Do people like, still blog?

Tag Archives: deals

Recently I bought a cabin bag from (i.e., a bag to put all your electronics in that you can bring into a plane cabin). Like most all purchases, there was a lot of coupon/credit stacking that went into my purchase. This one was not as amazing as my Kobo Aura purchase but still pretty good.

$89.99 Original price
-$36.00 Discount off original price
+$7.02 Tax
-$15.00 coupon
-$13.33 credit
+$0.00 Shipping (free)
$32.68 Total

Plus, there was a 7.5% eBates cash back which I suppose would be $2.45. However, I never received my eBates cash back from my first purchase AND this credit is not showing up after a couple of days, so I’m going to assume that eBates doesn’t work for me.

But the most interesting thing was when I received the shipment, they included an invoice. Except, it wasn’t my invoice but the invoice to from the supplier. So I know that the bag cost $43.19 (at 20% discount from $53.99) + HST = $48.80. Which means that that made -$16.12 in selling me this bag (perhaps even less because someone had to pay for shipping, although that is possibly the supplier)

I came across another incredible shopping deal that I took advantage of – because there was actually something I wanted to buy! I saw a Kobo Aura at the airport one time and was attracted to it because it was smaller than my existing Kobo and the screen was flush (not indented like other Kobo and Kindle models). Also it had a backlight which is useful, but not necessary. I was waiting for a deal on it, perhaps on Boxing Day because it was a little expensive at $149.99 ($169.49 after tax).

I had also seen that was having a lot of (stackable) promos recently, and looked on their site for the Aura. They didn’t have it, but suddenly one day, they did. I ended up buying it there and stacked A LOT of promos into a single purchase. Here is how I made out.

$149.99 Original price
-$10.00 Applied a coupon (ebates)
+$18.20 Tax
+$0.00 Shipping (free)
-$25.00 new member rewards
-$25.00 Paypal/ special offer
$108.19 Total

So I only ended up paying $108.19 for an item that would have cost me $169.49. Pretty good eh? That’s a 36% discount.

BUT WAIT, I also get some money back for various reasons as part of this purchase

$108.19 Current total
-$26.64 20% Ebates cash back on $133.19
-$10.00 Ebates cash back for first purchase
-$6.66 5% cash back Paypal promo
$64.89 New total
$57.42 Pre-tax total

After all the cash back (assuming I get everything back in my Paypal account), the Kobo Aura would have cost me $64.89, which is a discount of 71%! What an incredible deal!

There were two “incredible” “shopping” deals this weekend. Both Incredible and Shopping are in quotes because they were not supposed to happen and it’s not really shopping at all!

The first deal was from Future Shop where you could trade in any current generation game (including old sports games from past years) and get one of the new AAA titles that have released for the holiday season – for free. These games would normally go for $50-$60 and hold line ups for midnight openings. Many people would have paid full price with REAL money to buy these games! Yet, a large number of thrifty “shoppers” (i.e., RFDers) were able to score the games for free. I’m not sure why Future Shop decided to put on this promotion, as the majority of people who took advantage of the deal already knew that Future Shop bought and sold used games.

While the Future Shop deal may or may not have been a mistake, the second one surely is. Samsung put up a website for Note users where they could submit their serial number for $600 in vouchers (including $25 in Google Play credit). In theory, that’s a good reward for Note customers. But it turns out that:
1. It wasn’t restricted to Note serial numbers; most Samsung cellphone serial numbers ended up working, and even printer serial numbers!
2. You could register a serial number again if you entered a space (i.e., the serial number matching was not trimmed)
3. You could get lists of Galaxy Note serial numbers online
4. There was (seemingly) no hard limit to the credits being give out.

You had people on SlickDeals (and RFD) accumulating thousands of dollars of credit for Google Play by using scripts. You could use the credit to buy any of the soft products (i.e., no hardware). In fact it was like printing free money because presumably you could release a “private” app on Google Play that costs thousands of dollars and then buy it with your free credit.

In July, (which was 5 months ago!), I ordered a subscription of The Atlantic for $10.50 USD. That was for three years worth, which is a great deal because that works out to about $3 per year when a single issue at the newsstand is something like $8. The trick to getting cheap magazine subscriptions is to order from the US where sites clearing houses like Amazon have sales. Well that’s not really the trick. The trick in getting your US subscriptions to work is that you need to update your address (to your Canadian one) after you put your order in. That takes a bit of time, and you might miss an issue or two.

The guideline is that it usually takes 6-8 weeks to start your subscription, and then another few weeks to reflect your address change. I finally got my first issue (the December issue) of The Atlantic so it does take some time!

Recently, Clearly Contacts has a promotion where they are giving away 500 pairs of glasses for free in several cities across Canada. Being a freebie, this deal is quite popular with RFDers and some members have claimed to get up to 5 free glasses in similar CC promotions in the past!

Of course, CC has a policy of only giving one free pair of glasses to a household, and I expect they have some sort of automated way to determine duplicates (because some people get caught). But, I was thinking about it and it is not straightforward to determine which orders are dups while limiting false positives.

The obvious is to use street address, but that quickly falls apart when you consider apartment residents with the same street address. You can’t allow variability based on apartment number, because then a (single) household can abuse that field. You have the same problem with postal code.

You can try to match on personal information such as email address, credit card number or name; everyone has multiple email addresses, most have several credit cards, and you can modify your name and the package should still get delivered to you.

The last piece of information is your prescription. I don’t know how statistically similar prescriptions are, but I think that needs to be the key. If you can find multiple orders with very similar prescriptions, and some other information (such as name or email or street address) are statistically similar, then those are probably orders from the same person. At least that would be how I would implement it.

This trip to London, I had a desire to watch a west-end London theatrical production. Last year when we went to NYC, we had similar intent and went up to the TKTS booth at the South Street Seaport to look for some discount tickets. Unfortunately we weren’t successful because the tickets weren’t that cheap and there weren’t any shows that we were keen on seeing either.

For London, we were a little more prepared. First we looked up what shows were playing and there were several that we were interested in seeing. Plus, with the Sterling being weak against the CDN dollar, the tickets weren’t that expensive (at half off, of course they are almost never 50% off). Then when we in London we planned to be in Leicester Square by 10AM to get the best discount seats for the day.

On the actual day, we ended up being there about an hour early so we walked around Leicester Square for a bit first. There is a block that is almost entirely filled with discount theatre ticket stores, and because we were so early, they were still setting up and we saw the same people/owners running around the different stores. In the end they weren’t that cheap so we lined up for TKTS, and of course they weren’t cheap either (they were selling seats in the £40 range which is still $60 after currency exchange).

What we ended up doing was going to the actual theatres themselves and buying tickets directly from the box office. The seats weren’t as good as the “discount” ones but they were cheaper! Our first pick was Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre. Neither of us had seen it in Toronto and Pauline really wanted to watch it. I was a bit worried about our seats since we were in Upper Circle, but the theatre was not that big and we had a reasonable view that wasn’t three stories up like we would be in Toronto.

The west end production of Les Mis is impressive because it is the first English production and has been running non-stop in the London west end for the last 25 years. It is the longest running show in the west end with over 10,000 performances. And it was still sold out (or close to) when we went!

I was impressed by the performance for a couple of reasons. First I was able to understand what the performers were signing! I remember watching Phantom and not really understanding what was going on. I don’t know if it’s because the cast had better enunciation or if it was because the English accent is more distinct, but I was able to pick up and understand the details of the story and song.

Secondly, they used a very simple mechanism of rotating the stage to great effect. They would use it to show travelling/movement or do setup of the stage while the play was still going on. It’s such a simple device but I’m sure it saves a lot of money for stage costs.

Lastly, the story itself was touching. I suppose this is mostly to the credit of Victor Hugo who wrote the novel which the musical is based upon. But other musicals I’ve been to such as Phantom and Lion King also have a story as source material and were not able to create the same sort of emotional connection. In the end I think it was a very worthwhile experience to see Les Misérables in London!