Save Money On Text Books
One of the most expensive areas of attending college seems to be the cost of the text books these days. Since most colleges only use a particular book for a year or two it is very hard to purchase them in advance. Yet there are some good ways you can catch a break when it comes to paying for the text books you need. Almost all colleges have bulletin boards so you can place an ad for the various books you need. Hopefully individuals who have just finished the course will gladly part with the book for much less than they paid for it.
If you have text books from courses you have finished you may be able to trade what you need for what someone else needs. If you are in a particular type of program such as business or education you will likely find other students who need to take the same classes as you. Setting up a text book swap is a great way to maximize the amount of money that you do spend on text books.
It can be very frustrating to get the newest edition of a particular text book and then find out it hasn't changed very much at all from the previous edition. Take to your instructor as they will likely have gone through the new edition and make comparisons to the old one. Most instructors are fine with you using an older edition of the same book. You can save a substantial amount of money if you are able to do so.
Another frustration can be to find out after your purchase such a text book that you won't need it very much as the instructor mainly teaches from notes. If this is the case consider purchasing a book with a classmate and splitting the cost. This won't work well if you will have a great deal of text book reading or assignments to complete though.
Check to see if the college library offers copies of text books rather than purchasing them. Most libraries that offer this option don't allow the text books to be checked out but you can use them in the library as you need to. If you choose this option make sure you start on assignments as quickly as possible so that you don't have to stress about someone else already using the book.
Some book stores offer to place used text books on consignment for students. These are often placed in the bookstore with the new books on the shelves. While they may have some wear and tear as well as highlighting they will serve the purpose of a one semester course. These consigned books generally sell fast so make sure you go to the bookstore at the very end of the semester. As students complete their finals they will take their books into the bookstore.
On the back of each textbook is an ISBN number. It is generally found above or underneath the bar code on the book. You can use this number to search for the text book on the internet. There are several places where you can purchase new and used textbooks at a price that is much less than what you will pay for it at the college campus bookstore.
Save Money When You Purchase Items Online
These days the concept of online shopping is something most of us with computers are used to. Not only does it offer you the convenience of shopping from the comfort of your home, you can do it at any hour of the day. If you take the time to compare the prices of what you find in the retail stores or catalogs to what you find online, you can generally find the product for less including shipping.
The downside to this is that you don't get the instant gratification of taking the item with you the moment you purchase it. Yet for the amount of money you can save when you shop online it is worth waiting for a few days until it arrives at your doorstep. You will also save money in another way if you take the time to read the various reviews about the products you want to purchase. These reviews are written from actual consumers who have used the product. It is definitely worth checking into the quality of a product from the consumer's point of view rather than just focusing on the advertising you see for that product.
If you have a fast internet connection, it really doesn't take too long to visit various sites that sell the item you are interested in. It is a good idea to keep paper and pens close to your computer. You can easily compose a chart listing the name of the site, the cost of the product, the cost of shipping, warranty/return information, and the length of time it will take for you to receive the item. This way you can quickly look back over the information you have and make a selection that will save you the most money.
There are even some websites that allow you to compare the same item by several different retailers, so most of the footwork is taken care of for you. Look for sales and promotions that may be sent to you by e-mail for a particular product or website. If you frequently make purchases from the same websites it is worth it to sign up for their newsletters and promotions.
You want to make sure any online site you are considering making a purchase from is secure. This will help prevent your information from being accessed by hackers or other individuals. With the issue of identity theft being on the rise it is good to take every precaution. It is very simple to find out if a site is secure or not. The address that shows up in your browser for any given webpage will start with http. If there is an "s" after that then the site is secure. If the "s" is missing then you do not want to make your purchase from that site. It is just too risky.
When you get to the checkout portion of the website pay close attention for any boxes that offer you the chance to enter a promotion code. Having this code could help you get a discount on your purchase and save you even more money. Many websites have a promotion code that offers free shipping. You can get the promotion code from exploring the internet or you can contact the site by phone or e-mail. Tell them you are willing to make a purchase if they will share the promotion information with you. Trust me, they aren't going tell you no!
You are likely to find thousands of sites online that offer the item you want, so take the time to find the right product offered by a reputable website that is secure. Since there is so much competition out there you will find buyers have the upper hand. You can likely find what you want for less than retailers offer it even with the cost of shipping it to you. This is because they have to compete with so many other sites and because they don't have the same overhead expenses as brick and mortar retailers.
Save Money Shopping For Clothing At Thrift Stores
On average, most people clear out their closets at least twice per year. All of the clothing they no longer wear it taken to charity locations and thrift stores. Many people donate clothing items that they only wore a couple of times or that still have the tags on them. The most common thrift stores to find such clothing are the Salvation Army and the Goodwill. Both of them inspect clothing for stains and tears so you can be sure you will find good quality clothing for men, women, and children at very low prices.
Many people think these thrift stores only carry outdated clothing but that is simply not the case. Children often outgrow clothing before it has been worn out or the style has faded. There are also plenty of clothing articles that never go out of style including t-shirts and denim jeans. While you may not find the same styles offered at the trendy retailers in the area you will find plenty of quality clothing for less than you will pay for it anywhere else. I have walked out of such thrift stores with bags of clothes that cost me less than purchasing one outfit at a retail store.
Jackets are very expensive but not if you purchase them from a thrift store. There are plenty of winter jackets, pullovers, and windbreakers to choose from. To make finding things in the right size easier most thrift stores separate clothing by the type that it is and by sizes. However, you will need to spend your time looking through what is available. The downside is that if you do find something you really like and it doesn't fit you won't have very good luck finding it in another size as you do in a department store.
Depending on the location of the thrift store, they may carry various household items as well. Some of the larger facilities offer used furniture, appliances, and books. I found a couple of nice wood end tables at a thrift store once that I like so much I have never replaced them with anything else even though I can now afford to do so.
Too many thrift stores have gotten a bad reputation for being viewed as a place to shop for individuals who don't have very much money. If your pride keeps you from visiting thrift shops then you will be throwing your money away. If you have never been into a thrift store you really should take the time to do so. You will be pleasantly surprised at what you find there.
Another good alternative is shopping at consignment stores. These are places where individuals take their unwanted clothing and furniture to be sold. The store splits the profits made from anything that sells with the person who brought it in. Most consignment items can only be on display for a limited amount of time. Towards the end of that time frame the items are generally sold at a discounted price before they are taken off the list of items to be sold.
You will pay more for items at a consignment store than you will at a thrift store but you will also be able to find some wonderful bargains that still save you money over buying them retail. The reason you will pay more is because the person selling the items and the store want to make as much profit as possible. You generally won't be able to negotiate the prices though.
One good example of saving money at either thrift stores or consignment stores is for party dresses, wedding dresses, and prom dresses. It is likely that they will only be worn once so it is silly to spend hundreds of dollars on such a gown. You will likely be able to find a good selection of such dresses that are still in style. Even if you have to pay to have the dress altered a bit you can still have the beautiful dress you want without the expense.
Save Money When You Purchase Refurbished Products
Most of use enjoy being able to buy the items we need as well as enjoy some luxury items now and then. The cost of many items though makes it difficult to budget for them if you don't want to simply run out and charge up your credit cards every time you want or need something.
One of the best ways to get what you want or need is to take a close look at refurbished items, also referred to as reconditioned, that are for sale. These items offer you the same name brand and the same quality but they are sold for less. This is because the item has been returned because it did not work properly. Yet it has been looked at and repaired so it is just as good a purchasing a new one. Many refurbished products come with a warranty as well but several of them are purchased in an "as is" condition. Make sure you ask about this before you make the purchase.
Some individuals avoid refurbished products because they fear they won't work well for them. They figure since the product has already proven to be defective one it surely will again. This is very rarely the case as refurbished products are examined by those trained to repair them. Once the problem is identified the work hard to correct it. Before the product is resold it is thoroughly tested.
Some items that get refurbished are more common than others. Generally all of the various types of electronic products out there can be refurbished. Vacuum cleaners and computers are two of the most popular. Why pay for a new computer or a new vacuum when you can get the same model with the same features for less then
Finding Bargains While Shopping For Antiques
Many people have the misconception that antiques cost more than they can afford. Shopping for antiques is a great way to spend a free afternoon and you may be surprised at how many good bargains you come across. The hardest thing is many people don't know the true value of the particular item they are looking at in an antique shop.
It may have caught their attention because of the style of it or it brings back happy memories. You never really know if the shop owner is trying to up the price or if you are already getting a good deal. Since you can't quickly go to another store and compare the price you pretty much have to decide the maximum you are willing to pay for an item and then walk away if the negations don't work in your favor.
It is a good idea to do some checking into the reputation of a given antique dealer before you even step foot into their store. You will find you are able to get good deals on antiques when you get to know the owner of the store. If you are a frequent shopper in the store you can build a good relationship. Brining in other customers to the store is something that will get noticed as well. The owner of the antique store will want to work with you on items so that you keep generating more business for them.
You will be able to negotiate the price for what you want if the antique shop is operated by the owner and not several different employees. Even though you will find more selection at antique malls, you won't be able to negotiate the prices as much. Small antique shops can generally offer you some history on the pieces you are the most interested in.
For most antique shop owners, money talks so carry plenty of cash when you go out looking for antiques. This way they don't have to mess with credit card transactions that cost them money. Many of the older antique stores are hesitant to take personal checks, especially if you are from out of town. Showing that you do have the cash with you in an unobvious way is also helpful. For example, you can count it and then say will you take $100 for it, that is all I have with me today.
It is important to remember that you will be purchasing antiques in the condition they are in. Make sure you take the time to thoroughly examine what you are purchasing. You don't want to get home and discover what you thought was a great bargain is nothing but junk. Most antique dealers take pride in offering quality items but you still need to check. You will be disappointed if you think you are going to take home an antique in mint condition for a very low price though.
If you are looking for certain antiques, take a look around online to get a good idea of what the going price is for them. Try to negotiate something that is about 25% less than the rates you find online. Don't be afraid to ask the antique shop owner to cut you a better price. It helps if you say something along the lines of "would you accept $100 for this"? Instead of "can you lower the price"? It definitely helps you get what you want if you are assertive but not going overboard.
Getting A Good Deal On Children S Clothing
Children grow at unbelievable rates, and sometimes it seems like their clothes no longer fit just overnight. Clothing isn't cheap so having to budget for a new wardrobe isn't easy. If you have several children then you know all too well the burden of coming up with money to buy all of the clothes they need before school starts and again in the summer time. Sure, you can save some money by passing clothing from one child to another but there are plenty of other ways to save money on children's clothing.
Many stores offer buy one get one free offers throughout the year on jeans, shirts, and even shoes. While you may not think your child needs so many right then consider buying them the next size up. This way when you need bigger clothes for them you already have some stored away at home without having to rush out and spend whatever the going price is at that time for such items.
Pay attention to the sales that take place throughout the year on children's clothing. You will be amazed at the savings. In fact, the first place I look when I enter a retail store is the discount and sale racks that are generally placed at the back of the store. I have purchased swimsuits and swim trunks for my children as school time approaches for just a dollar or two instead of $10 or $20 a piece.
Winter jackets can cost from $50 to $200 dollars depending on where you purchase them from. I always buy extras for my children at the end of winter and never pay more than $20 for them. The same with summer clothing such as sandals and shorts. They go on sale as school approaches and I buy larger sizes to store until next summer. I use tight sealing storage containers for the clothing so it won't get damaged.
Sweaters for both boys and girls are a common item in the colder months, but it can be expensive for good quality ones. Buy them on sale and pack them away for next year. Try to avoid ones that offer seasonal colors or themes so that they can be used whenever the child needs one. Even paying $5 for a sweater that is regularly $30 is a very good deal in my book.
My children and I make it a day of fun and games when it is time to change from one season to the next. We go through the containers of clothing and try on things to see what is a good fit. We also clean out clothes that don't fit from their closets. This way we know exactly what items each child still needs to be ready for the season.
To get good deals like these on clothing for children you need to be well organized and plan ahead. You may think it isn't worth while to pay for items now that won't get used for a year, but think about the overall savings. I have three children to buy winter jackets for so $20 each in about the cost of one when the next winter rolls around. This is the best way I know to keep my children dressed nicely but also to make it fit well into the budget I have to work with.
Don't forget to look at the sale pages for children's clothing that are often found in the major newspapers on Wednesdays and Sundays. You may be able to pick up some great deals at these one day sales, but make sure it really is a sale and not just a promotion of their regularly advertised prices. To get the most out of the clothing you purchase, try to avoid trendy themes that may not be in style when your child is able to wear them next year. Stick to basic styles and colors.
What Bargains Are To Be Found At An Auction
You will find auctions that offer a variety of items you may be interested in. There are auctions for home furnishings, vehicles, art, and even animals including livestock. Many people are intimidated by the process that takes place at an auction so they shy away from them.
Yet this is a perfect opportunity for you to get some great items for a very low price. The biggest factor is that there will be plenty of other people there bidding on items too. It isn't just you and one other person trying to negotiate the price.
The other downside of it is that your goal is to negotiate the price of anything lower so you get a great bargain. Meanwhile the auctioneer is continually raising the prices higher as long as he continues to have interested parties bidding on the item. Of course not everyone at an auction is going to be there to bid on the same items.
If possible, take a look at the items that will be offered at an auction ahead of time. Most of them offer flyers listing the best items they have to generate public interest in the auction. Try to show up at least one hour early so you can take an up close look at the various items that will be for sale. This way you can confidently bid on them when they reach the auction block.
It is important to remember that you are purchasing items at an auction as it is with no expressed or implied warranty. If you find an old desk you love and would like to refinish check it out before the auction starts. You don't want to win it and find out it is actually made out of particle board instead of real wood.
Don't let the fact that there are plenty of people around you discourage you from bidding on the items you really want. If you don't win them try not to stress out about it. There are generally plenty of auctions taking place in any given location so you may find the item somewhere else.
Of the flip side of that coin, don't feel pressured to keep bidding more for an item than you really want to because someone else is bidding on it and you don't want to be the loser in front of everyone else in attendance. Too many people worry about this situation at an auction, but it is nothing to take personally or become embarrassed by.
While you are taking a close look at the various items you may want to bid on, come up with a maximum price you are willing to pay and then stick to it. If the opening bid for the item is more than you were willing to pay for it then pass the item over entirely.
Even if you don't walk away with anything, going to an auction is a very fun even it itself. There are real estate auctions, estate auctions, and those that offer a variety of other items. It is fun to attend and observe how the entire process works. This way you know the proper procedures when you are ready to make a bid. It is also a great place to network and meet lots of very interesting people.
Save The Most Money With Holiday Sales
Many shoppers love to take advantage of the sales that take place around the various holidays. Yet in most cases it is the time right after the holiday when you will benefit from the most savings. One exception to this rule is the Black Friday that occurs the day after Thanksgiving. It is considered to be the biggest shopping day of the year. You can definitely benefit from tremendous savings but you have to be willing to fight the crowds and get up very early to get the best deals.
Jewelry is commonly on sale the weeks before Valentine's Day. This is because many men buy their wives and girlfriends beautiful bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and engagement rings during this period of time to surprise them on Valentine's Day. In the weeks after Valentine's Day though you can save at least 30% on the same items. Now, I am not recommending that you delay giving your sweetheart their Valentine's Day gift late to save money. But you can benefit from such sales by getting quality jewelry at a bargain price to give on a birthday, at Christmas, or for any other occasion.
Easter clothing isn't the cheapest thing to purchase, and the larger your family is the more expensive it will be. Yet right after Easter all of those pretty dresses and little pant suits are very cheap. You can buy them to use for other occasions throughout the year. They make good clothes to wear to Church and weddings without costing you a fortune. You can also purchase them for the following year to save you plenty of money.
From the day after Thanksgiving that we talked about through Christmas Eve, shoppers are in a frenzy getting the perfect Christmas gifts for those on their list. It can be stressful and it can cost you a fortune. Many people are willing to pay more for gifts this time of year because it is a necessity and they really are more interested in getting their shopping done. That is until the credit card bills start rolling in!
To help reduce the amount of money you spend on Christmas gifts, try shopping for them all year long when you find sales. How many times have you seen something on sale and said to yourself that would be the perfect gift for a specific person? Take advantage of these opportunities and store all of the items you pick up in one location. This way you always know where to find them. Using this method you can give wonderful gifts to those on your lists without spending more than you have to.
Don't forget to take advantage of those great sales the day after Christmas as well. This is another opportunity to pickup gift items that you don't want to pass up. You can even buy items for yourself without feeling guilty. Those perfume gift sets will be at least 50% less the day after Christmas. I buy a couple of them in my favorite fragrances so I don't have to buy perfume throughout the year.
You can take the expense out of shopping if you take advantage of holiday sales. If you plan in advance you will find that the actual sells after the holiday has passed are much better than the sales prior to it. If you enjoy shopping as much as I do then you will be very happy to find out how much money you can save on items you will eventually need to purchase anyway.
Bargains Are Waiting To Be Found At Flea Markets
I love to spend hours looking at flea markets for different items. Different vendors set up their products in a central location so that consumers can spend their time walking around and see the new and used items available for sale. You never know what you will come across at a flea market. There are plenty of new and used items as well as home made crafts and clothing to choose from.
To help make your day at the flea market the best it can be plan for the day. Most flea markets are outdoors so you may want some sunscreen and a hat. Others are inside so make sure you find out ahead of time. You don't want to spend the day carrying around the items you purchased so make sure you take along a bag or a cart. There are some very inexpensive carts that fold up and fit into the trunk of your car.
Make sure you wear good walking shoes too so you won't have to end your daily early due to tired feet. A good tip to help if you do get tired walking is to walk to the very end of the vendors and work your way forward. This way you will have the heaviest load from items you have purchased when you are nearest your vehicle. Keep in mind that most people start at the entrance of the flea market so if you start at the back you will be able to see many items before too many other people do.
Most flea markets are offered on the weekends but some of them do take place on weekdays as well. The number of other people looking around is generally lower during the week but then so is the number of vendors. It is really a toss up about when is the best time of day to make a deal at a flea market. It is perfectly acceptable to try to get the price lowered down from what the vendor is asking for it.
By going to a flea market first thing in the morning you are likely to be able to take advantage of the selection before everyone else has. This is the best solution if there are particular items you are interested in finding. Yet many people claim they have a harder time getting the seller to negotiate the prices when they purchase early in the morning.
By the end of the day though most vendors are very willing to lower the prices on the items they have remaining. They definitely don't want to have to pack up any more stuff at the end of the day than they absolutely have to. If you have a particular item in mind and you can wait until the end of the day you will get a better price. You also run the risk of someone else snatching it up though if it is a one of a kind item.
There are different ways to negotiate the price of any given item. You can ask the vendor what the lowest price is that they will take for a given it. You can also offer to pay a certain price and see if they will take you up on the offer. If you want to offer $10 then have that money in your hand for them to see. Seeing the money will often entice them to take the money.
I have found it is always worth my time to look around though because I may find the vendor in the next aisle has the same item for $10 less. If I am going to go back to check on an item with a particular vendor I write down their location because by the end of the day it can be difficult to remember who is located where.
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