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  • Geebo 10:01 am on November 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Christmas,   

    Why you should stay home on Black Friday 

    Why you should stay home on Black Friday

    With Thanksgiving now upon us, consumer eyes will quickly turn to the holiday season which kicks off with Black Friday. Many of us will trudge down to our local big box stores, with some even camping out, in order to get a good deal on gifts for the holidays. However, is the effort put into Black Friday shopping really worth it? Most consumer groups say no.

    Retailers aren’t in the business to lose money and many Black Friday deals are too good to be true. Many retailers will raise the price of an item, just to offer what appears to be a deep discount on Black Friday. Also items that are listed as being in limited stock on Black Friday often reappear into stores in the weeks leading up to the holidays. Not to mention it goes without saying that most of what’s offered on Black Friday in stores can be found for the same price or even cheaper online.

    That’s not even taking into account the cost of your time and effort into going from store to store looking for the best deal. In the long run that time could be better spent either with your family and friends or enjoying some much-needed leisure time. Let’s also not lose our outlook on life just because of holiday pressure. While it may be disappointing to not get the greatest deal, it’s not the be all and end all of the holidays if you don’t get the latest shiniest gadget or fad item for the holidays.

    So please, stay safe take care this Thanksgiving weekend.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on October 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Christmas, ,   

    Target to put the brakes on Christmas 

    Target to put the brakes on Christmas

    It happens every year around this time. It’s not even Halloween yet and Christmas commercials are already starting to invade the airwaves. A number of retailers tend to bypass Thanksgiving altogether and go straight for Christmas as soon as the leaves change color. Then we hear consumers say en masse that it’s too soon for Christmas marketing. Well, one retailer has said it’s listening to its customers and is cutting back on Christmas.

    Target has announced that they are actually going to focus on Thanksgiving in their stores and delay the Christmas rush. The retail chain says they’ll be focusing on Thanksgiving meal preparation and entertaining during the Thanksgiving season. That’s not to say that Target is throwing in the towel when it comes to Christmas as they plan on increasing their marketing budget as Christmas approaches.

    It’s refreshing to see a retail chain listening to its customers. This has the potential to sway some customers away from Walmart. While it probably won’t make that much of a dent in Walmart’s customer base it’s nice to have the option to shop in a store in October and November and not be assaulted prematurely by the juggernaut of Christmas marketing.

     
  • Geebo 10:58 am on December 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Christmas, ,   

    The Christmas of broken Hatchimals 

    The Christmas of broken Hatchimals

    Prior to the holidays, we talked about the must have toys of the season. One of those toys was called ‘Hatchimals’. They’re these odd-looking creatures that hatch from their own plastic egg to the joy of children everywhere, except for a number of people whose plastic eggs didn’t hatch on Christmas.

    Back in the day, circa pre-internet days, it was almost customary for a child’s toy to break on Christmas day. Sometimes the toy was already broken but in most cases the toy was usually broken by the kids themselves. Back then if a toy was broken the only recourse you had was to try to take it back to the store and either get an exchange, if they even had any in stock, or get a full refund and try to get another one once the stores have been restocked.

    Now in modern times, parents have a new option to deal with broken toys on Christmas, and that’s to take to social media to complain. In this era of instant gratification, parents took to Twitter hammering the toy manufacturer with complaints and tech support requests, on Christmas Day, the day when they’re not working but expecting the toy company to be fully staffed.

    While no one wants to see their kid disappointed on Christmas morning, making these demands on Christmas morning sets a bad example on how to handle a bad situation calmly and instills a sense of entitlement into some children. Just let them know that it’s not their fault but it may take some time to get their toy fixed. That’s not to say that they won’t be bored with the toy within days after they get it.

    Here’s hoping you had fully functional toys on Christmas.

     
  • Geebo 1:34 pm on December 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Christmas,   

    Unload the gift cards you didn’t want 

    Unload the gift cards you didn't want

    Are you a vegan who got a gift card to the hunting store? Are you an XBox player who received a PlayStation Store gift card? Are you anybody who got a gift card from Applebee’s? Well fear not, because a solution is at hand.

    With the gift giving holidays behind us many of us may have received a gift card we have no use for whether it be personal taste or the lack of a local available store. This article from the Associated Press details what you can do with those unwanted gift cards. While it has many good ideas there is at least one I would recommend avoiding, selling your gift cards.

    While the article states that there are legitimate outlets for selling your gift card it just reminds me too much of the many gift card scams that appear online. Basically the scam works is that the seller claims to be selling a gift card for some ridiculous price like half off but when you get the gift card it’s completely worthless. I’m not saying the outlets listed do that but caveat emptor.

    An idea that was not mentioned in the article was you could try to set up an unwanted exchange at your place of work. Surely you can’t be the only one with an unwanted gift card. Maybe someone at work would be willing to trade you for something you could use.

    Of course the best idea, which is mentioned in the article, is to donate the card to charity. There really is no greater gift than helping out someone in need and that gift card could do just that.

     
  • Geebo 11:00 am on December 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Christmas,   

    Why don’t corporations just make a donation instead of making you buy something? 

    Why don't corporations just make a donation instead of making you buy something?

    It happens all year round, but you see it a lot come Christmas. A number of companies will claim to make a donation to charity if you buy their product. I’m sure you’ve heard the pitches before. “Buy our phone and will donate part pf the proceeds to such and such charity.” I always wondered why don’t the companies just make a large donation to the charity and say “Hey, we’ve donated a big chunk of change to ‘Charity X’. Why not buy our product since we’re such good guys?” Personally, I would rather buy from a company like that then one that makes you jump through hoops for charities to get the money.

    Of course the answer is marketing. The companies are more worried about profit than charity, but if they appear charitable it could make them more appealing to certain sections of the population. According to an article from TIME Magazine, the appeal to our generosity could make some of us buy a product that we wouldn’t necessarily even be in the market for. The same article from TIME also has tips on how to avoid less than reputable charity practices from certain companies if you are in the market for this type of purchase.

    Personally, I’m of the mindset where if you’re going to give to charity, just give to charity and do so without buying something you may not want or need as it looks like you’re justifying your own consumerism by claiming philanthropy.

     
  • Geebo 11:30 am on November 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Christmas, ,   

    Don’t let your holiday packages get stolen 

    Don't let your holiday packages get stolen

    With the holiday season upon us and with many of us foregoing brick and mortar stores for online shopping, we still have to deal with the analog world problem of making sure our deliveries don’t get stolen. There’s an entire criminal enterprise that revolves around the theft of packages from our doorsteps. Here are some steps to prevent some Grinches from stealing your Christmas.

    You can request the delivery service to only deliver the package when someone is there to sign it. Look for an option that says ‘Signature Delivery Option’. You can also arrange to have your packages held at your local delivery services branch, this way you can pick it up there rather than having unattended packages left at your door. Also consider having your packages sent to a friend or relative’s house who you know is normally home during delivery hours. Also, don’t forget that you can track your package using the delivery services tracking numbers to see where the package is in the delivery process.

    While no tip is perfect, these tips should help insure that your loved ones receive the gifts that you worked hard to get them for the holidays.

     
  • Geebo 11:00 am on November 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Christmas, ,   

    Avoid the Black Friday drama 

    Avoid the Black Friday drama

    The topic of Black Friday has become almost as contentious as the recent Presidential election. For the past few years we’ve seen the stories of people wither being trampled or assaulted, just in the name of supposedly saving a couple of bucks on a shiny new gadget. What you should know before you start camping out for the alleged savings, is that Black Friday deals are more of a predatory practice than anything.

    One of the biggest tricks that retailers like to play on consumers on Black Friday is having limited stock on the items they’re advertising as a great deal. You’ll be lucky if the store has more than five of these items on stock. What they want you to do is find that the item has been sold out and want you to buy a similar item at full price.

    Instead of camping out or losing some of your dignity in a box store brawl, think about doing your holiday shopping online. Often times you’ll find a lot of good deals online starting on Cyber Monday, which is the Monday after Black Friday. Use the time to spend with your family or loved ones instead of laying siege on your local Wal-Mart.

     
  • Geebo 11:02 am on November 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Christmas, dangerous toys, , watchdog groups   

    Watchdog group releases list of dangerous toys 

    Watchdog group releases list of dangerous toys

    In what has become an annual holiday season tradition, a watchdog group has released a list of the most dangerous toys being sold. While it’s been decades since the infamous lawn dart controversy, the toys on this year’s list don’t really seem that dangerous.

    All the toys listed have the potential to cause injury, but it seems that they would need to fit into some Rube Goldberg type situation for them to actually cause harm. Just about any object has the potential to do harm to children it’s up to the parent to make sure that their children know how to use them properly. Parents should be more concerned about the manufacturing process of some toys considering the lead paint threat from recent history.

    That’s not to say these lists are without merit. Without these watchdog groups looking out for us and our children we may unaware of legitimate threats from toys when they do happen.

     
  • Geebo 12:01 pm on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Christmas, , must have toys,   

    The must have holiday toys are already gone 

    The must have holiday toys are already gone

    It seems that the Christmas season starts earlier and earlier each year and with it always come the ‘must have’ item of the season. Visiting the ghosts of Christmas Past some of us might remember the Tickle Me Elmo craze of the 1990s or the Cabbage Patch Kid rush of the 1980s. The 2010s are no exception as this years most wanted toy is a questionably cute toy called a Hatchimal.

    Hatchimals come in the shape of egg, the more a child plays with it the more the toy ‘matures’, eventually growing into a toddler version of itself. While it normally retails for $60 some people who we’ll refer to as Grinches, have been selling the toys at a steep profit climbing into the four figure range. Another item that’s been flying off the shelves is the the Nintendo NES Classic which we featured here.

    So what happens if you can’t get the hot toy of the year? Some experts believe that this would be a good life lesson for your child and will eventually make them less greedy and more appreciative of the gifts they do receive. Others suggest getting your child ‘an experience’ rather than a toy that they’ll eventually get bored with.

    So even if you don’t get the hot ticket item this year there are still many ways for you and your family to have a joyous holiday season.

     
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