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.
You never know when an opportunity to haggle might present itself when you’re out shopping, as our reader Marty demonstrates. He was able to get a 10% discount on a blazer at Macy’s just by asking the clerk at the register.
My advice on mail-in-rebates is to ignore them when you’re trying to decide on a purchase. They take too long to receive, during which time you’ve paid a higher amount on the product. Even worse, it’s easy for a company to deny a claim and refuse to cooperate with you, and it’s hard for consumers to get misbehaving companies to play fairly.
There are several apps on the Apple app store that help consumers track sales and free offers from developers, but you have to launch them and check in regularly. The website App Spy offers an automated price tracker for games (just games, unfortunately) that will send you an email whenever a price threshhold is reached. If you tend to be an app junkie, it can help save you money by letting you get your fix on the cheap good stuff.
Reader Lane wants to know if other readers out there have experienced the following scenario from DirecTV. You think you are paying too much so you call to negotiate. They offer you a discount, then raise your rates. When you call to cancel, they threaten to bill you for the “discounts” you were getting.
Ray wanted his happy hour discount at a Sonic in Colorado, and wasn’t about to settle for paying more than double the $3.40 he thought he owed. Although his receipt read 4:11, meaning happy hour was over, Ray correctly insisted Sonic’s clock was fast. But the restaurant wouldn’t budge on the price and Ray ended up leaving in handcuffs, touching off a yearlong legal battle.
Michael S. Rosenwald saved $15 on a pair of shoes at Macy’s, $3 on a steak at Giant, $6 on a DVD set at Best Buy, and $100 off his next Verizon bill (plus a 10% discount on future bills) during one week spent haggling. In this Washington Post article, he describes how it felt to switch from the habit of paying full retail to looking at a price tag as a “suggestion,” in the words of one expert he met with. The executives Rosenwald spoke with repeatedly said that bargaining is not standard practice, but that didn’t stop employees and managers from making deals in order to close the sale.