Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How to shop.

Actually this post is about searching. The Internet makes this easier than ever to browse AND shop. We can live in East Podunk, not have a car and shop for, literally, a used jet, helicopter, Rolex or LutwycheBespoke suit and have any of these become part of our reality IF we have the money. No driving or sitting in traffic, just pure shopping online.
Now this presumes pictures and videos of your future purchase are adequate involvement. For most, they are not. Visiting a fine shoe store, trying on the latest creations, smelling the leather, well, you know what I am talking about.
Your fancy might be guns, A/V gear, cars, houses, foods or kitchen gear, but the feeling of joy that comes from buying quality goods is real.
The trick, early on when you are just learning about some future purchase, is where do I start? You can just go to one of the top stores, buy what is there and...
Or you can feel your way along to the best or maybe just the best YOU can afford learning along the way. Ask others who use these items. Pay attention to what you actually need. Do you really think a $400 food processor is required or will that well-rated $165 machine do everything you know how to do AT THIS POINT, or maybe ever? This is a PTP, a point to ponder. Maybe ever.
Say you just got a new cookbook and are fired up about veganism. Lots of cutting involved. I need new knives for sure. Check the Consumer Guides at  https://shopping.zeef.com/robert.w.hall
Hmm. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Profection is only $600 for a set... Now, with lots of cash, you could stop here, find a store and purchase one of the top brands. Likely you will be satisfied, forever.

You could also look down the listings and find Ginsu Chikara, $75 for a small set, buy that one and never need more knives, ever.
If you live in or near a city, I urge you to do something different. Visit stores that have sets and individual knives. Pick them up. Imagine cutting rutabagas or the like. Check your wallet too and your current skill and interest level.
Then do your internet researching, price shopping and finding a store you like. Maybe you end up with the Henckles, maybe the Ginsu. The point is you got deeply involved in your own life's chores. Nothing was left to chance. You prevailed. You hunted successfully.
Much of our buying could be like this whether its high-end or low-rent, we do our own work and it feels good.
Or you can just text your personal shopper and tell her or him to buy it for you.

Friday, October 3, 2014

So, the page I curated at Zeef, a new search directory, is up and running. Shopping .
Do check out the categories and let me know if you have items to share like new search  bots, low prices etc.
I put a shopping example in just now. Perhaps you have your own stories to tell about great deals.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ways to Shop Smart and Save Big

1. Sales local, national, holiday Labor Day for tools etc.
2. Coupons mostly local small items like packaged foods, clothes, small appliances. Have you noticed there are not so many coupons for real food, produce, and lots for junk food that is seriously more expensive per pound, say chips v whole taters?
3. Alerts Amazon Deal of the Day; Google Alerts; RSS feeds
4. Bargaining Beds esp. in Sept.
5. Buy less so food is fresher. You get better food. Buy more like paper towels and benefit with volume discounts.
6. Be smart like using dish soap in different dilutions and bottles: spray, pump, pour
7. Don't shop till you drop ie. no QVS or the like
8. If with someone, set limits on spending without the other's input
9. If you get in a shopping trance like bird dogging a food processor, sleep on the purchase AND don't be afraid to send items back whether you opened them or not. Many online retailers are very good in this respect. The cost to return is small compared to a $650 blender that you just don't like the looks of or trust.
10. Do research on most everything you buy. Out of season onions v storage onions can be a 50% or more saving. I found a food processor that was $250 everywhere in red, $189 in black and the same item in white was $169.
11. Be Flexible. Last week I bought my first premium fry pan, a 10" Swiss Diamond. Being pleased with it, I began checking prices on an 8" pan.
Today, an ad from this company showed up. A 7" pan for $30. This was less than half the price of the 8" one and almost 30% less than other stores had the item for...Be flexible, Shop Smart, Save Big.
12. Instinct? Sometimes I just take a chance. Monday I saw a price online of $55 for a highly recommended knife set, 5 pieces, 4 knives. Hmm. I reread the Consumer Reports article several times, visited the company's website, pondered as I must about any purchase and jumped in. Three days later the set arrived. I checked and the price is now $76. SSSB...
13. Locally, say Ikea or the like, check store's website for "as is," slightly damaged or returned items.
14. Use http://www.allyou.com/weekly-circulars#/featured Grocery Deal Finder. Amazon Local: http://local.amazon.com/national?cid=site_nav_logo&ref_=site_nav_logo  etc.
15. Use shopping bots.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Shopping questions entertained: Refurbished?; product research; alerts; Deal of the Day etc. Interests include: kitchen appliances, sleep aids, computers, camera and high-end A/V gear, well, maybe the way lower end of the $$ continuum. More later. You can leave brief questions and I will send responses when I can. Personal shopping online? $35/hour. I send links and suggestions. Currently I am a finalist in AllYou magazine's America's Smartest Shopper. Hopefully, this will continue to winning...But it did not. Still, I got a new Breville Sous Chef,. A win indeed.