This is an article about strange ways of saving money that has nothing to do with collecting quarters in a change jar. And we promise it won’t be so complicated that you fall into a k-hole of despair, surrounded by Excel spreadsheets documenting a $1 discount on jumbo toilet tissue.
We’re about saving cash by using a couple of cool tools and websites we almost guarantee you’ve never heard of.
AliExpress: You’ll never pay full price for iPhone cables, hoverboards or unicorn heads ever again
Buying razor blades and iPhone cables is guaranteed to make you feel shortchanged. Both are unnecessarily expensive and have a stupidly short shelf life. This is where AliExpress gets their edge. They’re a Chinese wholesaler with a difference.
They let you buy just one item from AliBaba.
And you can specify free shipping as well (click the box in their search bar).
If quality is a concern, remember that most of the stuff you buy in the States is from China. Retailers import it, pimp it up and then repackage to resell to you for profit.
Think this is to good to be true? Look at these numbers*:
- Unicorn head: $11 vs. $30 on ThinkGeek
- Hoverboard: $272 vs. $1,799 on IOHawk
- iPhone glowing cable: $1.52
- iPhone Braided cable: $1.58 vs. $25.95 at Eastern Collective
- One Mache 3 razor blade (the mis-spelling is deliberate): $0.98 a blade vs. around $4 a blade
- Men’s Novelty socks: $1.99 vs. $10 at Joy of Socks
*Note: We compared similar items, but are not claiming this is where they were sourced from.
The biggest downside is that they take 1-3 weeks to deliver.
Shoptagr for effortless price reductions on your favorite shit
We’re suckers for a good sale, but wading through racks of crap to find that elusive bargain is depressing. But if you’re OK waiting a few weeks, you’re going to love Shoptagr.
It’s a kickass free Chrome browser extension which lets you save items you like on websites to a virtual shopping cart, without leaving the homepage of J.Crew, Nordstrom, or hundreds of other stores.
Breaking this down: You’re browsing Bonobos and spot a t-shirt that you love but you don’t like the $80 price tag.
Shoptagr’s green “S” sits in the right-hand corner of your screen, and clicking on it lets you save the tee (in your size) to your favorites directory.
When the price drops you get an email, and if they’re low on stock they’ll holler at you: in case you’re experiencing non-buyers remorse.
Here’s to getting everything you want for less, without having to change your shopping habits.
Amazon Warehouse deals for cheap iPhones with full warranties
Amazon Prime has turned many people into Amazon junkies. Partly due to laziness (no more lugging 24 packs of Snapple) and partly because they’re great with returns.
They give you thirty days to consider how ironic your new phone case is, and you can mail it back with free postage. That’s time to realize you can’t afford that PS4. Or that TV.
But all that sent back shit has to go somewhere, and recent negative media stories means we know their workers aren’t swanning around in lightly used Burberry trench coats with their Apple watch beaming them smiley faces for exercise goals reached that day.
All that stuff ends up in a section called Amazon Warehouse deals, a slightly hidden part of their site that we’re throwing wide open.
The returned items are classified as Used – Like New, Very Good, Good and Acceptable. Check out what’s on offer:
- Parrot mini drone for $65 down from $133 full price… that’s 50% off
- Blu cellphone for $165, down from $229 full price
- Samsung Galaxy S5 $321 down from $389
- Samsung Galaxy S6 $433 down from $544
They also qualify for the 30 day return policy and Prime members get two days free shipping.
Paribus gets you discounts on shit you’ve ALREADY BOUGHT
So these tips are great but they all involve you spending cash, just slightly less of it. But what about the money you’ve already shelled out?
Paribus is a ridiculously smart service that gets you cash back on PAST PURCHASES. No, it doesn’t have Time Lord powers. It’s a smart email searching tool.
The kinda boring part:
Prices change daily. Something that’s $20 today might be $5 tomorrow, and only obsessive price checkers will know. Many stores give you cash back if the price changes within a certain number of days, but monitoring this and following up is time consuming. And annoying.
Paribus accesses your emails (securely and encrypted, promise) and scans them for your online purchases. It tracks those numbers against the stores and price matches with competitors.
When it notices a discrepancy it files a claim on your behalf. And they also file claims for savings such as discount code you were eligible for, and didn’t apply at checkout.
They currently works with Amazon, Walmart, Macy’s and a bunch more and are free to use. They take a 25% cut of whatever they get back for you, but a 25% cut of $$ is better than 0% of nothing right?
Retail Me Not for couponing without couponing
Couponing makes us feel like we’ve aged thirty years and are experimenting with combovers, but we’d still like the discounts. So serious kudos for the people behind RetailMeNot. It’s a free app and website, that gets you money off at places you shop.
The app is what you need to focus on. They use geolocation to bring you alerts from stores around you. So if you’re grabbing coffee at Peets, up pops a suggestion that you can have a free cookie, if you flash them the code on your mobile. In Nordstroms they’ll suggest using their 30% off barcode – the cashier just scans your phone.
You can store your top stores in the favorites section, and if there’s no in-store discounts available, they’ll tell you about online deals you can use. Now that’s what we call effortless saving.
LightInTheBox: The Chinese website that can save marriages
Weddings are expensive. Love is great, but the bill for $30,000, (average wedding cost in 2014) not so much.
According to the Knot the average wedding dress was $1,281 in 2013. And as more couples are splitting all costs, that’s on you. Ouch. But there’s an easy way to cut this by 90%.
LightInTheBox has over 2,000 wedding dresses of different styles (floor length, chapel train, mermaid, etc). If you don’t know what that is, trust: she does. They’re a Chinese retailer, established in 2007, and they’re fashion editors hidden secret.
The average cost of their dresses are $99; and that includes tailoring using her measurements. Their English language video guide lays out the process. The dresses have a 1-inch seam that allows for extra alterations, and LightInTheBox reimburse for alterations you make locally.
They offer custom suits and groomsmen gear, but don’t fall down that rabbit hole. Focus on the fact that you’ve saved her 90% on the dress – you can size up that flatscreen now. We’d like the chicken and a plus one, thanks.
FYI: wedding dresses come in ONE size, and get tailored to fit you. Here, you get a dress made for her measurements.
Get Service is like your Mom for consumer problems
Listening to tinny Mozart as customer service centers give you the runaround is terrible. Service promises to change that. They’ll make the calls and emails for you, and you can relax.
They’re a startup founded by serial entrepreneur Michael Schneider, and are in the complaints business, a.k.a, customer service. “People hate yelling at customer service, but they don’t have any options,” Schneider told us. Now they do.
This can be anything from compensation for lost airline baggage to chastising nasty waiters. Basically, any service you have complaints about. You upload your issue and paperwork, and choose what result you’d like. For example, with an airline problem you can pick from airmiles, an airline voucher, or tell Service what your ideal outcome is.
“It’s almost like therapy,” Schneider said. “We take cases of people who have legit complaints and get them justice.”
Service deals with everything, and keeps you stress free – just waiting to hear what your compensation will be. And Service takes zero cut. ZERO. Like we said, they’re new, so make the most of this while it lasts.
Saving money doesn’t have to be time consuming and now you have the tools to integrate this into your life.