Posts Tagged ‘ money ’

Endorse: Earn Cashback on Everday Shopping (Sign up Now)

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Several weeks ago I mentioned that I had received money from Endorse and encouraged you to sign up too.  A reader then asked if I could explain Endorse since she was interested but wanted to make sure she understood it before she signed up.  I hesitated to do a post on Endorse because right now they have paused the program to roll out a new (and supposedly improved) version.  But because I was so impressed with the beta Endorse version and because I have high hopes that the new version will be just as good I thought I would try to shed a little light on how Endorse works.

I can’t speak for the new Endorse, but the beta Endorse was such an easy way to make a little bit of money on the items I already was planning to purchase.  In the few months that I used Endorse I made around $35!  And that was simply by doing my usual shopping.

Let me try to explain Endorse.  With Endorse you get 10% to 100% cash back for purchasing various items…the new Endorse looks like it might work a bit more like Saving Star.  Here’s how I understand it to work.  Keep in mind that it hasn’t launched yet so I can’t say for sure that all my information is totally correct!

1.  Before you go shopping you’ll load offers selected for you to your account.

2.  After you shop you’ll take a picture of your receipt and log what you purchased.

3.  Then you wait for the cash back to be deposited into your account and when it is, you are that much richer.  :)

The one thing I’m not sure about and haven’t been able to get an answer on from Endorse is whether this new program will only be available to Smartphone users.  It appears that this might be the case and if so I’m extremely disappointed because it means those of us that are trying to cut costs and live more simply by not having a Smartphone won’t be able to be a part of this great way to save!

If you are interested in being a part of Endorse when they relaunch, sign up now as the new Endorse will be an invitation only program.

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Cash4Books: Earn additional 15% for Selling Your Used Books/Textbooks

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Do you have textbooks or other books lying around that you no longer need?  Why not make some money off them?  Cash4Books will buy your used books from you and even pay your shipping costs.  And even better, until June 8,2012 you can get an extra 15% bonus on your buyback total when you use bonus code SecretStash!  You can even enter your book information and instantly get a price quote to see how much money you will make.  If you choose to sell your books, payments will be made via check or Paypal.

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5 Tips for a Successful Yard Sale

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Well, it’s yard sale season once again.  In fact, this weekend we are doing our own yard sale with a couple of friends and while I admit it is a bit of work, to me it is worth it. What better way to make some money while cleaning house and getting organized?

If you are planning a yard sale too you might find the following five tips helpful.  We do a yard sale almost every year and these are tips that I’ve used first hand to have a successful yard sales.

1. Advertise
This is a simple no-brainer for bringing in more customers. Make sure to do this at the beginning of the week at least if not earlier.

  • Post your ad for free on Craigslist, Yardsalesearch, or Garagesalesource.  Or if you are willing to pay a bit you can also place an ad in your local classifieds.
  • Include your full address, not just Hillside Development, Brownstown. What if I don’t know where that is? If people have your full address they can get directions online right to your place.
  • List any unique items or items that may be of interest. For example: Lots of books, baby clothes, baby furniture, plus-sized ladies clothing, tea cup collection and more.
  • Don’t forget to post the hours and date(s) of your yard sale.

2. Show them Signs
A sign screaming YARDSALE will catch people’s attention and attract interest even days before you have the sale. Keep it simple and make sure it is neat and attractive. The point is to catch people’s attention not distract them. If you care to, attach a couple of balloons to the sign as well.

  • Post the sign several days in advance.
  • Place it where it is very visible and also be sure to make it big enough that it is readable from the road.
  • One of my friend’s likes to put up a different sign the actual day of the yardsale. It simply says, Yardsale Today. That way if you are having a two day yard sale people don’t assume by the second day that all the good stuff is gone. Not a bad idea I think.
  • Another option is to post a flyer at your local grocery store, laundromat, garage etc.

3. Price things low to go
Maybe I am strange, but I really dislike yard sales that just have stuff sitting out with no price. I like to know what something costs without having to search out the person in charge to ask them. In fact I often pass up things just because I don’t feel like going to the bother of asking the seller. I am pretty sure that I am not alone in this either from hearing others talk. Yes, pricing takes a bit of time, but I promise you it will sell things for you too.

  • Lay aside all sentimentalism. Remember, even if that fuchsia and orange flower arrangement is special to you because your great aunt Henrietta gave it as a housewarming gift when you bought your first home, it doesn’t mean that I will think it is worth $5. Think how your customers will think. When you are pricing items ask yourself, “How much would I be willing to pay at a yard sale for this?”
  • If you really want to get rid of things, keep the price low. Lots of 10, 25, and 50 cent items appeal to people. At my one yard sale I even priced some things 5 cents that I was sure no one would want. But guess what? They were some of the first items to sell! Remember the goal is to get rid of things…and making a little money is a fringe benefit.
  • If something is new or is electronic and works well, write that on the tag. But remember, you can’t expect to sell it at the price you paid.  This is a yard sale after all!
  • Be willing to take a lower offer on an item. Again, remember the goal is to get rid of stuff. Another way of looking at it is that if you don’t take the lower offer, you may not sell it at all and then you’ll make nothing.

4. Organize your merchandise
I can’t believe how many yard sales I have been to that don’t do this simple, easy step. I doubt that I am alone when I say that I don’t enjoy looking over tables full of a hodge-podge of items or digging through boxes piled full of who knows what.  I am much more likely to browse and spend more time looking at items if they are organized and “easy on the eyes”.

  • Put like things together such as all dishes, all home decor items, all electronics.
  • If you can’t lay books, CD’s, and DVD’s out nicely on a table then put them in boxes- but don’t make the box so full that you can’t flip through the items easily. If you have a lot of books, it is nice to also put all children’s books in one box, all fiction in another, all non-fiction in another and so on.
  • Hang as many clothes as you can. No one likes to dig through boxes full of unorganized clothes. An easy way to do this is to get to step-ladders and put another regular ladder through the two of them, creating a nice hanging spot.
  • Organize baby and children’s clothes by size. Again, no one likes digging through a bunch of unorganized clothes. If you have both boys and girls clothes of the same size, make a separate spot for each one. I like to put them either on a table or in a box with a clearly marked sign with the size and gender on it.
  • Place bigger items on the ground propped up trees or table legs BUT make sure that they are visible!

5. Greet your customers
You know how stores have someone greet you when you enter? Well apply this same principle to your yard sale. It makes people feel welcome and lets them know that you are open to talking to them about any questions they have about your items.  A simple “hello” or “good morning” as they walk up is sufficient.

What have you found helps you have a successful yard sale?  Or what makes you want to buy when you go to yard sales?

Image: Yard Sale Sign in Grass via Shutterstock

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Stop Being Brand Loyal and Save Money!

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Three different brands of peanut butter currently in my cupboard- all bought for $1 or less

Do you want to save money?  Then forgetting brand loyalty is a must.  Now don’t hear me wrong, it’s not that I am against name brand products, it is simply that as a general rule, I am against spending extra money on name brand products. Let me explain.

One of the reasons I think that abandoning brand loyalty is important is simply because the similar generic product is almost always just as good as the name brand or at least good enough that you won’t mind the difference. For instance, I virtually never buy name brand cream soups because I can save at least $0.20 to $0.30 per can by buying store brand at Wal-mart or Aldi. And I for one can’t tell any difference- especially since I almost always use them in casseroles and dishes with other ingredients anyway. Same goes for store brand vegetable oil, eggs, butter, sour cream etc.  And the amazing thing is that I have found several generic items that I actually prefer to their name brand counterparts.  One of them is Aldi sour cream which I think is creamier and tastier than Daisy or Breakstone sour cream.

There are some things that I agree just simply aren’t quite as good as the name brand but that I am willing to fudge a bit on the flavor or quality for the sake of cost. Cereal is one of those things. I know that the name brand cereals are usually tastier but not enough that I am willing to spend a considerable amount more on them!

The second reason I think you should generally forget brand loyalty is related to using coupons. Now coupons are pretty much always for name brand products, right? So just what am I getting at here? Well, I am all about getting good deals and if I can get name brand products for the same price or cheaper than off-brand, hurray for me! But here is my point.  If I think I MUST have Skippy brand peanut butter and so I pass over the coupon for Peter Pan brand peanut butter which with the coupon would be cheaper than both the store brand or the Skippy brand well,… then I am essentially wasting money.

Now I’ll be honest here and admit that there are a few things that I do like to use a certain brand of. Kraft mayonnaise happens to be one of them as does Scott toilet paper.   Both of those we just prefer way better than any other brand.  And there are a few recipes, including the ones for my chocolate chip cookies and my pie crust, that take Gold Metal flour and just don’t turn out right without it. So this is where I cut myself some slack and go ahead and become a bit of a brand snob.  But it also means that I keep an eagle eye out sales and coupons on these items so that I can at least get them as inexpensively as possible.

So in short, I am not saying that you should NEVER buy name brand products or even that it’s wrong to have some things that you just LIKE better in a certain brand. My point is to be open minded about using other brands and I think often you’ll find out that you don’t even notice it is an off brand or the brand you don’t typically use. And you can save money in the process…which of course is really the whole point!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.  Have you found generics that you like better than name brands?  Do you think paying more for brand products is worth the extra cost?  

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My Savings in 2011

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

I was curious just how much I saved by shopping sales and using coupons this year so I went back and looked at my Monthly Spending Summaries and did the math. Here is how much I saved each month with both coupons and sales:

January: $551.47
February: $624.50
March: $554.15
April: $410.34
May: $265.12
June: $405.28
July: $206.80
August: $265.95
September: $461.74
October: $330.18
November: $525.66
December: $209.70

That comes to a total of $4810.89!

Add in the rebates (including Rite Aid Single Check Rebates) that I got and I saved over $5,000. So yes, I’m still sold on couponing, just in case you were wondering!

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