Saturday, November 13, 2010

Working Those Holiday Deals

Warning: This particular post is going to be a bit vague. Names will be changed to preserve the surprise for any recipients that read my blog.

One on my major conundrums at Christmas involves long distance presents. There was a time that getting presents to Tom's family was my biggest issue. That was when we lived in South Carolina, my family lived in North Carolina, and his family lived in New Jersey and New York. But then my mom moved to Idaho, and we moved up to New York, and the whole Christmas present dynamic has changed.

So with the holidays coming up, I've been wracking my brain trying to think of a good ship-able gift to send to my mom, and the rest of my immediate family back home in North Carolina. If I had a million dollars, this would be a no brainer. But Tom and I are working hard to stay on a strict Christmas budget, so my criteria was as follows 1) something luxurious that my family wouldn't buy themselves, 2) that was within my budget, and 3) preferably included shipping.

I'm a frugal enough shopper that I know not to jump at the first offer a company sends me (and with the holidays right around the corner, I'm being bombarded by offers). But if you really want to work those holiday deals, you have to time your shopping right. Buy too early, and you'll get the we're-still-holding-out-on-you sale. Buy too late and you'll pay the-holidays-are-right-around-the-corner-and-we-know-you're-desperate price.

So when the Perfect Gift Company sent me a brochure about two weeks ago with a bunch of lovely products to purchase that included free shipping, I made a mental note of it and waited to see if they would up the ante at all. This week, they sent me a brochure of products and said since I was such a valued customer, they were going to throw in a very nice bonus gift for each recipient. The gift was so good that it inspired me to place an order.

I entered the portal on the website that set me up to automatically recieve the awesome bonus gift. From the brochure, I was under the impression that I would only receive this bonus gift with the purchase of a Very Nice Present. But while I was in the process of placing my order, I noticed a bar to the side of the webpage that mentioned free shipping with the purchase of Something Else. This Something Else was the same price as the Very Nice Present, and when I calculated the cost of the Very Nice Present plus shipping plus bonus gift and Something Else plus shipping minus the bonus gift, Something Else was far and away the better deal.

So I put Something Else in my shopping basket.

And guess what? The Holiday Shopping Gods (or Elves?) were smiling down on me and not only did I get free shipping with my Something Else, I got the great bonus gift too! (Insert happy dance here)

But wait, there's more...

The Perfect Gift Company is a member of Upromise, and for the holidays, they're offering a whopping 10% rebate on purchases. So I get 1) a luxurious Christmas gift for my family (plus great bonus gift) that's 2) within my budget with 3) free shipping and as a bonus I'm getting money back for college.

That's the way to work a holiday deal.

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