In the latest craze of daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, we’re already learning pretty darn fast that not all is what it seems when it comes to the offered discounts. Caveat emptor and all that, right? Let’s take a look at some of the things you should consider before you plunk down $17 for $34 worth of bacon-flavored lollipops at that place you never would’ve gone to otherwise, shall we?
It seemed reasonable enough to Mark: his local Target gave out more tickets to purchase 16 GB iPads than they had iPads, and he was the last person to reserve a ticket. The store had plenty of 64 GB models left, though, but Mark didn’t want to pay that much and tried to leverage the situation into a discount on one of those. Some employees agreed that the company should make this happen, and others claimed that it wasn’t physically possible. Mark began a quest to get his promised discount, but it looks like he’ll be running Flash on his iPad before that ever happens.
To get into speakeasies of yore, you had to knock and the door, waiting for the big guy to slide back the eye slot, and say the secret password. Likewise, in order to get into a hotel room at a great price, you gotta know the lingo to sling.
Lane says he re-upped with DirecTV with the understanding that he’d receive $10 off his bill for the next year. After appearing on his first bill, the discount vanished, never to be seen again. Now he’s wondering whether or not it’s worth grilling customer service until he can get his discount reinstated.
Just as gamblers use Monday Night Football to make up for their brutal disappointments throughout the weekend, shoppers who fall short during Black Friday mayhem turn to online shopping on Cyber Monday to snatch up the supposed best deals available.
Alex and his wife bought into a Groupon offer for Gap, where you could buy $50 worth of merchandise for $25. Everything was going great until they ran into a manager at their local store who refused to even ring up the pants they’d chosen, saying anything already discounted wasn’t eligible for the offer.
Kyle just emailed us a recap of his successful haggling adventure at Target this past weekend. If you’re afraid to try haggling at a big chain store, check out his story for an example of how to make it pleasant for all parties involved; the goal is to approach it as a negotiation where everyone wins, not as a zero-sum competition.
By calling up Sprint and insinuating he might cancel because they’re taking away his discount, one of our readers was able to get Sprint to credit his account for the same amount they’re taking away from him.
If you’re proud of how much money you’re saving on your Sprint family or share plan because of all the mad discounts you’re getting, get ready for a price hike. After August 27th, Sprint is getting rid of all add-a-phone discounts.
Liz is wondering what’s going on at her local Hobby Lobby. She’s a professional doll maker and she buys a lot of supplies from the craft store chain every month. So far, she and her husband have been able to use the company’s in-store coupons for separate purchases even if they stand together in line at the register, but it looks like her Hobby Lobby may be cracking down on that. Should it?
The world of shoppers is divided into two, sometimes rival, camps: those who coupon and those who don’t. If you are going to coupon, you have to make sure that you do it right and respect your fellow shoppers, otherwise they will hoist you (in their minds) from the nearest shopping cart return sign. So then, NJ.com proposes 10 commandments for couponers to follow so that we can all live together in harmony, couponer and non alike.
Palm, which is a smartphone company that is not Apple, has halved the prices of almost all apps in its U.S. app store until July 9th. Although I called it a fire sale, mocoNews thinks maybe it’s a way for HP to “say that Palm devices are here to stay.” Either way, if your phone uses Palm’s webOS then this is a great time to pick up some apps at a big discount.
Savvily taking the proactive route rather than suffering customer backlash, Netflix is sending out emails with account-specific links that users can click on to save 5 percent off their next bill.
Last month, a business improvement group in Ardmore, PA issued $15,000 in local currency, which citizens bought at half the face value and which can be spent like real money in stores and restaurants in the downtown area. Strangely, despite the 50% savings promised only $2,900 of it has been spent so far, with thrift stores receiving more than any other type of business. The group is going to launch another money printing campaign in November to try to boost holiday sales, preferably of new things.
Walmart has dropped the price of the iPhone 3GS to $97, which is $2 less than Apple charges for the older 3G model. The move has fueled speculation that Apple plans to announce the next-generation iPhone at its developers conference next month. They may as well. It’s not like anybody’s going to be surprised to see it.
Reader Greg is not thrilled with FTD’s offer of $10 off the flowers that were not delivered for Mother’s Day. Why? $10 doesn’t even cover the $18.99 in shipping and fees he was charged.
A new smoothie cart across from the Museum of Natural History in New York City will be powered by bicycles, says the NY Post. If you pedal the blender yourself you can get $1 off.