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  • 2018 Will Bring Some Exciting Price Drops

    Expect surprise savings in 2018, such as 4k TV's, organic groceries, Apple ipads, and used cars.

    Apple reportedly planning to release even cheaper 9.7-inch iPad in 2018
    In March this year, Apple introduced a $329 9.7-inch iPad for the first time. Digitimes reports today that the company could go even lower next year, with Apple apparently planning a new 9.7-inch iPad in the $259 price range.

    4K TV's
    As 4K TV's are replacing their 1080 counterparts, everyone can enjoy the cinema experience at home without breaking the bank. Apple's recent announcement that it would be selling 4K videos for the same price as HD — and would upgrade old HD purchases to 4K — has already caused Amazon to cut prices on its 4K content.

    Used Cars
    As leased cars are gaining popularity due to the cheap rates, used cars prices are getting slashed as a result. The average used car lost 17 percent of its value in the past 12 months, dropping from $18,400 to $15,300, according to data from Black Book, an auto analytics company. That annual depreciation figure has been increasing steadily, too. The average used car today depreciates nearly twice as fast at it did in 2014, when the annual rate was just 9.5 percent.

    Organic Groceries

    2018 may be the time to finally go organic! Overall, grocery prices are expected to rise by a percent or two in 2018, but Amazon's recent acquisition of Whole Foods has led to lower prices on the organic end. And beyond Whole Foods, Nielsen has already seen a fall in organic food prices.pexels-photo-221534

  • Make the Most out of your Warranties

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    Warranties are a built in strategy to help protect the consumer against bad products, so let's learn how to take advantage if this common convenience. It is required by law that a warranty be available for reading before a product is bought, whether in store, online, or by catalog.

    Keep in mind the below when perusing warranties:

    • How long does the warranty last? A warranty that is for all of 10 days is pretty much worthless, as it often takes time for a product to defunct.
    • Who do you contact to get the service? It can be either the retailer of the manufacturer.
    • What parts and repair problems are covered? Check to see if any parts/repairs are excluded from the coverage. Also look out for conditions that may be highly inconvenient or expensive such as having to return it in the original packaging (that is usually long gone by the time you are dealing with this) or shipping a heavy object back to the factory i.e. a couch.
    • Does the warranty cover "consequential damages?" This means damages caused by the product bought i.e. if the freezer breaks, will the warranty cover the spoiled food. Most warranties will not cover this, it is a great plus if it does

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    Shout to Get the Attention You Need
    Make a some noise social media if the company is not responding to your complaints. According to PwC's 2016 Total Retail Survey, more than two-thirds of U.S. consumers say social media influences their online shopping behavior, with reviews and comments being a top influence. Companies are watching their image carefully, and company worker's are hired to retain that image. So it is quite likely a company rep will jump in and help you before your complaint gains traction.

    Resolving Disputes

    The Federal Trade Commission has several pieces of advice here: If the Retailer cannot solve the problem go to the manufacturer, send clear mail with the Company's address listed. Keep copies of everything sent. The FTC supplies a complaint letter template you can use in addressing your issue.
    Consider small claims court. If your dispute involves less than $750, you can usually file a lawsuit in small claims court. The costs are relatively low, procedures are simple, and lawyers usually aren't needed. The clerk of the small claims court can tell you how to file your lawsuit and your state's dollar limits.
    Contact your state or local consumer protection office. They can help you if you can't resolve the situation with the seller or manufacturer.

    A Warranty is as good as the company/manufacturer behind it

    Avoid problems buy buying from reputable sources. Read online reviews on Amazon and elsewhere, find your favorite blogs that make trustworthy recommendations.

    Share with us below your Warranty stories, and how you resolved them.

  • A Guide to Buying Refurbished Items

    While we would love to buy every electronic that hits the market, for most of us it is unaffordable.

    Buying refurbished items is an excellent way to attain those devices without breaking the bank, but most important is to be an educated consumer. So what does refurbished mean?

    Refurbished is a general term for a lot of potential scenarios. It basically means an item that was returned for various reasons. A cosmetic damage, packaging damage or simply the customer changed his mind. Once an item was returned it cannot be resold as new.

    The manufacturer will fully test the product and make any repairs that are deemed necessary. It will then clean the product up, reset the software to factory conditions where appropriate, and repackage it. In many cases you’ll get a device that is as good as new. You can also expect it to work every bit as well, and last as long, as a brand new product.

    Stick to Reputable Brands
    -Apple. for example has a section of refurbished products from ipods to mac computers, all backed by apple with a 1 year warranty.
    -Dell. Dell sell certified refurbished items via the Dell Outlet. Unlike many sites, this store lets you know whether each product was returned unopened, used and then refurbished, or cosmetically damaged. All three types of products come with the same warranty Dell offers on similar new products. They can also be returned within 30 days with no shipping charge.
    -HP Business Outlet. You can buy refurbished, as well as overstock, and closeout deals. They are backed by a 1 year warranty as well.
    -Lenovo. the Lenovo Outlet offers deals on all Lenovo computers. They can have minor cosmetic damage, and are backed by a 1 year warranty.

    Retail Sites

    Many Mega stores such as Amazon, Best buy, Ebay, Newegg sell returned/ refurbished items at excellent discount prices. These items are restored to like new condition, although they usually do not come with a warranty.

    What to buy/what not to buy.

    Rick Broida of CNET says he would “choose refurbished every time” when buying Apple products, which he considers to be overpriced when they’re sold new. He points to deals on a refurbished iPad and MacBook Air that save you 15% to 30% compared to the new versions. And thanks to Apple’s excellent guarantee on refurbished items, he says, you give up nothing by choosing refurbished.
    There are some items that is best to stay away from the refurbished version, such as hard drives, cell phones, TV's, printers.

    How to Protect yourself and your money

    • Reviews: read online reviews, and question/answer forums to glean knowledge on the product.
    • Prices: What is the price difference between the refurbished and brand new, if it is less than a 10% discount, it may not be worth the gamble.
    • Warranty: Do you get a new warranty, or is it a continuation of the old one, and for how much longer is it? li>

    In Summary:

    At the end of the day it is really the research that you do that will determine if it is a good buy. So, while buying refurbished items may be more time consuming than it's brand new counterpart, enjoy the money you save. Go ahead, and buy yourself that one more gadget you were dreaming of!

  • How The Shopping Experience Will Change in 2018

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    Expect more shopper amenities, store robots, voice based purchasing and greater ease. Look out for the buzz words, experiential, augmented, virtual reality, Alexa, artificial intelligence, try before you buy, personalization and more.

    Retail experts weigh in on what to expect in 2018:

    Technology keeps updating the experience:

    Whether it is online, or in store, consumers want an all encompassing delightful experience. Technologies like virtual reality are feeding up to that demand.
    "Shopping at Lowe's these days brings tears of joy to my DIY eyes," says Robin Raskin, founder and president of Living in Digital Times, which produces events and conferences like the High-Tech Retailing Conference. "Where I used to spend hours on a scavenger hunt for Gorilla Glue, I now search for it on my Lowe's app, find out how many are left in the store, and even know which aisle and bay to go to when I get there. Some Lowe's test stores feature robots that will actually walk you to the right aisle in the store."

    In the coming year virtual reality will take the place of the tedious human process, for example in makeup stores. A VR mirror will let you try on different shades, see how it works with your coloring and than order it to your home. YouCam is a great try for this. Or in stores like Sephora.

    Alibaba as well is offering an innovative complete VR shopping experience.

    Voice Based Shopping is Fast Gaining Popularity.

    Amazon is on track to top their sales records with Alexa ordering, and educated shoppers are fast catching on to this basic convenience. Amazon offers special markdowns on Alexa ordered basics, to further attract consumers. "Twenty percent of consumers are already reporting that they have made a voice-based purchase. Others are coming on board, like Target and Walmart with Google Express to enable voice purchases and home delivery." says Krista Fabregas, a retail analyst with FitSmallBusiness.com

    Experience is Everything:

    Expect the process to get even more hands on, and seamless as time marches on. "This is why Apple stores work so well — they removed the friction point," says Bob D'Loren, chairman and CEO of Xcel Brands, a brand management and media company. Consumers want an uncomplicated process, where they can try out new products that are out, on the table

  • Some Deals are BETTER on Cyber Monday

    Black Friday is king, but some deals are even better on Cyber Monday-spanning travel, shoes, kitchen and laptops.
    Keep in mind that these are just general tips to keep in mind, they are not blatant rules.

    Laptops:
    Cyber Monday has an edge over laptops in quality versus quantity. While there may be more sales on Black Friday, they are comprised more of bargain-build machines rather than the mid-tier models. so if you want a better-equipped laptop at an Editors' Choice price, Cyber Monday is your better chance.

    Travel:
    Carve out some time to Book your long awaited vacation on Cyber Monday.Here again, Black Friday has more quantity on travel deals, Cyber Monday rules when it comes to Editors' Choice-worthy selections. In fact, Black Friday only had one single Editors' Choice travel sale, but Cyber Monday had seven.

    Kitchen:
    Small Kitchen Appliances fill every add on Black Friday, but actually Cyber Monday still has more. They both have the same number of Editor Choice deals, but overall Cyber Monday tops Black Friday.

    Shoes:
    Cyber Monday has staked it's claim in the shoe department. While You definitely will see some boots, and dressy styles, the day seems especially suited for buying more casual sneakers. Last year, about 54% of the shoe deals on Cyber Monday were for sneakers or athletic shoes.

    Excited for Cyber Monday deals? Sign up for our Dealwiki's Daily Newsletter and get the hottest deals on the web, updated to the minute. Never miss a deal again!

  • Uber or Lyft? A wiki guide to which taxi app to use and when

    Oh, how grateful I am that we live in 2016. I remember when calling a cab meant hoping you don't get a busy tone, followed by waiting on hold with bad music, followed by a 20 minute wait. I would call them after 20 minutes to be told "the driver will be right there". Around 5 minutes later I was told the same, until the driver finally showed up. The car typically didn't smell too great, and the drivers drove like real New Yawkers (this is actually a compliment hehe). There was no such thing as customer service, because it was not necessary. We were at the mercy of the dispatcher and driver.

    Fast forward 10 years. I have 4 taxi apps in my phone, and I use all of them. I currently have Uber, Lyft, Juno and Gett.

    UBER

    My regular go to app is obviously Uber. This is because Uber has the best cars. I'm often upgraded to an SUV or a sub-luxury car, even when I use UberX. I also take advantage of UberPool when traveling in cities, I find the fairs to be cheaper than public transportation at times. Oh, and if you happen to live in San Francisco, check out this promo: This September, unlock $2 uberPOOL and $7 uberX rides for as little as $20 upfront.

    Don't have Uber? Sign up today and get a free ride up to $22 with code "FEELING22"

    LYFT

    My next go to app would be Lyft. I don't love Lyft, I find the cars to be slightly lower quality but the service is great and drivers appear more eager to please you. Whenever Uber is Surging, or not many cars are showing in my area I immediately fire up Lyft.

    Don't have Lyft? Sign up today and get $50 in free rides up to $10 each!

    GETT

    Gett is another Taxi App that has not taken off as quick as Uber or Lyft. I think the main reason is the competitive promotion for sign up was not strong enough, and there's not enough social word of mouth. I have tried it, but it's definitely low on the list. However is is extremely useful for booking a car up to 2 weeks in advance.

    JUNO

    Juno is another app that is in Beta in NYC only and has only excepted long-time Uber 4.7+ star drivers. Interestingly enough, they are wooing drivers with equity options. Unfortunately, I am not located in NY and thus unable to try them out but I have heard good things about them. Check them out here, and save 25% off all your rides while they are still in Beta.

    Am I missing any? Let me know in the comments below!

  • What the Jet.com - Walmart Merger means for consumers

    This past Friday, September 23rd 2016, Walmart finalized their $3 Billion plus acquisition of Jet.com. Jet.com launched in late 2014 making it the fastest and largest ecommerce sale in the history of the web.

    HISTORY:

    Jet.com was founded by Marc Lore, who also founded Diapers.com (also known as Quidsi) which sold to Amazon.com for $545 Million in 2010. It appears, as soon as Lore was released from his Amazon non-compete he didn't waste anytime partnering with Venture Capitalists to build out Jet.com

    HOW THEY GREW:

    Jet.com merged the idea of referral marketing and equity into one by allowing users who refer the most amount of members (top 10 spots) to earn equity in the company. The top spot earned the most equity. They also claimed that there would be a monthly or annual fee kicking in after the beta launch, but if you signed up during the beta you would 'earn' 6 months to one year for free. Everybody loves free! Well, here's what happened: the referral campaign drove over 250,000 sign ups in the first 3 weeks. In the end, the top referrer's equity at the time of the sale was worth to over 1 million dollars! One hell of a lucky guy who saw the potential and jumped to it. Man, am I kicking myself now.

    THE AFTERMATH:

    With Walmart's acquisition, Lore appears to be moving to an executive position at Walmart. I predict three things to be happening in the coming year:

    1. I expect Walmart to roll out with some sort of monthly fee in exchange for some benefits. This was Lore's initial idea with Jet and he will likely want to move it over.
    2. I expect Walmart to get much more competitive in price on specific categories. Lore's got a vendetta with Bezos for forcing him to sell Diapers.com, and working at Amazon.com all those years, he's likely to be able to find weaknesses.
    3. I expect Jet.com's core to business to somehow integrate into the Walmart ecosystem. How this will effect us? Time will tell.

    Personally, I have never been a fan of Walmart.com. I have found the website to be a bit cluttered and difficult to find and compare products. Could be because I am so used to Amazon, or could be because of some negative experience I've had 6 years ago in a wild Walmart store in the Midwest that was clearly mismanaged. Who knows. But I will say this: I love change. Change is good for the consumers. Change brings challenge. And if this acquisition can give Walmart the tools to compete, that's a win for all of us. I am eagerly waiting the outcome, and I'm sure time will tell.

    Please share your thoughts in the comments!

    UPDATE 8/8 -

    It now has become apparent what this acquisition has done for us. Walmart is now offering some incredible deals when you offer Ship to Store and Amazon has been occasionally matching those prices with Prime. Ah, I love competition. i'm sure there's more to come!

    Sign up for Dealwiki Email Alerts to get notified about these awesome deals as they can come and go fast!

    This article was originally published on 9/27/16.

  • Why my next car will be a Tesla

    I recently decided to make the move from leasing to buying, as a result of the large amount of miles I put on annually. As I began the journey of research and pricing, the following 3 things are the most important to my buying decision: Comfort, upkeep and resale value.I definitely plan on reselling my car within the next 4 years which is why I would generally recommend buying slightly used, but that's another conversation.

    So thus the process began. I personally like the higher-up-feel, so an SUV is my go to vehicle of choice. I rented a GMC Yukon for a month (thank you Amex / Hertz promotion). After about one week I realized I was getting around 12 miles a gallon. I quickly calculated and realized I would be paying roughly $700 a month minimum in gasoline. The comfort was okay, but the gas was really hurting me. Additionally I ran some research, upkeep can be quite costly.

    That brings me to last Thursday. I randomly passed a Tesla dealership and was intrigued, especially being fed up with the cost of gas. I eagerly test drove the Tesla Model X and instantly fell in love with it. According to my projections I will be paying a mere $15 monthly for electricity. Furthermore, although there is no real data on resale value, predictions are showing that there should be a tremendous return considering that it is a battery operated car. After running both prices next to each other I would be saving $200 month by buying the much more expensive car. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

    Will I end up buying it though? I don't know. It's expensive and a lot more than I ever thought I can afford. However I'm betting I can recoup a large portion down the line, which is why I would consider it in the first place.

    Would love to hear your thoughts below!

  • How To Always Save On Parking in NYC

    Recently, I was introduced to a new app called Parkwhiz. Parkwhiz connects to most parking lots in Manhattan to offer a discounted rate on parking. Plus, you can often find a Parkwhiz coupon code for $2, $5 or $10 off code (when available you can always find them here). Aside from the incredible convenience of pre-paying for parking and never having to worry if a lot is oversold, you always save a nice amount off parking. Just last week I was in New York for 2 days. I stupidly rented a car (never again - we'll save that story for another time), however thankfully I was able to save significantly on parking: I only paid $19 for a spot that would've cost me $40 had I not gone through the parkwhiz app. It's good to note, all prepays are cancelable too if you do not end up using it. If you're a frequent parking lot parker this app is a must-have!

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