBack).
  • Oakley – 6.1% cashback (4% at Ebates).
  • Sephora – 6.1% cashback (3% at Ebates).

This “boosted” cashback rate definitely makes Jewel worth the effort when shopping for luxury brands.

How Much Cashback Does Jewel Offer?

It depends entirely on the retailer.

But the average cashback ranges from about 4% all the way up to 10%.

How Do I Get My Cashback?

As of this review, Jewel only pays via a check which is mailed to you.

They are currently working on alternative payment methods.

Also, keep in mind that you’ll need to earn at least $15 in cashback before you’re eligible for a payout.

How Often Does Jewel Pay?

Similar to Ebates, Jewel pays on a quarterly schedule.

Here are the exact payout dates…

Jewel Payout

Any Tricks To Insure I Get My Cashback?

I get questions all the time from cashback site users who are upset that their order didn’t track, and thus they were NOT rewarded cashback.

So to help everyone out, here are the main reasons why your purchase was NOT tracked.

  • Not Logged In – Make sure you are logged into Jewel before you shop.
  • Visited Another Site First – Do NOT click on another cash-back site before going to Jewel.
  • Didn’t Complete Purchase in 1 Session – If you don’t add items to your shopping cart, and make the purchase, in one shopping session your order won’t track.
  • Used Invalid Payment Method – Don’t pay with gift cards or reward points as they are not eligible for cashback.
  • Browser Cookies Not Enabled – Make sure you enable cookies before you use ANY cashback site.
  • Returned Items – Keep in mind that you won’t earn cashback on items that you return.

I hope this handy checklist helps you get the cashback you deserve.

Click Here to Sign-Up With Jewel

Ask the Reader: Have you tried Jewel to get some easy cashback on your online purchases?


By Kyle James

Photo credits to Jewel website.

Disclaimer: While Jewel did not pay me a cent to write this review, and all opinions are my own, I do receive a referral fee if you give Jewel a try. Money I use to keep this blog rolling along and maybe someday buy something from Saks 5th Avenue.

Sam’s Club Rolls Out Free Shipping Program to Compete with Amazon Prime

February 14, 2018 by Kyle
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In an attempt to revamp sales and compete with Amazon Prime, Sam’s Club is kicking off FREE shipping on almost everything. In the wake of abruptly closing 63 stores last month, Sam’s is shaking things up and trying to jump-start their online sales. Here are the details:

Sam's Club Rolls Out Free Shipping Program to Compete with Amazon Prime

Who Is Eligible for Free Shipping?

The only Sam’s Club members who’ll score free shipping are “Plus” members. There is NO order minimum required to get free shipping.

A Plus membership will run you $99 annually and also get you perks like early shopping hours and exclusive discounts on pharmacy prescriptions and eye glasses.

Plus members will also get $10 back for every $500 they spend.

See Also: 7 Ways to Shop at Sam’s Club Without a Membership

What Products Are NOT Eligible for Free Shipping?

According to the Sam’s Club CEO, over 95% of the things they sell via their website will be eligible for free delivery.

Gone are the days where Sam’s uses the size and weight of the item, along with your address, to calculate the shipping costs.

While the CEO didn’t elaborate on the 5% of items that won’t be eligible, it’s save to assume they’ll be VERY large items like furniture and appliances.

Will It Be Free 2-Day Shipping Like Amazon Prime?

No, at least not yet. Although there is a 100% chance of this coming down the pike.

Sam’s Club is revamping a bunch of the stores they closed and turning them into distribution centers. They’re doing this right now with the Memphis, TN location (set to open in 6 weeks).

With the new distribution centers in place, it will obviously be much more practical to get items to your doorstep within 2 days.

What Are My New Membership Options at Sam’s Club?

Sam’s is also revamping their membership options from three to two.

Specifically, moving forward they only offer the PLUS membership ($100/yr) and the CLUB membership ($45/yr).

Sam's Club membership options

Ask the Reader: Do these changes make you more or less likely to shop with Sam’s Club?


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Sam’s Club.

Amazon Prime’s New Whole Foods 2-Hour Delivery (Here’s Exactly How It Works)

February 8, 2018 by Kyle
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Amazon recently announced the roll-out of their 2-hour delivery of stuff from Whole Foods Market. Completely FREE for Amazon Prime members. The initial roll-out only includes 4 cities, but if all goes well, they plan on expanding the service across the country throughout the year. Here’s exactly how it works so you can be ready when it comes to your neck of the woods.

Amazon Prime's New Whole Foods 2-Hour Delivery

How Do I Place my 2-Hour Delivery Order?

Simply visit your Amazon.com account and start shopping via the Prime Now section of the site.

You can also shop via the Prime Now smartphone app for both iOS and Android.

What Does It Cost?

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, the 2-hour delivery in completely FREE.

If you want 1-hour delivery, you’ll have to pay a flat $7.99 fee.

Both delivery options require a minimum purchase of $35.

What Whole Foods Items are Eligible?

According to Amazon VP Stephenie Landry, “the vast majority” of items at Whole Foods are eligible for 2-hour delivery.

This includes produce, meat, dairy, and even fresh flowers.

What Cities Are Currently Eligible?

This new Amazon roll-out includes the following 4 cities:

  • Austin, TX
  • Dallas, TX
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Virginia Beach,VA

I’ll keep this list updated as new cities are added.

Is the 2-Hour Delivery Guaranteed?

I hit up Amazon customer service and was told that YES there is a delivery time guarantee.

Specifically, once you place your order you’ll be given a specific delivery time and date at check out.

This will be followed by an email which will include confirmation of the delivery time and date. The only reason for a delay would be mechanical issues or human error.

As for what you’ll receive if Amazon doesn’t meet their 2-hour guarantee, it depends entirely on the situation.

If the package is simply late, but still will be delivered, you’ll receive an Amazon credit for your time waiting. (Note: They wouldn’t tell me how big the credit would be.)

If for some reason your package will NOT be delivered, you’ll get a full refund along with a credit to your Amazon account.

Does Someone Have to Be Home?

No, you don’t have to be home.

When you place your order, unless otherwise stated in your delivery instructions, the driver will know to leave the package on your doorstep.

Who Actually Delivers the Goods?

“Pickers” will actually walk down the aisles at Whole Foods and grab your items and pack them up.

Deliveries are then made by Amazon Flex Drivers.

These are contract employees who also deliver for Amazon, Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, and Amazon Restaurants.

They drive their own cars and use the Amazon Routing app to help with deliveries.

What Time of Day are Deliveries Available?

The answer is still a little fuzzy on this one.

2-hour deliveries are basically available during Whole Foods store hours, which are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m..

But don’t expect a delivery much before 10 a.m. if you order first thing in the morning.

Ask the Reader: Would you use the 2-hour delivery from Amazon and Whole Foods if it was available to you?


By Kyle James

Walmart Pharmacy: Your 7 Burning Questions Finally Answered

February 6, 2018 by Kyle
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I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about the Walmart pharmacy. Is it cheaper than other pharmacies? How does it compare to Costco’s pharmacy? How does the Express Pickup work? So I figured it was time to put fingers to keys and answer your burning questions in one handy dandy post. Hope it helps!

Walmart Pharmacy: Your 7 Burning Questions Finally Answered

1. Are the Walmart Pharmacy Hours Different?

Yes, the Walmart pharmacy hours are different than regular store hours.

Most stores are open 24 hours a day, but most Walmart pharmacies are only open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

2. Does the Pharmacy Offer $4 Generics?

Yes, Walmart is one of a handful of national chains to offer $4 generics.

For your 4 dollars, you get a 30-day supply OR $10 for a 90-day supply.

Here is a Detailed List of all the $4 prescriptions Walmart currently offers, broken down by medical condition.

Takeaway: Always ask your doctor if a generic drug is available before he fills out the prescription.

3. Does Walmart Sell Pseudoephedrine Products?

Yes, but they are NOT over-the-counter drugs.

But when buying products like Sudafed that contain pseudoephedrine you’ll need to show a valid I.D. to make the purchase.

This drug is used to make “meth” and thus the DEA regulation that requires a valid I.D..

4. Can I Pickup a Refill From a Different Walmart?

Yes, you can, but it requires an extra step.

Specifically, you’ll have to visit the online Walmart Pharmacy.

Next you’ll want to select the prescription you want to refill, then on the checkout page just select Store Pickup.

Lastly, select the new Walmart location where you want to pick-up your prescription. Done.

5. Can Someone Else Fill My Prescription?

Yes, they absolutely can.

They’ll need your name, address, and date of birth to walk out with your drug.

6. Any Way to Skip the Line Once I Get to the Pharmacy?

Absolutely you can, Walmart calls it their Express Pickup.

Just download the Walmart App and visit the Pharmacy section of the app. Tip: You’ll find it in Services.

Next, use the app to refill or transfer an existing prescription.

The app will then notify you when your prescription is ready.

At this point you can use the app to access Express Pickup.

All you have to do is use the app to pay for your drugs, sign your forms, and select Express Pickup.

When you get to the Walmart Pharmacy head straight for the Express Pickup line and wink at everyone standing in the long “regular people” line.

Then all you have to do is scan the QR code on your phone, grab your prescription, and walk out the door.

7. How Does Their Pharmacy Compare to Costco’s?

Costco might lose this battle.

Not only does Costco not offer $4 generics, but they also don’t offer an “express pickup” option like Walmart.

While Costco does offer a Member Prescription Program which offers some savings, they tend to only be on name-brand drugs like Viagra, Osphena, Relistor, and Victoza.

The one cool thing about the Costco Pharmacy is you DO NOT have to be a paying Costco member to take advantage.

See Also: 8 Cool Things You Can Do at Costco Without a Membership

Ask the Reader: What’s been your experience with the Walmart pharmacy? Let me know in the comments below.


By Kyle James

Photo credit to frankieleon.

Starbucks Gold Card: What Is It, How to Get It, and Is It Worth It?

January 29, 2018 by Kyle
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I just recently got my own Starbucks Gold Card in the mail. I gotta admit, I opened it with a strange mix of excitement and guilt. After all, I had done the math and realized exactly what this card had cost me (more on that later). But I was also stoked to know I’d be drinking a FREE Venti Mocha on my next trip through the Starbucks drive-thru. Here’s a handy little breakdown of the Starbucks Gold Card so you can determine if it’s something you’ll benefit from or not.

Starbucks Gold Card: What Is It, How to Get It, and Is It Worth It?

Starbucks Gold Card….What Is It?

The Starbucks gold card is a rewards card that gets you some nifty free drinks and treats.

See Also: 10 Starbucks Prices That Actually Make Their Coffee Affordable

How Do I Earn The Gold Card?

When you sign-up with the Starbucks Rewards Program you start at the Green Level.

Earn at least 300 Stars in a 12 month period and you’ll get promoted to the Gold Level.

Not only will your Starbucks app deem you a Gold member, but they’ll actually mail you a Gold Card that you can show off to your friends.

The best part is you earn 2 stars for every $1 spent with your Gold card. Then you can actually redeem those stars for free coffee or food.

What Exactly Does the Gold Card Give Me?

Starbucks Gold Card

Well, first of all, you get everything that someone at the Green Level gets:

– Free Birthday Drink – You’ll find your birthday reward on the Starbucks app starting the day before your birthday. You’ll have until the day after your birthday to redeem it. Any size, any drink.

– Free In-Store Refills – Score a free refill on your way out. You can score a free refill on any sized iced coffee, iced tea (or hot tea), or brewed coffee. So if you originally bought a Grande, you’ll get a Grande sized free refill.

– Member Only Offers and Deals – These exclusive deals include discounts on specific drinks, products, and food items.

Plus, you get these Gold Level ONLY perks….

– Monthly Double-Star Days – On certain days you’ll earn 4 stars for every dollar spent. Be sure to sign-up for emails to be notified of double-star days.

– Reward Every 125 Stars – This is where the magic happens. If you’re going to be stopping at Starbucks anyways on the way to work why not get something out of it?

– Personalized Gold Card – Yes, they’ll actually mail you your own Gold Card a couple weeks after you earn it.

Do the Reward Points Expire?

Stars Expire

Surprisingly, YES your reward stars do indeed expire.

I didn’t do the math cuz I’m a dullard, but it looks like they expire 6 months after you earn them.

Is It a Lofty Goal or Wasted Money?

If you drink at Starbucks often, like at least 4 times per month, it’s definitely worth signing up for their rewards program and shooting for Gold.

The reason is because at the introductory Green level you DO NOT earn any free drinks or treats. Boo!

So the Gold level actually pays you back with free coffee.

But let’s be honest here…in order to get a Gold Card you gotta buy $150 worth of Starbucks drinks and food in a 12-month period.

That’s a lot of $5 milkshakes that they trick us into buying by calling them Frappuccinos.

Is the Card Actually Made of Gold?

No, it’s just ol’ plastic…but I sure wish it was 14 karat.

How cool would that be though?

Can Starbuck’s Employees Earn Stars?

Yes.

They actually earn 3 stars for every dollar spent instead of 2 that us regular caffeine addicts earn.

If you work for Starbucks make sure you register your “Partner” rewards card and start earning.

Is There a Free Starbucks for Life Card?

Starbucks for Life

Unbelievably, YES.

Starbucks actually just gave one away last month.

Keep an eye out for another chance to win free coffee for life soon.

Ask the Reader: Do you have a Starbucks Gold Card? If so, how many free drinks do you earn per year?


By Kyle James

Toys R Us Return Policy: Step Over the Giraffe Poop and Get Your Questions Answered

January 26, 2018 by Kyle
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This is not the most timely article with the recent news of 182 Toys R Us locations shuttering their doors. But it’s still worth knowing exactly how the Toys R Us return policy works, especially if you shop there often. Their policy definitely has its idiosyncrasies, especially when it comes to your online returns. I can only think that they let Geoffrey the Giraffe come up with that plan. Here’s exactly how their return policy works…

Toys R Us Return Policy: Step Over the Giraffe Poop and Get Your Questions Answered

What is the Toys R Us Return Policy?

The majority of items come with a 90-day return policy.

What if the Toy is Opened or Used?

To get full credit, the toy must be unopened or in like-new condition.

This means it CAN be opened, but must look brand new and include all manuals, packaging, and accessories.

The following products CANNOT be opened at all if you want to return them: Pre-recorded movies and music, computer software & video games, trading cards, and breast pumps.

Do I Need My Receipt?

It’s HIGHLY recommended, but…

I asked a Toys R Us chat rep specifically and he told me that if you entered your Rewards Number at checkout they can find your purchase that way.

Otherwise, it’s up to the individual store to accept your return (or not) without a receipt.

If they do accept your return, they’ll give you store credit based on the lowest price in the past 90 days.

Any Exceptions to the 90-Day Policy?

Yes, there are some glaring exceptions…

Cameras, Camcorders, Digital Audio Players, Video Game Hardware — These all come with a 30 day return policy. They can be opened but must be in like-new condition with all packaging, manuals, and accessories.

DVD players and No-Contract Cell Phones — These also come with a 30 day return policy.

Computer Hardware — This includes eReaders, netbooks, and tablets. You have 30 days from date of purchase to return these.

Pool Items including Water Slides — Some of these items are NOT returnable. Ask at your local store.

What About Returning a Gift?

When returning with a gift receipt, you’ll get merchandise credit which can be used for a future purchase.

If you don’t have a gift receipt you’ll get the lowest selling price from the last 90 days.

Items must be unopened and brand spanking new.

What About Returning Online Purchases?

When returning items bought from their website, you can either mail items back or return them to your local Toys R Us location.

To create a return shipping label you’ll have to visit this site and fill out your information.

This is a real pain in the butt if you ask me. It would be much simpler if Toys R Us included a return shipping label with the original purchase.

Keep in mind that when returning via the mail, you’ll be on the hook for return shipping costs UNLESS the item was defective or damaged when you received it.

Why Does Toys R Us Ask for my ID?

It’s simply to prevent fraud.

Unfortunately some folks try to take advantage of their return policy.

ID’s that Toys R Us accepts include driver’s license, State Identification from U.S., U.S. Territories, Canada or Mexico, a Military ID, or a valid Passport.

The info from your ID will be kept in their database to insure that you don’t abuse their return policy.

Is the Babies R Us Return Policy the Same?

YES, it is absolutely the same return policy as Toys R Us.

Is the Canadian Policy Different?

Yes, it is.

Turns out the Canadian Toys R Us is a completely different company and has a different return policy.

You can find all the policy Details HERE.

Can I Ask For Cash Instead of Store Credit or Charge-Back?

No way Jose. Here is how it breaks down…

Paid with Cash = You’ll be refunded with Cash.

Paid with Credit Card = Refunded back to same Card.

Paid with Check (Last 7 days) = You’ll be given Store Credit

Paid with Check (After 7 days) = You’ll be given Cash.

Paid with Merchandise Credit = You’ll be given Merchandise Credit.

Paid with Debit Card = You’ll be given Cash.

What About Returning Items from a Baby Registry?

They’ll actually accept returns 12 months after the babies due date.

Plus, you DON’T need your receipt as the purchase can be looked up on your registry.

Keep in mind that when returning items from your registry you’re only eligible for merchandise credit.

Is There a Holiday Return Policy?

Toys R Us actually has a GREAT holiday return policy.

Anything purchased on or after September 1st can be returned all the way through January 28th of the following year.

Note: Select electronics and baby monitors have a start date of November 1st (instead of September 1st).

Ask the Reader: Ever had trouble using the Toys R Us return policy? What was the issue and how did it get resolved?


By Kyle James

Amazon Prime Cost Breakdown: Why Prime is Worth $19.97 Per Month

January 23, 2018 by Kyle
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Let’s not bury the lead. The Amazon Prime cost currently sits at $99 a year which equates to $8.25 per month. I did the math and determined that before you do any shopping at all, Prime is worth $19.97 per month. Keep reading to determine how I broke down each Prime perk so you can figure out if the cost of an annual Amazon Prime membership is a smart buy for you.

Amazon Prime Cost Breakdown: Why Prime is Worth $19.97 Per Month

Breakdown of Amazon Prime Cost:

Again, Amazon Prime currently costs $99 a year.

Here’s a handy breakdown of what all the Prime benefits are worth so you can determine if the cost of Prime makes sense for you…

Prime Music

Value: $5.99/mo.

Spotify Premium comes in at $9.99 a month after your free 30 day trial.

Prime Music is definitely not Spotify, so I’ll give it a value of $5.99 a month.

While Prime Music gives you access to over 2 million songs (Spotify gives you 30+ million), new songs and albums are sometimes only available to Prime Music Unlimited customers.

For example, while a couple of his popular singles are available, Ed Sheeran’s entire new album is only available to Music Unlimited subscribers.

You’ll also have trouble finding some obscure songs and artists that Spotify will have.

The good news is that songs on Prime Music are ad-free, you can easily sync it with your Echo, and you can create playlists similar to Spotify.

If you’re an average music listener you’ll love Prime Music and easily get $6 of enjoyment out of it each month.

Prime Video

Value: $4.99/mo.

The selection of movies and TV shows available on Prime Video is definitely less than Netflix.

The standard Netflix monthly plans comes in at $10.99, so I’d conservatively estimate Prime Video being worth $4.99/month.

If you’re not a heavy “show binger” Prime Video will be just fine for you.

I’ve actually been quite impressed with the quality of Prime movies available recently, especially for kids and family viewing.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why Amazon Prime Is a Terrible Buy

Unlimited Prime Photo

Value: $.99/mo.

It’s hard to put a large value on Prime Photo when Google also has a free option.

The one thing that Prime Photo has that Google is missing is Amazon lets you store unlimited RAW file formats for free, which Google doesn’t.

Amazon Audible Channels

Value: $3/mo.

Before Amazon included Audible Channels with your Prime membership they were charging $5/month for the service.

Just download the free app and start listening to “original audio series, plus playlists handcrafted for every interest.”

Twitch Prime

Value: $1/mo.

Twitch Prime is the world’s leading community for gamers and the video game culture.

I give Twitch a value of $1/month as they give away a bunch of freebies along with discounts on pre-order box games.

Prime Reading

Value: $4/mo.

Amazon’s Prime Reading gives you free access to thousands of books, comics, magazines, and Kindle Singles.

If you can cancel a magazine subscription, or avoid buying a book each month, the service is easily worth $4 per month.

Free 2-Day Shipping

Value: Depends on usage.

So far, the above Prime perks are worth $19.97 per month. Doing some quick math, those perks are worth about $239 annually.

So theoretically if you NEVER shopped on Amazon OR took advantage of free 2-day shipping, the Amazon Prime cost of $99 a year would be a smart purchase.

But if you take advantage of free 2-day shipping at least twice per month, Prime really makes a lot of sense.

Although, keep in mind that Walmart now offers free 2-day shipping on $35 or more (no membership required). This definitely takes a little bit of the shine away from Amazon’s Prime shipping guarantee.

Ask the Reader: Did this article sway you one way or another on getting Amazon Prime? Or is the cost of Prime just too rich for your blood?


By Kyle James

Did Your Amazon Account Get Hacked? 6 Things To Do Immediately

January 22, 2018 by Kyle
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Most shoppers love Amazon. Hard not to with the free 2-day shipping, cool Prime perks, and competitive pricing. But with Amazon’s popularity comes growing security concerns as hackers try to crack the huge database of shoppers and their linked credit cards. If for some unforeseeable reason your Amazon account gets hacked, here are the 6 things you need to do right away…

Amazon Account Get Hacked? 6 Things To Do Immediately

1. Immediately Change Your Amazon Password

Amazon password

If you think your Amazon account was hacked for ANY reason, the first thing you should do is immediately login to your account and change your password.

To make this happen just click on Accounts & Lists, followed by Your Account, then Login & Security.

Make your new password a string of random numbers and letters and not actual words. Then write it down somewhere for safe keeping.

If you need help generating a strong password, I’m a big fan of StrongPasswordGenerator.com.

It would also be REALLY smart to change the password on the email account associated with your Amazon account.

In many cases this is how hackers gain access to your Amazon account if you’re signed up with Amazon’s 2-step verification system.

In other words, if they can get into your email account it becomes easy to also get into your Amazon account.

Important: DO NOT use the same password that you use on other popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

See Also: Amazon Prime Discounts: 5 Ways to Pay WAY Less Than $99/year

2. Check Your Account Information

Account Info

Next, click around your Amazon account carefully and make sure nothing has been altered.

Check your linked credit cards (if any), billing address, shipping address, phone number, and email address.

If any information has been changed, be sure to note the change (with a screen capture) and then correct it.

At this point you should call Amazon’s security department at (888) 282-2406 and tell them that your account has been breached.

They’ll be able to provide further assistance and help you keep an eye on your account activity in the coming days.

3. Check Purchase History (Especially Archived Orders)

Archived Orders

Next, take a look at your Amazon order history and make sure you recognize all recent purchases.

Don’t forget to click on Archived Orders as often times hackers will “hide” fraudulent orders there.

You’ll find all of your archived orders in the “Ordering and Shopping Preferences” section of your Amazon account. See screenshot above.

4. Enable Amazon 2-Step Verification

Amazon 2-step Verification

By turning on 2-Step Authentication your Amazon account is much harder to hack into.

Essentially it requires a security code to be entered whenever you attempt to access your account from a new computer, smartphone, or tablet.

To authenticate, Amazon will simply shoot you a text message with a security code attached that you manually enter.

Very easy to do and definitely helps keep hackers out of your account.

5. Consider Un-Linking Credit Cards

Unlink Cards

Having your credit card(s) linked to your account makes ordering much easier. Believe me, I know.

But it also creates an easy way for hackers to make unauthorized purchases on those cards.

A simple workaround is to un-link all payment methods from your Amazon account.

Yes, you’ll have to enter your card info every time you make a purchase, BUT you won’t have to worry about someone hacking into your account and making a bunch of purchases.

6. Check all Credit Card Accounts

At this point it’s also smart to check all of your credit cards that are linked to your Amazon account.

Make sure none of them have any unauthorized purchases on them.

Bonus: How to Protect Yourself From Future Attacks

– Never Click on Phishy Emails – If you get a supposed email from Amazon about your account, but it just doesn’t look right, DO NOT click on any links within the email.

Also, check the email address of the sender. Often times these phishing emails will NOT be from an address ending with @amazon.com. Stay far away from those.

– Don’t Access your Amazon Account Over Unsecured Network – In other words, try not to shop online when sipping a latte at Starbucks if you’re using their free WiFi.

– How to Get Into Your Account if Hacker Changes Email Address? – Well, in short, you can’t get into your Amazon account if this happens.

You’ll have to immediately call Amazon at (888) 280-4331 and they can remove the fraudulent email address and lock your account until the issue is resolved.

Ask the Reader: Has your Amazon account ever been hacked? How did the hacker get into your account and what damage was done?


By Kyle James

Sears Return Policy: Yes, Sears Is Still Open and Accepting Returns

January 17, 2018 by Kyle
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The Sears return policy is a bit complicated. This is due, in part, to the large number of products that they currently sell. Tires, tools, furniture, appliances, clothing, electronics, shoes, mattresses, and the list goes on and on. I figured it was time to do some research and answer all of your return policy questions on a single page. Here’s everything you need to know about the return policy at Sears.

Sears Return Policy: Yes, Sears Is Still In Business and Accepting Returns

How Many Return Days at Sears?

30 days.

For most items, Sears gives you a full 30 days from the date of purchase to make a return.

Items must be in their original packaging and include all parts and instruction manuals.

Do I Need My Sears Receipt to Return Stuff?

Yes! Hold on to that receipt.

Sears explicitly says you need your receipt to make a return.

While they may be able to look up your purchase in their computer system, there’s NO guarantee they’ll be able to find it.

Your return will be processed back to your form of payment.

If you’re returning a gift (with the gift receipt) you’ll be issued a Sears gift card for the amount.

HACK ALERT: If you lost your Sears receipt, your best bet is to call Sears directly at (800) 349-4358 and speak to a representative.

Politely explain to them that your receipt has gone missing and they can often look up the order number using your credit card number.

They’ll then email you a copy of your receipt that you can print out and take with you to the store. I did this successfully a couple months ago, it’s definitely worth a shot.

Any Exceptions to the 30 Days?

Not surprisingly, Sears has a ton of exceptions to their baseline 30-day return policy. Here they are…

– Automotive Products (Installed): Think tires and car batteries. These products are covered under the specific manufacturer’s warranty.

– Prepaid Cell Phones: 14 days. After 14 days you’ll have to take it up with the carrier directly.

– Christmas Items: If you bought item before December 25th, you CANNOT return it once Christmas has passed. Alternatively, Christmas items bought after Christmas are all FINAL sale.

– Craftsman Tools: Craftsman tools are awesome and most of them come with a lifetime warranty. Click here for details.

– Personalized Items: These are NOT returnable.

– Furniture: If items are delivered, they must be returned within 7 days of the delivery date. Ready-to-assemble and baby furniture come with a 30 day return policy.

– Opened music, movies, software, video games: These cannot be returned. If item is defective, an identical exchange is available.

– Mattresses: From the Sears website, “You must use the mattress set for 30 nights before requesting a return or exchange. If after the 30 night adjustment period you are not satisfied, you have between the 31st day & the 60th day after the delivery date to request a one-time comfort return or exchange for a different mattress & foundation of equal or greater value. Where permitted by law, a pick up fee will be charged for our delivery team to pick up the mattress or foundation from its location & a 15% usage & processing fee will apply.”

Does Sears Ever Charge a Re-Stocking Fee?

Unfortunately, yes they do. On these items specifically…

15% Restocking Fee: On returned mattresses, foundations, assembled/upholstered indoor furniture, water heaters, and built-in home appliances.

Also, you’ll be hit with a 15% restocking fee on OPENED consumer electronics, patio furniture, gazebos, canopies, pergolas, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, space heaters and grills.

To AVOID this 15% fee, these items must be returned unused and in the original box and product packaging, with all accessories and parts included.

How Do I Return a Sears Appliance?

You have 30 days to return an appliance for any reason.

For smaller appliances you can take them back yourself, but for larger ones you’ll need to call Sears at (800) 349-4358 to schedule a pickup date and time.

Make sure you have your receipt in-hand as they’ll ask for your order information.

Can I Return Stuff from Sears.com to any Sears?

Yes, absolutely.

This is actually the smart way to return online purchases as you’ll avoid the return shipping fee that Sears will stick you with.

Does Sears Offer a “Holiday” Return Policy?

Yes, and it’s pretty stellar.

For items bought between November 1 and December 24th, you’re given until January 31st to make a return.

It should be noted that this extended return window is limited to items that come with the standard 30-day return policy.

Sears Return Policy Tidbits:

– Lands’ End Purchases: Did you know you can return items bought from Lands’ End to your local Sears? This includes stuff bought from their website, catalog, and the Sears Lands’ End shop.

– Items Sold by a 3rd Party: Sears sells a lot of items on their website that are sold and fulfilled by 3rd party Marketplace sellers. These items cannot be returned to Sears, they must be returned directly to the Marketplace seller.

– Sears Outlet Purchases: The Sears Outlet has a completely different return policy. Because of this, you must return outlet items directly to the Sears Outlet and not the regular store.

– Sears Parts Direct Items: To return a Parts Direct item to a Sears store you must first acquire a Return Authorization form. Click Here to gain access to one. You can also go to any Sears store and ask an associate for assistance.

Ask the Reader: Have you ever had to use the Sears return policy? Was it an easy process or a pain in the neck?


By Kyle James

All 13 Retailers and Companies Who’ll Happily Accept Bitcoin

January 16, 2018 by Kyle
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Bitcoin is all the rage recently, with a single coin soaring to over $19,000 in value in recent months. But you’re probably wondering who accepts Bitcoin? Unfortunately there exists a very limited number of retailers and businesses that accept the cryptocurrency. Hopefully more stores will get on-board and start accepting Bitcoin in the near future. Here are the 13 retailers and companies that I discovered which currently accept Bitcoin. I’ll be sure to keep this list updated as I discovery new places.

Who Accepts Bitcoin? All 13 Retailers and Companies That Currently Do

1. Dish Network

DishNetwork Accepts Bitcoin

Dish actually started accepting Bitcoin back in 2014.

Just visit your Dish Network account and go to the “Pay My Bill” page and you will see Bitcoin as an option.

2. eGifter

eGifter Accepts Bitcoin

eGifter is a site that let’s you buy gift cards for over 250 stores and they let you pay via Bitcoin.

Transactions are secure and could take up to 30 minutes to process.

3. Expedia (Hotel Bookings)

Expedia Accepts Bitcoin

Powered by Coinbase, Expedia has been accepting Bitcoin for hotel bookings for quite some time now.

Hopefully they will accept cryptocurrency for airfare and vacation packages in the near future.

4. Gyft

Gyft Bitcoin

Similar to eGifter, Gyft also accepts Bitcoin for gift card purchases.

They offer instant gift card delivery as well as NO fees which is a nice perk.

5. Intuit

Intuit Bitcoin

Intuit Labs allows you to setup your small business to accept Bitcoin.

Benefits to your business include less fraud as transactions are irreversible with Bitcoin, along with instant transactions.

6. Microsoft

Microsoft just got back into the Bitcoin game after a short departure.

They’ll currently accept Bitcoin on all Windows and Xbox online store purchases.

To make it happen, you’ll have to add Bitcoin to your “Microsoft-sanctioned digital wallet” first and then make the purchase. Instructions can be found here.

Hopefully they are back for good this time.

7. NewEgg.com

NewEgg Accepts Bitcoin

Online computer and electronics seller NewEgg.com also accepts Bitcoin on most purchases.

Be aware that all purchases made with Bitcoin on NewEgg are final and cannot be returned for Bitcoin or hard currency.

8. Overstock.com

Overstock Accepts Bitcoin

Overstock was the first major retailer to accept Bitcoin and a true revolutionary in the online space.

When checking out, you’ll see the Bitcoin payment option directly under the PayPal option. Couldn’t be easier.

9. PizzaForCoins.com

PizzaForCoins

“Order Pizza, pay with Bitcoins, and EAT!”

The website PizzaForCoins.com seem pretty self-explanatory.

Now if they could just expand the number of stores that participate, they’d really be cooking with gas.

10. Reeds Jewelers

Reeds Accepts Bitcoin

You can now use Bitcoins at the popular jewelry store, Reeds Jewelers.

The cool part about this is that they accept Bitcoin both online and at their physical stores.

When shopping via their website, simply select the “Pay with Bitcoin” option under the Payment Information section of the checkout page.

11. Shopify Stores

Shopify Accepts Bitcoin

A bunch of Shopify stores also accept Bitcoin as payment.

If you have an eCommerce site, teaming with Spotify is a great way to incorporate Bitcoin into your sales strategy.

12. Subway

Subway Accepts Bitcoin

Many Subway franchises now accept Bitcoin as payment.

Simply look for the above sticker on the door or window as you enter.

If your favorite Subway doesn’t accept Bitcoin, tell the owner to “get on-board” and move into the 21st century.

13. Virgin Galactic

Virgin Accepts Bitcoin

“Bitcoins in space?” Sure why not.

Virgin Galactic jumped on the Bitcoin rocket a while back and they’ve already had a future astronaut purchase space travel using nothing but her Bitcoin stash.

Leave it to Richard Branson to come up with such a brilliant marketing strategy.

Ask the Reader: What other stores or businesses currently accept Bitcoin? Let me know which ones I missed in the comments section below.


By Kyle James

Photo credit to fdecomite.