I’m a diehard Apple user. But, if you have children, you may want to consider buying the Kindle Fire Kids Edition. I admit that the iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone are easier to use, have a bigger selection of apps, and a better camera than the Fire. But, as a parent, on any given day, I want my children reaching for the Kindle Fire over their Apple devices. And, here’s why:
What if I told you that you can shop on Amazon and find the latest and most popular electronic devices at a huge discount?
Buy Certified Refurbished Amazon Electronics
What is a refurbished product?
There are many reasons why a product may be refurbished. Yes, sometimes there was a defect that the manufacturer fixed, but many times it’s refurbished because of superficial issues. For example, a consumer returned an item due to a damaged shipping box, a minor scratch or dent on the product’s casing or exterior, or opened the box and simply changed his or her mind.
What happens to these returned items?
The items get shipped back to the manufacturer who will then test these products, repair any defects, verify that these products are “as new” and re-sell them as refurbished.
Amazon takes this one step further by selling their own products as “certified refurbished” items, meaning that they come with the same limited warranty and return policy as a brand new device. This includes their popular Kindle and Alexa devices. Think about this: you are getting the same product, with the same warranty, and the same return policy. Why not buy Certified Refurbished?
(Note, although you can also save money from Amazon’s Warehouse Deals, you may not receive the same warranties as “Certified Refurbished” products; also these Warehouse Deal items may not necessarily be “as new” but rather a bit more used. However, you can definitely find great deals there, just make sure to read the fine print.)
My Top Picks:
To me, a trip to the spa is a mini-vacation. I want tea, brownies, possibly champagne. I want magazines, outdoor seating, the sounds of a rippling stream. I want saunas, steam rooms, and a hot tub. I want to escape for hours on end.
Handing over my credit card at the end of a blissful day adds a bit of stress. Luckily, I’ve found some ways to save money at the spa.
*Note: You can apply these tips to practically any online retailer, not just spas.
This is always my first stop while shopping online. If you are not using Ebates.com, what are you waiting for? Ebates works with thousands of stores, both online and in-store, offering you a percentage of what you spend as cash back, which varies from store to store. You choose whether you want the money you earn directly deposited into your PayPal account or paid via check; better yet, I usually trade in my Ebates money for an Amazon gift card. Thus, my cycle of online shopping continues. In the last few years, I have gotten close to $500 back for literally doing nothing but clicking on their site. Another reason why Ebates is so fantastic? Not only do you get a percentage back but you can also apply a promo code from another site.
This site sells gift cards that can be used at over 25,000 spa locations worldwide. Spafinder itself often runs sales; in fact, today, they’re offering 15 percent off. Otherwise, take a few minutes and google “promo code.” RetailMeNot, a favorite site of mine, currently has their own promo code for 15 percent off. OK, so let’s do the math here: assuming you wish to buy a $100 gift card to Spafinder, you get 15 percent off by purchasing online, plus 5 percent cash back from Ebates, saving you almost $20. Make this part of your routine before making any online purchase: take the extra two minutes to go onto Ebates and also google a promo code. I almost always get something back.
I discovered Raise.com a year ago. I decided to buy the Amazon Echo (“Alexa”) for my husband’s birthday. However, his birthday was the next day and I could never receive it on time, even with Prime. I googled brick-and-mortar retailers that sold Amazon Echo. Best Buy sold it for the same price as Amazon. “There has to be a promo code for Best Buy,” I thought. But there wasn’t. What to do? Here’s the answer: Raise.com.
This website sells unused gift cards, either as an e-card (which is what I chose) or as a physical card to over 1,000 stores. Discounts on gift cards vary from day to day, all the way up to 30 percent. I purchased a Best Buy e-gift card, received it in my inbox within minutes and applied it towards my payment method. All in all, I saved $20 by purchasing it online at Best Buy. (Even better, I chose “in-store pickup” and picked it up the next morning).
As I write this, Raise.com has Spafinder cards for 11.4 percent off. Meaning, you can get a $100 Spafinder gift card for $88.60. They have both physical cards, i.e., mailed to you, or printable vouchers. Since Raise doesn’t have any e-gift cards for Spafinder, unfortunately, you can’t use Ebates too. But you certainly can try for other online retailers.
Google “promo code” for Raise.com and I bet you’ll find something. I received $5 off my first order.
If you are a member of Costco, you may purchase $100 Spafinder gift cards for $80. Around the holidays, they often run a promotion where you can buy them for $70. And so, this is what I did last year when I went to the amazing Eau Spa in Florida, a spa that checks off everything and more from my list of wants. I approached the cashier with a stack of three $100 gift cards, for which I had paid just $210 for at Costco, claiming that someone had gifted these to me (of course, not admitting that I, in fact, had bought these for myself), and used them to pay for my treatment and my husband’s, complete with tip (I also had a credit from a prior treatment). “How much extra do we owe,” my husband asked? I answered, “77 cents.” Not bad, 30 percent off! And, of course, you know if I could have, I would have used Ebates too.
Now It’s Your Turn
So, the next time you are going shopping, whether online or in person, try out some of these tips. For example, I noticed that Build-A-Bear, a fun but expensive experience for my kids, is available on Ebates (3% cash back), Costco ($70 for $100 worth of cards), and Raise (over 19% off).
I’m looking forward to hearing how it turns out for you. Do you have any of your own tips?
As always, I appreciate your comments.