Monthly Archives: July 2018

Cyber Monday Can Offer the Best Online Shopping

The rise of the internet brought about an online shopping sale where consumers find the best buy on Cyber Monday.

Most holiday shoppers are familiar with Black Friday but more and more bargain hunters are getting geared up for Cyber Monday, which is when many retailers offer their best online shopping deal. With internet shopping now such a part of the mainstream, many consumers head to cyber space in search of their best buy. Cyber Monday is traditionally the day that kicks everything off.

Unlike Black Friday, which is the day after Thanksgiving when many Americans head to the mall for considered the start of holiday shopping season, Cyber Monday shoppers stay at home in searching for the best online shopping sale.

The quest for the best online shopping deal really took off in earnest in the middle of the first decade of this century. During that time stores began to notice a drop off in holiday traffic. By the end of the season, large retail chains found that there profits weren’t affected by the drop in holiday traffic. Upon analyzing the data, those retailers came to realize that shoppers were beginning to avoid the mall, opting instead to use their computers to locate the best buy. Cyber Monday was born.

Retailers have embraced these shoppers. While large chains still offer outstanding deals to their Black Friday shoppers, many are now also offering an online shopping sale, too. Online retailers also go all out during this time frame. For example, ReStockIt.com, an online retailer of home and office supplies, offers the 12 Days of Deals where everything holiday related on the site is available for up to 60 percent. The promotion features giveaways like an iPad to shoppers.

As the internet continues to become a more integral part of our lives, and increasing number of shoppers will look online for their best buy. Cyber Monday is here to stay.

After Cyber Monday, the next big shopping day to look for doesn’t yet have a name. It’s found in the middle of December, but doesn’t have a set date on the calendar. Look for the last day most retailers will guarantee shipping in time for Christmas and you will find what some are calling the last cyber shopping day of the holidays.

Women and Shopping Tips

Shopping is something that most women love to do. Window-shopping is a great past time. The woman takes her time to go from store to store to research and compare store prices. Most women don’t need expert shopping tips because shopping is so natural to them. However, there are some that do.

I think shopping is a talent. Women have even made personal shopping a career where they do other people’s shopping for them and get paid. Doing something that you already love to do and getting paid to do it is truly a dream come true for a personal shopper.

The mall is a popular place where women go to shop for clothes, shoes, jewelry, gifts, phones, and household items like bed linen, bathroom rugs, pots, pans, and lamps. Women are passionate about this past time and take pleasure in spending hours and load of cash on buying items that peak their interest or that can fit.

People shop at certain times of the year for gift items. Christmas, Birthdays, Valentines, Easter, Mother’s day and Father’s day are some special occasion that calls for shopping for loved ones, friends and coworkers. For birthdays, women shop for their husbands, children or boyfriend. Birthday gifts range from books, clothing, games to spa treatment or dining out. Children’s birthday gifts are easier for women to buy because they usually know that toys, games, books, and clothing are what most children love anyway. Valentines shopping comes with flowers and chocolate as well as a night out on the town.

Christmas is where most women spend their money on family and friends. This is where commercial shopping meets credit card payments. Women go all out to buy items for Christmas gifts and do not consider the aftermath of the bills that follow. The day after Thanksgiving is also a big shopping day for most American women. They get up early in the morning to join a long line of shoppers to purchase discounted items especially jewelry. This sale prepares them to fill up the Christmas gift wrappers and avoid spending more money than necessary. It is sometimes amazing to watch women stampeding and pushing each other the moment the store doors are opened.

Easter is mostly bunnies, eggs, gift baskets and cards. This is the time of year when women get sentimental and get involved with Easter because of their children and because they love the season. Children love to paint eggs and have egg-hunting contest. Women will purchase the eggs and make the pretty gift baskets and bunnies to make their children look good at the school event.

Mother’s day and Father’s day are more personalized. Depending on what the woman’s mother or father loves, that is what she will shop for. A mother may love diamonds, household goods, a mother’s day card, gift certificate, flowers, and a variety of other selections. Fathers may like things like jewelry, apparel, gift certificates and much more. Each woman will know what her parents love and may even shop for something different on occasion.

How to Buy Vintage Jewelry

Some of the best places to find great vintage costume jewelry are thrift shops. You’ve seen the big stores – Goodwill, Salvation Army, Savers…and then there are the charity shops run by churches and non-profits. All of them receive donated jewelry, and I have found some amazing pieces in thrift shops. It seems to me that the larger chain shops have better prices than the smaller charity shops, but it really depends on who is pricing the jewelry when they put it out for sale. Some shop employees are very savvy about values, but some aren’t and they often price jewelry very low. Maybe they figure that if it isn’t real gold it isn’t worth much. Good for us!

Thrift shop shopping has lost the stigma of being just junk shops or places where the down-and-out shop.

A great tip is to become friendly with the staff of the shops that you visit. One clerk lets me rummage through the jewelry bins before she prices them and puts them out on the floor. Another lets me know when they get a large amount of jewelry donated.

Find out when the shop has their specials. One store in my town has a 30% Senior discount on Wednesdays. Guess which day is my shopping day!

Sometimes the shop management will put a large amount of jewelry in a plastic bag and sell the bag for a fixed price. If you find these, examine the bag as closely as you can – you won’t be allowed to open it, and there’s lots of junk in there, mostly stuff that didn’t sell, and often lots of plastic Mardi Gras beads. I bought these bags a few times, and it was fun sorting through everything, but I wound up donating most of it to a nursing home for crafts projects. I have found a few really nice pieces this way, but I don’t think it was really worth the time and trouble.

Most thrift shops have a glass case where they keep the better stuff. Ask to see pieces that interest you, and examine them closely. Look closely at the racks where they usually hang the cheaper stuff. I found a sterling silver Native American belt buckle, with a turquoise stone in it and signed by the artist, hanging in a zip lock bag on a rack. I bought it for $2.80 and sold it on eBay for $52! It was badly tarnished, but I polished it up and it was beautiful.

There always seem to be lots of watches in those cases. Beware of copies of famous makes, and buy only name brands that you recognize. Make sure the band is in good condition and that there are no scratches on the crystal. The watch probably won’t be working, so plan to spend $5 to $7 for a battery. If you’re buying for resale, be sure to include the cost of a battery to see if the watch is worth buying. You’re taking a chance there – it might not work even after a new battery is installed.

Whether you are buying jewelry for your own collection or for resale, there are several things to look for when examining thrift shop jewelry.

1. Condition, condition, condition: You are going to come across all kinds of jewelry in all kinds of condition. Look for broken clasps, missing stones, worn metal finishes, and any green material on gold tone jewelry. The green stuff is corrosion, and it can’t be cleaned off. Pass on that one. Check that stone settings are tight, and if they aren’t, be careful with the piece – you should be able to tighten them. If the piece is dirty you can clean it. Bring a jeweler’s loupe or strong magnifying glass so you can examine the piece closely.

2. Is the piece signed? The name on the back of a pin or earring, on the clasp of a necklace or bracelet, or on an earring clip is the “signature” of the designer. Signed pieces can be more valuable than unsigned, but there are also many many “unsigned beauties” out there. Look for the name, and if there is a copyright symbol ©, that means the piece was made after about 1955. No symbol – you probably have a real vintage piece. Look for the numbers 925 on silver jewelry – that means it’s sterling silver, and if the price is right, you’ve got a steal.

3. Price: It’s hard to put a price on thrift shop jewelry – the cheaper, the better, of course! I try not to spend more than $3 for a pin, bracelet, necklace or pair of earrings. You might come across something really spectacular that costs more, and if you think you can profit from it, or you want it for yourself, go ahead and buy it. A good rule of thumb when shopping thrift shops is this: If you like it but aren’t sure, set yourself a limit, say $5. If it turns out to be not so great, you’re not out that much. As mentioned, some thrift shop employees know more about jewelry, and will price some pieces too high for you to sell and make a profit. But there seems to be quite a bit of employee turnover in these shops, so the next person pricing jewelry might not be as knowledgeable.

After Christmas is a good time to pick up Christmas jewelry. Some shops will mark down holiday items to get rid of them, other shops just store them away for next year.

I love shopping at thrift shops – just like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. Every trip is a treasure hunt. Some days are slim pickin’s, but some days are very rewarding. Just yesterday I got 10 pieces for $15 – several are sterling silver, and one piece may be jade – I’m still not sure.

Be consistent in your thrift shop shopping. Try to go out every week, and find out when the shops have their special promotions. Most of the large chain shops put out new merchandise all day long, some other shops restock on certain days. Find out when those are, and get there early.

Read books about costume jewelry, and become knowledgeable, so when you shop the thrift shops you’ll be armed with information. Have fun with it, get to know the thrift shop staff, and you’ll come home with some fabulous jewelry at fabulous prices.

Tips for Getting Fabulous Cyber Monday

For as long as I can remember, Black Friday was THE shopping day of the season. Since it kicked off the official holiday shopping term, it was the one day when you could save some serious cash on everything from socks to electronics. In recent years, though, Cyber Monday has quietly usurped the top position with over 95 million Americans doing their shopping on this day vs. the 79 million Americans who shopped in retail stores Black Friday in 2009.

Cyber Monday is the first Monday after Thanksgiving. It developed over the years because it was the first day that people went back to work after the Thanksgiving. Employees would use the company’s high speed internet to do their holiday shopping online. Retailers took notice of the spike in their web traffic and began offering Cyber Monday deals that rivaled their Black Friday offers.

In addition to being incredibly easy and convenient, you can score some good deals with the Cyber Monday specials offered by retailers. Here are some tips for getting the most out of this popular online shopping event.

Tips

Do your homework – Since you are shopping online, you won’t have the benefit of being able to see or touch the products. Therefore, do some window shopping and get the model numbers, sizes, colors – all the pertinent information about the products you want to buy. This will help make sure you order the right thing.

Shop at places that offer free shipping – If you are not careful, the cost of shipping can easily gobble up the money you save shopping on Cyber Monday. Look for places that offer free shipping deals. This can save you another 20% off the cost of the product.

Get online early to avoid digital congestion – Just like the stores on Black Friday, websites will be inundated with internet visitors on Cyber Monday. This can affect the site’s loading time and slow your shopping to a crawl; especially if you are using a dial up service. Get up extra early to avoid the rush.

Shop early to get the good stuff – Another reason to shop early is that quantities may be limited. Many retail stores will have deals throughout the day. Since they don’t want to give away the store, they will often limit coupons and quantities to the first few hundred people who checkout online. If you want to get the deal, be at your computer before everyone else.

Shop for electronics online – Retailers know that most people who shop online for Cyber Monday deals are tech savvy. Therefore, they will usually offer some awesome deals on electronics. Instead of risking life and limb to get them on Black Friday, wait until Cyber Monday and enjoy front door delivery.

Make friends with RetailMeNot – This is a website that specializes in providing coupon codes for all of the major retailers online. To save additional money, you should have this site open so you can search for Cyber Monday coupon codes quickly and apply them easily.

Shop at an all in one website – To save time and money, pick a one stop shop website that serves as a portal to multiple retail stores. The main benefit of using this type of website is that you can comparison shop prices without having to surf from one site to another. The site where I shop has a powerful search engine that will help you seek out the best deals and potentially earn you cash back on your purchases.

Amazon.com is a big player in the online shopping world. Last year, it was the number one most visited retailer on Cyber Monday for the third year in a row. However, a fast rising competitor, Kaching Kaching, is giving the internet retailer a run for its money. The company directly contracts with manufacturers to get the best price on over one million brand named products including HP, GPS from Garmin, Canon, and Cuisinart. Every day they have an incredible Deal of the Day where you can get hot items such as Wii and Xbox below market price.

There is nothing like the thrill of getting the best deal. Be smart and you could save hundreds of dollars on Christmas gifts this Cyber Monday.

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