Thursday, November 17, 2011

Buy first, look last.

Of course you're supposed to first look at the price, and then buy (or don't, if you choose not to). But sometimes, the opposite order works to your advantage. When?

Lots of sites these days have a "lightning deal" feature (I borrowed the term from Amazon). These are deals that are available for a very short time only, but at a pretty good discount. Sometimes an amazing discount. Obviously, everyone rushes to buy them so by the time you've finished deliberating whether you want it or not, it's gone. And that shouldn't be happening to you.

What I suggest is this: Once you find out a deal is in the horizon, keep the page on which the deal will be displayed open in your browser, before the deal is available for purchase. If you know when the deal will occur, excellent. If not, refresh periodically. Amazon, for one, shows a countdown timer near the mystery item so you know when to be prepared. Then, as soon as the deal is announced, CLICK THE BUY BUTTON! Don't worry, you will still get to review your payments and stuff later. If you don't click Buy, the item will not be in your cart.

Once it's in your cart, most sites will not pull it out again, but just in case, hurry through the sign-in and checkout process. There will always be a page for you to review your order and hit "submit". Now is when you can think! Think if you want the item, if it's valuable to you, and if the sale price is worth it. Sometimes, the deal may appear awesome, but it isn't really. So double-check.

Once completed, there's just one more thing you ought to do: gloat.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back again... with an Amazon success story!

Hi, I'm back after a pretty long hiatus. Anyway, lots has happened... I'm not sure what to say first!

Let me begin with a recent story, one that happened last week Thursday. Sometime during October I received an alert from announcing an Amazon MP3 $2 Promotional Code giveaway which anyone can earn just by tweeting a message. Of course I snatched up the opportunity. I watched as the $2 was added to my account. I then bought a song that cost $.99 and waited for the email receipt to show up in my inbox. When you redeem a song credit, the receipt total would normally show $0.00. This time, however, I noticed that they actually charged me for the 99 cents!

I immediately phoned customer service to find out what on earth happened there. Julie had no idea what was going on but she did assure me that she will credit my credit card for 99 cents. That works, and I hung up satisfied. The next day I wanted to download another song and I see that the rest of my Amazon MP3 credit is gone! I called them again and the John said he will give me a $2 promotional code that will expire in 2020. Great!

This Thursday I figured I'll redeem the two songs and my credit shows $0.00!!! What is wrong with their system?? It can't seem to hold on to my promotions! I called up a third time and spoke with I-forgot-who and really told her how frustrated I am. I can't seem to download a single thing because my promotions are vanishing faster than iPads on their release date. I was on the phone with her for like 7 minutes while I explained to her that I deserve some sort of remuneration for the frustration I had to experience. She understood, and then gave me $7 into every digital Amazon section: Kindle, MP3, Software, Apps for Android, and Instant Video! Plus, $7 in regular promotions that can be used to purchase any non-digital item sold by Amazon. So, in essence, I pulled $42 with minimal effort... all from a $2 promotion that went awry. Moral of the story: ASK ASK ASK for compensation. And be willing to stay on the phone for a while.