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.
Macy’s wants in on the discount department store market, so starting this summer the company will open four outlet stores under the Bloomingdale’s brand in New Jersey, Florida, and Virginia, reports the Seattle Times. Apparently the real Bloomingdale’s sales haven’t been stellar in this economy, so Macy’s is hoping that a discount offshoot will bring in more budget-conscious shoppers.
Alisha was disappointed to find out Pizza Hut’s “Any Pizza, Any Crust, Any Size, Any Topping” for $10″ deal isn’t quite as all-encompassing as it promises.
Some members of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) are pretty upset that the consumer advocacy group for gamers removed the ability to turn off auto-renewal on member accounts. They’ve also removed the phone number you used to be able to call to cancel. In fact, the only way to cancel your ECA membership now is to mail them a letter–and if your request isn’t processed at least 30 days before your membership is due to renew, you can expect to be charged again. Update: The ECA has responded, but their formal statement leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
A dispute over pricing has led Costco to stop selling a number of Coca-Cola brands, which means all Coke varieties as well as Sprite, Squirt, Dasani water, and Full Throttle energy drinks, reports the Associated Press.
Dan sent in this pic from a local pet store. It reads, “After January 1st, bag sizes will be decreased, and these new prices will stay the same. For the rest of 2009 you will save 12.5% on all big bags of Science Diet dog food!!” I like how they’re spinning the reduced packaging in a way that benefits them and the customer, while also making sure nobody is fooled come January 1st.
Walmart just tried to undercut Amazon on, of all things, books. They’ve announced that they’re now selling the “top 10 pre-selling books” for $9 each, with free home delivery. Amazon has responded by dropping its price to $9 on the same titles, but their free shipping doesn’t kick in until you buy $25 worth of merchandise (or pay the annual fee for Amazon Prime). Price war!