shipping http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/62/all en-US Best Money Tips: Escaping the Mundane http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-escaping-the-mundane <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-escaping-the-mundane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/red-stapler-swingline-tedsblog-flickr-71871725_3f71d7d971_o.jpg" alt="red Swingline stapler" title="Brighten up your mundane work day!" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips"><strong>Best Money Tips</strong></a> roundup. Today, we tell you how watching movies can increase your money IQ, why the rich are leaving their mansions, and how to get stuff done after a tiring day at work!</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><b>7 Best Movies for Learning About Personal Finance </b>&ndash; You don&rsquo;t have to read through a boring book on &ldquo;money management&rdquo; to get all the life lessons for handling cash. These movies can also help! <a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/best-movies-learning-about-personal-finance/">Money Crashers</a></p> <p><b>Are the Rich Walking Away from Million Dollar Mortgages?</b> What&rsquo;s up with all the celebrities losing their mega-mansions? This piece helps put it into perspective. <a href="http://www.roshawnwatson.com/2010/07/are-rich-walking-away-from-million.html">Watson Inc.</a></p> <p><b>Exhausted After Work</b> &ndash; You know the scenario: You return home from work completely wiped out and there are more chores to be done! How do you overcome fatigue to get your household jobs tackled? This is encouraging reading. <a href="http://unclutterer.com/2009/01/16/ask-unclutterer-exhausted-after-work/"> Unclutterer</a></p> <p><b>5 Common Happiness Mistakes (Boosters) that Actually Do More Harm than Good</b> &ndash; Are you using any of these as a crutch? You might want to stop it. <a href="http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2010/07/5-common-happiness-mistakes-boosters-that-actually-do-more-harm-than-good.html">The Happiness Project</a></p> <p><b>13 Tips for Enjoying Poker</b> &ndash; The history of Wise Bread embedded in the joys of poker. For those of you who don&rsquo;t actually like it, however, these tips are for you! <a href="http://artofmanliness.com/2010/07/30/13-tips-for-enjoying-poker/">The Art of Manliness</a></p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><b>Escaping the Mundane</b> &ndash; Doing the same things over and over (especially in regards to defeating debt) can drain the life out of your life. Don&rsquo;t fall prey to the thought that frugality somehow equals deprivation. This article is an inspiration! <a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2010/07/31/escaping-the-mundane/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+thesimpledollar+%28The+Simple+Dollar%29">The Simple Dollar</a></p> <p><b>Save Money on Shipping With Free Boxes from USPS</b> &ndash; While UPS and FedEx will also give you free boxes (assuming you use their services), most people are more likely to use USPS for their shipping needs. Don&rsquo;t ever pay for boxes again! <a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2010/07/29/save-money-on-shipping-with-free-boxes-from-usps">Get Rich Slowly</a></p> <p><b>Treat Your Job as If You&rsquo;ve Won the Lottery</b> &ndash; With unemployment high, and opportunities in many areas low, consider how lucky you are to be employed! <a href="http://www.financialsamurai.com/2010/03/04/treat-your-job-as-if-you-won-the-lottery/#more-5813">Financial Samurai</a></p> <p><b>6 Ways to Make Your Flip Videos Rock</b> &ndash; There&rsquo;s more to great video than just whipping out the Flip and expecting magic to happen. Get professional tips for better videos now! <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/07/6-tips-to-make-your-flip-videos-rock.html">My Life Scoop</a></p> <p><b>Welcome to the Real World</b> &ndash; With heavy reference to <i>The Matrix</i>, this re-release of an older blog post offers some hard truth about money. <a href="http://www.bripblap.com/welcome-to-the-real-world/">Brip Blap</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-escaping-the-mundane">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/invest-your-time-in-these-13-things-while-youre-in-your-20s">Invest Your Time in These 13 Things While You&#039;re in Your 20s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-that-thing-really-change-your-life">Will That Thing Really Change Your Life?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-money-really-can-buy-happiness">6 Ways Money Really Can Buy Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building General Tips Lifestyle Personal Development Real Estate and Housing best money tips ecommerce happiness mortgage movies poker shipping USPS video tips Mon, 02 Aug 2010 22:15:16 +0000 Linsey Knerl 196234 at http://www.wisebread.com Home Delivery: Local and Long Distance http://www.wisebread.com/home-delivery-local-and-long-distance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/home-delivery-local-and-long-distance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/grocery-delivery.jpg" alt="Grocery delivery truck" title="Grocery delivery truck" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="186" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If your interests in simplicity and frugality have as much to do with protecting the environment and using less resources as they do with saving money, give some thought to reviving the old practice of home delivery.</p> <p>Home delivery used to be universal (although just in cities). Period movies show shopping sprees in New York, London, and Paris where the shoppers merely sign for their purchases and move on to the next store, confident that their items will be delivered.</p> <p>The decline of home delivery is due to two forces:</p> <ol> <li>Households sending every adult member into the workforce, which brings in more cash, but means that many households have no one at home to receive deliveries.</li> <li>Universal car ownership, which makes it possible for household members to just go and get things (especially convenient when work obligations made it impractical to stay home to wait for deliveries).</li> </ol> <p>Home delivery only works well when there's a certain density of households being delivered to. When most houses are empty throughout the working day, home delivery is no longer practical.</p> <p>The decline of home delivery opened the way for national shipping companies to begin home delivery of packages, and that, in turn, has allowed home delivery to begin to reappear. See for example Linsey Knerl's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-case-for-amazon ">description of using Amazon's &quot;Subscribe and Save&quot;</a> service to achieve most of what you could do with local delivery. (And, as on-line shopping began to take hold as the main way many people shopped, many grocery stores began reinstituting some form of local delivery.) The fact that national shipping companies have taken over from local delivery by individual stores means that not just urban folks can have things delivered&mdash;a big win as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rural-living-in-a-world-with-expensive-fuel ">energy prices put the squeeze on rural folks</a>.</p> <p>From a resource point of view, home delivery wins on almost every measure.</p> <p>Most obviously, home delivery saves fuel: It takes far less fuel for one delivery truck to drive to a hundred homes than it takes for a hundred people to each drive their own car to the store. It also scales well: If the store doubles its business, it can buy one more truck and hire one more driver (versus doubling the size of its parking lot so another hundred households can make another hundred trips to the store).</p> <p>There are other advantages as well, although most are conditional:</p> <ul> <li>Having things delivered to your home saves both the time spent going to and from the store and the time spent pulling things off shelves&mdash;but only if you're able to effectively use the time you're home expecting a delivery.</li> <li>If you're the sort of person who's tempted by impulse buys, placing your order by phone or internet can reduce your exposure to the shelves of sodas, candy, snacks, and the like.</li> </ul> <p>Information technology has the opportunity to completely restructure shipping, to make it much cheaper and save vast amounts of energy.</p> <p>The old model, before FedEx, was for stuff to be stored locally in warehouses, which were supplied by rail, and from which stuff was shipped out in trucks. It was usually shipped to stores, which then did local delivery to urban customers.&nbsp; This was reasonably fuel-efficient, but required large amounts of capital&mdash;someone had to own all the stuff in the warehouses.</p> <p>In the early 1970s, FedEx created the hub-and-spokes model, where everything was shipped to a central hub, where it was sorted and then put back on planes to be sent back out to the FedEx office closest to its destination. Since one warehouse near the hub can deliver overnight anywhere in the world, it saves on capital costs, but it only works as long as fuel is cheap. When fuel is expensive, it does poorly&mdash;and the whole model fails for rail or barge shipping.</p> <p>But maybe information technology can fill the gap.&nbsp; A computer system, programmed with all the available shipping modes, could route packages on any transport that had space, preferring the cheapest and fastest ones. Since it costs almost nothing more to run a full ship (or barge, train, or truck) than one that's half-empty, transport companies could bid to carry packages part-way on a trip, and a package that's not urgent could make its leisurely way (on any number of different vehicles) until it was within local delivery distance.</p> <p>If information technology can make sure that every vehicle carrying goods is full, we'll save a lot of fuel and a lot of money. And, as a side benefit, recreate the system of home delivery, thereby saving some more fuel.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-delivery-local-and-long-distance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-least-expensive-dog-breeds-to-own">The 6 Least Expensive Dog Breeds to Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-car-look-awesome">12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Car Look Awesome</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-things-i-won%E2%80%99t-give-up-just-to-save-money">The 10 Things I Won’t Give Up Just To Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pesky-pests-easy-homemade-mosquito-and-insect-traps-and-repellent">Pesky Pests: Easy Homemade Mosquito and Insect Traps and Repellent</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living delivery charges home delivery shipping Mon, 24 May 2010 16:14:25 +0000 Philip Brewer 96245 at http://www.wisebread.com Modifiers: 5 things that change an item's final price http://www.wisebread.com/modifiers-5-things-that-change-an-items-final-price <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/modifiers-5-things-that-change-an-items-final-price" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dice_0.jpg" alt="Dice" title="Dice" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On <em>Who Wants to Be a Millionaire</em>, Regis Philbin's famous catchphrase was &quot;Is that your final answer?&quot; You should keep the same thing in mind when buying stuff, because spending a few seconds to check could <strong>save you a substantial stash of moolah</strong>.</p> <p>Not counting &quot;used&quot; (B-stock and refurbished) goods and store cards, <strong>here are 5 modifiers which affect the final price of what you</strong> <strong>buy</strong>, whether it's in person or on the Internet:</p> <h2>1. Coupons &amp; promo codes</h2> <p>How easy! Surely you've heard of these &mdash; magical slips of paper that give you a spontaneous discount at the register. Or online, it's even easier (and saves trees): just paste the code into the order form at checkout.</p> <p>Offline, there's no shortage of flyers being mailed to the point where it becomes overwhelming. If you don't already have a few favorite stores, <strong><em>focus</em> on your options and weigh not just individual item coupons, but the overall shopping experience</strong>. (It doesn't make sense to save a few cents and be let down by unhelpful staff.) Find out if you can be apprised of specials online, since they tend to be more searchable. For example, Costco has paper coupon booklets, but they (and many Costcoholics, apparently) also post them on the web, which makes them easier to find or even setup an automatic alert for. This includes big things you're waiting for the price to drop on &mdash; such as an HDTV or fridge.</p> <p>Clipping paper coupons is a time-honored art which my Mom excelled at, the details of which are beyond this article's scope. But one principle which must always be stated is: most coupons for lower-priced goods (like food) don't make much of a difference in isolation. It's in aggregate that the savings add up. However, while you can make more money, you can never make more time, so <strong>consider whether the laborious task of scouring booklets and compiling your coupons &mdash; a crimp on convenience &mdash; is worth the cost</strong>. This is highly individual and needs to meet your needs, as some people enjoy coupon-clipping as a hobby. <em>Don't knock 'em! </em></p> <p>Online, <a href="http://www.retailmenot.com/"><strong>RetailMeNot</strong></a> is essential. It's user-powered, meaning many people submit promo codes and other people vote on their accuracy. Stale/expired coupons sink into the red while hot ones rise upwards. Some vendors feel threatened by this collective knowledge so they've asked RetailMeNot to exclude them, but other companies actively participate in promos. Be skeptical, however, as they may make something look better than it actually is. That's marketing for ya.</p> <p>Always look out for <strong>stackable coupons</strong>. Some deals mavens have mastered combining them, such as:</p> <ul> <li>a time-unlimited $50 off +</li> <li>a one-week special which removes a further $25 +</li> <li>extra 10% off if you buy 2.</li> </ul> <p>The math can get confusing, but don't let that deter you from savings, because web checkout forms usually assist with calculations.</p> <h2>2. Cashback</h2> <p>Cashback often comes in the form of: you need to sign up, then click on a special link which tracks you when you buy something. Then, after an elapsed amount of time (so the participating company can reap a net profit), you get your cash back (literally). Under this are all manner of economic and social complexities, such as partner sites receiving commission payments.</p> <p>Cashback tends to be smaller amounts like 2-10% and there are many flavors &mdash; <a href="http://www.fatwallet.com/"><strong>FatWallet</strong></a> is one of the more popular sites to have strategically turned cashbacking into a community &mdash; but there are occasional jackpots. For instance, eBay's Buy It Now thru Microsoft Live Search once <a href="http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?t=846962">rose as high as 35%</a> (!), and while I missed out on that, the cashback amount was at a still-respectable 25% when I opted for some pricey music gear. I ended up saving myself over $600 (it took a rolling 60 days to receive all my money after the orders had taken place).</p> <p>One downside of cashback programs, including the eBay-Microsoft one: at-face prices may be inflated slightly or hugely, so <strong>be careful the cashback doesn't merely reduce the price to its usual parity</strong>.</p> <p>Like coupons, take advantage of compound savings whenever possible: there've been a few times where I didn't just stack coupons, there was also cashback, sweetening the deal further. And sometimes there are rebates on top of that.</p> <h2>3. Rebates</h2> <p>Rebates come in different flavors, but they all have one thing in common: motivating you to take action (buy!) when you might normally not be so interested.</p> <p>MIR stands for Mail-In Rebate, another way of enticing you to buy an item with a lower final cost, but you need to wait weeks, or even months to get a check in the mail as compensation. If money is tight <em>today</em>, be sure to factor that in. The waiting game can be tense and rebate programs often have strict rules, such as how your claim form is filled out, and what you need to include from the original packaging &mdash; commonly both a copy of the receipt and original UPC (bar code). Let me assure you, it sucks to go through that trouble, miss out one detail, and receive a rejection letter instead of money. Some rebate programs are shady and unresponsive, so search for others who've dealt with certain companies before.</p> <p>This is why I prefer instant rebates &mdash; just like a coupon, but even easier, because it's automatically applied at checkout. All you have to do is buy. Ah, consumerism.</p> <h2>4. Shipping</h2> <p><strong>Don't be fooled by &quot;free shipping&quot;. It sounds tasty but often isn't true, as the cost is eaten up by a premium on the item itself.</strong> This applies everywhere from Amazon to eBay to Zappos.</p> <p>But it's also true some places have substantially better shipping deals than others, all costs considered. Some may spur you to buy over a certain amount, e.g., &quot;All orders over $99 get free ground shipping&quot;. This is tied to the economy of scale, since it takes about the same time to process most orders, but if you have a more expensive order, you (or at least your money) are viewed as more valuable to the company's bottom line.</p> <p>In those cases, if your order is close to the minimum for free shipping, it may make sense to buy a small, sub-$10 item (also known as a &quot;<a href="http://www.filleritem.com/">filler</a>&quot;) to push you over the limit. But <strong>don't force yourself to buy more than you actually need</strong>, 'cuz then you won't be saving at all.</p> <p>I previously wrote, &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-more-for-faster-shipping">Is it worth paying more for faster shipping?</a>&quot;. Check it out if you'd like related info.</p> <h2>5. Tax</h2> <p>Death and taxes may be certain, but at least you have a say in controlling the eventuality of the latter &mdash; like <strong>not paying sales tax if you order from out-of-state</strong>. After <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-mac-minis-beware-small-gains-at-a-big-price">writing about the Mac mini for Wise Bread</a>, I found out <a href="http://www.powermax.com/">PowerMax</a>, located one state to the south in Oregon, wouldn't ding me for $75 sales tax unlike Apple's own store. Sales tax becomes even more prohibitive on expensive orders: with high-end electronics, it easily runs into the hundreds of dollars.</p> <p>The point here isn't to deprive the government, but make the smartest decision based on what's legal and available. Be resourceful like MacGyver.</p> <h2>The most important lesson I've learned about modifiers...</h2> <p>is <strong>don't get excited until <em>you</em> see the final price</strong>. So often, I've thought &quot;That sounds like a bargain!&quot; but by the time I get to the register, all these additional hits, surcharges, and in the case of airlines, hidden costs have added up and stabbed me in the side.</p> <p>Online, don't be afraid to do a simulation by adding items to your cart and rushing to the checkout to see what it really costs. Some stores add additional friction (whether by dumb design or accident) and require you to signup for account &mdash; in which case, if you're understandably concerned about your privacy and getting spammed, have an alternate email address on hand to test the waters.</p> <p>If you're new to this, the first few times of keeping the above 5 modifiers and other elements straight can be confusing. But persist, know what you want, and <strong>get it at a better price than you originally thought possible</strong>.</p> <p><strong><em>What are your fave modifiers? Have a modifier that I missed? Share your knowledge with us!</em></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/torley-wong">Torley Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/modifiers-5-things-that-change-an-items-final-price">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-awesome-art-of-getting-great-deals-online">The Awesome Art of Getting Great Deals Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-amazoncoms-frustration-free-packaging-live-up-to-its-name">Does Amazon.com&#039;s &quot;Frustration-Free Packaging&quot; live up to its name?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/simple-ways-to-shop-around">Simple Ways to Shop Around</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-buy-it-now-on-ebay-without-using-livecom-cashback">DON&#039;T Buy It Now on eBay without using Live.com cashback</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-more-for-faster-shipping">Is it worth paying more for faster shipping?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon cashback costco coupon eBay fatwallet modifier powermax promo rebate retailmenot shipping tax Zappos Sun, 22 Mar 2009 14:29:46 +0000 Torley Wong 2950 at http://www.wisebread.com Does Amazon.com's "Frustration-Free Packaging" live up to its name? http://www.wisebread.com/does-amazoncoms-frustration-free-packaging-live-up-to-its-name <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/does-amazoncoms-frustration-free-packaging-live-up-to-its-name" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/clamshell.jpg" alt="Frustration-Free Packaging" title="It really works!" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In early November, Internet ultrastore <a href="http://amazon.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Amazon.com</strong></a><strong> announced their &quot;Frustration-Free Packaging&quot;</strong> initiative, aimed squarely at reducing the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html?node=1234279011" target="_blank">jagged tears and nasty lacerations</a> that are an unfortunate occurrence of wrestling with clamshell and other hard-to-open packaging. One of the key points is: you've already bought an item and it's been shipped in a box, so enforcing plastic armor as an anti-theft deterrent is absolutely stupid.</p> <p>I'm sad to announce that as of this writing, <strong>only 19 products are certified &quot;frustration-free&quot;</strong>. Granted, Amazon has declared FFP to be a multi-year project, but the current list basically boils down to 8 kinds of toys, 7 of the same Microsoft mouse in different colors, and 3 SDHC memory cards. I love keeping you apprised of continuity, so you may remember that in &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-sweet-spot-when-buying-electronics" target="_blank"><strong>How to find the sweet spot when buying electronics</strong></a>&quot;, I cited the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001ECQVTM/?tag=torllive-20" target="_blank">16GB SDHC from Transcend</a> as a <em>sweet spot</em>. Shortly after writing the article, I purchased 2 of them, and thanks to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/subs/primeclub/signup/main.html">Amazon Prime</a>, they arrived a couple days later.</p> <p>Both cards came in a bigger cardboard box, not much deeper than the plastic cases needed to hold the cards. Inside were two smaller flatpacks, each containing a card and labeled as you see:</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3488/3231898109_18dc8c8350.jpg?v=0" /></p> <p>There was a tear strip that didn't even need scissors.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3092/3231899285_aa5db7e8de.jpg?v=0" /></p> <p>Seconds later, I had opened the contents.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3396/3232750476_1b45fa84ce.jpg?v=0" /></p> <p>Also good for the environment: &quot;Contains 30% recycled fiber&quot;.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3335/3232751496_869c49bfc0.jpg?v=0" />&nbsp;</p> <p>So <strong>does Amazon.com's &quot;Frustration-Free Packaging&quot; live up to its name?</strong> Simply put: while I haven't tried the other products offered under this option, in this case and without a doubt, <em><strong>yes</strong></em>.</p> <p>If I had a suggestion for improvement, it'd be that <strong>the overall packaging for these tiny cards was still too big</strong>.</p> <p>With an increasing amount of business done online, and quite some time before consumer 3D printers to manufacture our own goods are commonplace, FFP is one of the stepping stones in the bridge of progress. While nascent, it makes sense that when things still need to be shipped as opposed to downloaded (like movies &amp; music), that we'll see this trend continue to rise &mdash; and <em>accelerate</em>, <em>especially</em> if more consumers are vocal about their displeasure with clamshell hell.</p> <p>As with a number of other non-legally-protected advances, <strong>more e-merchants should take a page from Amazon's book and provide better packaging</strong> which is environmentally-friendly and a joy to unwrap.</p> <p><em>Have you experienced Frustration-Free Packaging?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/torley-wong">Torley Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-amazoncoms-frustration-free-packaging-live-up-to-its-name">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-amazon-url-hack-generator-save-big">The AMAZON URL hack generator. Save big $$$.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-books-diapers-and-much-more-with-an-amazon-membership-program">Save on Books, Diapers, and Much More With an Amazon Membership Program</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/modifiers-5-things-that-change-an-items-final-price">Modifiers: 5 things that change an item&#039;s final price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-more-for-faster-shipping">Is it worth paying more for faster shipping?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-shouldnt-order-on-amazon">5 Things You Shouldn&#039;t Order on Amazon</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon Amazon.com clamshell package packaging shipping Sun, 01 Feb 2009 05:17:56 +0000 Torley Wong 2786 at http://www.wisebread.com Is it worth paying more for faster shipping? http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-more-for-faster-shipping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-it-worth-paying-more-for-faster-shipping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Cat package.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;Free shipping&quot; is often advertised as attractive bait for you to <em>take action and buy something!</em> That is, until you find out <strong>it's not free after all</strong>. In other words, an <strong>absorbed charge</strong>. For example, I love <a href="http://amazon.com/">Amazon.com</a>. Their selection is generally excellent and their service is unrivaled (over the holidays, I got a reply on Xmas day when I enquired about undelivered goods). But if you've compared their prices with other online stores, you'll notice unless it's an especially killer deal, they'll factor shipping into their at-face cost.</p> <p>The same <a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thecheckout/2006/03/post_4.html">has applied to Zappos</a> (which has prominently advertised &quot;free overnight shipping&quot; and tried to differentiate with no-hassle support), eBay (where it's determined per-seller) and other places: <strong>whenever you see &quot;free shipping&quot;, take a closer look at that total number and discern whether it's <em>really</em> gratis, or if you're paying a few bucks on top</strong>. It usually doesn't amount to more than a tip at a fine restaurant, but nonetheless, it's best for you to be aware.</p> <p>Amazon has also had great success with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/subs/primeclub/signup/main.html"><strong>their Prime program</strong></a>. Here's where they advertise &quot;all-you-can-eat&quot;, free 2-day shipping for $80/year. Plus, $4 extra for each item gets you 1-day shipping. They're savvy enough to lure you in with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/faster-free-shipping-on-amazon-with-no-minimum-order-free-prime-trial">free month trial</a>, and that's exactly what happened to me. My subscription just ended yesterday, and I'm going to renew &mdash; I've noticed better deals are on the horizon like <a href="http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?t=1122335">this 3-month trial w/eligible textbooks</a>.</p> <p>Before answering:</p> <blockquote><p><strong>&quot;Is it worth paying more for faster shipping?&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>First ask yourself:</p> <blockquote><p><strong>&quot;How much is my time worth?&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>As bitter as the economy can be, the fact nevertheless remains: <strong>you can make more money. You can't make more time</strong>. This is a hard rule of how the universe works. Sometimes this traps us, like people paying more for guaranteed before-Christmas delivery because they procrastinated. It's times like these where it's advantageous to have a flexible lifestyle: <strong><em>not</em> paying attention to social pressure when it comes to holidays, and setting your <em>own</em> rules</strong>. Not everyone has that luxury, especially if you have to dig yourself out of a hole of awkward family traditions.</p> <p>That being said, here are some tips worth applying:</p> <ul> <li><strong>There's often a huge cost jump between 2-day and 1-day shipping, and <em>that</em> price often isn't worth it unless something is &quot;mission-critical&quot;.</strong> (We aren't talking delivering organ transplants here.) You can easily observe this cost jump by visiting any web store that lets you preview shipping before checking out. (Some places are awful and require you to sign up for an account, or get to the final stages before checkout.) <a href="http://macsales.com/">Other World Computing</a> is a fine example of informing you about shipping beforehand. There, 1-day shipping can be <em>double</em> (~$22) what 2-day shipping costs, but the gap between 2-day and longer periods is less.</li> <li><strong>It's best to buy in the morning.</strong> Or more accurately, before the day's cutoff date: if you place your order too late, it doesn't get processed until the <em>next</em> day. Amazon has a handy countdown clock on numerous items, something I wish more places had: I've tested this by placing an order within the last 1-2 minutes, and got my goods on time. Other stores offer a rush processing fee, like <a href="http://newegg.com/">Newegg</a>'s $3. <a href="http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r20007797-Neweggs-Rush-Processing">General consensus is</a> this isn't worth the minimal trouble if you order fresh to begin with. Like shopping in the supermarket, be early in the queue.</li> <li><strong>A <em>little</em> cost is worth a <em>lot</em> of convenience.</strong> Don't be foolishly thrifty. This guideline is especially true if you're putting together a new computer with accessories and expansions, as I experienced with my Mac Pro last month. I didn't want my performance to be bogged down waiting for RAM (which is far cheaper to install yourself than from Apple), so I selected 2nd Day Air @ OWC. Saving money is good, but spending money selectively where it makes a substantial improvement to your experience is even better. I find this is reinforced if I'm ordering something expensive. I get anxiety waiting too long for it to arrive, because even with today's tracking systems, I wonder, &quot;Is it alright?&quot;</li> <li><strong>Arm yourself with good package tracking tools.</strong> Even if you've paid for faster shipping, there's still a chance it may take longer than expected. Check the store's shipping policy ahead of time: in Amazon's case, if they can't live up to their $4-for-1-day guarantee, they'll refund the shipping cost. I've done this twice and they've been very prompt about it. After you get an order receipt, it's common to see tracking numbers in there. Go to the right link and bookmark it, and check it daily (if it's important). On Mac, I favor the <a href="http://junecloud.com/software/mac/delivery-status.html">Delivery Status Dashboard widget</a>. It's nice and elegant, altho I wish it could autodetect the shipping service from the #. There are also cross-platform websites like <a href="http://trackthepack.com/">TrackThePack</a>.</li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/subs/primeclub/signup/main.html"><strong>Amazon Prime</strong></a><strong> has no weight or dimensional restrictions.</strong> I wish I could apply this broadly, but I don't know of anywhere else that has a model like Amazon. If you buy a 200-lb. piece of exercise equipment, it's still $4 for 1-day shipping with Prime. Those moments are really worth it, because many places charge shipping by weight or dimensions. But remember, Prime only makes sense if you order regularly from Amazon &mdash; say, over a dozen times a year or if Free <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/filler-strategies-for-amazon-s-free-super-saver-shipping">Super Saver</a> gives you too much of a headache to push just a <em>wee</em> bit over $25. Also, items must be &quot;Prime Eligible&quot;, meaning Amazon, not a 3rd-party retailer they list, carries it. Again, consider convenience over cost and what you're willing to dish out.</li> <li><strong>Keep gas costs in mind.</strong> This was more of a factor months ago, but with black clouds still looming overhead, and if your vehicle is a gas-guzzler, I think the lesson's well-burned into you: if it's going to be a long drive to a store that's got something in stock, it may be worth <em>both</em> the time and money to have it delivered to your door instead. Once more, contemplate what might be a better use of that time &mdash; relaxing, painting, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/108-best-fuel-economy-tips">reading the Wise Driving Guide</a>? :)</li> <li><strong>Don't put it off.</strong> It's the most obvious thing in the world, but unless you can time-shift your holidays and aren't under familial pressure like me, plan and execute with extreme lookahead. Rushing also leads to poor decisions and compounds buyer's remorse, since you have less time in which to make sensible decisions. Remember that procrastination is average, not an exceptional outlier, and all that waiting and lazying around will cumulatively clog up the pipes at Xmas, Valentine's Day, etc. You, on the other hand, should be ahead of the game.</li> </ul> <p><em>Do you think it's worth paying more for faster shipping? Share why or why not!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/torley-wong">Torley Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-more-for-faster-shipping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-amazoncoms-frustration-free-packaging-live-up-to-its-name">Does Amazon.com&#039;s &quot;Frustration-Free Packaging&quot; live up to its name?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/modifiers-5-things-that-change-an-items-final-price">Modifiers: 5 things that change an item&#039;s final price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-shouldnt-order-on-amazon">5 Things You Shouldn&#039;t Order on Amazon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-spend-less-on-your-significant-other-and-not-get-killed">9 Ways to Spend Less on Your Significant Other (And Not Get Killed!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon fast free Holidays Prime shipping Tue, 13 Jan 2009 02:37:10 +0000 Torley Wong 2731 at http://www.wisebread.com Seven Ways to Get Free Shipping Supplies http://www.wisebread.com/seven-ways-to-get-free-shipping-supplies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/seven-ways-to-get-free-shipping-supplies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cardboard.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Once upon a time I sold a lot of stuff on eBay and Amazon, and I always needed envelopes, boxes, and padding. The costs of these shipping supplies could really add up when you mail over a thousand things per year, so I looked into how to cut down my shipping costs. Here are some of the ways you can get your supplies for free and lower your business overhead.</p> <p><strong>Reuse Packaging</strong> - When I receive an online order it always comes with a box. Those boxes can be flattened and used for your own packages. I usually keep a couple boxes around for future use. Bubblewrap lined envelopes are also great and can be reused. <br /> <strong><br /> Newspapers</strong> - After you finish reading that weekly circular or newspaper, you could use it to stuff your packages for mailing. It is more environmentally friendly than bubble wraps or foam peanuts and could provide adequate protection to your package. <br /> <strong><br /> Junk Mail</strong> - If you have a reasonably good shredder, junk mail can be processed into filler for a package. As long as the recipient is not able to piece together your personal information, junk mail is a great substitute for foam peanuts.</p> <p> <strong>Dumpsters/Recycling Bins </strong>- There are often perfectly good boxes available in dumpsters and recycling bins. They are usually cleaner in the recycling bin so I suggest looking there first.</p> <p><strong>Local Stores </strong>- Last week in downtown San Mateo I saw several shops closing down, and one of them had a lot of boxes they needed to get rid of. If you look around your town and find any dead businesses it is likely they may have unwanted boxes. I think if you ask around you can even get shipping supplies from stores that are not closing down because businesses tend to receive many packages a day and have no need for the extra packaging material.</p> <p><strong>United States Postal Service </strong>- The USPS offers free shipping boxes and envelopes for their Priority Mail or Global Priority Mail service. You can order the packaging online or go to the postal office. The catch here is that you must use the boxes for Priority Mail.</p> <p><strong>Friends and Family</strong> - You can ask your friends and family to save packing materials for you if you do not have enough yourself. You should make an effort to pick the things up, though.</p> <p>This list is by no means comprehensive and I am sure you can find other ways of obtaining free mailing supplies. With so much online ordering and shipping of goods around the world I think we all need to reuse and recycle our packing materials.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-ways-to-get-free-shipping-supplies">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-tax-deductions-for-bloggers-and-freelancers">101 Tax deductions for bloggers and freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-more-for-faster-shipping">Is it worth paying more for faster shipping?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-weekend-business-sell-used-books">Easy weekend business: sell used books</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/augment-your-income-by-going-to-nightclubs">Augment Your Income By Going To Nightclubs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-in-your-yard-how-to-sell-palm-trees-for-cash">Money in Your Yard: How to Sell Palm Trees For Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> business free mailing Making Extra Cash shipping Thu, 10 Apr 2008 05:11:39 +0000 Xin Lu 1996 at http://www.wisebread.com Big Savings and Free Shipping Through Monday at Ann Taylor Loft! http://www.wisebread.com/big-savings-and-free-shipping-through-monday-at-ann-taylor-loft <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/big-savings-and-free-shipping-through-monday-at-ann-taylor-loft" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/ann taylor.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Ann Taylor Loft is one of those stores I can spend hours in, but I almost always walk away without a purchase.<span> </span>Why?<span> </span>The products are fabulous, but the prices don&rsquo;t always fit my tight budget.<span> </span>This weekend, they are offering free shipping on all purchases (no minimum required), and dozens of too-good-to-be true deals.<span> </span>Check it out!</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Free Shipping offer</strong> &ndash; This fabulous promotion, valid on purchases at <a href="http://www.anntaylorloft.com">AnnTaylorLoft.com</a> and <a href="http://www.anntaylor.com">AnnTaylor.com</a> , is good on any size order, with no code needed.<span> </span>(Note that our friends in HI, AK, and PR are not eligible.<span> </span>Sorry.)<span> </span>Be sure that you select &ldquo;Standard Shipping&rdquo; or the cheapest available option.<span> </span>You have until Monday to get in on this rare savings opportunity!</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>New Reductions</strong> &ndash; As always, the Loft is offering some nice markdowns on some of their more popular pieces<a href="http://www.anntaylorloft.com/catalog/department_sale.jsp?Nr=AND%28CAT_SALE_FLAG:Y%29&amp;N=1200054&amp;categoryId=270&amp;&amp;">.<span> </span>Savings of up to 60%</a> are showing up in all departments, including <a href="http://www.anntaylorloft.com/catalog/category_sale.jsp?N=1200124&amp;categoryId=270&amp;">maternity</a>. I didn&rsquo;t even know they had a maternity section!<span> </span>(Note: as of this posting, the items were being quickly cleared out, especially the maternity pieces.)<span> </span>I like that the website allows you to filter the sale items down to just your size for quick and easy viewing.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Shoes are Buy One Get One 50% Off</strong> &ndash; Their <a href="http://www.anntaylorloft.com/catalog/category.jsp?N=1200034&amp;pCategoryId=231&amp;categoryId=232&amp;Ns=CATEGORY_SEQ_232&amp;showAll=Y">selection</a> is dwindling, but there are still a few adorable pairs of strappy sandals and these <a href="http://www.anntaylorloft.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=11897&amp;Ne=1300001&amp;Nr=AND%28CAT_SALE_FLAG%3aY%29&amp;viewAll=true&amp;Ns=SALE_SEQUENCE_NO&amp;N=1200054+1300038&amp;Nty=1&amp;categoryId=270&amp;&amp;defaultColorNameFromCategory=True%20Navy&amp;defaultSizeTypeFromCategory=Misses">cute skimmers</a> marked down to $14.99!<span> </span>You will automatically get 50% off the cheaper pair when you add it to your basket &ndash; no code needed.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Get $25 off your order of $50 or more, plus other great discounts!</strong> &ndash; This code has been generating deals for so many this weekend!<span> </span>It expires on 4/15, and you can get $25 off your order of $50 or more by using code <strong>80200012.</strong><span> </span>Pair that with a sale and free shipping, and you&rsquo;ve got it made!&nbsp; (<em>Thanks to a wonderful Wise Bread reader for confirming the expiration date, and for providing us with these other codes</em>: &nbsp; <strong>20% off + Free Shipping on $100</strong> Ann Taylor LOFT Coupon Code <strong>10601358</strong> [Exp. 03/30] or <strong>10601375</strong> [Exp. 04/27]&nbsp; and&nbsp; <strong>25% off on Regular-priced Maternity Order + Free Shipping</strong> Ann Taylor LOFT Coupon Code <strong>104004109</strong> [Exp. 03/31])</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Teachers get an additional 20% off</strong> &ndash; Did you know that the Loft Loves Teachers?<span> </span>So much, in fact, that they will give you preferred pricing on items through their loyalty program just for instructors!<span> </span>20% was the discount reported a few months ago.<span> </span>Sign up for the program <a href="http://www.anntaylorloft.com/catalog/editorial.jsp?pageName=Teachers">at this link</a>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Like all great sales, the best of the goods are going fast.<span> </span>I was lucky enough to snag a few items before they were all sold out.<span> </span>If you try to save this weekend, let us know how you do!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-savings-and-free-shipping-through-monday-at-ann-taylor-loft">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/use-less-cash-for-your-jcpenney-purchase">Use Less Cash for Your JCPenney Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/safeway-savings-rally-how-i-got-9-bags-of-groceries-for-13">Safeway Savings Rally - How I got 9 bags of groceries for $13</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-discount-codes-just-in-time-for-mothers-day-lets-go-shopping">SECRET DISCOUNT CODES just in time for Mother&#039;s Day - let&#039;s go shopping!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-places-to-find-deals-at-the-mall">The 8 Best Places to Find Deals at the Mall</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-you-should-learn-from-great-hagglers">10 Tricks You Should Learn From Great Hagglers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Deals ann taylor loft deals savings shipping shopping Fri, 21 Mar 2008 21:35:35 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1940 at http://www.wisebread.com Confessions of an eBay Shoe Addict http://www.wisebread.com/confessions-of-an-ebay-shoe-addict <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/shoemedley_sm.jpg" alt=" " width="425" height="282" /></p> <p>In addition to my myriad of other addictions, I am an eBay shoe addict. Oh, sure, I&#39;ll go to Target to get my fix every now and then. But with eBay, I&#39;m pretty sure that I&#39;m not going to see anyone else wearing the same shoes as me. </p> <p>And oh, lordy, the kinds of shoes that you can find on eBay!</p> <p>Now, you might already know eBay is great for finding fancy-schmancy new stuff for a bargain, like finding <a href="/a-deal-too-good-to-be-true">sample sales on designer items</a>. And there&#39;s also something to be said for purchasing gently used items if they come from a good label, if only for the warranty associated with them. I&#39;m just a little queasy when it comes to shoes. I don&#39;t like to buy them used. Sure, you can disinfect them, but it just never feels right to me.</p> <p>So I&#39;m come to my own compromise - I buy cheap (new) shoes. And yes, I buy them at Target, and I buy them at JCPenney (when they have a sale, they REALLY have a sale), but eBay is increasingly becoming the place that I turn to to find cheap, unique, wild and crazy shoes for rock-bottom prices.</p> <h4>Quality versus Quantity </h4> <p>Some people argue that you are better off buying quality shoes at high prices, caring for them, and keeping them for years. This is true for men, for sure. Quality men&#39;s shoes are really damn good shoes. My boyfriend is a shoe fanatic, but unlike me, he pays high prices for a few excellent Italian shoes. He polishes them regularly, and returns them if there is any problem. </p> <p>That system won&#39;t work for me. For one thing, I don&#39;t wear socks (well, you wouldn&#39;t wear socks with heels, anyway unless you&#39;re Cindy Lauper) but even with nylons, my shoes just don&#39;t smell so great after a while. Maybe a year. I don&#39;t polish my shoes. I&#39;ve tried - I almost died from the fumes. I&#39;m also a klutz, so my shoes will look like hell within a few months. I trip over curbs, kick myself in the ankles, close doors on my feet, simply fall over with no warning at all - it&#39;s a miracle that I&#39;m still alive, actually. </p> <p>A couple of years ago, I bought two pairs of pumps at Nordstrom. Good, quality leather. High price. They lasted roughly two months each. I can&#39;t bear to throw them away, but there&#39;s no saving them, either. So I&#39;ve simply come to the conclusion that for me, cheap disposable and crazy footwear is where it&#39;s at.</p> <h4>Cheapster</h4> <p>Case in point? I paid $1 for a pair of brown leather pumps with lots of detail and little bows. They were being sold as &quot;damaged&quot;. The damage was a teeny, imperceptible scratch under one of the bows. I&#39;ll take damaged goods like that any day! </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/brownshoe_sm.jpg" alt=" " width="448" height="291" /></p> <p>My other recent purchase was a pair of zebra pumps with metal heels. These shoes are too naughty for work, but not for drinks with my girlfriends. Oh, they are lovely indeed. They were $12 with $9 shipping - roughly the same as Target, but I doubt I&#39;ll ever run into anyone else who is wearing a pair.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/zebrashoe_sm.jpg" alt=" " width="421" height="267" /></p> <p>My current lust is for polka dot shoes. Green polka dot shoes. Peep toe ones. I can barely contain my glee at the idea.</p> <p>Some tips:</p> <ol> <li>Cheap shoes are cheap. They are often from China, and some of them smell like a Chinese factory. If you&#39;ve never smelled that before, let me assure you that it is very unique. The brown pair that I bought had to sit outside on my porch for 3 days before I could bring them in.</li> <li>You&#39;re not guaranteed a perfect fit. So far, I&#39;ve been lucky, and if I&#39;m not, I can always <a href="http://www.drscholls.com/product.aspx?prodid=62">add those little inserts</a> if they shoes are too big, or get them stretched if they are too small.</li> <li>Look for sellers with cheap shipping ($10 or under) or that combine shipping. </li> <li>Use the filters to limit your results. You can search by size, type, color, heel height, and more. There are lots of shoes out there, so the filters are your friends.</li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/confessions-of-an-ebay-shoe-addict">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/access-ebays-hidden-auctions">Access Ebay&#039;s hidden auctions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ebay-account-hackers-dont-be-fooled">eBay Account Hackers - don&#039;t be fooled</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/modifiers-5-things-that-change-an-items-final-price">Modifiers: 5 things that change an item&#039;s final price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/craigslist-vs-ebay-where-to-sell-10-common-items">Craigslist vs. eBay: Where to Sell 10 Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/inside-the-shady-world-of-cheap-itunes-gift-cards">Inside the Shady World of Cheap iTunes Gift Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bid cheap China designer eBay Espradilles heels import platforms pumps shipping shoes Thu, 22 Feb 2007 22:33:57 +0000 Andrea Karim 293 at http://www.wisebread.com Holiday shipping deadlines coming up http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-shipping-deadlines-coming-up <p>Start shopping now if you want to get your stuff before December 25 and use free or standard shipping. Deal Hack reminds us that <a href="http://www.dealhack.com/deadlines.php">holiday shipping deadlines</a> are fast approaching. </p> <blockquote><p>This year, Christmas falls on a Monday, so in determining the deadlines, we assumed delivery on Friday 12/22 (unless Saturday delivery is specified). <em><strong>As a result, the deadlines are earlier this year</strong></em>. </p> </blockquote> <p>Several deadlines for standard shipping have already passed, and a few biggies are coming up fast. </p> <p>The following excerpted list is &quot;organized&quot; by my completely unscientific balance of retailer importance and deadline urgency. Stores with standard shipping deadlines that have passed are lower on the list because we&#39;re left with express (more expensive) shipping. </p> <ul> <li><span style="font-weight: bold">Buy.com - 12/13 (FREE)</span>, 12/16 (standard)</li> <li><strong>Amazon - 12/15 (super saver)</strong>, 12/18 (standard)</li> <li>Red Envelope - 12/12 (standard), 12/20 (express)</li> <li><strong>Walmart - 12/15 (gift card shipping)</strong>, 12/18 (standard)</li> <li>Old Navy - 12/12 (standard), 12/20 (express)</li> <li>Cooking.com - 12/13</li> <li>Zappos - 12/19 (FREE)</li> <li>New Egg - 12/15 (standard 3-day), 12/18 (express)</li> <li>Circuit City - 12/11 1pm EST (standard)</li> <li>Target - 12/18 (standard)</li> <li>Overstock.com - <span style="text-decoration: line-through">12/4 (standard)</span>, 12/14 (express/2-day)</li> <li>Dell - <strike>12/7 (standard)</strike>, 12/12 (express/2-day)</li> <li>Smart Bargains - <strike>12/7 (standard)</strike>, 12/18 (express)</li> </ul> <p>Check out the full list of retailers&#39; <a href="http://www.dealhack.com/deadlines.php">holiday shopping deadlines at Deal Hack</a>. There is information on over 50 retailers including various shipping dealines, customer service numbers, and other notes. <p>Here are some US Postal Service deadlines for guaranteed delivery before 12/25.</p> <ul> <li>Parcel Post - 12/13</li> <li>First Class Mail (letters/cards) - 12/18</li> <li>Priority Mail - 12/20</li> <li>Express Mail - 12/22 </li> </ul> <p>Thanks to <a href="http://probargainhunter.com/2006/12/05/do-your-holiday-shopping-early/">Pro Bargain Hunter</a> for the heads up.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/greg-go">Greg Go</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-shipping-deadlines-coming-up">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-amazoncoms-frustration-free-packaging-live-up-to-its-name">Does Amazon.com&#039;s &quot;Frustration-Free Packaging&quot; live up to its name?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cool-diy-christmas-gifts-for-the-under-6-crowd">5 Cool DIY Christmas Gifts for the “Under 6” Crowd</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-awesome-art-of-getting-great-deals-online">The Awesome Art of Getting Great Deals Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-more-for-faster-shipping">Is it worth paying more for faster shipping?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/modifiers-5-things-that-change-an-items-final-price">Modifiers: 5 things that change an item&#039;s final price</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping holiday shipping Sat, 09 Dec 2006 14:18:38 +0000 Greg Go 64 at http://www.wisebread.com