Wednesday, November 26, 2008

25 Holiday Shopping Tips for the 25 Days of Christmas: Tip #4

After over 15 years of retail management, I definitely understand how to leverage resources to get the best deal possible. As a buyer, I would hunt down the best prices, special quantities buys, closeouts...whatever it took to get the best quality at the best value. As a consumer, you have the same power to leverage retailers to get the best prices and best deals. Retailers are competing for your dollar, make them work for it!


Leverage your buying power this holiday season. Look for retailers and grocery stores to compete for your dollar by offering you special bonuses for committing your discretionary income to their store.

A perfect example is what the Ralph's (Kroger) grocery chain is offering to their customers for the holiday season. If you purchase gift cards at a Ralph's store with your "Ralph's Rewards" card, they will TRIPLE your bonus points earned on your card.

So what are "bonus points"? At Ralph's, you earn bonus points with each dollar that you spend that accumulate each quarter, and at the end of that quarter you are issued a voucher that you can apply toward a future shopping trip. (Some categories do not apply, like alcohol, tobacco, etc.) You earn $5.00 toward your voucher with the first 500 points you earn, then a $1.00 for each additional 100points. My voucher from last quarter was $27.00. So, Ralph's basically gave me $27.00 for shopping with them. Okay, I will take it!

So, with this scenario, if I were to buy, say $300 in gift cards, I would earn 900 points, another 9.00 applied on my next voucher. So, for doing nothing more than buying the same gift cards I would have purchased from Target, iTunes, Best Buy, American Express, Visa, Barnes & Noble (and on and on...I was amazed by their wonderful selection!) I am basically given $9.00 for that purchase! And, probably saved that much in gas not running around town to get all of the cards from all of the different stores!

This is the kind of leveraging that helps you save money, and even EARN money, this holiday season. All kinds of retailers offer reward programs, find out what they are and leverage them if they make sense. I am a "Beauty Insider" with Sephora and earn points for the shopping I do with Sephora. I was able to get several stocking stuffers, and a gift set worth $150.00 for FREE, yes FREE by using my "Beauty Insider" points for the holidays!

Insider Tip: Leverage your buying trips to truly leverage the retailer's offer. Case in point: While at my neighborhood Ralph's store, a customer bought $2000.00 in gift cards for her company's holiday party. She was joking about how excited her boss was that she offered to do this for him...little did he know that she was not only on the clock to do this shopping trip for him, but she also earned another $60.00 (6000 bonus points!) to apply toward a future shopping trip! Leverage your purchasing power, and you will truly leverage your rewards!

p.s. Leverage the buying power of this amazing offer from Bliss!

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Free Shipping + Free Our Two Scents Set (a $24 value) with $50 Bliss purchase! Offer valid through 12.01.08.

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