Tips for Planning a Ski Trip on a Budget

ski_liftNow that winter’s almost here, many people like to plan ski trips. But skiing on a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. There are many smaller, lesser known resorts that can offer all the benefits of a great ski holiday at a fraction of the price you’d pay at a larger ski resort. We have some tips to help you get the most out of your trip and still save money.

Plan ahead. The best way to get a good deal is to book early. If you start planning your trip before ski season opens, you have more time to compare prices and get the best rates. Choosing a package with lift tickets and lodging together will cost you a lot less than finding a place to stay at the last minute and buying daily lift tickets.

Add commentNovember 24th, 2014

Black Friday Store Hours

black-fridayIn years past, Black Friday deals were a closely-guarded secret that could only be seen in advance of the sales through “leaked” ad scans and other unauthorized posts. Shoppers scrambled to compare prices ahead of time and plan their itinerary on the big day. Often the in-store sales literally turned into brawls, and there are reports this year of shoppers camping out 22 days before the sale. Last year we were already seeing some holiday “creep” with earlier store hours intruding into Thanksgiving. But times have changed! This year retailers are running lots more “pre”- Black Friday promotions and even “leaking” their own official ads.

In fact, it’s hard to tell exactly when and where shoppers will really be getting the best prices this year. According to MarketWatch, Thanksgiving Day may offer shoppers the best deals online with projected discounts of 24%, compared to 23% for Black Friday and only 20% on Cyber Monday. The site also reports that online and in-store prices will be generally the same, with the exception of Black Friday in-store special promotions. This is likely due to increased price matching.

Add commentNovember 17th, 2014

Is Dynamic Pricing the Future of Online Retail?

price differencesI’ve often wondered if I’m getting the same price as other online shoppers.  There have been lots of times when I look for advertised specials and find that different prices are displayed by zip code.  Or is that difference due to the stores’ tracking of which items I view on their sites, or how I word my searches?

While I have no proof of exactly what’s going on, there have been some reports posted that may confirm my suspicions. Just last month, five Northeast University researchers used 300 participants to uncover some pricing inconsistencies based on personalization by online retailers, and compiled them in this study of 16 sites. They reported that at least six of the web­sites were manip­u­lating search results or cus­tomizing prices without the user’s knowledge, so that some online shop­pers ended up paying more than others for the same items. This study should be a wake up call for everyone: retailers perform advanced analysis of your personal information and manipulate what you see in your browser when you visit their online stores.

Add commentNovember 10th, 2014

October Contest Results

The month of October is over and it is time for our usual monthly wrap-up when we look back at what happened during the past month, announce our contest winners, and also give you a heads up at what is coming.

Monthly Contest Results

clover is the winner of this month’s contest followed by mdshopper1 and onkarkulkarni in the second and third place. Congratulations guys! Here is the complete list of this month’s winners and prizes:

1. clover (687 Points): $70
2. mdshopper1 (674 Points): $50
3. onkarkulkarni (634 Points): $50
4. mommy25 (624 Points): $35
5. anand (619 Points): $35
6. lootango (605 Points): $35
7. CouponNut (605 Points): $35
8. laaya (585 Points): $25
9. siggy38 (577 Points): $25
10. djhciskoski (553 Points): $25
11. bemicmom (552 Points): $25
12. 2kidsnuts (524 Points): $10
13. Version (515 Points): $10
14. psplove (504 Points): $10
15. sandyshore (491 Points): $10


Add commentNovember 3rd, 2014

How Grocery Stores Trick You Into Spending More

spend-moreOut of habit, we would likely buy the same products and brands every week if supermarket retailers didn’t find ways to change our routine. You might want to make a quick stop on your way home just to pick up a few items, without spending any time looking around. But the stores use some good tricks that can affect your choices and get you to buy even more.

We explored how merchants use scents to influence their customers in a previous blog post. Below are some additional ways they hope to encourage even more unplanned purchases. Understanding these tricks will help you become a smarter shopper and avoid falling into such traps as over-spending and over-paying.

Add commentOctober 27th, 2014

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