Social Media Flea Markets

We live in a day and age where we have to watch what we spend.  I have to say over the past few years, I have become a serious bargain shopper.  I have found great products new and gently used at flea markets and thrift shops and now I have the opportunity to utilize social media sites to shop as well.

I have come across some very great deals on new items on Facebook, for my local area and my not so local area.  I think the creation of Facebook has by far expanded its means for what it once was intended.  Myself personally, I was never really fond of Ebay, or Craigslist, I mean don’t get me wrong, I have purchased from both and today when I can’t find what I am looking for, I head straight to Amazon.  I have purchased Ipod cases for prices as low as 01 cents, yes 01 cents but paid more for shipping and handling.  My most recent purchases were 2 new laptop ac adaptor chargers that I paid with shipping handling a whopping $18.13.  Those are deals you can not resist let alone beat.

I am not fond of the exuberant amount I pay for shipping and handling, but I do because I found the deal of a lifetime, at least I feel I am.  Amazon has pretty much everything you could possibly imagine.  Facebook flea markets has all the rest, both sites have new and used products.  Do I recommend the Facebook flea markets?  Absolutely, because like I said before we live in an age where we have to watch what we spend, and these days we have too many robbing Peters to pay Pauls in order to just try and live within a means that is out of our means these days.

One of the perks of online flea markets on Facebook is that the majority are closed sites and you need an invite to access and then you really see how many people you know or know someone you know utilizing them. This already gives me a level of comfort because I am not worrying about fraud so much, the other perk is your meeting up with the person your purchasing from to pick up what you bought. I highly recommend local online flea markets because it is easier to make arrangements to go see what your interested in before you commit to buying.  The best thing about online flea markets, you can shop at 2 in the morning when the rest of the world is fast asleep. 

 You can shop in your pajamas and slippers and you dont need a sitter. I always say shop different sites but stick to the amount of miles your willing to drive to go pick up your item.  Most importantly, ask questions before you commit, because if you want it and someone else needs it and it turns out to be something you dont want, the sale could be a flop because the other person may assume its already sold and look else where.  Keep in mind, the majority of those people running these sites are people like you and I, in a financial crunch but willing to work with you on the price.  If you dont think the price is fair, say so.  Dont complain about it later, because once the transaction is complete, its complete unless of course its broken or doesnt meet the expectations.  But that is why you have to do your research, be comfortable with online flea markets, purchasing gently used items, aske the seller what there policies are, especially with returns if something fails.  So now, I have given you a little information on the new shopping trend, try it out.  Enjoy, and pass the word.

Save…. The time is now

It is now February 2012, and our unemployment rates are at 8.3 %, which has been deemed the lowest since 2009.  With job gains on the up, the stock markets climbed in the opening market.  Unfortunately, that is not enough to save our economy.   The real truth behind it all, those most affected by it are you and I.  My husband and I maintain a household of 5 people, no matter how and where we try to cut, slash and save or should we say deprive ourselves, even when it looks like we can make ends meet, they don’t.

So I have started doing my research and it seems coupons are the in “factor”, but in order to accomplish the true task of “couponing”, you have a lot of information you must know or else couponing is not effective.  In order to be successful with coupons, you must understand them, to some they are just a little cut out from weekly inserts with a bar code and dollar amount placed on them.  That my dears, doesn’t even begin to remotely explain what a coupon is or how to use them.  Coupon success equals a thorough understanding of coupons.

The first and one of the most important keys of understanding is learning the different types of discounts and deals offered from coupons as well as the lingo. Familiarize yourself with your local supermarkets policy on coupons.  The most common types of coupons are manufacturers, retail and your printable’s.  Manufacturer coupons are most commonly found nationwide in newspapers, direct-mailers, magazines and they do nine times out of ten come with a sample item that you receive in the mail or   in store giveaways as well as  trial size purchases.  Manufacturer coupons come with a face value that is paid by the manufacturer to the store you are redeeming it.

Retail coupons  are the coupons you find advertised in your local newspaper ads, like manufacturer coupons you can receive them through direct mail.  In the instance of retail coupons, the manufacturer offers  a low fee to the retailer to cover the expenses of advertising and mailing.

Printable coupons are the coupons you find online in cyber land most grocery and manufacturers will list these coupons on their websites but there is a limit to how many you can print from your  address.  Online printable’s can be used in local retailers.  But be aware, that some sites online do offer fake coupons.  Coupon Fraud is a serious offense.

Coupon Fraud consist of modifying a coupon, meaning you’re changing the way the manufacturer intended the coupon by removing expiration dates changing the face values, changing the bar code, scanning or copying of coupons, altering codes in the manufacturers printing program. Using a coupon for another item other than what is specified on the coupon or for items not listed on the coupon or purchasing a different size than what the coupon states.  If   the coupon calls for a dollar off 2 items and you purchase 1, that itself is considered coupon fraud, even expired coupons are a no-no, this is where it would be important to know your retailers coupon policy, as some retailers do accept expired coupons. 

Remember, you may only use one manufacturer coupon on 1 item.  But an example where you may bend those rules as it is allowed is when you have a coupon for $1.00 off 2 cans of Pedigree dog food, your grocery store has a sale going that has 6 cans of Pedigree dog food for $4.00 in this instance you could use 3 of those coupons and end up paying $1.00 for  6 cans of Pedigree dog food.  Not a bad deal.  But as long as your purchasing 2 cans for each coupon you can continue to use the coupons.  So basically, in a nutshell 1 coupon for 2 cans, 2 coupons for 4 cans, 3 coupons for 6 cans and 4 coupons for 8 cans.

Couponing can be time-consuming, but very rewarding in the end.  The money that you save could be your reward to yourself take a trip, splurge on a little something special that you have wanted but could only purchase it if you robbed Peter and paid Paul (your splurged gift).  I will be sharing more information like this, as I intend to create a page to teach others the art of couponing.  I do not condone illegal activity or fraudulent information.  But I am willing to take those on the coupon quest and teach them what I know.  For more information feel free to follow me.  Share this link with family and friends.  Until next time,  Live Love and Laugh :)

Public Discipline, What Do You Think?

Over the past few weeks I have taken a lot of notice to things around me, I mean, I always notice things but since I started my blog I have gone into “full complete observatory mode.”  I think it is due to the constant running of my brain wheels to keep me in a full functioning mode and ready to blog, always.  I have noticed the need for young teenagers and there strange urges to show public display’s of affection known to many as “pda” which, in my opinion we were all kids once and while I don’t condone it nor do I think it is such an awfully terrible thing, just as long as it is done with taste, meaning pg rated to pg-13 and age appropriateness.

The next thing I have noticed are the small children running rampant through the stores making a ruckus as if they were at the local neighborhood playground on a full and complete dose of sugar and then some.  I am mom, I understand kids will be kids but why is my kids never ran rampant through stores?  I could say my kids knew better, but they are kids and as a parent it is my responsibility to teach them what is appropriate and what is not appropriate.  I am not saying I have the perfect kids because I don’t, they have had their top of the line bratty moments but thank the good Lord above it was never embarrassing extremes like throwing themselves on the floor when told “No” on the toy or the candy they so desperately desire.

My question that runs through my mind while listening to high pitch screeches of little boys and girls from all over, Where is the parent?  By the time a parent is in sight the child has decided to make a mess in the aisles do what they feel like and even following what others do around them, like sniffing the shampoo, tearing the cards in half, opening unpaid for candy or playing in and around the freezer sections. By the time the mom or dad is sight they are fully blabbing away on their cell phones about things I care not to repeat nor  hear.

With a quick hold on to the other end of the cell phone conversationalist you hear one loud mom screaming as if they were a contestant in a screaming match, the once playful making a mess all over the store child now looks like a rag doll being pulled and tossed all over the place.  It is that moment, I can feel my blood over boiling with anger because one, I do not believe in child discipline in public, I feel that it causes self-esteem issues as well as lowered self-worth to the child.  My feeling had the parent with the rambunctious child been aside their parent there would be no need to cause a parental scene, if you were so concerned with the mess that was now scattered among the store and customers irritated then you would have had a tight grip on that child from the get go.

It is obvious in my opinion that this the  parent who lets their children do what they want is now embarrassed and feels they have to justify themselves by being the loud parent placing a tougher than tough grip on the child and with an even stronger jerk of the child right up into mid-air.  How about getting down eye level letting your child know their behavior is not appropriate and when they get home or in the car  the form of punishment to be received.  Is it a form of child abuse?  Is it neglect?  I have given you the details now tell me your opinion.  We live in a day and age where child abuse is such a touchy subject but I am really interested to know what you think.

A Little Thought To Ponder

 

I apologize I missed two days because I got caught up in the hustles and bustles of the “holiday madness” but I’m back with many fresh thoughts, not that I didn’t have  those fresh thoughts prior.  But any who, I noticed when Thanksgiving and Christmas begin to get closer old friends and acquaintances begin to come out of the woodwork, I mean you follow the same routines of your pre holiday life and you see the same people but it seems that the holidays bring out everyone from some time frame of your past.

I was asked an interesting question, “What do you do when your out and about and you see someone you used to associate yourself with?”  Is it most appropriate to stop and walk with them to their vehicle or is it okay to smile and wave?  This is a thought, I am now rolling around in my head relentlessly searching for an answer.  Is there an ethic to that situation, like some sort of strange “acquaintance/friend rule”, that I don’t know about?  For me, I think when growing up all of those people we consider our friends are just our acquaintances and its the people who stick with us into our adult lives that are our friends.  We live in a time where social media like Facebook and  Twitter connects the world in which we live, I mean we can virtually find anyone we want if they want to be found. 

So my opinion, if you run into and old acquaintance and a simple wave or a quick hello is not enough and your able to find them on Facebook send them a message to let them know, “Hey, it was nice to see you sorry I couldnt chat with you give me a call and share your number.”  Sending a message to someone you once hung out with as a kid/teen shows that you remember who they are and can even have a tendency to make someone feel good.  When were growing up we know everyone, but people change as they enter adulthood because they move away, get careers, get married, have children,  basically I am try to say they get responsibilities.  When your growing up your “responsibilities” are your circle of friends.  Until next time, Live, Love and Learn.

“T”

Customer Service and what it is and is not

Here we are face to face with the holiday season once again!  Whether, your a customer in a store or a customer on the phone customer service is the who’s and whats that your dealing with.  This past week I have experienced both forms of communication with a customer service representative and I must say none of my experiences were of the rewarding kind, well at least on my part that is. I have questioned if I am too critical of my expectations of customer service because I myself come from an extensive history of customer service experience.  Not to toot my own horn, I have never had a complaint on the way I handle the many issues that arise, I have numerous letters and verbal responses for how well I put myself out there and ensure the final result is what it should be “SATISFACTORY”.

In my days of doing customer service I went out of my way for the customers, I ensured that every angle of the problem was covered, I have even received gifts from customers that were so satisfied with “my” service that the gratefulness they felt was to provide gifts, verbal letters etc. The true gift was seeing that I did my job, I guess its in my nature to “go out of my way” for others, which makes customer service jobs great for persons like myself. In my eyes, excellent customer service is all about making the “customer” feel warm and welcome, appreciated in a sense and taking care of customer problems and complaints.  I define “customer” as  the you,  the me,  and I, as well as us the shopper aka the person who buys.  My customer service motto, treat customers the way I want to be treated because their problem could very much be my own someday.

Customer service is not brain surgery nor is it some complicated task that needs a degree from an Ivy league school but I do think it takes a certain someone to do that line of work, it is the meat and potatoes of an organization, without customer service what is there? Management will refer you to us, customer service is the know it alls of the business, well supposed to be’s anyway.  Why is it today I go to an “unspecified store” to purchase an item for my son, the cashier doesn’t say two words to me even after I said “hello”, she rang, I paid and the entire 2 minutes and 49 seconds it took not once did the customer service rep say anything.  I do get bothered because I think that is rude and I feel there are people out there who would scrub the toilets right now to have a job because the rate of unemployment is so high. 

 My next experience began on a Monday and finally came to a conclusion four days later. I had the pleasure of having to speak to my health insurance company this week in reference to a form my husband needed to have authorized by them for treatment, On day 1, the first problem the girl at the doctors office incorrectly did the paperwork wrong which resulted in a denial.  On day 2, the other girl at the doctors office who I must say is good at what she does and has great customer service skills redid the form and refaxed it, after numerous calls that day and the day after as well as the day after that and that, The issue at hand was finally resolved, For every representative I spoke to, yes they were nice but the information given each time was inncorrect, how do the people hired to do the jobs of customer service land the jobs and become so laxadaisy?  How did they get the job to begin with?  I am interested to know what you think, how can organizations be comfortable with the failures of their customer service or do they just not care?    Could it be a new generation of upper management, that just doesn’t know or care?

Henry Ford once said “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.”
 

Hello world!

I have been saying for quiet some time that I am going to join the millions of bloggers out there in “cyber land” and begin a blog of my very own.  Well, cyber world hello, I have finally made it!  While I sat and determined what  I would like to blog about for months (a little exaggerated) I decided that my blog would touch base on a little of everything because life is ever-changing and so shall my blog.

I cannot guarantee everyday what my blog will be based upon, but I can guarantee it will be a variety of topics.  On the days I am feeling parental I may blog some advice but just because I give it doesn’t mean you have to take it.  On the days I am feeling crafty I may share a project or two or three…  Oh lets face it, I am here to have fun and blog till I cannot possibly blog anymore.   I am however, open to suggestions from the “grandest bloggers” to the not so “grandest”.  Just remember you were new once too so if you have helpful tips and /or suggestions, I am all eyes.  Until the next time live, laugh and love.

“T”