When you’re down and out and all alone, who can you turn to for satisfaction? When it’s cold and dark we look to the man that showed us that we weren’t too old to learn to love again: The CEO.
Matt W. writes us with this handy admonishment for those tempted to the evil of rebates:
I purchased a new HP Pavilion m7250n Media Center PC at Circuit City on Nov. 26. One of the reasons I did so was that they had an incredible deal if you factored in the rebates: The PC was $1069.99, then there was a $50 HP MIR, plus a whopping $120 Circuit City MIR. Which made the PC $899.99 after rebates. Like I said, a fabulous deal. The rebate window was ending in 24 hours after I saw the price, and you hade to make the purchase on-line. With Circuit City, that’s no big deal, since I could specify in-store pickup as the delivery method, and the closest one is 1.5 miles from my house. There would be no delayed gratification for me.
Remember a couple days back when we recommended using Amazon’s 30-day price drop policy to your advantage? We thought that was a pretty good idea, obviously, but keeping track of the price drops for every item—not just in a month, but every day in between—sounds like a real hassle.
Want to sneak in a few extra dollars from your Amazon orders? This nice man name of Jim has a tip for you regarding Amazon’s price drop policy. It’s pretty simple, really.
I was at the Key Foods by my house and as I was standing in line the lady in front of me swiped her credit card on the little machine by the register about three times with no luck. Then the cashier handed her a plastic bag and told her to wrap the credit card in the plastic bag and swipe it. I kind of laughed to myself, but the lady did as instructed, swiped the bag covered card and it worked. I must have made a face because the cashier smiled at me, and I asked her “how did you figure that out?” and she just smiled.
Credit cards store their information on magnetic strips. That means that if this trick is more than just retail voodoo, it must be aligning the card in such a way to make it easier for the reader to scan it. Which, you know, doesn’t make a lot of sense to us.
Here’s a cool bit of shophackery: If you append a descriptor to the end of your Gmail name—say, email@example.com, instead of firstname.lastname@example.org—you can then add a filter to Gmail to catch all those emails. That allows you to filter out your potentially spammy online shopping mail using the same account.
Out there in the great expanse of the mind, you might have misplaced a few tokens of ownership, like the keys to your car or your children’s bones. That is as natural as the sun’s hateful rays, and we do not condemn you. But did you know that someone may have misplaced property or money for you?
Mail-in rebates are a chump’s game, and on the whole, we recommend against them. (That’s one of the reason you’ll so few MIR offers in our Deals Rounds Ups; The other is that half the time they just don’t work.)